NEW PRODUCTS - April 2009
ENCODERS - Harmonic debuts flexible encoder
Harmonic  has introduced a sort of universal version of its Electra encoder, with multi-resolution, multi-standard, multiservice and multichannel capabilities. The new Electra 8000 is capable of both MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 encoding (either at a time), supports a range of HD formats, and can be repurposed for different uses over time with firmware changes.
It provides four channels in a 1 RU box. The company says it is ideal for newer applications, such as HD simulcast of an existing SD channel lineup, while providing business continuity for SD MPEG-2.
Greater bandwidth efficiency makes the new encoder suitable for any service provider, Harmonic proposes.
It allows cable operators to squeeze another HD signal in, going from the typical three channels to four statistically multiplexed channels per chassis. Those same encoding efficiencies will help satellite operators squeeze more channels in per transponder, or could help an IPTV provider deliver a quality HD signal using just 5 Mbps, rather than the 6 Mbps now typically used. For ATSC stations, Harmonic is positioning the Electra 8000 as a “headend in a box.”
Stat muxing is integrated, as are up- and down-conversion between SD and HD, noise reduction and other features.
The Electra 8000 is variously configurable, and the price will vary accordingly. Harmonic says it should be available this summer. And the company says it already has a purchase order from an MSO that it did not identify.
Exfo intros PSO-100 series
Exfo Electro-Optical Engineering  has launched what the company says are the industry’s fastest optical sampling oscilloscopes for existing and next-generation 40G and 100G optical networks.
The new systems can characterize optical networks reaching transmission rates of up to 640 Gbps in the lab.
The PSO-101 is a single-channel oscilloscope that enables eye-diagram analysis and pattern visualization within existing high-speed optical networks. The PSO-102 is a dual- or quad-channel version of the previous model and is built for next-generation networks with advanced modulation schemes.
New software features and options for compliance testing of optical transceivers, including mask-hit analysis and data filtering, have also been added to the capabilities of the PSO-100 oscilloscopes, Exfo says.
And according to Exfo, the PSO-100 series is the only bit rate-independent test solution that can measure such phase- and amplitude-modulated signals with a measurement bandwidth of more than 500 GHz, yielding a sub-picosecond temporal resolution.
“High-speed, next-generation networks involve higher transmission rates, advanced modulation schemes and multiple tests that pose serious quality of service issues for customers. Exfo now provides the only solution on the market that can handle all of these challenges with a single, dedicated test instrument,” saysEtienne Gagnon, Exfo’s vice president of product development and marketing.
The optical sampling oscilloscopes are being brought to market thanks to Exfo’s recent acquisition of Swedish-based PicoSolve. They have been integrated into Exfo’s optical test offering, and the oscilloscopes can be combined with the company’s 40G product offering to provide customers with a multilayer test solution for high-speed, next-generation networks.
MegaPhase launches Oasis Kit
MegaPhase’s  Oasis Universal Cable & Adapter Kit is designed to meet the needs of field installers and engineers that repair and maintain RF and microwave systems in challenging conditions.
The Oasis Kit provides a variety of adapters to meet any contingency in the field. The waterproof kit comes with a common set of adapters that are interchangeable, and the adapters can be selected from water-resistant foam, even with gloved hands. The kit also complies with MIL-PRF-28800F.