IBM Introduces Digital Video System for Broadcasters

Korean Broadcaster SBS the First Broadcaster in the World to Use New Technology

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WHITE PLAINS, NY - 31 Mar 2003: At the 2003 National Association of Broadcasters tradeshow and convention, IBM is set to debut a digital media infrastructure for broadcasting and entertainment that features a digital video storage system that is centralized, operations-based, built on open standards, and allows for communications between a number of applications.

Historically, broadcasting storage infrastructure has been locked into proprietary silos for ingest, non-linear editing, browse, and playout, but with the introduction of IBM's new Digital Media Center, broadcasters can now implement a shared storage environment that delivers dramatic improvement in content workflow while allowing them to benefit from the lowered cost of general purpose IT.

By using powerful storage and digital video file systems previously used with IBM's work in supercomputing, IBM's Digital Media Center for Broadcaster (DMC), enables broadcasters to manage video and digital content more efficiently. The system helps transform broadcasting production environments from today's analog and videotape based formats to a centralized, scalable, open operation that provides all users access to all video all the time.

Customer Examples
Among the first customers to use the Digital Media Center (DMC) have been large broadcasters and organizations with digital surveillance applications. SBS, a broadcasting company in Seoul, Korea, is the one of the first major broadcasters in the world to agree to migrate to a digital production environment using IBM's DMC technology. Using key IBM technologies and broadcasting components provided by Thomson Grass Valley such as Grass Valley Profile video servers and NewsEdit non-linear editors, SBS is able to produce news programming on an all digital, centralized storage system moving away from a traditional, videotape-based workflow. Users will be able to easily search, retrieve and edit contents on a high-speed digital network replacing the need for videotapes.

"We have decided to introduce an automated news program system, which is essential in the digital broadcasting age, and we are using the technology to secure and maintain our global competitiveness as well as leadership in the domestic market," said DoKyun Song, Chairman and CEO, SBS. "In addition, SBS will be able to actively seek new business or revenue models based on its technical and operational advantage over other broadcasting stations at home and abroad."

In digital surveillance, not unlike broadcasting, there is also a need to access, retrieve and review video quickly. IBM's DMC has been used by both National Car Parks and the Yorkshire Police Department, in the UK, serving as a central registry, and helping to make the tracking of surveillance cameras and large amounts of video much easier.

Gone are the days when police have to run to the videotape closet to look for surveillance tapes. IBM's DMC establishes a digital platform that is operated in real-time. Working together Pinnacle Systems, IBM, and IBM business partner Sagitta Performance Systems have built and delivered a video editing and broadcast IT infrastructure that has been projected by the UK Home Office to save in excess of 7 million pounds, and the DMC supports 24 Pinnacle Liquid Silver editors, for post production.

Technology Backbone
Comprised of a set of core products and technologies from IBM and key technology partner technologies including servers, storage, hierarchical storage management software and file system software, IBM has designed its infrastructure to be open, centralized, standards-based, scalable storage system that supports a wide array of production and management systems found in today's broadcast video operation environments.

By facilitating connectivity between varied broadcasting technologies, IBM's DMC allows broadcasters to take the first steps towards centralized, open, scalable storage, in which video file movement will become unnecessary, thereby eliminating the need to physically "move" files from one functional area to the next. Basic connectivity enables effective video asset management, and sets the stage for the implementation of common file formats, like MXF.

Benefits of IBM's DMC include the ability to support already installed video production operations, including ingest and encoding systems, non-linear editing systems, news systems, and playout systems, including specialized content management software. The system addresses real-time access to incoming video, ease of sharing content among users, improved workflow, and it allows content to be accessed by multiple clients as soon as the first bytes of content are being recorded on a disk. The infrastructure also offers interoperability, huge capacity, simultaneous real-time read/write of files, and simultaneous access to files.

The DMC includes IBM FAStTStorage, IBM eServer pSeries severs running on AIX, IBM eServer xSeries servers running on Linux, IBM General Parallel File System (GPFS), and IBM Global Services Integration services to install and manage new digital broadcasting environments.

IBM's line of FAStT disk storage servers allow customers to create small Storage Area Networks at a fraction of the cost of the investment in a large enterprise storage server. Besides high bandwidth, the FAStT storage servers support a variety of operating systems that facilitate storage consolidation. The FAStT storage servers are designed to be highly flexible and are scalable up to 30TBs for easy growth. There are significant opportunities for investment protection within the FAStT family of storage servers, suitable for mid-market to enterprise customers that need a lower entry/price point product for selected UNIX and/or Intel platforms.

At NAB 2003, IBM will showcase its DMC, built with technology integration from several high-profile, broadcast industry technology providers: Thomson Grass Valley, Pinnacle, and Quantel. The TGV Profile video server, for example, will be used for ingest and playout operations. Pinnacle Liquid Solutions will be used to support and optimize digital editing, and the Quantel Clipbox Studio will be used for ingest, edit, and playout support.

At NAB 2003, IBM will showcase its new digital video infrastructure: The Digital Media Center -- booth # SU7237.

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