Blue Ridge Communications Deploys Harmonic’s Electra® 8000 for HD MPEG-2 Cable Service Expansion

Harmonic Inc. (NASDAQ:HLIT) today announced that Blue Ridge Communications has deployed Harmonic’s Electra® 8000 universal encoder in an extensive network upgrade that marks the first live installation of the platform by a cable operator. The one rack-unit, multi-channel, multi-format Electra 8000 is enabling Blue Ridge to substantially expand its HD offering to its subscribers in central and eastern Pennsylvania. The system provides a highly cost-effective solution for Blue Ridge’s rollout of additional HD content of exceptional video quality over its existing MPEG-2 cable infrastructure.

The Electra 8000’s FLEX™ technology provides an integrated decoding front-end and offers unique flexibility by making it possible for Blue Ridge to seamlessly re-encode content from any source format or codec—HD or SD, MPEG-4 AVC or MPEG-2. In addition, integrated Jünger automatic audio level adjustment and support for 1080p50/60 and 3D are available on the Electra 8000, providing a simple migration path that can be easily implemented in the field via software upgrade. The density and power efficiency of the multi-channel platform—utilizing 40 percent less power per channel than equivalent industry averages—was also a key factor in Blue Ridge’s selection of the Electra 8000.

“Harmonic’s Electra 8000 brings cutting-edge video processing technology,” said Gary Woods, Chief Technical Officer, Blue Ridge Communications. “The video quality, bandwidth efficiency, and density of this solution have exceeded expectations. The Electra 8000’s simultaneous support of MPEG-4 and MPEG-2 codecs, in both HD and SD formats, also affords us greater flexibility in that we can easily adapt to any type of source or delivery format, which is important moving forward, for example, as content providers move to AVC distribution.”

“Cable operators require innovation and flexibility to free up bandwidth in their networks, while enhancing video quality,” said Arnaud Perrier, Senior Manager of Encoder Product Marketing at Harmonic Inc. “The breakthrough technology enhancements and efficiency gains of the Electra 8000 are enabling Blue Ridge to deploy a rich HD line-up with exceptional video quality.”

“This marks a further expansion of our relationship with Blue Ridge,” continued Perrier. “Blue Ridge is using our ProView integrated receiver/decoders and other former Scopus products for digital turn-around applications and is also a customer of Harmonic’s HFC access solutions . For over 50 years, Blue Ridge has led the way with a number of cable industry firsts, and today, Blue Ridge is a full service communications provider that continues to distinguish itself with a very attractive HDTV offering.”

About Blue Ridge Communications

Blue Ridge Communications, a top 20 U.S. cable operator and subsidiary of Pencor Services, Inc., is a full service communications provider serving over 175,000 homes in central and eastern Pennsylvania. Blue Ridge Communications is a full service communications provider that offers digital cable, On Demand, High Definition (HDTV), Digital Video Recording (DVR), and High Speed Internet access. Blue Ridge Communications also provides quality local and long distance telephone service in select areas.

About Harmonic Inc.

Harmonic Inc. is redefining video delivery with the industry’s most powerful solutions for live and on-demand content preparation and distribution of video to TVs, PCs and mobile devices. Harmonic’s 20 years of technical innovation and market leadership enable the Company to offer a unique and comprehensive solution portfolio—including encoding, transcoding, content preparation, stream processing, asset management, edge processing, and delivery. Broadcast, cable, Internet, mobile, satellite and telecom service providers around the world choose Harmonic’s IP-based digital video, software, and broadband edge and access solutions. Using these award-winning and industry-leading solutions, operators can reduce costs and differentiate their services by offering consumers a higher quality, personalized multi-screen experience.

Harmonic (NASDAQ:HLIT) is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California with R&D, sales and platform integration centers worldwide. The Company’s customers, including many of the world’s largest communications providers, deliver services in virtually every country. Visit for more information.