RealTime IT News

IBM Inks Thomson, Creators for Digital Content System

IBM said it has struck a deal with Thomson as part of the launch of a new "end-to-end media asset management service."

Thomson's Technicolor Media Asset Management (MAM) service will use IBMs content management systems to offer studios, broadcasters and other media companies digitizing capabilities.

Minneapolis-based Ancept is a strategic partner in the venture. The company specializes in providing an integrated platform for the digital storage, management, access, processing, and distribution of all forms of entertainment content, Thomson said.

The partners in the venture say they will offer services from high-definition and digital intermediate mastering services to DVD authoring, digital cinema compression and encryption services.

By creating a Digital Master file for content (feature film, broadcast, cable, commercial advertising, studio theatrical trailers, visual effect shots, etc.) and storing all associated elements (audio tracks, formatting instructions, metadata and editorial decisions), Technicolor MAM is able to efficiently create, manage, and re-create all versions derived from that title with consistent, pristine quality, Thomson said.

There are several aspects to the system, including asset storage, which creates a central Storage Area Network (SAN) to serve as a central repository for all the digital content.

Asset management is another component of the system, which is the venture's storage and retrieval system, which is based on IBM's DB2 Content Manage middleware and the Ancept Media Server.

The system also has an elaborate security system, so that authorized users can search, manage, view and listen to content in the system from their desktops. The MAM system also has advanced content processing features, which allow users to "perform electronic pan and scan from data, audio functions, aspect ratio and standards conversion," Thomson said. The company also said the content in the system can be distributed over its secure, high-speed network known as Technicolor Production Network.

In a related announcement, IBM on Tuesday said it is offering its digital content creation and media management solutions with both Hollywood film studios and international broadcasters. As internetnews.com already reported, IBM is working on a number of core entertainment industry-related technology projects including editing, high-end graphics, visual effects, rendering, digital cinema, back-office system processing, digital content management and storage.

Big Blue said it has garnered several new customers in the media and entertainment industries including Warner Bros. Animation , Blur Studios, ABC Australian Broadcasting Commission and Threshold Studio.

Big Blue said its Digital Content Creation solutions offer film and television creation facilities shorter production cycles, simpler tools to manage content assets and lower costs by using Linux platforms.

"IBM's Linux-based Digital Content Creation Solutions allow digital content creators to push more work and content through the system in less cycle time. This is accomplished through the use of Linux Clusters, which network multiple processors from different computers, workstations and servers together to form a unified, powerful computing system. This allows multiple users to edit, access and share digital content simultaneously, reducing access time and allowing for collaborative working amongst content creators," IBM said.