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09.18.2011
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
New encoder from Harmonic

Harmonic has unveiled the Electra 9000, a multicodec, multiformat video encoder for broadcast, satellite, telco and cable operators that simultaneously supports broadcast, mobile, and Web formats in a 1RU chassis. This integrated broadcast and multiscreen compression platform continues Electra's leadership in video quality and multifunction collapse to provide a flexible, open, scalable architecture that integrates easily with existing broadcast infrastructure and enables new multiscreen services, while lowering capital and operating expenses.

Multiscreen services have become a priority for operators as consumer expectation for affordable, convenient, high-quality video everywhere becomes the norm. A priority for Harmonic was to incorporate Web and mobile support into the Electra platform without compromising quality or reducing the Electra's broadcast feature set. Operators benefit from a streamlined headend operation, with several critical functions for broadcast, mobile and Web video brought together in a single platform.

The Electra 9000 encoder delivers HD and SD video services using Harmonic's MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) and MPEG-2 compression algorithms, and combines the company's broadcast capabilities with the ability to support emerging multiscreen applications. The Electra 9000 maximizes bandwidth efficiency and channel density by providing up to four audio/video processing modules per chassis. Each module supports flexible combinations of up to four SD/HD inputs, with up to eight broadcast output profiles and 32 multiscreen aligned output profiles.

The Electra 9000 supports both baseband and IP workflows, as well as three-pass encoding with hierarchical LookAhead technology, comprehensive pre-processing, and a high-performance up/downconverter and deinterlacer. The Electra platform also includes integrated statistical multiplexing with Harmonic's DiviTrackMX and support for DiviTrackIP in LAN or distributed WAN environments. The new platform supports main and secondary outputs for SD or HD, and a rich suite of audio processing options such as Jünger Level Magic automatic audio leveling adjustment.

The Electra 9000 enhances serviceability and reliability through a dual power supply support option and field replaceable modules. Scalability is improved through a pay-as-you-grow architecture that allows for the upgrade of compression blades, I/O modules and formats with firmware licenses as business needs evolve.

The Electra 9000 is the latest element in Harmonic's end-to-end multiscreen system. It can be combined with the company's ProMedia Package carrier-grade adaptive streaming preparation system, and ProMedia Origin HTTP and RTMP streaming video server to encapsulate and deliver video to a variety of target ecosystems, with support for Apple HTTP Live Streaming, Microsoft Smooth Streaming, Adobe RTMP and Adobe HTTP Dynamic Streaming.



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