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DIRECTV, Panasonic and Harmonic to Demonstrate 3D TV

Harmonic Inc. announced it will feature a 3D television demonstration in conjunction with DIRECTV and Panasonic at NAB 2010, April 12-15 in Las Vegas.

According to the statement, Harmonic’s Electra encoders, capable of supporting frame-compatible 3D video, serve as the compression engine for the DIRECTV 3D video experience, viewable on a Panasonic VIERA Full HD 3D TV set.

DIRECTV, in partnership with Panasonic, is the first and only service provider to announce it will provide dedicated 3D channels to its customers, beginning in June 2010. Millions of DIRECTV HD customers will receive a free software upgrade to view, initially, three dedicated 3D channels and ESPN 3D on their 3D television sets.

“DIRECTV is committed to offering consumers the highest quality, most compelling TV experience available,” said Romulo Pontual, CTO of DIRECTV. “Harmonic is a trusted solution provider for DIRECTV, with outstanding solutions including the Electra encoders which not only enable us to efficiently deliver excellent quality HD, but also can flexibly support new applications such as 3D.”

Last month, Panasonic launched its VIERA 3D televisions in stores and quickly sold out of initial supplies. The VIERA 3D plasma display has native 1080p, 600 Hz capability and comes with liquid crystal glass shutter lens viewing glasses. A 3D Blu-ray Disc Player with Internet Connectable/Wi-Fi capability is also available from Panasonic.

“Panasonic has worked closely with Hollywood over the past several years to develop Full HD 3D technology that can create a high quality immersive viewing experience in the living room,” said Eisuke Tsuyuzaki, Chief Technology Officer of Panasonic Corporation of North America. “Consumers are buying Panasonic’s award-winning VIERA 3D displays to get an extraordinary HDTV and 3D TV in one future-proof package.”

“At Harmonic, we strive to develop high performance solutions that meet the needs of our service provider customers for today and the future,” said David Price, Vice President of Business Development and Marketing Communications for Harmonic Inc. “In addition to offering industry-leading video quality and bandwidth efficiency, the Electra platform is designed to support a wide range of video and audio processing capabilities, including 3D.”

Harmonic’s latest generation Electra 8000 encoder supports SD and HD, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC (H.264), as well as integrated statistical multiplexing, broadcast quality up/down-conversion and other features such as Jünger Level Magic automatic audio leveling adjustment. Electra 8000′s architecture, featuring up to four channels in a single rack unit, significantly reduces operational costs with its high density and power efficiency, and facilitates the launch of new value-added video services such as 3D television.

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