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Belgium’s Alpha Networks launches IPTV and OTT multiscreen video services

Belgian telco Alpha Networks has concurrently launched a managed-network IPTV service and an over-the-top (OTT) video service, as well as hosted service offerings for international operators, based on a full complement of video processing, server, and storage solutions from US firm Harmonic.

Utilising an integrated and unified framework, Harmonic’s video platforms enable Alpha Networks to deliver high-quality HD video services cost-effectively to multiple viewing devices, including connected TVs, PCs, tablets, and smartphones.

“The key to launching competitive multiscreen services was figuring out an efficient way to deliver live IPTV services to set-top boxes, as well as live and video-on-demand services to tablets, smartphones, and PCs, using OTT technologies,” said Guillaume Devezeaux, COO, Alpha Networks. “Through a single, integrated architecture, Harmonic’s range of solutions delivers a richer multimedia experience to subscribers, while lowering our operating and capital expenses.”

Alpha Networks’ headend relies on a combination of Harmonic’s video processing solutions to manage the complexity of IPTV and OTT applications and deliver high-quality SD and HD, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) video with a reduced footprint.

For live IPTV encoding, Harmonic’s ProStream 1000 with ACE high-density stream processers transcode up to 60 SD or 20 HD broadcast services per RU — while reducing Alpha Networks’ energy costs with no more than 10 watts per channel.

Meanwhile, ProMedia Live carrier-grade transcoding and ProMedia Package adaptive streaming preparation systems transcode and package multiple H.264 video streams for adaptive bitrate delivery of live multiscreen OTT content.

VOD content is delivered using Harmonic’s ProMedia Carbon file-based enterprise-class transcoding solution, an Omneon MediaGrid shared storage system optimised for digital media, and a ProMedia Origin HTTP streaming video server.

Belgium’s TV market is currently dominated by cable operators Telenet and VOO, which together account for around 80% of the country’s 4.5mn TV households.

However, IPTV providers such as Belgacom are enjoying continued success, with the milestone of 1mn subscribers for ‘Belgacom TV’ reached this time last year (more details here).

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