Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMOThe media and entertainment industry is a volatile environment, with specialized requirements and a constant need for new and innovative technologies. The dawn of Ultra-High Definition TV and Over-The-Top (OTT) streaming services drives even more pressure for unifying video and IT infrastructures, and therefore for solution providers like Harmonic, to deliver IT-integrated video architectures. Harmonic handles tasks from video ingest to delivery to the home and everything in-between including editing, playback, and encoding for transmission. “The solutions we offer make transition of video technology to the IT domain a natural migration,” says Peter Alexander, CMO, Harmonic.
Harmonic’s offerings fall into four principal categories, namely, video production, video playout, video processing, and cable edge solutions. Key users such as media companies, broadcasters, satellite operators, cable operators, and OTT operators use these capabilities to acquire, produce, “channelize” and deliver TV and video services. Cable operators also use them to physically deliver their broadcast and on-demand video, and their voice and data services to cable-service subscribers.
The company’s truly ground-breaking offering, Harmonic VOS, is a new, fully virtualized, software-based platform that unifies the entire media processing chain, from ingest to delivery. This software can operate in an IT datacenter environment and serves as a perfect technological bridge for customers to minimize costs and maximize their business agility. A streamlined and virtualized video ecosystem has many cost and operational benefits.
Take the case of Fox TV, a major player in entertainment, who wanted to roll out new sports channels but faced prohibitive staff and equipment costs. “Our integrated channel playout offer, with sophisticated graphics and branding capabilities embedded in the Channel Port playout solution, helped FOX Network make the business case and quickly roll-out the FOX Sports channels 1 and 2,” said Alexander. “We simplified the necessary infrastructure and reduced operating costs considerably.”
The project involving Astana Media Center (AMC), a TV and radio broadcast facility located in Kazakhstan, is another example of the efficiency of Harmonic.
Our solutions helped the client simplify their infrastructure and reduce their TCO considerably
The task-at-hand was to implement a media server and storage infrastructure that could handle both Standard-Definition and High-Definition TV programming. The solution provided by Harmonic included media servers supporting ingest and channel playout, plus a centralized and secure media storage solution, with high bandwidth connectivity to ensure that all users could access stored content quickly. The result was a unified video workflow across their IP network, ensuring lowest TCO and maximum flexibility across their channel lineup. Media giants like CNN, NBC, Virgin Media, and BT Sport are some of the other companies that have benefitted from the capabilities and services offered by Harmonic.
In this dynamic industry, Harmonic is able to keep the competition at bay by staying ahead of its client needs and delivering innovative products. “We have a strong passion for what we do, and seeing our solutions help advance and improve the video architectures of our clients is a strong motivation for us,” says Alexander. “As a company we focus on being the innovation leader in video, offering the best services that customers can buy, and delivering solutions that bring significantly lower TCO.” Innovation is driven by input and ideas gathered from their customers, with whom they maintain a close consultative relationship.
Going forward, the company plans to prolong its success by driving key market trends like 4K/Ultra HD, OTT, and Virtualization, and making good use of client insights. With TV and video viewership up, the number of viewing devices proliferating, and competition intensifying, the future of the media and entertainment industry looks bright, and with it the prospects for Harmonic. “The Media and Entertainment companies that partner with Harmonic can leverage IT economics, and so will be the profitability leaders in the new age of video,” concludes Alexander.