ViewSat Enhances Satellite Bandwidth with Harmonic

ViewSat, a global satellite provider based in the U.K., has deployed a comprehensive digital video headend based on Harmonic video processing solutions. Leveraging the high density of Harmonic’s Electra multichannel encoding and ProStream with ACE real-time stream processing and transcoding platforms, ViewSat can more efficiently allocate satellite bandwidth for its direct-to-home (DTH) service, enabling the satellite provider to deliver an exceptional quality of service to subscribers located in Africa and the Middle East.

“In deploying a new digital video headend, our goal was to find a solution that would optimize bandwidth while ensuring a high quality of experience for our customers,” said Awaes Jaswal, CEO, ViewSat. “Harmonic’s high-density and scalable video processing solutions will enable us to efficiently add new channels and services in the future to support our growing subscriber base, all while maintaining superior video quality.”

ViewSat utilizes Harmonic’s market-leading Electra MPEG-2 encoders to deliver quality video at reduced bitrates. Capable of supporting up to four SD or HD video channels from a single rack unit, the Electra encoding solutions enable ViewSat to cost-effectively deploy additional channels on its satellite transponder.

Harmonic’s ProStream with ACE transcoder maximizes bandwidth utilization for ViewSat’s service while performing SD/HD, MPEG-2 video and audio transcoding of up to 20 HD or 60 SD channels, with ASI to IP multiplexing and scrambling, from a single rack unit. The ultra-dense ProStream platform decreases capital and operating expenses through reduced rack space and energy consumption. Relying on the highly scalable ProStream architecture, ViewSat can support new value-added services in the future as its business needs evolve.

“Based on extensive experience working on DTH projects in Africa and the Middle East, Harmonic understands the constraints that are challenging today’s satellite providers,” said Ian Graham, vice president of Sales, Europe and Middle East, at Harmonic. “Our comprehensive encoding and transcoding solutions help to reduce the cost of satellite transmission by dramatically lowering per-channel bandwidth usage, enabling operators like ViewSat to expand the quality and size of their digital video services cost-effectively.”