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Germany’s Largest Private Broadcaster Selects SGI InfiniteStorage Technology for Digital Archive


ProSiebenSat.1 To Employ SGI Servers, Storage and Software in Munich and Berlin Facilities

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., (April 27, 2006)—To provide broadcast-ready central production storage that easily integrates with an existing media management system, ProSiebenSat.1 Produktion, the technical service division of Germany’s largest private broadcaster, the ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG, selected SGI® InfiniteStorage and server hardware and SGI-developed software from Silicon Graphics (OTC: SGID).

The move from time-consuming and costly videotape-based storage to digital archive at ProSiebenSat.1 will mean better efficiency and lower costs throughout the preview, ingest and retrieval processes. The selection of SGI technology at its four-channel broadcast production facilities in Munich and Berlin will also enable ProSiebenSat.1 to ingest feeds from current suppliers, such as Reuters, APTN and others, as well as contractors and spot reporters, all of whom already deliver file-based materials. The four channels — ProSieben, Sat.1, kabel eins and N24 — produce and broadcast a full range of television program content as well as film, news, sports and multimedia, employing more than 2700 people.

“While SGI’s broadcast archive solution meets the very special broadcast performance requirements, it is, at the same time, based on open standards and gives us the freedom and flexibility we need to adapt to a rapidly changing market,” said Dr. Martin Emele, head of technology, ProSiebenSat.1 Produktion.

SGI storage and server technology was chosen as the backbone of ProSiebenSat.1’s distributed archive system because SGI InfiniteStorage products are delivered with the necessary broadcast features already implemented. SGI installs intelligent central storage for production that understands broadcast specifics, such as video time-codes, partial clip retrieval and multiple formats including IMX/MXF 50/30Mbs, MPEG2 Long GOP 6Mb program stream and DV25/MXF.

ProSiebenSat.1 also chose SGI for its ease of integration with the existing BlueOrder Media Archive system as well as for the very near future integration with editing islands from Pinnacle, Quantel and Avid.

ProSiebenSat.1 Produktion purchased two Network-Attached Storage (NAS) servers, one each for the Munich and Berlin facilities, each consisting of an SGI® Altix® 350 system with 12GB of memory and four Intel® Itanium® 2 processors. The Altix system also uses Novell® SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server 9 with SGI® ProPack™ 4. They also purchased multiple licenses of SGI Data Migration Facility (DMF), a hierarchical storage management (HSM) software solution that will enable the production operation to leverage its new 12.6TB SGI® InfiniteStorage TP9700 array in Munich and another 21TB SGI InfiniteStorage TP9700 array in Berlin to expand its online-production-storage capacity. SGI DMF automatically migrates data from high-speed disk to nearline and tape storage, significantly lowering the cost of capacity and management.

One important part of this solution is SGI’s Digital Mass Storage Engine software, developed by Silicon Graphics Broadcast Europe engineers in Germany. SGI DMS allows a “Partial Restore” of existing and archived clips. The SGI Digital Mass Store Engine’s XML interface is key to easy integration with the BlueOrder Media Archive’s interface. With the new SGI system, the German broadcasting enterprise will have rapid and easy access to clips and content without having to re-ingest them. The new system also provides access to archive using the company’s existing workflow, while enabling production engineers to store and restore all video formats with frame-accurate partial clip transfer from the archive to the production.

“For the transition from videotape-based to digital archive, ProSiebenSat.1 decided to work with the professional, skilled people in SGI Germany and to use proven SGI InfiniteStorage and Altix server technology, which is fine-tuned specifically for broadcast needs,” said Stephan Schindler, general manager, Silicon Graphics Broadcast Europe. “Their choice of SGI Digital Mass Storage engine is significant, because it provides an extension to the existing workflow by reusing the existing media management/low-res browse by complementing the high-res production storage with a powerful HSM system. Thereby the goal of ’digitize material once, access it anytime, anywhere’ is achieved.”

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SGI, also known as Silicon Graphics, Inc. (OTC: SGID), is a leader in high-performance computing. SGI helps customers solve their computing challenges, whether it’s sharing images to aid in brain surgery, finding oil more efficiently, studying global climate, providing technologies for homeland security and defense, enabling the transition from analog to digital broadcasting, or helping enterprises manage large data. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., and can be found on the Web at

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