announced support for high definition 1080p encoding at 24 frames per second on its market-leading MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) encoder, the DiviCom Electra 7000. Today, seven of the ten largest satellite operators worldwide utilize Harmonic’s compression systems, and the majority of these customers have selected the Electra 7000 to power their HD H.264 services. Harmonic also announced that it will showcase its next generation H.264 compression technology for 1080p at 60 or 50 fps -- currently the most advanced HD technology available -- in the world’s first public demonstration at IBC 2007.
Consumer expectations for higher quality television continue to grow with “full” HD (1080p) TV sets representing the majority of sales, and movies and other content being released in Blu-ray and HD-DVD formats, which are produced in 1080p24 format. In the near future, digital video production for sports, documentaries, television and other programming is expected to begin in 1080p format at frame rates of 50 fps in Europe and 60 fps in North America and other regions. Cable, satellite and telco operators can use Harmonic’s advanced HD compression technology to offer value-added premium HD subscription services for broadcast and on-demand applications, thereby increasing revenues and customer satisfaction.
“The Electra HD H.264 platform continues to set the bar for technology innovation, video quality and bandwidth efficiency,” said Arnaud Perrier, Senior Manager, Encoder Product Marketing at Harmonic Inc. “Not only has the performance of the Electra 7000 been proven with more than 30 deployments among top tier service providers around the world, but we continue to enhance the capabilities of our latest generation compression systems. The new support for 1080p24 on the Electra 7000 enables operators to offer premium HD picture quality to subscribers, and the demonstration of our next generation 1080p50/60 technology takes high definition even higher.”
Service providers using the Electra 7000 will be able to seamlessly migrate to 1080p24 compression via a firmware upgrade. The dense one rack-unit (1-RU) platform supports up to four channels of full resolution video alongside four simultaneous low resolution outputs for applications such as picture-in-picture and multichannel mosaics.
The Electra 7000’s capabilities to support 1080p, 1080i and 720p will be featured at Harmonic’s booth #1.361 at IBC 2007, Europe’s leading industry exhibition taking place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands from September 7-11.