Harmonic Inc. today announced that Hefei Broadcast & TV Broad Band Network Ltd. (Hefei CATV) implemented a video-on-demand (VOD) service with Harmonic's industry leading Narrowcast Services Gateway(TM) (NSG).

Hefei CATV's new service, the first cable-based VOD deployment utilizing IP-transport in China, represents a major step toward realizing the complete "digital vision" established by China's State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT). Recently, SARFT articulated a comprehensive vision for converting China's current broadcast infrastructure to a secure digital format. With a broadband digital television platform, operators will be able to offer a wide range of world-class advanced services such as video-on-demand, network-based personal video recorders (nPVR) and high definition television.

Hefei CATV, which serves the capital of Anhui Province, has more than 300,000 subscribers in a market of approximately 1.5 million people. The local demographics combined with an existing digital cable network make it attractive for Hefei CATV to provision entertainment and educational programming on-demand. Harmonic's NSG-based VOD architecture, which leverages existing headend and HFC investments, makes a revenue-generating service technically and financially feasible. The NSG gives Hefei CATV an efficient and scalable way to transport and route VOD streams from the centralized server farm to the HFC network.

Now in its third-generation, the standards-based NSG family–composed of single rack-unit systems with 8, 12 and 16 output QAM channels–provides operators greater choice and flexibility in the design and expansion of their network infrastructure. By combining NSG units of varying QAM channel densities for each service group, cable operators can optimize their network architecture and bandwidth, reducing the effective cost of their infrastructure. The NSG is interoperable with all the leading providers of VOD servers, Ethernet switches, conditional access systems (for session-based encryption) and set-top boxes.


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