Harmonic and AsiaSat reveal workflow details for forthcoming 4K channel
Harmonic and AsiaSat, Asia’s premier satellite operator, have announced a partnership to launch a new Ultra HD (UHD) channel. 4K-SAT2/HVN will be AsiaSat’s second free-to-air UHD channel, on AsiaSat 4 at 122 degrees East for Asia-Pacific.
Launching on 4K-SAT2/HVN on March 1 will be 4K video content from Harmonic’s broad video library, as well as content from the new NASA TV UHD channel, in 2160p60 with HEVC Main 10 profile, utilising an end-to-end UHD video processing system from Harmonic. With the channel, consumers in Asia can explore the beauty of the world and of space in stunning UHD. NASA TV UHD, the first UHD channel in North America, was launched jointly by NASA and Harmonic in North America in late 2015.
“With the cost of UHD TV sets dropping dramatically over the past year, demand for UHD content in Asia is expected to grow exponentially in the next couple of years,” said Sabrina Cubbon, vice president, marketing and global accounts at AsiaSat. “Our partnership with Harmonic for this new channel 4K-SAT2/HVN, following the successful launch of our first UHD channel last year, enables the delivery of a choice of rich and compelling UHD content on AsiaSat 4, allowing us to demonstrate the superior quality via satellite of a linear Ultra HD channel in 2160p60 resolution.”
The UHD channels on AsiaSat 4’s UHD platform are available free-to-air across the satellite’s enormous footprint, spanning from New Zealand to Pakistan and part of the Middle East and encompassing more than 50 countries and regions. Asian TV operators and home viewers with an AsiaSat 4 C-band antenna and a HEVC set-top box will be able to receive the free-to-air UHD channels in native UHD quality.
The new 4K-SAT2/HVN UHD channel deploys Harmonic’s MediaGrid shared storage system, a highly scalable, Ethernet-based shared storage system optimized for digital media workflows; Polaris playout management suite; Spectrum X advanced media server system, which brings new levels of efficiency, simplicity and reliability to broadcast playout workflows; and the Electra X3 UHD media processor, to enable full UHD channel production and transmission from the AsiaSat’s Tai Po Earth Station in Hong Kong.
“Harmonic is the only video infrastructure provider to offer a complete UHD workflow solution for delivery of live and linear UHD broadcasts. This expertise, combined with our UHD channel-as-a-service offering, technology leadership and active involvement in standards bodies and other industry groups, is creating the momentum needed for global UHD service deployment,” said Peter Alexander, chief marketing officer at Harmonic. “By providing AsiaSat with a full-scale workflow for delivering 2160p60 UHD video content, and also providing a complete slate of compelling content that showcases the medium of UHD, Harmonic is enabling UHD services to be rolled out quickly and affordably to consumers across the region, with amazing video quality.”