Content orchestration is the new focus of the compression specialist, following the acquisition of several video server and processing vendors over the past few years. It now offers all of the workflow for live, linear and on demand video channels, from contribution, origination, ingest, storage, graphics overlay to encoding, transcoding, play-out and delivery. This provides dynamic rate adjustment based on content and delivery medium.
To help it execute this strategy, Harmonic took a 3.3% share in Vislink PLC, the parent of broadcast automation specialist Pebble Beach. That has little to no exposure in the US market, where Harmonic does have a leading position.
According to CMO Peter Alexander, Harmonic’s customers want a more integrated solution from them. He provided the example of Fox International Channels, which bought both Harmonic Spectrum X’s video server and Pebble Beach’s Marina automation system.
In a follow-up, CEO Patrick Harshman said Harmonic remains automation agnostic. “Being a top five investor allows us to help determine the roadmap, but we still get in at for instance Fox that is and will be Snell (automation)”.
To enable this level of virtualisation Harmonic moved all of its proprietary chip based compression engines to the Pure Compression Engine software, which can run on off-the-shelf Intel servers.
According to Tom Lattie, who heads up the vendor’s video business: “We can deliver that level of quality (of proprietary hardware) in software, with the Pure Compression Engine”.
Following a three-month review of an early prototype of the Harmonic Electra-X HD encoder, it took away from a competing media company, “the only requirement for Sky Italia’s new HD platform, is Electra-X”, Massimo Bertolli of Sky Italia told the conference.
He added: “it is about quality, the same quality for our DBS and our OTT customers, how to retain the best experience for our customers” as it was to launch an 60+ channel HD service on both its own DTH platform and Telecom Italia’s telecom network.
“All of our HD platform is on Electra-X, where we normally have a multi-vendor strategy”.