SGI Altix XE Servers Transcode Video Streams 2X Faster and SGI InfiniteStorage Provides a Reliable Way to Archive. SUNNYVALE, Calif. and SYDNEY, Australia, April 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- To meet anticipated bandwidth demands for two new 24/7 television channels, Premier Media Group, operators of FOX SPORTS Australia, selected technology from SGI (Nasdaq: SGIC) to support its growth in digital program outputs. SGI(R) InfiniteStorage systems and SGI(R) Altix(R) XE ingest and transmission servers are the backbone of Premier Media Group's complete digital infrastructure for end-to-end D10/MXF operation. Installed in early 2004, the original SGI solution was purchased to overcome the workflow restrictions of tape-based ingest. Due to SGI's highly scalable architecture, Premier Media Group has been consistently -- and easily -- adding to their infrastructure to support live ingest and broadcast, SAN, archive and library management needs, as their growth demands.
SGI Altix XE Servers Transcode Video Streams 2X Faster and SGI InfiniteStorage Provides a Reliable Way to Archive.
SUNNYVALE, Calif. and SYDNEY, Australia, April 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — To meet anticipated bandwidth demands for two new 24/7 television channels, Premier Media Group, operators of FOX SPORTS Australia, selected technology from SGI (Nasdaq: SGIC) to support its growth in digital program outputs. SGI(R) InfiniteStorage systems and SGI(R) Altix(R) XE ingest and transmission servers are the backbone of Premier Media Group's complete digital infrastructure for end-to-end D10/MXF operation. Installed in early 2004, the original SGI solution was purchased to overcome the workflow restrictions of tape-based ingest. Due to SGI's highly scalable architecture, Premier Media Group has been consistently — and easily — adding to their infrastructure to support live ingest and broadcast, SAN, archive and library management needs, as their growth demands.
With four highly popular 24/7 existing channels — FOX SPORTS 1, FOX SPORTS 2, FUEL TV and HOW TO — as well as interactive services, Premier Media Group launched two more: FOX SPORTS 3 and FOX SPORTS NEWS. The new channels will add more international sports and sports news. In preparation for the launch, the company expanded its SGI(R) InfiniteStorage Shared Filesystem CXFS(TM) based Storage Area Network (SAN) with 4Gb Fibre Channel fabric, and an SGI(R) InfiniteStorage TP9700 system. The SGI SAN, with the Ardendo suite of ingest and asset management software tools for content management, now totals upwards of 33TB.
The company then looked at handling the bandwidth demands of two new channels. Premier Media Group considered other server clusters, but early last Fall decided on 18 SGI(R) Altix(R) XE servers, when its own tests showed that the SGI servers running Dual Core Intel(R) Xeon(R) processors transcoded 2X faster than other systems under consideration with the same Intel Dual Core Xeon processors.
"We chose SGI XE clusters because SGI was one of the first to come out with the new dual-core machines, and SGI works well with Linux, which is important because Ardendo runs on Linux," said Michael Day, Chief Engineer, Premier Media Group, Australia. "The Altix XE systems transcode twice as fast as any others we tested. Because of the extra load of the new channels, we've got lots more FTPs coming and going, lots more storage, and lots more library. With Ardendo's ability to manage the increased amount of material, we just had to beef up the bandwidth in every way possible. We upgraded the SGI SAN first and then threw the new Altix XE systems on the back of that, because we knew it would be able to support it. SGI has been supporting us very well, so we were quite keen to get all our archive, our SAN, and our archive management system all on the same reliable platform."
Based in Sydney, New South Wales, and employing approximately 300 people on its premises, Premier Media Group currently accesses 25-30 remote feeds to generate upwards of 17 hours of live sports daily while shooting, editing and airing a huge variety of sports-related programming. Premier Media Group originally selected SGI due to its comprehensive approach to meeting all requirements for broadcast applications, and essential to its decision, the SGI CXFS shared filesystem, which enables FOX SPORTS Australia to expand seamlessly for its planned future growth. SGI Australia Professional Services is the prime contractor for the digital archive solution, integrating key SGI components with the Ardendo applications, a Sony(R) PetaSite(R) archive (which has now almost doubled in size to more than 530TB), interfaces to 10 nonlinear editing systems (NLEs), the existing traffic system and TV automation.
"It's been a real evolution, going from tape to digital, and from two channels to four and now to six channels, 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said Day, who has overseen the process from day one. "The SGI SAN and the whole system has become a real powerhouse by just adding components to it."
"The SGI scalable architecture consistently delivers a robust flow of easily accessible digital information ranging from television broadcast ingest, archive, edit and transmission to any data in any endeavor — all of which can be processed in the wink of an eye," said Louise Ledeen, market segment manager, Digital Content Management and Media, SGI.
"In a nutshell, the essence of the SGI InfiniteStorage SAN is the ability to incrementally add components to it," added Ledeen. "Premier Media Group originally selected SGI for our robust infinitely expandable infrastructure and comprehensive end-to-end solution. SGI's scalability has proven itself many times over in FOX SPORTS Australia's day-to-day production. Far-sighted broadcasters around the globe rely on SGI solutions, not only for archiving, but for their entire broadcast workflow, from ingest to production and editing to playout."
About Premier Media Group
Premier Media Group is the operator of FOX SPORTS 1, FOX SPORTS 2, FOX SPORTS 3, FOX SPORTS NEWS, FUEL TV and HOW TO channels and is a leader in sports television, offering the most relevant, comprehensive, live and exclusive coverage of sport on Australian television. Premier Media Group's sports programming is shown on its three main sports channels and features an average of 20 hours daily of live sports. Every day FOX SPORTS brings Australia more of its favorite sport including AFL, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Soccer, Cricket, Tennis, Golf, Basketball, Baseball, Athletics, Swimming, Motor Sports and more. Local productions include NRL on FOX, Inside Rugby, Inside Cricket and The Golf Show. More information can be found on the Web at http://www.foxsports.com.au .
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SGI (Nasdaq: SGIC) is a leader in high-performance computing. SGI delivers a complete range of high-performance server and storage solutions along with industry-leading professional services and support that enable its customers to overcome the challenges of complex data-intensive workflows and accelerate breakthrough discoveries, innovation and information transformation. SGI solutions help customers solve their computing challenges whether it's enhancing the quality of life through drug research, designing and manufacturing safer and more efficient cars and airplanes, studying global climate, providing technologies for homeland security and defense, or helping enterprises manage large data. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and can be found on the Web at http://www.sgi.com .
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