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Media Networks Go Digital With IBM


As the media and entertainment industry continues to evolve to digital content, broadcasters, networks, entertainment studios and cable operators are turning to IBM (NYSE: IBM) to reduce costs, better respond to market opportunities and stay competitive in the “race to air.”

Broadcasters and cable providers worldwide from America’s FOX Broadcasting to China’s CCTV have implemented IBM’s storage and tape solutions in reliable high-performance HD digital production and archive solutions. These solutions have allowed them to lower operation costs, streamline file-based workflow, and enhance production capabilities.

“Broadcasters require dramatically more cost-effective and efficient ways to capture and store digital content, repurpose that content, repackage it, transcode it, and make it electronically available for both traditional and new distribution outlets,” said Steve Canepa, vice president of IBM Media and Entertainment Industry. “Melding the power, flexibility and cost advantages of open information technology within the context of specific industry workflows has proven to be a winning approach.”

IBM’s System Storage Linear Tape-Open (LTO) tape libraries offer an open standard format. One IBM LTO tape cartridge can hold 400 GBs of data -- easily accommodating three HD NFL, MLB or NASCAR game broadcasts or nine hours of live HD entertainment such as “American Idol.” The highly scalable tape robotics system automates the access, retrieval, and writing of the content onto the tape media while keeping it connected into the workflow.

IBM LTO tape storage allows broadcasters to implement an information on demand system in which all of their vital content is ’live’ and available to the various operations functions. Because the digital content and descriptions of the content (called metadata) are online, this also positions broadcasters to quickly capitalize on consumer demand for new direct access services, like wireless downloads of premium content.

Examples of broadcasters working with IBM to transform archival and preservation and roll out a digital content distribution model include:

CCTV is working with IBM to manage news production and audio and video archiving for its Economics Channel. China’s leading state-owned broadcaster is transforming its broadcast production environment from analog and videotape-based formats to a centralized, digital operation that provides access to broadcast content on demand. The solution enables CCTV to create, manage and distribute broadcast content faster, easier and at lower cost.

Fox Broadcasting Company recently selected IBM to expand its high definition digital archive system to include the NCAA “Big 10” basketball conference, in addition to the work it is already doing with IBM on the 2006-2007 NFL, MLB, NASCAR and “American Idol” seasons. The digital archive solution enables content from FOX’s most valuable properties to be available on demand for re-purposing and further distribution. FOX now has the ability to easily and quickly transmit digitally compressed live HD broadcasts straight into a production archive at its Los Angeles studio headquarters. This entire workflow is based on standard software packages including Linux, IBM Websphere, IBM Tivoli and DB2. The LTO library and IBM System x servers powering Fox’s “Big 10” coverage also integrate with Avid Unity for editing.

Working with IBM, Seoul Broadcast System (SBS) is the first completely digital broadcaster in Korea. SBS decided to adopt an automated digital news production and archive system to gain competitive advantage in the digital broadcasting realm as well as maintain leadership in the domestic Korean market. With the centralized system, SBS can now easily input, search, retrieve, edit and transmit footage and news content, including images, at the touch of a button -- and at any time.

IBM has a strong global focus on the media and entertainment industry across all of its services and products, serving all the major industry segments -- entertainment, publishing, information providers, media networks and advertising. For more information on IBM, please visit


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