Belo Unleashes Harmonic Encoders at U.S. Stations

Belo Corp. has deployed Harmonic’s Electra 8000 multichannel universal encoders to deliver expanded HD and SD television services. Belo stations, which include affiliations with ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, MyNetworkTV, and the CW, reach more than 14% of U.S. television households in 15 markets. Systems integrator Heartland Video Systems (HVS) implemented this new solution for Belo, which is a long-time Harmonic customer.

Harmonic’s Electra 8000 enables Belo to deliver multiple HD and SD services within the ATSC broadcast stream while preserving the HD video quality. According to Harmonic, the Electra 8000’s unique architecture, featuring up to four statistically multiplexed services in a single rack unit, reduces operational costs for Belo through its high density and power efficiency, while facilitating the launch of the new services.

“The full broadcast emission solution offered by Harmonic and HVS has enabled our stations to transition easily from their existing legacy encoding, multiplexing, and PSIP (Program and System Information Protocol) systems to the fully integrated Electra 8000 platform, which also enables new service offerings in the future, such as Mobile DTV,” says Craig Harper, VP of technology for Belo Corp.

The Electra 8000 encoder supports HD and SD compression, in MPEG-4 AVC and MPEG-2, as well as integrated statistical multiplexing, broadcast quality up/down-conversion and other features such as Jünger Audio’s Level Magic automatic audio leveling adjustment.

“The Harmonic Electra 8000 provides the flexibility to fit multiple HD and SD services into the ATSC bandwidth while maintaining high-quality HD video, which opens the door for Belo to further capitalize on the bandwidth efficiencies to enable cost-effective, multiscreen content delivery,” says JC Morizur, VP product marketing at Harmonic. “Harmonic is committed to providing operators with the most efficient high-quality broadcast platform technology, keeping them competitive on the forefront of video delivery.”