Belgium’s Alpha Networks launches with Harmonic gear
Belgian telecom operator Alpha Networks has launched its Billi IPTV and OTT services, as well as hosted service offerings for international operators, based on a full complement of Harmonic video processing, server, and storage solutions.
Using an integrated and unified framework, Harmonic’s video platforms enable Alpha Networks to deliver high-quality HD video services cost-effectively to multiple viewing devices, including connected TVs, PCs, tablets, and smartphones.
“The key to launching competitive multiscreen services was figuring out an efficient way to deliver live IPTV services to set-top boxes, as well as live and video-on-demand services to tablets, smartphones, and PCs, using OTT technologies,” says Guillaume Devezeaux, COO, Alpha Networks. “Through a single, integrated architecture, Harmonic’s range of solutions delivers a richer multimedia experience to subscribers, while lowering our operating and capital expenses.”
Alpha Networks’ headend relies on a combination of Harmonic’s video-processing solutions to manage the complexity of IPTV and OTT applications and deliver high-quality SD and HD MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) video with a reduced footprint. For live IPTV encoding, ProStream 1000 with ACE high-density stream processers transcode up to 60 SD or 20 HD broadcast services per RU — while reducing Alpha Networks’ energy costs with no more than 10 watts per channel. ProMedia Live carrier-grade transcoding and ProMedia Package adaptive-streaming preparation systems transcode and package multiple H.264 video streams for adaptive-bitrate delivery of live multiscreen OTT content.
VOD content is delivered using Harmonic’s ProMedia Carbon file-based enterprise-class transcoding solution, an Omneon MediaGrid shared-storage system optimised for digital media, and a ProMedia Origin HTTP streaming-video server. The system leverages industry-standard protocols, including Apple HLS and Microsoft Smooth Streaming, to prepare and publish live, VOD, and NPVR content to multiple viewing devices while supporting a range of CDNs and encryption methodologies. This allows Alpha Networks to deliver content to a wide variety of customer devices while still maintaining streamlined system architecture.
“As a long-term solution provider to Alpha Networks, Harmonic understands its evolving needs and is committed to delivering innovative solutions that address the increasing demand for video delivery to set-top boxes, over the Internet, and on mobile devices, without compromising quality,” says Thierry Fautier, senior director, convergence solutions at Harmonic. “Alpha Networks can provide Billi subscribers with a unique user experience, while offering international operators compelling, cutting-edge video services across IPTV and OTT delivery networks, making it an attractive business offering coupled with a future-proof solution.”