Harmonic and Intelsat Help Launch UHD Demo Channel in North America

In order to stimulate consumer demand for Ultra High Definition (UHD) content, and sell more UHD-compatible TVs, Harmonic and Intelsat S.A., a provider of satellite services, have formed a partnership to launch HVN Intelsat UHD, a linear UHD demonstration channel for the North American TV markets.

This channel will be broadcast via Intelsat's Galaxy 13 satellite located at 127°W, and will provide multi-channel video programming distributors (MVPDs) with an opportunity to prepare and test their UHD transmissions from the moment that they start downlinking content from Intelsat's Galaxy 13 satellite through their own networks and into the subscribers' homes. This platform will also be available to U.S. cable programmers to conduct their own testing of UHD content. Since Intelsat's Galaxy 13 satellite has 76 HD channels and reaches 98 percent of the cable headends in the continental U.S., it creates an ideal environment for further enhancing the end-to-end delivery of UHD content to consumers.

Harmonic and Intelsat demonstrated the HVN Intelsat UHD channel content at IBC2015 at the RAI Convention Center in Amsterdam. Utilizing an end-to-end UHD video processing system from Harmonic, Intelsat transmitted live and linear 2160p60 (HEVC Main 10 profile) video content via C-band on the Intelsat Galaxy 13 satellite. The content then travelled from Intelsat's Atlanta, Georgia, teleport facility using the IntelsatOne IP/MPLS network to Intelsat's Fuchsstadt, Germany, teleport facility, where it was uplinked via Ku-band on the Intelsat 905 satellite located at 335.5°E, and received and decoded at the RAI Convention Center in Amsterdam.

The initial commissioning test signal will leverage transport stream servers located at Intelsat's teleport facility in Atlanta, and Harmonic's ProMedia Xpress multiscreen transcoder and packager for precompression of the UHD video loop. Later this year, Harmonic will deploy its MediaGrid shared storage system, Polaris playout management suite, Spectrum X advanced media server system and Electra X3 advanced media processor to enable full UHD channel production and transmission from the company's HVN Center in San Jose, California. That signal will then be uplinked in Intelsat's teleport facility in Atlanta via Intelsat's Galaxy 13 satellite.

At the heart of Intelsat's UHD workflow is Harmonic's Electra X3 advanced media processor, the industry's first fully converged platform for broadcast and OTT delivery of UHD content with live, full-frame, full-GOP UHD encoding. Electra X3 is powered by the Harmonic PURE Compression Engine, a new encoding technology that supports resolutions of up to 2160p60 (leveraging the HEVC Main 10 codec). Using the Electra X3 media processor, Intelsat can deliver superior video quality at minimum bandwidth.

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