Harmonic and Intelsat are to launch HVN Intelsat UHD, a linear UHD demonstration channel for the North American TV markets. This channel will be broadcast via Intelsat's Galaxy 13 satellite located at 127°W, and will provide multichannel video programming distributors with an opportunity to prepare and test their UHD transmissions from the moment that they start downlinking content from Intelsat's Galaxy 13 satellite through their own networks and into the subscribers' homes.
Intelsat's Galaxy 13 satellite has 76 HD channels and reaches 98 per cent of the cable headends in the continental US, and the new platform will also be available to US cable programmers to conduct their own testing of UHD content.
The companies plan to demo the HVN Intelsat UHD channel content at IBC. Utilising a UHD video processing system from Harmonic, Intelsat will transmit live and linear 2160p60 (HEVC Main 10 profile) video content via C-band on the Intelsat satellite. The content will then travel from Intelsat's Atlanta, Georgia, teleport facility using the IntelsatOne IP/MPLS network to Intelsat's Fuchsstadt, Germany, teleport facility, where it will be uplinked via Ku-band on the Intelsat 905 satellite located at 335.5°E, and received and decoded at the RAI Convention Center in Amsterdam.
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 precompression 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 Center 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, 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."