Intelsat, Harmonic partner on Ultra HD satellite test feed


Michelle Clancy

| 09 September 2015

Harmonic and Intelsat SA have announced a partnership to launch HVN Intelsat UHD, a linear Ultra HD demonstration channel for the North American TV markets.

This channel will be broadcast via Intelsat's Galaxy 13 satellite located at 127 West, and will provide pay-TV operators with an opportunity to prepare and test their UHD transmissions as they start down-linking content through their own networks and into subscribers' homes. This platform will also be available to US cable programmers to conduct their own testing of 4K content.

Intelsat's Galaxy 13 satellite has 76 HD channels and reaches 98% of the cable headends in the continental US.

The initial commissioning test signal will leverage transport stream servers located at Intelsat's teleport facility in Atlanta, and Harmonic's ProMedia Xpress multiscreen transcoder and packager for pre-compression of the UHD video loop. Later this year, Harmonic will deploy its MediaGrid shared storage system, Polaris playout management suite, Spectrum X advanced media server system and Electra X3 advanced media processor to enable full UHD channel production and transmission from the company's HVN Centre in San Jose, California. That signal will then be uplinked in Intelsat's teleport facility in Atlanta via Intelsat's Galaxy 13 satellite.

"As consumers purchase millions of 4K televisions before Ultra HD content even reaches critical mass, it has become clear that they are ready to experience the fully immersive viewing experience that Ultra HD provides," said Peter Ostapiuk, head of media product services at Intelsat. "By partnering with Harmonic, Intelsat can now enable pay-TV operators to test the distribution of live linear Ultra HD broadcasts in crystal-clear 2160p60 resolution to the home. Our customers will now have an opportunity to further test bandwidth allocation and UHD content delivery via Intelsat's hybrid satellite terrestrial network, which will pave the way for the distribution of amazing content from popular sporting events to the latest movies and TV shows and a viewing experience that can enhance customer satisfaction."