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Thomson Video Networks New NetProcessor 9030/40: The Heart of the Digital Headend

by david.nunes

RENNES, France — Sept. 9, 2010 — Thomson Video Networks (formerly the digital headend division of Grass Valley) has announced the NetProcessor 9030/40, a new addition to the market-leading NetProcessor family, and a key component in Thomson’s complete solution for the digital headend. The NetProcessor 9030/40 is a dense multiplexer and advanced video processor designed to sit at the heart of any video compression system for preparing and delivering content over any network.

The DVB-T2 ready NetProcessor 9030/40 combines the multiplexing and advanced service information handling of the 9030 with the 9040’s video processing capabilities, including splicing and transrating for regionalization/insertion. The NetProcessor family now features a streamlined architecture designed for easy upgrades when customers want to expand the functionality of their NetProcessor unit.

With the industry’s most efficient multiplexing algorithm, the NetProcessor 9030/40 combines and packs hundreds of services into transport streams with an unequalled 0.04 percent overhead — allowing costly spectrum to be used to its maximum capacity. This industry-leading performance is achieved by the NetProcessor’s advanced service and bitrate policing of incoming transport streams, combined with fully adaptive playout of Service Information. Service Information (PSI/SI/PSIP) is notoriously bursty by nature and often requires costly overhead buffering, reducing available bandwidth for the encoders. With its highly efficient and fully adaptive SI playout engine the NetProcessor 9030/40 optimizes this stream, increasing the bandwidth utilization and enabling increased picture quality.

As part of the complete digital headend solution from Thomson Video Networks, the NetProcessor 9030/40 can also be enabled with patented Flextream™ technology, making the unit the bandwidth manager when multiple ViBE encoders are operating together in a statistical multiplexing pool. Flextream is uniquely capable of combining any MPEG-2/4 and HD/SD streams to harvest the maximum bandwidth when combining multiple streams of varying complexity, and boosts transponder throughput by up to 30 percent. With Flextream enabled, the NetProcessor 9030/40 can manage both local and geographically distributed encoders, allowing broadcasters to save on both incoming and outgoing bandwidth, whilst preserving outstanding picture quality.

The Thomson NetProcessor 9030/40 is a versatile unit situated at the heart of the digital headend. It provides exceptional processing power and scalable features, which help broadcasters seamlessly expand their operations, simplifying such tasks as adding a new transponder or inserting local programming. When fully configured, the 9030/40 offers the most complete set of video processing functions, including re-multiplexing, PSI/SI processing, transrating, splicing, data injection, ad insertion, and the scrambling of hundreds of services.

“Since its launch, the NetProcessor 9030/40 has established itself as the market-leading MUX and stream processing product for the headend,” said Christophe Delahousse, president, Thomson Video Networks. “The outstanding versatility and wide range of features offered by the new NetProcessor 9030/40 make it the keystone of Thomson’s end-to-end offering for the digital headend — the most comprehensive solution available to today’s broadcasters.”

The NetProcessor 9030/40 is housed in a compact 1RU chassis and can generate six independent, densely packed and fully compliant MPEG transport streams from up to 1,000 incoming services, reducing the footprint and power consumption of the operator’s headend infrastructure. The NetProcessor 9030/40 features dual hot-swappable power supplies for maximum uptime, with the ability operate with a redundant spare unit as part of an overall system.

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