We haven't talked about QAM cramming much recently, but we have a feeling its ugly, pixelated head will soon be raised once more, now that Harmonic is launching the DiviCom Electra 8000 encoder, capable of stuffing four MPEG-2 HD streams in one QAM channel. It might be an interesting bit of hardware if you're a head end tech, capable of delivering 1080p60, MPEG-4 and MPEG-2 video capable of three encoding passes, but all we can see at the end is too many channels slotted into too little frequency and the potential for compression artifacts. Anyone stopping by Cable Show '09 this week should be able to get a demo, with the first units shipping in June, we'll be keeping a close eye on both our channel lineup and picture quality.

[Thanks, Larry]

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Cable HD compression gets turned up a notch in the Electra 8000 encoder