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Harmonic adds multi-codec, multi-format encoder

Thu, 09/08/2011 - 8:20am
Brian Santo

Harmonic has introduced a multi-codec (MPEG-2, MPEG-4), multi-format video encoder for broadcast, satellite, telco and cable operators that simultaneously supports broadcast, mobile and Web formats, all in a single 1-RU box.

The Electra 9000 is Harmonic's follow-on to its Electra 8000 encoder, introduced more than two years ago. The new version was designed to support new requirements for multi-screen distribution of video to multiple end devices.

The Electra 9000 encoder can deliver both HD and SD video, either using Harmonic's MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) and MPEG-2 compression algorithms. The earlier 8000 was available with one, two or four outputs. The Electra 9000 provides up to four audio/video processing modules per chassis, with each module capable of supporting combinations of up to four SD/HD inputs, with up to eight broadcast output profiles and 32 multi-screen aligned output profiles.

Scalability is improved through a pay-as-you-grow architecture that allows for the upgrade of compression blades, I/O modules and formats with firmware licenses as business needs evolve.

"Now with the 9000, we can expand the number of channels both from hardware and software," Harmonic vice president of product management Tom Lattie told CED.

The Electra 9000 supports both baseband and IP workflows, as well as three-pass encoding with hierarchical LookAhead technology, comprehensive pre-processing, and a high-performance up/down converter and de-interlacer.

The Electra platform also includes integrated statistical multiplexing with Harmonic's DiviTrackMXT and support for DiviTrackIPT in LAN or distributed WAN environments. The new platform supports main and secondary outputs for SD or HD and includes a rich suite of audio processing options such as Jünger Level MagicT automatic audio leveling adjustment.

The Electra 9000 also has a dual power supply support option and field replaceable modules.

It can be combined with the company's ProMedia Package carrier-grade adaptive streaming preparation system and ProMedia Origin HTTP and RTMP streaming video server to encapsulate and deliver video to a variety of target ecosystems, with support for Apple HTTP Live Streaming, Microsoft Smooth Streaming, Adobe RTMP and Adobe HTTP Dynamic Streaming.

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