Harmonic Releases ChannelPort for Spectrum Media Servers

Harmonic announced the release of the ChannelPort integrated channel playout device for Spectrum media server systems. Combining channel branding and master control switching with clip playout on a media server platform, the modular ChannelPort enables broadcasters, content owners, and service providers to speed the deployment of new television channels through a simple incremental upgrade to their existing Spectrum architecture.

“As consumer desire for more content delivered to more devices increases, broadcasters, content providers, and cable and satellite operators are challenged to launch new branded channels and services — while reducing costs,” said Larry Kaplan, office of the CEO, co-founder Omneon, at Harmonic. “The newest member of the Spectrum media server family, ChannelPort simplifies the task of bringing new services to air quickly and affordably. It builds on users’ existing infrastructure rather than forcing them to start from scratch. Using ChannelPort, a facility can add not only playout channels, but also functionality that traditionally has required five or six separate components in the transmission chain.”

ChannelPort is a next-generation branded playout solution that combines clip playout functionality with critical channel-branding capabilities to simplify integration and workflow, lower equipment purchase expenditures, and reduce maintenance and operations costs. ChannelPort modules fit into existing Spectrum media server systems and can be added incrementally. Support for a broad range of automation systems offers users the freedom to work with an existing solution — or choose a new one that’s best for their workflows.

Support for standard tools such as Adobe Creative Suite ensures compatibility with all standard graphical formats, as well as familiar operation for broadcast graphics designers, who can author on-air templates directly in Adobe Flash Professional. Facilitating the addition of branding elements ranging from simple logos to complex effects and “live” text — and built on Harmonic’s market-leading media server technology — the new ChannelPort device serves as a functionally complete branded-channel playout solution.

Like other Spectrum media server products, ChannelPort supports industry-standard video formats and wrappers. In addition to providing flexible format handling, the device’s channel density (up to four channels in 1 RU) and power consumption (100 W per channel) allow broadcasters to keep operational expenses down.

Just as Spectrum led the way in modular playout, open-systems based file workflows, open API control, support for MXF, and AVC-Intra play/record, ChannelPort offers features with density, power consumption, and deployment flexibility. The product offers customers a choice of automation for branding and playout control, and can be deployed either as a small standalone system or as a large scalable solution using the same component.

All ChannelPort codecs, video processing, template execution, and graphics compositing are implemented in software, which can be updated in the field to deliver additional features as required.

ChannelPort is available in three configurations: as a stand-alone half-RU device that adds branding capabilities to a Spectrum system; integrated in a MediaDeck 7000 chassis to function as a stand-alone branding server; and integrated in either a MediaPort 7000 or MediaDeck 7000 chassis to function with both those devices as a stand-alone branding server with media ingest capabilities.

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