Harmonic Inc. has announced that Nozema Services N.V., the largest nationwide terrestrial broadcaster in The Netherlands, is deploying a complete Harmonic system for its DVB-T service upgrade which is scheduled to go live later in 2006.
With this deployment, The Netherlands is expected to become the first country in Europe to discontinue transmission of analogue over-the-air television, allowing spectrum to be reclaimed for other communications services.
The migration to all-digital television, while offering the promise of exciting new services and advanced features not possible or practical with analogue, typically results in each broadcaster receiving a reduced segment of the RF spectrum. Consequently, Nozema Services must improve bandwidth efficiency in order to deliver its entire channel line-up, currently encompassing 23 TV and 18 radio channels, and over time to provision a more diverse portfolio of services within the available bandwidth. The high performance and versatility of Harmonic's DiviCom encoders-in particular, the simple migration path from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 AVC (H.264)-make it possible for to Nozema Services to consistently remain at the technological forefront in the digital domain.
"As we contemplated the upgrade of our transmission infrastructure, the ability to deliver a superior experience today, and at the same time position ourselves to better enable the digital television services of tomorrow was critically important," said Rob Timmermans, managing director of Nozema Services. "Harmonic's efficient DiviCom encoding and DiviTrackIP statistical multiplexing solutions optimise our use of the available spectrum, giving us the latitude to add new MPEG-4 AVC-based standard and high definition television channels in the future.
Furthermore, by moving to Harmonic's IP-based digital video headend, we benefit from better scalability, versatility and picture quality, as well as the ability to more effectively manage our distributed environment."
Nozema Services operates a central headend and 11 regional transmission facilities currently reaching 65% of the country's homes, necessitating the efficient aggregation and distribution of the content to the various locations, as well as integrated management of its infrastructure.
Nozema Services will utilise Harmonic's versatile DiviTrackIP closed-loop distributed statistical multiplexing solution to dynamically allocate bandwidth to each programme according to complexity of the video and facilitate the creation of localised channel line-ups.
"A key issue for service providers such as KPN and Nozema Services is the steadily escalating competition with cable and other new service providers," said Frank Kessaratos, VP of international sales and service for Harmonic Inc. "The multi-service DiviCom Electra encoders enable KPN to introduce a triple play solution that can expand to include compelling new services, such as video to mobile devices, as the demand for anytime, anywhere services increases. This is the reason DiviCom encoders are selected more often by top tier service providers than any other brand and power many of the world's most innovative services, including the world's first service to transition from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 AVC via a firmware upgrade and the first all MPEG-4 AVC service."
The solution is being deployed in conjunction with Simac Broadcast, a leading system integrator in The Netherlands. Harmonic and Simac have worked together for several years on a range of projects that enable the delivery of best-in-class digital video and broadband services to customers throughout the region.