Harmonic Powers Sky Italia OTT Services

Harmonic today announced that its cloud-native media processing software and content-aware encoding (CAE) technology is powering Sky Italia’s OTT streaming services. The Harmonic solution is integrated into the Sky Italia hybrid cloud software-defined streaming platform. Leveraging the latest advancements in pure software architecture, the Harmonic solution provides Sky Italia with the agility, flexibility and scalability to speed up the launch of new premium services and enable delivery of superior video quality at low bitrates.

Sky Italia’s solution for its linear video streaming platform is based on Kubernetes and microservices to serve event-based and 24/7 channels on OTT platforms. Adhering to these requirements, Harmonic’s VOS® Cluster software dynamically controls and optimizes Sky Italia’s on-premises and cloud video-processing resources.

“To ensure the success of our next-generation streaming services, delivery of exceptional video quality and the ability to quickly adapt to changes are critical factors,” said Gabriele Ubertini, director of technology engineering and innovation at Sky Italia. “Harmonic’s cloud-native media processing software aligns with our choice of moving resources to Sky’s software-defined streaming infrastructure, while allowing us to be nimble. Using CAE, we can deliver stunning video to a larger group of subscribers, providing a better quality of experience to those in areas with challenging bandwidth availability.”

Sky Italia will use Harmonic’s VOS software for OTT media processing in on-premises datacenters integrated with the Sky Italia architecture, which leverages Kubernetes and a SMPTE 2022 uncompressed multicast video network. By enabling Sky Italia to dynamically control and optimize its video processing resources, together with their blueprint for an open-source ecosystem, the VOS solution will dramatically accelerate time to market for new channels. EyeQ™ CAE will be used to significantly reduce Sky’s bandwidth requirements, decrease CDN costs and improve QoE.

“Sky Italia asked for a highly available and scalable streaming solution for outstanding video quality and state-of-the art ABR packaging. We went above and beyond in meeting these requirements,” said Ian Graham, senior vice president of international sales and video services at Harmonic. “Having an elastic and always-up-to-date media workflow will give Sky Italia serious competitive advantages, enabling it to launch services faster and scale up seamlessly.”

Harmonic will showcase its latest video streaming innovations at IBC2019, Sept. 13-17 in Amsterdam at Stand 1.B20.

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Harmonic Brings Real-World OTT and Broadcast Success to IBC2019

At IBC2019, Harmonic will demonstrate real-world deployments of its unified OTT and broadcast delivery solutions. A variety of deployment strategies will be showcased, including cloud, on-premises and hybrid environments, to demonstrate how service providers, broadcasters and content owners originate and distribute video channels smarter, faster and simpler. Harmonic’s unique approach to video delivery includes cloud-based SaaS solutions that dramatically speed up the launch of new services, including live OTT channels, increase business agility and enhance video experiences.

“At IBC2019, we’re drawing from our extensive deployment experience and showcasing concrete solutions deployed in the field by leading service providers, broadcasters and content owners,” said Tim Warren, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Harmonic. “The video market is highly dynamic, and consumer demand for live OTT services is growing. Harmonic’s expansive solutions portfolio and enhancements in cloud, targeted advertisement and 8K technologies, with a SaaS business approach are designed with a sharp eye to help our customers stay one step ahead of the video evolution.”

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Unified OTT and Broadcast Delivery

Unified delivery workflows running in the cloud and on premises will be demonstrated, which offer service providers a low-latency OTT solution for multiprotocol environments to provide the same delay between broadcast and OTT feeds — key for delivering live sports. In addition, Harmonic will showcase a range of unique workflows for VOS®360 SaaS to launch skinny bundles, create new pop-up channels, deploy disaster recovery and stream live sports in UHD.

Maximize Efficiency & Flexibility with Virtualized, Software and Cloud Playout Solutions

At IBC2019, Harmonic will demonstrate real-world deployments of hybrid SDI/IP, UHD and HDR playout and on-premises/cloud-based channel origination for OTT and broadcast workflows powered by its virtualized Spectrum™ X media servers and VOS360 SaaS. By supporting the SMPTE ST 2110 suite of standards and AMWA IS-04 and IS-05 specifications, Harmonic enables video content and service providers to make a smooth transition to all-IP workflows.

Simplify Live Content Distribution with CDN-Enabled Primary Distribution SaaS

Harmonic’s CDN-enabled Primary Distribution solution, a powerful workflow supported by the company’s VOS360 SaaS, will also be highlighted. With the Primary Distribution SaaS solution, programmers can deliver linear channels to distributors, whether they are traditional pay-TV operators, virtual MVPDs or local broadcasters, anywhere in the world via CDN.

Increase Monetization with Video SaaS for OTT and Broadcast Services

Harmonic will also showcase the powerful dynamic ad insertion (DAI) capabilities in Harmonic’s video SaaS solutions. With the company’s video SaaS solutions, operators can deliver advanced targeted advertisements and optimize ad campaigns to deliver personalized advertisements to viewers in real time. Harmonic’s solutions provide operators and advertisers a unified approach to reach audiences over hybrid broadcast and broadband delivery networks.

Future Zone Brings 8K, AI Technologies to the Forefront

The company will demonstrate high-quality 8K video delivery on 8K connected TVs and legacy mobile devices with EyeQ™ content-aware encoding (CAE), which reduces the required bandwidth by up to 50% while improving quality of experience. AI-based video compression will also be demonstrated, showing how it can reduce bit rates for broadcast and IPTV delivery, improve QoE for OTT and increase density for all applications.

Thought Leadership on AI Video Compression, 8K and 5G at the Future Zone Theatre

Thierry Fautier, vice president of video strategy at Harmonic, will outline the opportunities that 5G networks promise and the challenges ahead for 8K in his “Taking a Look at 8K and 5G Technologies” presentation on Sept.14 at 1:50 p.m. in the Future Zone Theatre (Hall 8, Stand F40).

Also in the Future Zone Theatre, Stephane Cloirec, senior director, video appliances at Harmonic, will speak on how “AI-Driven Video Compression Brings New Revenue Opportunities and Cost Savings for Service Providers” on Sept. 16 at 4:10 p.m.

Harmonic is showcasing its innovative solutions for OTT and next-gen TV delivery, along with real-world deployment examples, at IBC2019, Sept. 13-17, in Amsterdam at Stand 1.B20.

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TVB Delivers Superior-Quality OTT Experience with Harmonic

Harmonic announced that Television Broadcast Limited (TVB) has deployed Harmonic’s EyeQ™ content-aware encoding for its myTV SUPER OTT platform. EyeQ encoding optimizes bandwidth for OTT services, reducing TVB’s CDN costs and improving viewers’ quality of experience (QoE) on every screen by significantly decreasing the amount of stream buffering and startup delays.

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“Today’s television viewers expect the same flawless, uninterrupted quality of experience for OTT as broadcast,” said Tony Berthaud, vice president of sales and services, APAC, at Harmonic. “Our EyeQ content-aware encoding enables TVB to achieve constant video quality for OTT and improved speeds for video delivery. With the bandwidth savings that EyeQ encoding provides, TVB can enhance its offering and deliver valued-added services like UHD and new sport channels in the future, keeping viewers engaged and watching longer.”

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TVB is leveraging EyeQ technology to deliver live HD OTT channels on set-top boxes using the HEVC codec. At the heart of the company’s acclaimed, software-based Electra® media processing platform, EyeQ content-aware encoding offers TVB a fresh approach to delivering consistent, superior video quality for its OTT service, with a significant reduction in bandwidth. The EyeQ technology is unique in its ability to leverage the mechanics of the human eye to assess video quality and optimize encoding parameters in real time.

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LMT Picks Harmonic to Improve 4G Bandwidth Efficiency for its Live OTT Service

Harmonic announced that LMT has deployed Harmonic’s EyeQ™ content-aware encoding solution for its live OTT service, delivered to TVs via 4G set-top boxes. Using Harmonic’s award-winning EyeQ technology, LMT can deliver a consistent, superior video experience for live channels to TVs, with up to a 40 percent reduction in bandwidth and without having to perform a massive infrastructure upgrade. Harmonic’s reseller Hannu Pro ensured a smooth deployment at every stage of the project.

“Live events, which can incur a significant peak in viewers especially for TV applications, put considerable stress on our mobile network,” said Edgars Gončars, head of TV at LMT. “Harmonic’s EyeQ solution allows us to offer the best video experience to subscribers while reducing the amount of bandwidth we need and lowering our delivery costs, while increasing the quality of experience. With EyeQ, we have the ability to scale up during popular live events and deliver pristine video quality, which is a critical factor for our continued business growth.”

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EyeQ encoding ensures that LMT’s subscribers can watch exceptional HD video quality on 4G-enabled TVs — even when networks are constrained. At the heart of Harmonic’s Electra® video processing system, the EyeQ solution provides LMT with significant opex and capex savings, reducing video traffic by up to 40 percent. With the capability to be deployed within any ecosystem, including appliances, virtual machines, cloud and SaaS, EyeQ content-aware encoding is a flexible choice for OTT service providers like LMT.

“LMT has one of the most efficient mobile networks and high-quality OTT offerings on the market, and that’s in part thanks to its forward-thinking technology strategy,” said Ian Graham, senior vice president of international sales and video services at Harmonic. “Since LMT’s OTT service is sent to TVs, the operator needed a high-quality delivery solution that could scale. Our EyeQ solution will ensure that LMT’s subscribers never miss a moment of exciting content due to bandwidth limitation or video-quality issues.”

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Harmonic Enables Magyar Telekom to Maximize Bandwidth Savings and Add New HD Channels to IPTV Service

With the EyeQ solution, the operator is able to deliver additional HD channels and realize a 30 percent bandwidth saving on the aggregated constant bit rate (CBR) core network, without investing in additional network infrastructure. Harmonic’s reseller Yazoo ensured a smooth deployment at every stage of the project.

“When looking for a bandwidth optimization solution for our DOCSIS and ADSL IPTV platforms, the key requirements were high video quality, outstanding reliability and standards compliancy,” said Ferenc Szűcs, TV network senior advisor at Magyar Telekom. “Harmonic’s EyeQ solution not only meets all our requirements today but is also an investment into the future since it can be extended to other delivery platforms and cost-effectively deployed anywhere aggregated video bandwidth is limited by network capacity.”

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The EyeQ encoded stream is fully H.264 compliant, so there are no changes to today’s ecosystem, whether it’s based on SaaS, appliances, virtual machines or native-cloud infrastructure. By reducing the bit rate required for high-quality video delivery, the EyeQ solution delivers substantial opex and capex savings to the operator. Magyar Telekom also employed advanced statistical multiplexing technology from Harmonic, which aggregates the variable bit rate (VBR) encoded channels into a CBR core network to optimize its bandwidth.

“HD video is in high demand, and with the Harmonic EyeQ solution, Magyar Telekom is able to satisfy the consumer requirement for a high-quality viewing experience in a capex-friendly way,” said Ian Graham, senior vice president of sales, EMEA and LATAM, at Harmonic. “The operator’s ability to deliver more HD services significantly improves their position within the marketplace, maximizing revenue.”

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Harmonic Unveils Low-Latency UHD HDR OTT Workflow for Live Sports Applications

At the 2018 NAB Show, April 9-12 in Las Vegas, Harmonic will showcase its new end-to-end UHD HDR solution for live sports streaming.

The solution features Harmonic’s ViBE® CP9000 contribution encoder for ingest into the cloud and VOS™ 360 media processing SaaS for encoding, packaging, origin server capabilities and OTT distribution. Using the new solution, broadcasters, content owners and service providers can deliver live sports content to any screen with superior quality of experience (QoE), low latency and significant cost savings.

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“UHD HDR is perfect for live sports content because it gives viewers a taste of the action in stunning clarity and detail. However, the challenge is delivering that content for OTT with latency comparable to broadcast,” said Tim Warren, senior vice president and chief technology officer, video business at Harmonic. “Harmonic’s unique end-to-end workflow for UHD HDR live streaming offers full support for innovative technologies like cloud, content-aware encoding and the new CMAF standard, enabling a 5- to 6-second end-to-end latency compared with the industry norm of 30 to 35 seconds. We look forward to empowering broadcasters, content owners and service providers as they champion better live sports experiences while boosting business agility.”

Harmonic’s VOS 360 solution offers several key features such as UHD HDR encoding via the next-gen PURE Compression Engine™; EyeQ™ content-aware encoding for HEVC; and UHD live content, packaging and low latency comparable to live broadcast based on compliance with the CMAF specification. By enabling users to leverage the agility, flexibility and scalability of the cloud, VOS 360 SaaS speeds up the launch of new sports channels while minimizing capital and operational expenses.

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Harmonic Sets the Benchmark for OTT Delivery and Next-Gen TV at 2018 NAB Show

As broadcasters and service providers strive to deliver better-quality video and drive new revenue streams, agility and flexibility are critical.

Harmonic’s software-centric solutions in UHD, ATSC 3.0, IP video and content-aware encoding technologies set the benchmark for the future of OTT and broadcast delivery. These solutions are offered as appliances or SaaS for business agility and provide exceptional quality of experience (QoE) on every screen at a low total-cost-of-ownership.

“Global video consumption is at an all-time high, and broadcasters, content owners and service providers are under pressure to respond to the surge in OTT video, launch new services with fast time-to-market, and migrate to new media environments like IP video and ATSC 3.0. With a portfolio of agile and innovative solutions deployed by a global base of satisfied customers, Harmonic is committed to solving real-world challenges,” said Tim Warren, senior vice president and chief technology officer, video business at Harmonic. “Our expertise in media processing, playout and cloud uniquely position us to partner with our customers, enabling them to seamlessly adapt to a changing industry landscape.”

Tackle OTT Challenges With Innovative Solutions

At the 2018 NAB Show, Harmonic will address the challenges in OTT video delivery with targeted innovations:

Harmonic will highlight its award-winning VOS™ media processing family including the new VOS SW Cluster media processing software and VOS 360 media processing SaaS. VOS SW Cluster embeds market-leading media processing capabilities with support for cloud and bare metal compute environments enabling operators to launch OTT services quickly.

  • Harmonic offers streamlined OTT video delivery through cloud-based channel origination on VOS 360 SaaS, enabling operators to swiftly migrate channels from playout to end-user delivery for greater flexibility and a lower cost-per-channel.
  • Harmonic will also showcase live sports for OTT, delivered with reduced latency matching that of live broadcast, in stunning UHD and HDR using VOS 360 SaaS.
  • With the VOS family, operators can deploy EyeQ™ content-aware encoding to reduce bandwidth requirements for OTT delivery, decrease CDN costs and improve QoE. At the 2018 NAB Show Harmonic will premiere EyeQ support for HEVC.

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Get the Most Out of ATSC 3.0 With Advanced Statmux and Hybrid OTA/OTT Services

Harmonic’s expertise in statistical multiplexing will play a key role in providing high-quality ATSC 3.0 streams at low bitrates. At the 2018 NAB Show, Harmonic will showcase its software-based Electra™ X ATSC 3.0 media processor and statistical multiplexing solution to deliver high-quality HEVC programs over DASH. For OTT services to complement over-the-air (OTA) transmissions, Electra X connects to Harmonic’s VOS 360 SaaS to enable hybrid OTA/OTT services.

New Possibilities for All-IP Workflows

In the IP Showcase, sponsored by AIMS, in booth C12634, Harmonic will highlight the Spectrum™ X media server as part of an end-to-end IP video workflow from contribution to delivery, using the SMPTE ST 2110 suite of standards, SMPTE 2022-7 seamless protection switching and AWMA IS-04 and IS-05 specifications. The Electra media processor and Spectrum X server fill the final gap for uncompressed workflows and control with support for uncompressed and compressed streams, enabling a smooth transition for live broadcast and OTT.

Looking Ahead at Next-Gen Video Codecs and Content-Aware Encoding

Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have become a key innovation factor to optimize the video encoding process. Leveraging AI in the development of next-generation video codecs and content-aware encoding (CEA), Harmonic is leading the charge toward delivering better video quality at low bitrates. The company will provide a valuable side-by-side comparison of codec efficiency between HEVC, AVC with Harmonic EyeQ CAE technology, AV-1 and JVET.

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In addition to showcasing its innovative technologies, Harmonic will also contribute expertise through technology presentations:

  • Thierry Fautier, vice president of video strategy at Harmonic and president of the Ultra HD Forum will present a “UHD Worldwide Service Deployment Update” at the Global UHD Conference in Las Vegas on April 7 from 11:20 to 11:40 a.m. in room N253 of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC).
  • Fautier will also participate in a panel discussion on HEVC and AV1 on April 11 from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. during the NAB Streaming Summit.
  • Jean Macher, director of market development at Harmonic will examine “Simplifying OTT Video Delivery with SCTE-224” at the Broadcast Engineering and Information Technology Conference (BEITC) on April 12 from 9:00 to 9:20 a.m. in room N255 of the LVCC.

Harmonic will showcase its video delivery innovations at the 2018 NAB Show, April 9-12 in Las Vegas at booth SU810.

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