Belo encodes signals with Harmonic

Independent station group Belo has deployed a series of Electra 8000 multichannel universal encoders from Harmonic ( to expand its HD and SD television services within its existing ATSC broadcast stream.

Harmonic's Electra 8000 allows Belo to deliver multiple HD and SD services while preserving image quality across the content production and distribution chain. The Electra 8000's architecture features up to four statistically multiplexed services in a single rack unit, reducing operational costs for Belo through the unit's high density and power efficiency.

Craig Harper, vice president of technology for Belo, said the broadcast emission system offered by Harmonic has allowed his stations to transition easily from their existing legacy encoding, multiplexing, and PSIP (Program and System Information Protocol) systems to the fully integrated Electra 8000 platform, which also enables new service offerings in the future, such as mobile DTV.

The Electra 8000 encoder supports HD and SD compression, in MPEG-4 AVC and MPEG-2, as well as integrated statistical multiplexing, broadcast quality up/downconversion and other unique features such as Junger Audio's Level Magic automatic audio leveling adjustment.

Belo stations, which include affiliations with ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, MyNetworkTV, and the CW, reach more than 14 percent of U.S. television households in 15 markets. The new solution was implemented by Heartland Video Systems, a systems integrator and Harmonic value-added reseller based in the Midwest.