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Harmonic Boards ThePlatform

Harmonic Inc. (Nasdaq: HLIT) has sealed a deal to supply its flagship video transcoding platform to thePlatform Inc. , a media publishing firm that Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) acquired in 2006.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the Comcast subsidiary said it will power its new mpsManage Transcoding Service with Harmonic's Rhozet Carbon Code, a system that formats content for distribution via a range of Web- and mobile-based service platforms.

ThePlatform -- which counts clients such as Helio Inc. , BBC, Vongo , CNBC, HIT Entertainment, and Verizon Wireless and has been linked to Comcast's recently launched Fancast.com -- noted that its "hosted" transcoding service will offer two options powered by the Carbon Coder. A shared service would apply to customers with low to medium volumes and general transcoding requirements, while one that employs dedicated servers would apply to high-volume and custom transcoding jobs.

The deal also raises the profile for one of Harmonic's recent acquisitions. Harmonic put up $15.5 million in cash and stock to acquire Rhozet Corp., the maker of the Carbon Coder, last summer. (See Harmonic to Tune Up Video Strategy? and Harmonic's Mobile Video Marriage.)

Harmonic has only hinted at how much money Rhozet is bringing in the door. During Harmonic's fourth quarter earnings call in January, CFO Robin Dickson noted that Rhozet's transcoding product had been shipping for a little more than a year, producing a "relatively modest" impact on Harmonic's financial picture.

Dickson said it was a "reasonable assumption" that Rhozet's transcoding deals measured in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, rather than the millions.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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