Satellites

Harmonic and AsiaSat to launch new UHD channel on 1 March

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MUMBAI: Harmonic and AsiaSat have inked a partnership to launch a new Ultra HD (UHD) channel 4K- SAT2/HVN, which will be AsiaSat’s second free-to-air UHD channel on AsiaSat 4 at 122 degrees East for the Asia Pacific.

Launching on 4K-SAT2/HVN on 1 March, 2016 will be 4K video content from Harmonic’s 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. 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,” said AsiaSat vice president, marketing & global accounts Sabrina Cubbon.

The UHD channels on AsiaSat 4’s UHD platform are available free-to-air across the satellite’s 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 optimised for digital media workflows; PolarisTM playout management suite; SpectrumTM X advanced media server system, which brings new levels of efficiency, simplicity and reliability to broadcast playout workflows; and the ElectraTM 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. 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,” said Harmonic chief marketing officer Peter Alexander.

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