ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 16, 2004 — PBS and a consortium of leading technology suppliers today announced the development of ACE, a new multicomponent broadcast solution that will serve as the model of efficiency in broadcast operations. PBS has assembled a consortium that includes Accenture, BroadView Software Inc., Intel Corp., Microsoft Corp., Miranda Technologies Inc., Omneon Video Networks, OmniBus Systems Inc. and SES AMERICOM Inc. to enable its member stations to take advantage of standard building blocks and proven information technology (IT) methodologies to automate repetitive processes and reduce costly manual operations. Designed by PBS Technology & Operations to support the needs of public television stations nationwide, PBS’ ACE solution leverages the expertise and solutions of these eight industry leaders to construct an innovative and tightly integrated system that is expected to dramatically reduce local station costs for playout, master control and monitoring operations while simultaneously enhancing the quality of PBS program delivery and simplifying management of programming at the local level.
“PBS has always viewed the innovative use and implementation of new technologies as part of its mission to serve our member stations and the American public, and ACE builds on this history by using standard IT building blocks to optimize our broadcast operations,” said Andr Mendes, chief technology integration officer at PBS. “By integrating best-of-breed technologies from a consortium of leading suppliers, we have created a simplified broadcast model that is easy to replicate, expand and service, yet flexible enough to preserve the character of individual member stations.”
PBS’s ACE solution relies on standard components and a highly reliable and redundant network to consolidate basic operational services across all facilities while reducing redundant functions and manual processes at each member station. With a minimum infrastructure investment, participating PBS member stations benefit from easy integration and installation of proven play-to-air systems; standardized training, support and monitoring of local control operations; and a resulting readiness to make a fast transition to more efficient, fully featured digital broadcasting environment.
Key components of ACE include automated channel operations; multilevel automated systems monitoring; remote problem identification, resolution and escalation; and locally hosted scheduling, traffic and underwriting functions. The project includes a scalable, networked server infrastructure from Omneon Video Networks; network-based automation and video asset management from OmniBus Systems; video interfacing, routing, master control switching, channel branding, and visual and aural facility monitoring over Internet Protocol (IP) from Miranda Technologies; traffic, scheduling and underwriting software from BroadView Software; satellite bandwidth and communication services from SES AMERICOM; Microsoft®
.NET integration architecture and Windows Server (TM) software from Microsoft; critical server and desktop components and software-enabling services from Intel; and program management, design and integration services from Accenture.
“ACE represents a fundamental shift within the broadcast industry, a move toward the convergence of standard computing architectures and advanced communications with broadcasting requirements. This will enable significant cost reductions and greater efficiency along with improved reliability throughout broadcast operations,” said Dennis Haarsager, general manager of KWSU and KTNW. “This transition will provide PBS and participating member stations with a much stronger ability to adapt to the fast-changing broadcast landscape and integrate future technological advances into our program management and playout infrastructure.”
“PBS is among the world’s top innovators for converting to all-digital broadcast TV formats on a very tight budget, with extremely high-quality and performance requirements,” said Gerry Kaufhold, principal analyst with In-Stat/MDR, based in Scottsdale, Ariz. “It has taken coordinated teamwork by these companies, under the leadership of PBS, to bring about seamless interfacing for this reliable, flexible, scalable and cost-effective solution. No single manufacturer could supply the complete system, and the result of this effort should become a model for many other broadcasters around the globe.”
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which provides digital conversion funding for public broadcast licensees as directed by Congress, has included the ACE broadcast model in its current Digital Distribution Fund (DDF) funding round. CPB-qualified public television stations interested in taking advantage of the ACE technology may apply to this fund for a matching grant to supplement the station’s investment.
The first five participating PBS member stations will be going online in the second half of 2004, with an additional 50 to 60 deployments expected by the end of 2006. An ACE model station will be demonstrated at the 2004 PBS Technology Conference, April 13–17, and at NAB2004 in Las Vegas, April 19–22.
PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Va., is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation’s 349 public television stations. Serving nearly 90 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on non-commercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org , the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With deep industry and business process expertise, broad global resources and a proven track record, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills, and technologies to help clients improve their performance. With more than 86,000 people in 48 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$11.8 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2003. Its home page is www.accenture.com .
About BroadView Software
BroadView Software Inc. is a leading North American software developer that has specialized in broadcast information management solutions for over a decade. Its products help provide television stations with an integrated solution to meet all their needs in program acquisition, ad sales, program scheduling, traffic, master control automation interfacing and reporting. Its flexibility and history of providing customizations and enhancements for customers have made it a leader in the field. BroadView’s innovative, fully integrated approach also means substantial savings in staff time which translates directly into ongoing operational benefits, month after month. For more information, please visit www.BroadViewSoftware.com .
Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com/pressroom .
About Miranda Technologies
Miranda Technologies is a world leading manufacturer of video and audio equipment for the broadcast, production and post-production markets, with a range spanning interfacing and distribution, routing, master control switching and channel branding, multi-image display processors, and monitoring over IP systems. Headquartered in Montreal, Miranda also has major offices in Morristown (NJ, USA), Wallingford (Oxon, U.K), Paris and Tokyo. The company’s products are also represented worldwide by a network of professional distributors and dealers. Contact Neil Sharpe, VP Marketing, email [email protected], tel +34 96 646 2295/+1 514 333 1772, Web: www.miranda.com .
Omneon Video Networks is the leading provider of cost-effective and flexible networked media servers for the broadcast and video industry. The company’s proven strategy integrates a strong foundation in broadcast with the best practices of information technology — giving its customers the best of both worlds. Because Omneon Media Server Systems are based on an open and advanced architecture, broadcast and video professionals are able to minimize both upfront and ongoing expenses, while gaining the flexibility to capitalize on emerging opportunities. Omneon pioneered the use of open systems in broadcast and, as a result, receives wide support from the application developer community. Visit Omneon on the Web at www.omneon.com .
About OmniBus Systems
OmniBus Systems, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of OmniBus Systems, Ltd. OmniBus Systems provides broadcasters worldwide with comprehensive automation and asset management solutions that address every area of a television facility and deliver wide-ranging customer benefits and cost-savings across the full spectrum of operational processes. These both enhance automation — from acquisition and recording through low- and high-resolution editing, media asset management, and playout to final archiving — and facilitate development of new business initiatives.
About SES AMERICOM
With more than 25 years of experience, SES AMERICOM, Inc. is recognized as a pioneer and leading provider of global satellite communications services, currently providing capacity on 16 spacecraft capable of serving the Americas, Europe, the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean Regions, and Asia. As a member of the SES GLOBAL family, AMERICOM is able to provide end-to-end telecommunications solutions to any region in the world. SES AMERICOM’s key customers include ABC Radio Networks, AT & T Alascom, British Telecom, Deutsche Welle, Discovery, Fox, TV Guide/Gemstar, Gannett, Verestar, Merlin, NBC, The New York Times, NHK, PaxNet, PBS, TELE Greenland, TV Europa, Turner Broadcasting, and Viacom.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.
Microsoft and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
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