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IBC2013: Harris Broadcast Scales Down Selenio, Greens Up Transmitters

AMSTERDAM — Harris Broadcast made its debut this year at IBC as a standalone vendor owned by equity investors. The show also marked the inaugural annual trade show appearance for Charlie Vogt, the former VoIP executive who took the reins of Harris Broadcast in July, just days after the ouster of the previous CEO, Harris Morris. New tech rollouts were limited to the transmitter line and the Selenio convergence box. Harris also announced three of its projects at the Amsterdam techfest.

PowerSmart 3D
In the transmitter department, Harris Broadcast rolled out PowerSmart 3D, a “green, energy-efficient architecture at the core of Harris Broadcast’s DTV and digital radio transmission” product line.

PowerSmart 3D is said to included “fully broadband, single-amplifier designs” specific UHF and VHF at around a 50 percent rackspace savings over likewise powered models. The vendor said the modular PowerSmart 3D technology is up to 58 percent more power efficient than “previous technologies.”

Harris rolled out Selenio MCP1, a smaller version of its Selenio networking module. The MCP1 sees the original box pared down by two rack units, to 1RU. Harris says it still does the same IP-interconnection of baseband video and legacy audio formats, particularly for remote live contribution over IP networks.

As Harris puts it, “Selenio MCP1 is particularly useful for live signal contribution over IP, telco and satellite links where users can reliably transmit and monitor single- and dual-channel streams in both directions with hitless protection.”

Harris says Selenio MCP1 is aimed at customers with less complex operational requirements, including low channel counts. It is said to share the same core functionality as the 3RU version, but is customizable to user requirements and pre-configured for delivery. The vendor said it would further tweak Selenio for mid-sized to large-scale operations.

BUSINESS I: Quincy Centralizes on Harris
Quincy Broadcast, Print and Interactive is said to be using Harris tech to “boost” the efficiency of the hub-and-spoke framework it uses for 10 of its 14 TV stations located in six states. Harris says Quincy operators will monitor more than 30 live channels from three hubs with Harris multiviewers; and distribute network programming using the Harris automated content management and distribution platform.

The Harris Broadcast technology will establish a common architecture across all 10 stations. KTTC in Rochester, Minn.; WGEM-TV in Quincy, Ill.; and WXOW-TV in LaCrosse, Wis., will monitor and distribute programming for one primary and two digital subchannels at each location. The system will accommodate a fourth subchannel for each station in the future. Locally, Harris Broadcast servers will handle media ingest and playout from Harris online storage systems.

Harris said the new centralized model follows on a recent Selenio deployment across all 14 Quincy stations for over-the-air signal encoding and site-to-site networking. Quincy stations also use Harris transmitters and traffic software as well as modular core processing, frame sync and converters.

BUSINESS II: Harris Automates One America News Network

Harris said it’s “supporting” the recently launched One America News Network with “a complete content management and infrastructure” platform.

Herring Networks owns and operates One America News Network, which launched in July and will reach up to 15 million homes by the end of this year, Harris said. The network operates production operations in Washington, D.C. and San Diego, Calif., though prime-time production, playout and other technical operations are centralized at Herring Networks’ San Diego facility.

The Harris infrastructure includes routers with built-in multiviewers for in-plant signal distribution and visual monitoring of IP and baseband signals, as well as branding and graphics, signal processing, and test and measurement.

GOAL: Harris Broadcast To Support 2014 World Cup Host Broadcaster
Harris said it’s “gearing up for a major tactical support operation at next year’s global soccer tournament in Brazil,” meaning, in PR parlance, the World Cup. (Companies are sometimes enjoined from stating the obvious about the World Cup and the Olympics.) The company will support the host broadcaster, HBS, and its prime and technical contractors, Sony Professional and sono Studiotechnik, with equipment and services.

Harris said it also would provide mobile production platforms for the main Brazilian broadcasters and content generators during the games, in addition to supporting regional broadcasters covering the matches as well as “FunFest events,” by powering outdoor video screens at each participating venue. In addition, the Harris regional support team in Brazil and greater Latin America will be on site throughout the games, and provide pre-event equipment commission, configuration services and operations training.

Earlier this summer, German broadcast systems integrator andinternational rental company, Munich-based sono Studiotechnik, returned from Brazil where provided one of its new fly-away production facilities based on Harris Broadcast technology at the traditional curtain raiser, the Confederations Cup. Next year, this technology will be scaled up to a national level and used at 12 locations in Brazil.

Supporting each fly-away facility, which fits into a single 40-foot shipping container, is Harris Broadcast’s new Platinum IP3 router. HBS used the Platinum IP3 for the Confederations Cup and subsequently placed an order for an extra router to be positioned at the heart of the Rio-based International Broadcast Center, Harris said.

Also see…
August 28, 2013,
Harris CEO Brings in Ops and Sales Chiefs
Vogt taps investor and former colleague for executive rolls.

July 9, 2013,
Charlie Vogt Named CEO of Harris Broadcast
Vogt comes to Harris from Genband, a privately held company involved in voice-over-IP based in Frisco, Texas with global operations and 1,700 employees.

July 3, 2013, “
Harris Morris is Out at Harris Broadcast
Harris Morris, CEO of Harris Broadcast, is leaving the company as of today, a company source confirmed.

April 30, 2013,Harris Broadcast Repositions, Cuts Staff
Harris Broadcast is undergoing a post-acquisition realignment that includes staff cuts and operational changes.

March 4, 2013, “Remembering the Gates Radio Company
The Gores Group becomes just the third owner of one of the world’s major broadcast suppliers, and in the process it inherits that company’s 90-year history.

December 7, 2012,Harris Broadcast to Be Rebranded in Next Three Years
The Harris Broadcast division will retain the Harris name for another three years while it transitions to a new brand, division chief Harris Morris said this week.

December 6, 2012,Harris Sells Broadcast Division to Equity Investor for $225 Million
The transaction is subject to customary regulatory review and closing conditions and is expected to be completed in early calendar year 2013.

May 3, 2012,Harris’ Broadcast Divestiture—Some Corporate History
I thought it worth mentioning here, due to the critical role that Harris has served as a major, if not dominant, player in the U.S. TV transmitter and Mobile DTV areas.

May 1, 2012, “Harris Will Sells Its Broadcast Business
“The decision to divest Broadcast Communications resulted from a thorough review of our business portfolio, which determined that the business is no longer aligned with the company’s long-term strategy,” said Harris Corp. president and CEO William M. Brown.