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Broadcast International Implements Cell Broadband Engine Technology For Video Compression


Broadcast International (OTCBB: BCST) (“BI”) today announced that it is currently implementing the IBM® BladeCenter® QS20 “Cell Blade” in a test environment as a means to significantly improve performance and reduce costs associated with video compression, while delivering high quality video at low bandwidths.

As the first step in the new relationship, the two companies have established the Broadcast International-IBM Joint Development Center to collaborate with IBM engineers on integrating BI’s patented CodecSys multi-codec encoding system on IBM’s multi-core Cell Broadband Engine™ (Cell/B.E.) based BladeCenter QS20.

BI currently uses up to 70 servers, from various manufacturers including HP, operating on x86 architecture to run its CodecSys application in compressing video. Using IBM’s Cell/B.E. BladeCenter QS20, BI hopes to consolidate the number of servers to just one rack of Cell Blades.

“IBM’s Cell/B.E. based BladeCenter QS20 is the ideal platform for our CodecSys technology,” said Rod Tiede, Broadcast International CEO. “In the past, having enough processing power in a sufficiently compact form factor has been a challenge. The Cell Blade overcomes that challenge with a hardware solution that is not only streamlined and affordable, but offers higher quality and more efficient video compression than anything I have seen in the market today. By collaborating with IBM’s engineers, we can look at reaching an entirely new level of R&D, and delivering low-cost, high performance video compression solutions to our current and future clients faster than ever before.”

The CodecSys system utilizes and switches between optimized, expert codecs for specific video content, such as bright, dark, fast-motion, or slow-motion scenes, resulting in the highest quality video at the lowest possible bandwidth. Another major benefit of this combination of technologies is that new codecs can be incorporated into the system as needed. This capability virtually eliminates the hassle and expense of replacing hardware every time a customer wants to take advantage of a new or upgraded codec.

“Establishing this joint development center and collaborating with Broadcast International is a tremendous opportunity to really transform how we can work with clients in the rapidly evolving digital video marketplace,” said Hal Lasky, Vice President, Consumer Electronics and Media, IBM Global Engineering Solutions. “IBM is working closely with the media, entertainment, and consumer electronics clients to help deliver advanced function and open standards based architectures which enable enhanced quality, better collaboration, lower costs and reduced time to market for audio and video applications and solutions.”

The revolutionary Cell/B.E. processor is a breakthrough design featuring a central processing core, based on IBM’s industry leading Power Architecture™ technology, and eight synergistic processing elements (SPE). Cell/B.E. “supercharges” compute-intensive applications, offering fast performance for computer entertainment and handhelds, virtual-reality, wireless downloads, real-time video chat, interactive TV shows and other “image-hungry” computing environments. The groundbreaking Cell/B.E. processor also appears in products such as Sony Computer Entertainment’s PLAYSTATION®3, and Toshiba’s Cell/B.E. Reference Set, a development tool for Cell/B.E. products.

The BI product line provides encoding and transcoding solutions for broadcast, cable, satellite, IPTV, telco, wireless and streaming customers, as well as applications for business/enterprise communications, training and digital signage. For example, a telco will be able to deliver HDTV over DSL connections. And, where cable/satellite operators now have one HD channel, they will be able to deliver six different HD channels at the same quality.


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