Harmonic software for Virgin TV Anywhere multiscreen service

Virgin Media has deployed Harmonic’s ProMedia family of integrated software solutions to power a new multiscren service called Virgin TV Anywhere. Harmonic’s real-time multiscreen video processing and encoding technology enables Virgin TV Anywhere customers to watch up to 45 live TV channels on a range of devices, including TVs, PCs, smartphones and tablets.

Customers can also manage recorded programmes and control TiVo set-top boxes through a Virgin TV Anywhere app.

Neil Drennan, director of TV engineering at Virgin Media said: “The world of digital entertainment is moving fast and consumers are always looking for compelling ways to take advantage of the connectivity built into today’s gadgets. Harmonic’s ProMedia software solution optimises our multiscreen operational workflow, helping us put fantastic entertainment at our customers’ fingertips.”

ProMedia Live transcodes MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC H.264 content to multiple high-quality adaptive bit-rate streams optimised for the Virgin TV Anywhere service. By effectively handling metadata information — such as language, captions, and ad insertion signalling — upon input and output, the ProMedia family provides a complete video preparation solution. ProMedia Live is also integrated with Harmonic’s ProMedia Package to perform sophisticated encapsulation and encryption processes from a unified management system. By relying on a powerful integrated headend for its multiscreen services, Virgin Media is now able to support Apple HLS and Adobe HDS streaming to a broad range of customer devices.

Harmonic’s NMX Digital Service Manager controls both ProMedia Live and ProMedia Package systems, enabling Virgin Media to seamlessly monitor and control its multiscreen video and audio services. Through a comprehensive user interface, Virgin Media is easily able to create and modify network topology and channel line-ups, in addition to setting encoding parameters. The system’s scalable and extensible architecture will enable Virgin Media to easily support hundreds of live television channels as well as introduce additional services like start-over and catch-up TV.

“Harmonic has been Virgin Media’s go-to technology partner for a variety of high-profile television events and services over the years. With this latest installation, we’re excited to bring cutting-edge multiscreen services to subscribers in the UK,” says Ian Graham, vice president of sales, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Harmonic. “Based on its integration, flexibility, and scalability, Harmonic’s award-winning ProMedia Suite is the industry’s trusted solution for high-quality multiscreen production and delivery.”

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