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Fox Broadcasting Company and IBM Transform High Definition Broadcasting

2005 NFL High Definition Broadcasts on FOX First to Utilize IBM Standards-Based Technology Solution

LOS ANGELES, CA & ARMONK, NY - 09 Sep 2005: Fox Broadcasting Company today announced that it is launching a new digital broadcast system co-designed with IBM that will help transform high definition (HD) broadcast production for the 2005 NFL on FOX season. The new digital system will help FOX lower program production costs for its high definition NFL broadcasts and will enable content from the games to be available on demand for re-purposing and further distribution.

The FOX digital archive solution combines traditional broadcast format and encoding standards, such as ASI and MPEG, with industry standard technology to give FOX the ability to easily and transparently transmit digitally compressed HD NFL broadcasts straight from its stadium based, on-site mobile trucks directly into a production archive at its Los Angeles studio headquarters.

"By developing this outside-the-box solution with IBM, FOX will be able to better manage content in HD and give our audience a better viewing experience," said Andrew G. Setos, President of Engineering for the Fox Group. "Innovative technology solutions like this enable FOX to remain competitive, as we continue to deliver high quality content that our viewers have come to expect and enjoy as part of their entertainment experience on FOX."

Building on IBM's expertise in broadcast technology and business consulting for the media and entertainment industry, FOX worked with IBM and IBM business partner, Sirius Computer Solutions to design and implement a digital video storage system that allows FOX to manage, store and retrieve broadcast content faster and easier than with conventional production systems and traditional broadcast videotape infrastructure. The FOX digital archive solution is one of the first to integrate with the High Definition ASI (Asynchronous Serial Interface) standard, which is a Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) standard based technology used widely in broadcasting for transporting High Definition streams.

The FOX digital archive solution features IBM TotalStorage Linear Tape Open (LTO) Ultrium storage technology connected to industry standard IBM eServer xSeries systems running Linux that will allow the transfer of large volumes of data and information faster than in a traditional broadcast system. For example, a typical HD NFL game broadcast requires 115 GB of storage. The FOX digital solution will support 270 Mb/s ASI data stream with an aggregrate payload of up to 213 Mb/s. One 400 GB IBM LTO tape solution can easily accommodate three HD NFL game broadcasts of suitable quality for further editorial use. In addition, the solution includes IBM DB2 software for database and information management; IBM WebSphere middleware software and IBM Tivoli Storage Manager to help manage the archived content and information.

"The long awaited transition of core broadcast infrastructures to standards based technology has arrived," said Steve Canepa, vice president, IBM Media & Entertainment. "The FOX digital solution is a great example of the flexibility, scalability and cost advantages that can be achieved by integrating standards based technology with traditional production systems -- resulting in better programming capabilities to serve this rapidly evolving media marketplace."

Contact(s) information

Jeanne Orfinik
IBM Media Relations
(914) 642-5410
orfinik@us.ibm.com

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