Harmonic Spectrum ChannelPort Playout Deliers DVE, Extended Codec Support

 Harmonic will debut enhancements to its Spectrum ChannelPort channel playout solution at NAB next week. The company says ChannelPort now delivers dual digital video effects (DVE) capabilities, extended codec support, and Pitch Blue compatibility. With these additions to its robust feature set, it enables even greater efficiency and flexibility in taking quality programming and services to air.

“Harmonic’s ability to combine proven reliability and high-value function integration while minimizing rack space and operational expense have established Spectrum as the leading media server in the broadcast playout market,” says Tom Lattie, vice president of product management at Harmonic. “The new advanced graphics and branding capabilities being demonstrated, such as dual-DVE support, provide greater efficiencies by eliminating steps and equipment in the workflow. System flexibility is also increased with the ability to choose between ChannelPort’s new Onboard Playout Control or an external automation vendor.”

The ChannelPort system speeds the cost-effective deployment of new SD and HD television channels by integrating branding, master control switching, and intelligent media fetch with integrated playout control of live and clip sources on the trusted Spectrum media server platform. The integration of rich graphics — including the keying of multilayer motion graphics, DVE, and dynamic text over recorded or live video — eliminates the need for external graphics devices and simplifies playout workflows, enabling powerful channel branding capabilities. Enhancements to the module include the addition of dual-DVE capability, independent branding of simulcast channels, support for external key/fill and live feeds, voiceover from live or file-based sources, and on-board closed caption file insertion.

With the addition of the dual-DVE function, broadcasters can play out two simultaneous programs on the branded channel, typically a squeeze-back on credits during the end of one program, alongside a preview of upcoming attractions on the other. Additionally, independent branding for simulcast channels enables broadcasters to create unique looks for a channel that airs in multiple formats or on multiple platforms and screens.

Harmonic extended the flexibility of ChannelPort by leveraging its open design to support the Pitch Blue file-based playout system for native playout of H.264 HD content. Pitch Blue support enables users to realize a seamless, efficient file-based workflow for content delivery to a growing number of broadcast stations. Extended codec support includes both AVC-Intra and ProRes 422. Like the ChannelPort system, the Spectrum MediaPort™ 7000 module now also provides ProRes 422 codec support.

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