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Comcast HITS Upgrades Satellite Platform for Smaller Ops

Comcast’s HITS, which provides satellite video distribution to independent operators, announced an upgrade to its HITS Quantum technology platform that will enable it to add more MPEG-2 HD services later in 2013.

The upgrade project, known as “Q2,” includes converting several HITS standard-definition transponders to DVB-S2 technology. That will increase the number of HD services offered in MPEG 2, and deliver the entire programming lineup via a single satellite.

HITS said the upgrade will begin in the second quarter of 2013. When it concludes, more than 70% of the HITS Quantum multiplexes will be using 256-QAM DVB-S2 technology. That will let operators add more SD and HD signals using fewer satellite receivers with their existing customer-premises equipment, and will free up to 25% of their bandwidth for new services.

HITS said it expects to introduce new MPEG-2 HD services in the second half of 2013.

Meanwhile, HITS and the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) recently renewed their agreement to offer the next generation of the HITS platform to their members. The majority of participating NCTC members have already opted-in to the new deal for enhanced HITS satellite services. Several programming groups have also signed on to the upgraded platform.

“For 17-years, HITS has remained committed to improving how we meet the needs of the independent cable operator,” said Leslie Russell, HITS vice president and general manager. “Q2 leverages next-generation technology that allows our affiliates to add more programming and reduce bandwidth consumption without rebuilding their headends or replacing CPE.”

HITS is promoting the Q2 upgrade at the NCTC’s Winter Education Conference, which runs Feb. 25-26 in Las Vegas.