NAB 2018

Live From NAB 2018: Harmonic Announces Progress in Cloud Deployments, New UHD HDR Live-Streaming Solution

Among the deployments are Vidgo’s next-gen OTT, Fuji TV’s playout from cloud

At Harmonic’s (Booth SU810) NAB 2018 press conference today, Director, Market Development, Jean Macher noted that the company has seen a shift in the use of cloud-technology services.

“We see a change, a disruption maybe, but definitely progress in cloud adoption by our customers,” he said. “A lot of video is streamed over the internet, and that puts a lot of pressure on our customers.” Customers have come to Harmonic, he added, because they want to benefit in the elasticity the cloud provides in terms of agility, time to market, and the ability to “pay as you grow.”

Following on from that, he announced that the company now has 32,500 OTT channels deployed globally and, of those, 2,500 are in the cloud. This represents 150% growth in cloud-native OTT channels in only the last nine months for Harmonic, he added.

Macher noted that new streaming-video company Vidgo will now launch its next-generation OTT services powered by the Harmonic VOS media-processing platform. With the VOS SW Cluster solution handling every component of media processing in a private cloud, Vidgo can quickly launch a full suite of video-streaming services while gaining the agility to rapidly scale streaming services. The company is set to introduce its OTT services for the U.S. market this year. Encoding and transcoding on VOS SW Cluster is performed by the Harmonic PURE Compression Engine.

Also, the company announced that, today, Fuji Television Network, a major television station in Japan, has deployed a Harmonic cloud playout solution for its SMART OTT service. Using VOS, Fuji TV is performing channel playout directly from a public-cloud platform to simplify workflow and increase monetization opportunities. System integrator EVC provided expertise in large-scale video-distribution services and an advanced traffic system, helping ensure a successful deployment.

Asia-Pacific OTT revenues from TV episodes and movies will reach $24.41 billion in 2022, tripling the $8.27 billion recorded in 2016, according to Research and Markets. With playout functionality in the cloud, Fuji TV can explore additional types of monetization for its OTT channels. Being a cloud-based solution, VOS media processing is highly adaptive and responsive to Fuji TV’s needs. With a focus on overall service uptime, Harmonic manages software services for Fuji TV, including modern and proactive technical and operational assistance, such as monitoring, to ensure smooth and reliable service delivery.

Said Macher, “There are two innovations and trends here: one, that Fuji TV decided to run its services as a SaaS, and, two, that it is doing its distribution to affiliates over the internet. Primary distribution is traditionally done over satellite, but now it can do it over anywhere with a good internet connection.

“These are two examples of customers that have embraced the cloud using Harmonic,” he continued.

Added Harmonic President/CEO Patrick Harshman, “We’re tremendously excited about the technology we’ve developed in the cloud here and even more about the impact it’s having on our customers’ business.”

Harmonic is also showcasing 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.

Harmonic’s VOS 360 solution offers several key features: 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. Enabling users to utilize the agility, flexibility, and scalability of the cloud, VOS 360 SaaS speeds the launch of new sports channels while minimizing capital and operational expenses.

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