Susan Ashworth /
Harmonic Touts New Broadcast Delivery ‘Ecosystem’
Company also expands multiscreen options
Peter Alexander, chief marketing officer for
SAN JOSE, CALIF.—From the slopes of Sochi all the way
back to the desert of Nevada, it’s been a busy year for Harmonic.
Helping NBC Universal churn out a massive editing and
highlight package for the 2014 Winter Olympics was step one; now the company
comes to the NAB Show to tackle a new set of challenges.
On the one hand, there’s the still untapped world of OTT;
on the other, sits the promise of 4K. Harmonic is trying to wrap its arms
around it all, with a mix of new product introductions and a mums-the-word
technology launch that the company believeshas “the potential to redefine the broadcast video delivery ecosystem,”
said Peter Alexander, chief marketing officer at Harmonic.
This “groundbreaking software technology announcement”
represents a fundamental shift in the company’s strategic vision, he said. The
company plans to make a formal announcement on the software launch at its NAB
press conference. “It builds on things we’ve done and shifts the direction
we’re heading,” Alexander said.
In the last 12 months, the company’s customer base has
grown, as both broadcasters and new media companies are beginning to operate in
a new way, Alexander said. This is one factor that influenced the company to
further pursue multiscreen technology solutions. The response is the launch of
new solutions like the ProView 8000 integrated receiver-decoder (IRD) family,
which is designed to optimize primary distribution of video content over
satellite or IP delivery networks. The company will demonstrate first member of
the ProView family—the ProView 8100 commercial decoder—at its booth,
illustrating the ability to distribute video at resolutions up to 1080p50/60.
Other multiscreen solutions include Harmonic’s multiscreen ad insertion
solution, which leverages multiscreen transcoding features via the ProMedia and
With an eye on the emergence of the Ultra HD format,
Harmonic will play a role in demonstrating a live 4K 2160p 60 demonstration, and will showcase how its MediaGrid
shared storage system can be used for collaborative and 4K editing. The company
will also feature enhancements to the Spectrum media server product line and ChannelPort
integrated channel playout system.
“The last few months have reaffirmed the direction of
the industry [in regard to 4K],” Alexander said. “Price points are coming down,
and there’s far more content available.
The company will also show off the Electra multiformat
encoding platform, an ATSC 3.0-ready multifunction encoding platform that
features high-density audio encoding capabilities. Also on display: a
distribution solution designed around the Harmonic DMS video distribution
Now that they’re in Las Vegas and Sochi is behind them,
Harmonic is able to look back at its role inside one of the most
technologically challenging broadcast events and see the advantages.
“We’ve worked on the last four Olympics, and this one
was a particularly challenging Olympics [for NBC] because they backhauled all
of their footage to the U.S. for editing and highlights,” Alexander said.
Though the duties were familiar, the challenges came in the form of new formats
and adapting to the scale of the project. This time it was covering “all
countries, all meets, with it all available online,” he said, which was
facilitated with the company’s Media Grid storage solutions, Spectrum ingest
and play out server, and ProMedia transcoder solutions.
Here at the show, Harmonic is focused on what’s next.
“We’re excited about a number things going on for broadcast, from the emergence
of multiscreen to the potential of UHD.”
Harmonic will be in booth SU1210 in the South Hall.