Harmonic Plugs In New MPEG-4 Encoder

Harmonic unveiled a souped-up MPEG-4/H.264 encoder that it said can support not only HD but also picture-in-picture features.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company also said the new DiviCom Electra 7000 encoder is the world's first multichannel, multiservice HD H.264 encoder, able to support as many as four full-resolution HD channels and simultaneously create low-resolution video for picture-in-picture or multichannel-mosaic applications. The latter is a feature Microsoft recently included in its IPTV platform.

The Electra 7000 already has five unnamed satellite and telco operator customers that plan to use it in upcoming HD-service rollouts. These unnamed customers have confirmed bit rates 20%-30 % lower than other deployed HD H.264 encoders, according to Harmonic.

Harmonic expects to start full-scale shipments of the encoder in September.