Independent Study Names World’s Best Digital Broadcasters

IBM and Partners Help Korea’s Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) Hit #1

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Singapore - 21 Sep 2005: A recent independent study into best practice in digital broadcasting named Korea's Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) as the global leader in broadcast industry best practice.  SBS uses IBM's Digital Media Center solution to manage its digital assets and end-to-end production process.

Of 353 digital asset management sites worldwide surveyed by independent consultancy, Kane Consulting, SBS and five other broadcasters stood out as leaders.  SBS was rated at 80 percent on Kane's index of best practice in areas such as production speed; editorial quality; cost reduction and/or productivity gain; and incremental revenue generated.  Other leading broadcasters included RTL Cologne; RTL/TVI Brussels; SVT Stockholm; France 2 Paris; and New York 1.  Each scored more than 50 percent on Kane's index, with an average of 62 percent.  

Kane's study spanned the broadcast lifecycle of ingest and catalogue, production, distribution, storage and security.  Common best practice attributes include the use of standards-based digital asset management (DAM) technology to digitize broadcast content and streamline production workflows.  IBM's Digital Media Center solution, along with other integrated technologies from KONAN TECHNOLOGY, Thomson Grass Valley, CIS Technology and D2NET, enabled SBS to become the first in the world to fully produce and store news digitally with the broadcast of the Athens Olympics in 2004.

"Broadcasters are facing unprecedented pressure to store, index, find, retrieve, modify and re-use ever-increasing volumes of digital content," said Mr. Charles Bebert, Managing Director, Kane Consulting.  "In response, leading broadcasters are aggressive in their strategies to digitize existing archives and transform broadcast workflows for all-digital operation."

Incentives to embrace digitalization are strong - broadcasters stand to capitalize on the fast-growing digital media market, which stood at US$21 billion in 2004 and is forecast to grow steadily at 19 percent CAGR from 2003 to 2007*.

"We're increasingly working with broadcast clients to transform their business processes and technology for the 'all digital' world," explained Craig Wilson, Digital Media Director, IBM Asia Pacific.  "In addition to streamlining workflows and digitizing existing assets, broadcasters have an eye on the future - emerging delivery mechanisms such as mobile and Internet TV open new revenue opportunities for owners of rich media content," concluded Mr. Wilson.

Broadcasters are responding to the digital media opportunity with strategies that include transforming legacy technology and streamlining business processes.  As Kane's study showed, successful broadcasters increasingly are turning to widely-available, standards-based computing platforms that have the potential to dramatically lower the cost of entry for digital broadcast asset management.

SBS became the first major broadcaster to automate its production processes when it turned to IBM to transform its tape-based analog environment into a fully digital, network-based system with optimized and automated workflows.  From news production to play-out, SBS' entire news system is now fully digitally managed and administrated.  Using IBM storage and database technologies, SBS also is able to store and archive news programming on an all digital, open standards centralized storage system.

IBM works with numerous broadcasters worldwide including CNN, the Australian Broadcast Corporation, Swedish Television (also a leader in Kane's study), Shanghai Media, Turkish Radio Television and China Central TV, each of which have gone digital to preserve their assets and to position themselves for the future.

Specific examples of best practice identified in Kane's study include the ability to receive video over a standard IP network; to ingest video faster than real time; to share content from a single repository; and powerful, immediate search capabilities.  Also important is "future-proofing" through use of HD-ready file formats; standards-based integration with third-party components; and association between video and related elements such as audio and graphics.

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