Harmonic unveils 4:2:2 decoding capabilities for ProView 7100

Harmonic has announced 4:2:2 decoding capabilities for its ProView 7100 integrated receiver-decoder (IRD), transcoder, and stream processor. Leveraging this new capability, the IRD’s SD and HD decoder can support 4:2:2 compressed video streams in both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC 8/10-bit formats, enabling content, and service providers to deliver the professional video quality required for contribution applications.

By integrating 4:2:2 decoding for DVB-S/S2, IP, and DVB-ASI input interfaces into the ProView 7100, Harmonic allows content providers to decode SD and HD content presented as either MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 AVC compressed streams with improved picture fidelity.

“Video content goes through multiple compression stages before being distributed to viewers, making it essential to preserve high video quality within the contribution stages of a broadcast workflow,” said Krish Padmanabhan, senior vice president of video products at Harmonic. “Using Harmonic’s ProView 7100 4:2:2 decoder with 10-bit precision for MPEG-4 AVC transport streams, service providers maintain the color fidelity of video content when performing subsequent post-production processes such as chroma keying.”

The ProView 7100 supports a variety of contribution and distribution applications, including single-channel decoding, MPEG-4 AVC-to-MPEG-2 transcoding, and DVB descrambling. With the capability to perform multiformat video decoding, descrambling, and remultiplexing of up to four transport streams, as well as transcoding for up to eight channels, the multifunctional platform lowers a broadcaster’s operational expenses, according to the company.

Harmonic will demonstrate a comprehensive range of solutions, including the ProView 7100, at IBC 2012. Harmonic’s portfolio of products enable broadcasters and operators to produce video content more efficiently in any format, distribute content cost-effectively over any network, and support a high-quality viewing experience reliably on any device. ProView 7100 with 4:2:2 decoding capabilities is expected to ship in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Harmonic has teamed up with Nagra, the digital TV division of the Kudelski Group and independent provider of content protection and multiscreen television solutions, to power an innovative cloud-based OTT video service for broadcasters and pay-TV service providers offered jointly by major Spanish infrastructure telecom operator Abertis Telecom and Nagra. The multiscreen hosting service is already in use by Spanish broadcasters for their HbbTV based services and will be enhanced to become what is expected to be the world’s first commercial deployment of MPEG-DASH, a standards-based adaptive streaming protocol that supports multiple DRM systems via common encryption, as well as the first deployment of HbbTV 1.5.

As part of a fully integrated multiscreen solution, Harmonic’s ProMedia suite and Nagra MediaLive Multiscreen solution provide the Abertis Telecom-Nagra cloud service with an integrated video infrastructure capable of delivering high-quality OTT applications, including live, VOD and time-shifting, to TVs, PCs, tablets, smartphones, set-top boxes and other IP-connected devices.

To ensure a successful deployment, Nagra and Harmonic worked closely to define and implement the necessary interfaces between Harmonic’s video processing solutions and Nagra’s master DRM key server, allowing the service to simultaneously protect content with multiple digital rights management systems, including Nagra PRM, Microsoft PlayReady, and Marlin.

Leveraging Nagra MediaLive Multiscreen’s multi-DRM capability, the Abertis Telecom-Nagra cloud service can support a broad range of connected devices while reducing the total cost of ownership. The end-to-end Nagra solution includes the flexible MediaLive Service Platform for digital asset management and service delivery; the company’s award-winning digital rights management technology (Nagra PRM); Nagra Media Player, a sophisticated media player that securely delivers services to open devices; and the MediaLive “Ninja” Client Framework, a flexible cross-device application framework that accelerates the deployment of innovative services to multiple connected devices.

“Nagra is committed to providing flexible solutions required to cost-effectively deploy multiscreen services that address future market needs. With this MPEG-DASH and HbbTV 1.5 deployment, Nagra and Harmonic continue to lead the industry in supporting innovative television services,” said Jean-Michel Puiatti, vice president, multiscreen products for Nagra. “The multi-DRM support provided by Nagra MediaLive Multiscreen simplifies the encryption of video content to multiple devices and lowers capital and operating costs for service providers.”

The joint Abertis Telecom-Nagra cloud service uses Harmonic’s software-based ProMedia family of video preparation and processing solutions to streamline the delivery of its new OTT service. ProMedia performs a broad range of processing and streaming tasks — including capture, transcoding, packaging, and origin server functions — to enable high-quality multiplatform video creation and delivery. The flexible, high-performance solution can scale to support hundreds of simultaneous streams, simplifying the deployment of the live OTT service.

“As a member of the DASH Industry Forum and recent participant in the first live, public MPEG-DASH trial at the London Olympic Games with European broadcaster VRT, Harmonic is excited to continue its support of the industry’s premiere standard for streaming multimedia over the Internet. By launching the world’s first OTT service supporting MPEG-DASH, Abertis Telecom and Nagra are breaking new ground and helping to build the future of multiscreen delivery,” said Thierry Fautier, senior director, convergence solutions, Harmonic.

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