Harmonic Nabs Major Japan DSL Deal

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Harmonic Inc. is selling its digital-television-headend-hardware
configuration to Softbank Broadmedia Corp., which operates a
digital-subscriber-line network in Japan.

Softbank is marketing a content package to DSL providers, including Yahoo!
Broadband in Japan, which plans to offer Softbank content to its 1 million-plus
asymmetrical DSL subscribers.

Softbank will use Harmonic's "DiviCom" digital-video-compression system for
real-time encoding of broadcast channels. Harmonic will also pre-encode content
that will be stored on Softbank VOD servers.

The company said subscribers will be able to see broadcast video and
video-on-demand services on existing TV sets by using an Internet-protocol-based
set-top box.

Video services over DSL have been slow to develop in the United States, but
some media analysts believe U.S. telcos might offer video as more cable
operators get closer to launching telephony service.