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September 3, 2003
SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- Harmonic Inc. (Nasdaq: HLIT - News) today introduced the third generation Narrowcast Services Gateway(TM) (NSG) smart edge devices, the industry leading video-on-demand (VOD) delivery solution. Building on narrowcast technology and expertise accumulated since the NSG was first launched three years ago, Harmonic's new NSG 9000 series will enable cable operators of all sizes to cost-effectively and reliably provision a broad range of narrowcast services--from Everything-on-Demand to HDTV and switched broadcast.
The standards-based NSG 9000 series--encompassing the single rack-unit NSG 9108, 9112 and 9116 models with 8, 12 and 16 output QAM channels, respectively--provides operators greater choice and flexibility in the design and expansion of their narrowcast network infrastructure. By combining NSG units of varying QAM channel density to deliver the appropriate capacity for each service area, multiple system operators (MSOs) can now optimize their network architecture and bandwidth, and thus reduce the effective cost of their infrastructure. The NSG 9000 series is interoperable with previous generation NSG models as well as with all the leading providers of VOD servers, Ethernet switches, conditional access systems (for session-based encryption) and set-top boxes.
"Harmonic pioneered the narrowcast EdgeQAM device category over three years ago. Since then we have deployed tens of thousands of QAM channels in virtually all of the commercially launched VOD networks, which reflects our customers' confidence in the performance and reliability of the product," said Buddy Snow, Vice President of Marketing for Harmonic's Convergent Systems Division. "With the introduction of the NSG 9000 series, Harmonic has again raised the bar with innovative features, superior RF performance, and support for current and emerging video services needed by MSOs to remain competitive."
Specialized Expertise at the Intersection of MPEG, IP and RF
"The NSG is a pivotal element in a narrowcast infrastructure that places strenuous demands on its component equipment. The NSG successfully responds to these demands using a combination of technologies," continued Snow. "It brings to bear our many years of field-tested expertise in MPEG digital video, IP transport and RF technology. Harmonic's innovation in cable VOD transport and delivery solutions is proven by our market-leading share of the IP-enabled EdgeQAM market."
In addition to offering a variety of network interfaces, the NSG incorporates essential capabilities such as multiplexing and routing, program filtering, conditional access scrambling supporting session-based encryption, PCR re-stamping, systems cascading and redundancy. The NSG 9000 supports standard definition as well as high definition video in all the various formats.
After deploying an NSG-based narrowcast infrastructure, operators can incrementally layer advanced services to increase the value proposition for their subscribers, which helps reduce churn. These services include switched broadcast--allowing the delivery of programs targeting communities of interest without consuming bandwidth until viewers "tune in"--and network-based digital video recorders.
By using Harmonic's NMX Digital Service Manager(TM) to monitor and control NSGs deployed throughout the network, MSOs can gain a real-time understanding of their RF network utilization. The NMX generated statistical reports give operators the insights needed to make informed decisions about re-allocating capacity to areas where it is needed most and/or introducing high impact marketing programs that stimulate demand during non-peak hours.
The NSG 9000 series will be available in the fourth quarter of 2003.
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