KAXT Does the Impossible With Harmonic

KAXT-LD is a low-power community television station, and we wanted to do what others in the industry deemed impossible—deploy a single ATSC channel that could deliver 12 separate standard-definition video streams, along with eight audio-only streams. We were informed by dozens of people that this was an impossible undertaking, but I felt that it could be done. After some investigation, we went straight to Harmonic.

We developed and deployed a system based on Harmonic's encoding, stream processing and service management technologies, and this let us to expand our delivery capability from a single analog program to the bouquet of 20 digital services we now provide. This enhanced delivery capability made us the first station in the country to successfully offer such a range of programming within the ATSC stream.

Harmonic Electra
Our system includes the Electra 5000 MPEG-2 SD encoding platform, the ProStream 1000 multiplexer and NMX Digital Service Manager, which are used together to efficiently compress and manage the 12 video channels and eight audio-only channels. A big factor in providing the highest possible video quality is Harmonic's DiviTrackIP statistical multiplexing technology.

The large channel capacity provides us with multiple subchannels, giving viewers more content choices, and bringing new revenue opportunities. Our line-up now includes such offerings as Vietnamese, Chinese,, and Spanish language programming, along with a regional travel channel and real estate information.

We work with minority entrepreneurs in developing channels for diverse underserved communities and can provide local and international programming that's not otherwise available in the San Francisco DMA. Our enhanced programming carriage capacity has also made possible the creation of some 40 to 50 new jobs for minorities in the field of broadcasting.


The additional channel capacity also allows us to offer an over-the-air program guide. We worked with Tribune Media to become the first TV in the San Francisco DMA to have a rolling guide that lists programming for all of the off-air TV channels within this market.

The Harmonic gear was designed to address increasing demands for more video and audio services, and has made possible our delivery of a greatly expanded program offering with excellent video quality—all without breaking our budget. They said it couldn't be done, but we did it.

Warren Trumbly is president of KAXT-LD and may be contacted at wt@kaxt1.com.

For additional information, contact Harmonic at 408-542-2500 or visit www.harmonicinc.com.