Today, Harmonic introduced its DiviCom Electra 8000, which it said is the world's first encoding and transcoding platform to support MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) and MPEG-2 codecs in both standard-definition (SD) and high-definition (HD) formats.

With the new encoder, Harmonic said cable operators can deliver up to four HD MPEG-2 services in one QAM, while satellite operators can increase channel count per transponder.

Telco IPTV service providers can improve reach with constant bit-rate HD video at 5 Mbps or less, and ATSC stations can implement a cost-effective "station-in-a-box" with integrated HD/SD statistical multiplexing and PSIP re-multiplexing.

The Electra 8000's native capability to decode and encode both MPEG-2 and AVC also enables operators to accommodate both existing and future architectures using a single hardware platform.

For example, Harmonic said the Electra 8000 can be used to receive AVC content and re-encode in MPEG-2, supporting the growing trend toward primary distribution of content in AVC and HD formats. Service providers can also use the Electra 8000 to deploy SD MPEG-2 services today before transitioning to HD AVC.

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