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Harmonic ProMedia Suite Powers Virgin Media TV Anywhere

SAN JOSE, CALIF. —Virgin Media, a U.K. cable TV, broadband, phone and mobile service provider, has deployed Harmonic’s ProMedia family of integrated software solutions to power a new multiscreen service called Virgin TV Anywhere.

Harmonic’s real-time multiscreen video processing and encoding technology enables Virgin TV Anywhere customers to watch up to 45 live TV channels on devices, including TVs, PCs, smartphones and tablets. Leveraging Virgin Media’s new infrastructure, customers can also manage recorded programs and control TiVo set-top boxes through a Virgin TV Anywhere app.

“The world of digital entertainment is moving fast and consumers are always looking for compelling ways to take advantage of the connectivity built into today's gadgets,” Neil Drennan, director of TV engineering at Virgin Media, said. “Harmonic’s ProMedia software solution optimizes our multiscreen operational workflow, helping us put fantastic entertainment at our customers’ fingertips.”

ProMedia Live transcodes MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC H.264 content to multiple high-quality adaptive bit-rate streams optimized for the Virgin TV Anywhere service. By effectively handling metadata information upon input and output, the ProMedia family provides a complete video preparation solution. ProMedia Live is also integrated with the ProMedia Package to perform encapsulation and encryption processes from a unified management system. By relying on an integrated headend for its multiscreen services, Virgin Media is able to support Apple HLS and Adobe HDS streaming to a range of customer devices.

Harmonic’s NMX Digital Service Manager controls both ProMedia Live and ProMedia Package systems, enabling Virgin Media to monitor and control its multiscreen video and audio services. Through a comprehensive user interface, Virgin Media is easily able to create and modify network topology and channel lineups, in addition to setting encoding parameters. The scalable and extensible architecture will enable Virgin Media to support more live television channels and introduce services like start-over and catch-up TV.

Virgin Media’s operations center also features Harmonic infrastructure solutions that work alongside the new ProMedia Suite and NMX systems, including Electra 8000 encoders, ProStream 1000 multiplexers and NSG 9000 edgeQAMs.