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RealTime IT News

Big Blue Helps Media Outlets Move Data from Video to Digital

When people think of digitally stored data, they think of important information -- personal records, finances, credit card numbers. With regards to the the enterprise side, people think of stored accounts they manage and pertinent documents to deals brokered. But digital storage can and, as was shown by the events of Sept. 11, should be used for any important data -- including media outlets.

That's what IBM Corp. took into consideration Friday when it unveiled a pack of integrated storage hardware and software solutions for broadcasters, whereby they may move from videotape production to digital computing operations.

IBM is doing it with a combination of high-end disk hardware, tape systems and supercomputing software to help old and new media organizations store, retrieve and broadcast video and audio information faster, more efficiently and less expensively than previously possible through video production.

Pat Toole, vice president of storage solutions for IBM, called storage a "pivotal piece of the digital media puzzle."

"Growing consumer and corporate demand for audio and video content has created new demands as broadcasters strive to implement digital computing environments that satisfy their data management needs," Toole said.

Toole's choice of words is interesting in itself, as the media industry has exhaustively covered the importance of having data storage and backup since numerous IT firms sustained heavy infrastructure losses last week.

With IBM's solutions, it's plausible to have broadcast content backed up on multiple computer systems for an easy feed to television or radio. True, videotape may be backed up as well, but in the event of a catastrophe it's easy to see why digitally piping stored feeds is more convenient and cost-effective than hardware backups.

Big Blue's new digital media storage solutions includes video storage, which combines advanced disk technology with supercomputing software to deliver high bandwidth and scalability to large broadcasters converting videotape systems to digital storage data centers.

IBM didn't forget about the little guys either; it designed entry-level video storage for small to mid-level broadcasters, as well as video security firms and others. In fact, Einstein.tv selected this offering to digitize, store and modify digital TV and Web content.

Also in the mix is a deal with Entertainment Tonight, which is converting more than 20 years of analog tape footage to digital tape using IBM's Linear Tape-Open TotalStorage product.

Not to leave audio out in the cold, IBM also has audio solutions optimized for audio storage, management and distribution needs of radio stations, satellite-based audio networks, etc.