Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Network To Debut Largest Cable Network Launch in History with Thomson All-HD Post Environment
Paris, France/Amsterdam (IBC) – Major League Baseball’s MLB Network is set to go live on January 1 with live games and pre-taped programming produced with a comprehensive shared storage network. This technology includes Thomson Grass Valley™ K2™ HD media servers, Aurora™ Edit HD systems, and a comprehensive Aurora software suite of applications to handle the entire HD postproduction process from ingest to browse to playout from Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS), the worldwide leader in video solutions.
This agreement reinforces Thomson’s strong position as a market leader in HD production.
In total, 36 Thomson Grass Valley K2 media servers will be employed in a RAID protected storage area network (SAN) for editing and accessing/sharing thousands of audio and video clips on a daily basis. The servers will be configured in two redundant paths – 18 servers for “X” SAN and 18 for “Y” SAN – with each SAN providing 1,000 hours of HD storage at the highest quality (100 Mb/s).
A nearline SAN also will be installed, including 10,000 hours of storage. More than 25 Thomson Grass Valley Aurora Edit HD workstations will work off this network, allowing editors to collaborate on projects from a single desktop.
“We always feel confident deploying Thomson’s latest technology because we’ve used it for many projects over the years and it has proven its value time and again,” said Darrell Wenhardt, President of CBT Systems, the project’s Systems Consultant, which helped design the facilities infrastructure. “The new MLB Network needed a system that is reliable and flexible enough to grow with into the future. This new SAN environment, based on Thomson Grass Valley K2 media servers and Aurora HD production tools, will allow MLB Network to achieve its goals and more.”
The massive post-production environment also includes Thomson Grass Valley Aurora Ingest software to capture incoming satellite feeds and content from VTRs, as well as ingesting of footage from solid-state media. The Thomson Grass Valley Aurora Browse software will be employed for managing assets and handling file transfers to and from a Sun Microsystems SL8500 archive system. This archive features storage capacity for over 30,000 hours of HD content at 100 Mb/s. The Thomson Grass Valley Aurora Playout software will also be used for playout of finished packages to the production studios.
CBT Systems, based in San Diego, Calif., designed the file-based workflows in collaboration with the MLB Network team. The equipment and systems will be installed by The Systems Group, located in Hoboken N.J., which selected Thomson Grass Valley technology and will integrate it into a number of IT-centric processes.
“The tapeless workflow being installed, based around Thomson’s technology, will allow the MLB Network to be more productive” said Jeff Rosica, Senior Vice President of Thomson’s Broadcast & Professional Solutions within the Systems division, “ This will allow them to quickly create and distribute HD content to a variety of platforms that include traditional television, the Internet, and mobile devices.
The entire system will initially be housed in the former home of MSNBC, in Secaucus, N.J. The facility includes an existing Thomson Grass Valley Trinix™ HD router with Encore™ control software, which the MLB Network will take full advantage of. The router will be expanded as needed.
As part of a highly collaborative workflow, every night during the 2009 baseball season, the newly renovated all-HD MLB Network facility will receive raw feeds of every game. Dozens of production personnel will then use the Thomson Grass Valley equipment and networked systems to quickly edit and play to air highlight packages and short clips for a variety of shows on the network.
Thomson is unique in supporting the entire media chain from high-definition content creation to multi-play services for home consumption.
About the MLB Network
Projected to launch in approximately 50 million cable and satellite homes on January 1, 2009, MLB Network will be the largest and most successful debut in cable television history, exceeding any other cable television launch by approximately 20 million. With live games, original programming, highlights, classic games, and coverage of baseball events, MLB Network will be the ultimate television destination for baseball fans.
Certain statements in this press release, including any discussion of management expectations for future periods, constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements due to changes in global economic and business conditions, ”media and entertainment” markets, and regulatory factors. More detailed information on the potential factors that could affect the financial results of Thomson is contained in Thomson’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
About Thomson: the worldwide leader in video solutions
Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) is the world leading provider of solutions for the creation, management, delivery and access of video, for the Communication, Media & Entertainment (CME) industries. Our clients are studios, broadcasters, network operators (telcos, broadband, satellite and cable operators) and an increasing range of professional users of videos.
We deliver superior value to our customers through a unique combination of industry leading technologies, systems and services, enabling us to offer differentiated and innovative end-to-end solutions based on a broad portfolio of Intellectual Property. At the cross-roads of the CME industries, leveraging our core competencies in video but also audio, data and voice, we enable our customers to take advantage of the growth opportunities brought on by the digital convergence revolution. For more information: http://www.thomson.net
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