IBC 2006: Harmonic to Show Multichannel MPEG-4 HD Encoder

Harmonic said this week it plans to demo its latest digital video compression system, the DiviCom Electra 7000 HD MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) encoder, at IBC 2006 on Sept. 8-12 in Amsterdam (stand #1.361), with customer shipments scheduled to begin at about the same time.

Harmonic said its next-gen device is the industry's first "multichannel, multiservice HD H.264 encoder" which will support up to four full-resolution HD channels and simultaneously create low-res video for picture-in-picture or multichannel mosaic applications.

The firm said that beta (test) customers have confirmed bit rates of 20-30 percent lower than typical current HD H.264 encoders. It said nearly half a dozen satellite and telco operators in North America and Europe for HD services so far have selected the new system for purchase.

Harmonic's latest compression engine is based on a new architecture that uses single-slice video processing and other next-gen tools, including advanced video pre-processing and full multipass encoding. The encoder supports constant bitrate or variable bitrate, encoding for all resolutions in 1080i and 720p, along with native 5.1/7.1 audio encoding.