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ARTE Goes "On-Air" With IBM

IBM Solution Improves "Time to Air" and Productivity With Over 20,000 Programs Ingested in Under Nine Months

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AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS - 08 Sep 2006: ARTE, France and Germany's cultural television station, broadcasting in French and German from Strasbourg, has chosen IBM (NYSE: IBM) to implement an IT-based ingest, browse and high-resolution editing system, replacing its manual program production and broadcast processes.

The solution has established a fully tape less, networked digital production environment which will enable ARTE to share media content more effectively both internally and with partner television stations.

ARTE and its general contractor, MCI Studio Hamburg, a technology sub-subsidiary of the German public broadcasting system, wanted a strong partner to tackle the integration challenges of this complex solution. They turned to IBM to evaluate available business options.

"We had very good, constructive contact with the team from IBM. They were highly motivated, and were obviously interested in and knowledgeable about the broadcast and television industry. They very quickly understood ARTE's workflow," said Alain Schank, Deputy Technical Manager, ARTE.

IBM brought together key software application industry partnerships with its own broadcast solutions for ARTE, including IBM ADMIRA archive management software for video and an IBM storage area network (SAN)-based storage infrastructure.

IBM met with ARTE over the course of several months to understand in detail the system architecture, interface, workflow and hardware required. IBM led the overall integration -- provided training, worked with ARTE staff to fine-tune the system, and also led the test phase.

ARTE began ingesting its content into the system late last year, and it has been performing live playout since December 2005. All tapes arriving at ARTE are now ingested immediately, making the content instantly available for use in new programming.

IBM brought its extensive digital media expertise to the project, as well as industry-leading hardware. The solution features IBM ADMIRA archive management software, which controls the storage and export of multimedia files including cutting of the High Resolution files. With multiserver and distributed server support, IBM ADMIRA enables companies to scale up the number of users, system capacity and performance -- offering organizations like ARTE the ability to transform their existing applications and storage infrastructure into flexible, scalable broadcast IT environments. Meanwhile the scope of IBM ADMIRA has been extended to provide essence management services to multiple applications at ARTE.

IBM managed the integration effort of the media asset management system using ARTE's own program planning application. Several partners joined IBM, providing both services and components to help create the overall solution, including:

ARTE has transformed its production environment which is now almost 95% tape less. With the new archiving solution, ARTE has improved the efficiency and speed of its operations. During the first nine months, ARTE was able to ingest the content into the new system that it had originally planned on ingesting during at least two years: 5,000 hours, 20,000 programs and more than 100,000 files. The company formerly produced 12 hours of programs daily, with the new system it produces 19 hours daily -- something it could not have contemplated with its previous system.

Once ARTE's systems are fully digitized, it will be able to network with other stations to create an on demand TV production network of French and German public television. For example, it is currently working on the ability to exchange files with other broadcasters, eliminating the need to ship tapes between stations. While it plans to continue using the media asset management solution, ARTE is planning to implement a video-on-demand (VoD) service which will be available in both French and German next year.

"IBM is helping broadcasters across the world to realize the type of advantages ARTE now has with their fully digital production environment," said Steve Canepa, IBM Global Vice President, Media & Entertainment. "ARTE joins the ever growing number of public broadcasters in Europe to choose IBM. We are proud to be helping ARTE make the most of its digital systems and significantly improve the efficiency of its operations."

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