Harmonic Boosts Features and Functionality of Industry-Leading Spectrum™ Media Server Line

Software Release Yields Improvements Across Spectrum Line, Including ChannelPort™ Integrated Channel Playout System

Harmonic (NASDAQ: HLIT), a worldwide leader in video delivery infrastructure, announced sophisticated new playout and graphics capabilities for the company's market-leading ChannelPort™ integrated channel playout system. The latest Spectrum™ software also enhances the complete Spectrum media server platform with augmented ingest, storage, and playout broadcast workflows.

"Spectrum 7.5 software introduces a series of high-value system enhancements that build on Spectrum systems' unparalleled reliability, flexibility, form factor, and power usage advantages," said Andy Warman, director, product management, production and playout, Harmonic. "With this major release, Harmonic continues to build on the industry-leading functionality and performance that keep Spectrum systems well ahead of the competition."

Substantial functional gains for the ChannelPort system include options for supporting up to six live sources, which may include two key-and-fill pair inputs (one key-and-fill pair usable at a time) and HD and SD simulcast output. With these extended input options, ChannelPort becomes more flexible when dealing with complex video source needs and, at the same time, reduces the demand on upstream switcher/router control. The Spectrum 7.5 software release also provides audio downmixing, which ensures that the audio output — 5.1, stereo, or mono — matches the HD or SD output needs of the channel.


With this new software release, Onboard Playout Control (OPC) for ChannelPort and MediaPort™ has been enhanced with an interactive playlist mode that allows an operator to control ChannelPort channels while on-air. Operators can cut, copy, paste, and delete events/blocks; insert new primary and secondary events; and take, drop, or hold the next event in the playlist. The result is centralized playback monitoring with easier management and control that enable the operator to react quickly to schedule changes and unplanned events.

As part of its standard functionality, ChannelPort now also includes previously announced features for integrating rich graphics directly into the playout workflow, dynamic closed-caption file insertion, and an Enhanced Channel mode that enables dual DVE support and independent branding of simulcast SD and HD channels. Further enhancements to the Spectrum MediaPort video encoder/decoder include real-time SD and HD MPEG-2 ingest and playout for the MediaPort 7100 and 7600 models.


Spectrum 7.5 software also includes a number of core server enhancements. The new features begin with file-system improvements, including directory-based user-rights access and a key file-system security measure that enables more granular control over read, write, and delete access. Improvements to ancillary data management include a new WSS blanking feature that allows widescreen signaling to be stripped for ancillary data as needed and supports the insertion of SCTE-104 triggers during playout, which eliminates the cost and complexity of using external insertion devices downstream. In addition, the MediaStore™ 5000 storage array can now accommodate 1.2 TB 2.5-inch drives, a 33 percent gain in storage capacity compared with the previous version.

Harmonic's line of market-leading broadcast and multiscreen solutions, including Spectrum ChannelPort, will be featured at Harmonic's booth SU1210 during the NAB 2014 Show in Las Vegas, April 7-10.