KXII TV in Sherman, TX, Deploys Harmonic’s HD and SD Encoders in Digital Upgrade

Harmonic Inc. announced at the HD World Conference & Exposition that KXII TV in Sherman, TX, a Gray Television station, has deployed Harmonic’s market-leading DiviCom MV 500 MPEG-2 high definition (HD) encoders and MV 100 MPEG-2 standard definition (SD) encoders for its digital upgrade. KXII, serving viewers in Texas and Oklahoma, has launched the world’s first live ATSC service with two HD channels and one SD channel in the allocated 19.4 Mbps spectrum using the bandwidth-efficient Harmonic encoders. KXII is using the Harmonic solution to simultaneously broadcast their CBS (1080i), Fox (720p), and MyNetwork, branded “MyTexoma”, (480i) programs. The multi-channel HD delivery capability made possible with the enhanced efficiency of the Harmonic solution, which also includes DiviTrack statistical multiplexing and NMX Digital Service Manager, dramatically enhances the broadcaster’s service and gives KXII the flexibility to adjust their service configuration in realtime or via scheduled changes.

The transition to an all-digital, HD world brings with it new possibilities in terms of the services over-the-air broadcasters such as Gray Television’s 36 stations can offer, but also requires the operator to implement encoding solutions that can support these higher bit-rate 1080i and 720p services. Harmonic, the leader in MPEG compression, introduced the MV 500 in April 2006 to meet these needs for terrestrial, cable and satellite operators.

“As we were planning our digital upgrade, the ability to support multiple HD channels within a single ATSC stream was an absolute necessity,” said Rick Dean, KXII Vice President and General Manager. “Harmonic’s MV 500 HD encoder delivers impressive quality video while significantly improving compression efficiency. This breakthrough implementation of two HD services plus one SD channel in 19.4 Mbps dramatically enhances our business proposition and revenue opportunities as consumer demand for HD continues to grow. With the flexible and cost-effective Harmonic solution, we can now take our digital service to the next level by offering our viewers more high definition programming.”

“While a significant amount of attention has been focused on MPEG-4 technology, MPEG-2 is still the dominant compression format for terrestrial and cable operators and will be so for some time to come,” said Shahar Bar, Director of Satellite and Broadcast Solutions for Harmonic Inc. “As the industry leader in MPEG encoding, Harmonic continues to set the benchmark as the first to provide multi-channel HD support for ATSC networks. Our latest generation MPEG-2 HD encoder, the DiviCom MV 500, is the most efficient and highest quality platform in its class, while the standard definition MV 100 is the world’s most widely deployed multi-codec real-time encoder.”

The MV 500 supports both 1080i and 720p video resolutions and various audio formats including MPEG Audio Layer II, Dolby Digital AC-3, AAC, aacPlus and Dolby E. The DiviCom encoders also offer native IP or ASI support, and can be utilized as part of a closed-loop statistical multiplex with Harmonic’s advanced DiviTrack solutions. To streamline configuration, ongoing management and scheduling of the program lineup, operators can utilize Harmonic’s versatile NMX Digital Service Manager to manage the video headend infrastructure.