Technology

Harmonic’s encoder completes testing for Microsoft's IPTV platform

MUMBAI: Harmonic has announced that its new DiviCom Ion AVC standard definition (SD) encoder has successfully completed encoder conformance testing for the Microsoft Mediaroom Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) and multimedia software platform.













The test was administered by Microsoft as part of the Microsoft Mediaroom Interoperability and Qualification Lab (IQ Lab) programme, which is intended to enable the ongoing interoperability and compliance of encoders used in deployments of Microsoft Mediaroom.

 

A Microsoft Mediaroom ecosystem partner, Harmonic powers the video headends for a majority of Microsoft’s IPTV customers. Harmonic delivers over 5,000 broadcast video channels around the world to more than four million IPTV subscribers, and counts more than 100 telco operators as its customers.


Able to deliver four simultaneous MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) SD channels in both high- and low-resolution formats, the IP-based Ion AVC encoder offers service providers a dense, cost-effective and high-quality platform for constant bit-rate (CBR) video delivery. Designed for service providers that need to meet the increasing demand for high-quality digital video services while minimising capital and operating expenditures, the new Ion AVC is ideal for applications such as "long-tail" programme delivery in a unicast environment, a key competitive differentiator for service providers.


Microsoft TV director of global partner ecosystems Joe Seidel says, “The Microsoft Mediaroom Interoperability and Qualification Lab for digital video encoders was established to enable our service provider customers to roll out IPTV services in a more seamless and efficient manner.


“We are pleased to be working with Harmonic in this new IQ Lab programme, and we are confident that our common IPTV customers around the world will be equipped with a powerful video delivery solution that enables them to offer an outstanding and competitive connected TV service.

 

Harmonic director of telco solutions Thierry Fautier says, “Harmonic helps telcos to maximise reach and video quality at ultra-low bit-rates with our best-in-class compression solutions, and further enhances cost efficiency with the Ion AVC encoder.


“Microsoft is successfully addressing the IPTV service provider industry with Microsoft Mediaroom, and the Ion AVC will continue to enable Microsoft and Harmonic to offer service providers innovative connected TV and entertainment services that help differentiate them in the marketplace.”


The Ion AVC encoder was vigorously tested in both NTSC and PAL formats for feature set completeness, compression performance and service uptime in video and audio encoding, picture-in-picture, closed captioning and other categories. Other Harmonic products which have successfully completed the Mediaroom compliance testing include the DiviCom Electra 7000 HD MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) encoder and the Electra 5400 SD H.264 encoder.


Deployed or being trialled by more than 20 service providers worldwide on four continents and in 18 countries, Microsoft Mediaroom enables unique TV features and experiences, such as simultaneous recording of multiple HD and SD TV channels, personal media sharing, whole-home and remote digital video recording (DVR), and multiple picture-in-picture scenarios.


The platform, which is delivering video entertainment experiences to more than 1 million set-top boxes worldwide, also integrates with the Xbox 360 gaming device, bringing together next-generation television and gaming offerings into an integrated entertainment experience. Microsoft Mediaroom allows third parties to create exciting new TV applications and services that enrich the TV viewing experience through the multimedia application environment in the platform.


Harmonic’s portfolio of solutions for telco IPTV service providers encompasses compression and stream processing at the headend, video servers and on-demand software, and targetted ad insertion.

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