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Cutting Edge

Satellite on Demand

SES Global launched Satmode, a system designed to support applications like interactive TV over satellite. According to Executive VP of Corporate Development Rob Bednarek, the two-way satellite channel platform will be available next year. It removes the lack of a return path as an obstacle to voting, chatting, commerce, and VOD via satellite. "This is good news for the consumer, the advertiser, and the content creator," says Bednarek. Satmode will be compatible with new and current basic DVR-powered satellite-TV set-top boxes.

Universal Appeal

To meet the ever-broadening needs of broadcasters, Accom rolled out the WSD/HDe universal-format multi-definition digital disk recorder at NAB. It records both standard- and high-definition uncompressed video content and provides real-time playback. Recording capacity is 2.5 hours at 1080/24 frames per second. It also has backup protection in the form of RAID-3 disks for video and redundant mirrored disks for audio. The system can import and export in all major formats and has built-in Windows Media 9 encoder capability for creation of DVD content or streaming to the Web.

EVS Adds Velocity

Users of EVS' LSM-XT live slow-motion system will now be able to edit such material using Leitch's VelocityQ multi-stream nonlinear editor. The VelocityQ is incorporated into the EVS SportNet real-time network. Through it, the XT servers exchange content using the EVSXFile archive unit as a gateway. Selected clips can be exported to VelocityQ for real-time, multi-layer editing, effects, and finishing. Finished projects are transferred back to the LSM-XT system for playout or output directly to broadcast or tape.

On the Ascent

Ascent Media rolled out studio digital-asset-management (DAM) services and Ascent Media Tracker at NAB. The company says the DAM system enables storage of big amounts of data in a scalable and flexible way. That means digital content can be easily managed and repurposed. Media Tracker works in conjunction with DAM systems to organize, store, and track assets.

Vyvx Plays Ball

Cox Communications is using the Vyvx HD VenueNet service to transmit HD baseball feeds back to its HD facility. The system allows transport of up to 270 Mbps of content, more than three times the bandwidth available via satellite. 14 sports venues are now part of HD VenueNet.

SGI Sells Alias

Silicon Graphics sold its Alias graphics business to Accell-KKR, a technology private-equity investment firm, for $57.5 million in cash, subject to closing adjustments (SGI expects about $50 million in net proceeds). SGI Chairman and CEO Bob Bishop says the move allows the company to focus on its core Linux-based, high-performance computer systems. Because Alias operated as an independent business, SGI doesn't expect its customer relationships or strategic direction to be altered significantly.

Flipping for WM9

Telestream's FlipFactory system, which allows automatic transcoding of video and audio content from one format to another, can now handle the Windows Media 9 format. Version 3.1 software also supports encoding and decoding in the MXF file-interchange format when working with Sony's eVTR and MAV2000 video server. New MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 codecs from MainConcept will also be included to enable future HD extensions and other versions of MPEG.

New Star for Harris

Broadcasters that want surround-sound processing for stereo spots and interstitials during surround-sound telecasts have a new option: Harris NeuStar DTV codec audio processor. It delivers 5.1 surround sound over a 2.0 stereo backbone in as little as 48 kbps.