Harmonic unveils multichannel HD MPEG-4 AVC encoding

Harmonic has extended its family of digital video compression solutions with the new DiviCom Electra 7000 HD MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) encoder. The multichannel encoder supports up to four full-resolution HD channels and can simultaneously create low-resolution services for picture-in-picture or multichannel mosaic applications.

Designed for satellite, telco/IPTV and cable operators, customers of the Electra 7000 have reported using bit-rates 20 to 30 percent lower than their current HD H.264 encoder.

Satellite operators can use the Electra 7000 to enhance their channel offerings by delivering substantially more national and local HD channels while improving picture quality. The Electra 7000 also enables telcos to provide HD and SD services with support for multiple televisions and PVR functionality in addition to making bandwidth available for high-speed Internet access.

With shipments scheduled to begin in September, the Electra 7000's compression engine is based on an architecture that uses single-slice video processing as well as advanced video pre-processing and full multi-pass “LookAhead” encoding. The 1RU encoder supports constant or variable bit rate encoding for all resolutions in 1080i and 720p formats, as well as native 5.1/7.1 audio encoding.

Operators can easily scale from one to four channels per encoder as demand for HD programming grows. The Electra's multi-service capabilities also allow service providers to deliver video to a range of devices and to support a variety of new applications including PiP, interactive program guides and multichannel mosaics.

The DiviCom Electra 7000 multi-service encoding platform will be shown at IBC2006.

For more information, visit www.harmonicinc.com.