IBM, Sony Provide Digital Archiving for CNN

A digital asset management collaboration between IBM and Sony Electronics is
expected to enable Turner Broadcasting’s CNN to digitally manage 120,000
hours of archival material, gathered during the past 21 years of the media
giant’s existence.


The five-to-seven-year, $20-million project will put CNN’s analog
videotape archive online in a virtual file cabinet for journalists and media
players to pull from.


CNN also expects to enjoy reduced operating costs and an additional revenue
stream by leveraging its digital assets
across various platforms.


Gordon Castle, CNN’s senior vice president of strategic digital systems
research and development, warned that the company’s failure to go digital
would cause CNN to face “an ongoing tape dubbing process.”


Perhaps the greatest benefit — besides the pleasure of less tedium in its
video production — is that as the system comes online CNN users will have
access to digital video, audio, graphics and text files via desktops.


CNN said clips would be viewable on desktops in a low-resolution format and
would be available for use or purchase.


Previously, the process would have required a production assistant scouring
analog tapes and then shipping the video from headquarters.


Dick Anderson, general manager at IBM global media and entertainment
industry said IBM and Sony have delivered a system that allows producers to
quickly tap into CNN’s huge archive, and retrieve either high or
low-resolution output.

IBM and Sony devoted two-years of study and engineering to create the
digital management system, with IBM providing all the database, media
management applications, and middleware software to be used to extend
digital content across the CNN network. The software includes end-to-end
media asset management production support system with ingest,
catalog, managed storage, search, browse, cuts-only EDL generation and
fulfillment of digital video content.


The IBM infrastructure of products include consulting and system integration
services, and specific hardware and
software such as: IBM Content Manager, DB2 Universal Database, MQSeries
workflow software, IBM WebSphere infrastructure software, and IBM servers —
RS/6000, RS/6000 SP and IBM Netfinity.


Other third party products include Virage’s VideoLogger and Minerva’s
VNP-251 CODEC with GPI.


Not to be outdone, Sony is providing technology which captures multiple
resolutions of video and metadata in a single pass process that the company
said reduces the cost of creating digital assets.


The Sony MAV broadcast video servers coupled with the Sony networked storage
manager Petaserve will
supply CNN with video storage management. Additionally Sony will provide a
digital data tape unit that will store the video and metadata in a
compressed digital form that will protect it from wear and aging.


The Sony DTF drive is supported by the UNIX and Windows NT platforms.


CNN is a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., an AOL Time Warner
company. The company’s reach extends to 15 cable and satellite television
networks and 15 Web sites, among other properties.


In related news Sony announced a joint venture with tech consulting firm
Accenture, today, that creates a separate, jointly controlled firm, Concadia
Solutions LLC. The new unit will supply video equipment and technology
consultancy to media clients.

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