SGI Powers Nets Election Graphics

All the major news networks relied on SGI's computing power to drive real-time graphics during Election 2000 coverage on Nov. 7. The most prolific user was NBC, along with its cable networks MSNBC and CNBC, which relied on nine SGI Onyx2 servers with Discreet's Frost graphics software and on 40 SGI 230 visual workstations, which were used to take in poll data and send it to the Onyx2 servers.

CBS used five Onyx2 systems and O2 visual workstations, both with Vi[z]rt's Viz software, to play back and preview graphics and an Origin 2000 server to run the database that pulled information from Voter News Service and sent it to the Onyx2 servers. And ABC, CNN and Fox News Channel all used multiple Onyx2 systems with Discreet's Frost software for their real-time graphics.

VNI Getting Newfunding, Name

Video-distribution firm Video Networks Inc. (VNI), which delivers news segments for NBC Newschannel and cable spots for Charter Communications and AT&T, closed a $66 million equity round last week and announced that it is changing its name to Pathfire.

The new funding was led by a $20 million investment by media and communications specialists Quadrangle Group. Other new investors include Enron Broadband Services, Halpern Denny & Co., PanAmSat, Reuters, Riggs Capital Partners and Sand Hill Capital. Previous investors who participated in this funding round include Alliance Technology Ventures, AT&T Ventures, Bank of America Capital Investors, Institutional Venture Partners, Kinetic Ventures, Monarch Capital Partners, Noro-Mosely Partners, UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund and U.S. Venture Partners.

Robertson Stephens served as the agent for the financing, which will help VNI place more of its receive servers at broadcast stations for the delivery of ads and syndicated content, says VNI president and CEO Michael Eckert. VNI is also targeting the video-on-demand and streaming markets.

Eckert says Pathfire typifies what VNI does well: "We fill the bandwidth with content and fire it up."