Partner/Licensee News: SeaChange Delivers New HD-Ready MediaClient/MediaLibrary Platform

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands (Sept. 7, 2006 ) – via BUSINESS WIRE – SeaChange International’s widely deployed MediaClient/MediaLibrary platform is evolving further in support of rising High Definition (HD) television demands. At IBC 2006, the Company will unveil new software MediaClient codecs that solve broadcasters’ High Definition challenges today and establish an HD-ready infrastructure for an economical migration path from Standard Definition.

SeaChange’s new MediaClient software codecs harness the power of Intel’s latest high-performance server technology to drive bitrates up to 80Mbp/s with MPEG2 4:2:2 Long GOP, bringing significant quality and storage savings for HD play-to-air. Consuming 70% less bandwidth than typically required by competitive solutions that use Intra-frame coding, broadcasters will realize the highest picture quality achievable today.

With MediaClient’s HD-ready capabilities, SD broadcasters using the SeaChange MediaClient/MediaLibrary platform can turn on HD playout virtually anytime. It allows SD and HD simulcast from a single media asset, drastically minimizing storage requirements and providing optimal versatility for the transition to HD broadcasting.

MediaClient’s 80Mbp/s Long GOP benefits are delivered by SeaChange’s Broadcast MediaLibrary BML6000ex and the new BML24000ex, which will be demonstrated at IBC. These transmission storage systems suit the entire range of broadcast operations today, from the entry-level BML6000ex that can be scaled to meet mid-market demands, through the BML24000ex for extremely demanding multichannel environments and complex tapeless workflows.

“The availability of these HD-ready products marks an important new phase in the evolution of our scalable, open and modular MediaClient/MediaLibrary platform by bridging the gap that has separated SD and HD infrastructures,” said Stephane Jauroyou, SeaChange’s director of marketing, Broadcast. “Until now, many broadcasters have only hoped for some means to achieve a smooth transition to HD instead of enduring a disruptive or expensive migration. The BML6000ex and BML24000ex create an entirely new category of HD-ready products that define a clear path forward from current operations to future opportunities.”

In addition to increased bitrates and higher video quality, the new MediaClient software codecs enhance the already significant cost advantages of SeaChange Broadcast products over competitors’ traditional hardware based codecs. MediaClient codecs support 16 channels of uncompressed audio, Dolby E and AC3, close caption EIA-708/608 demodulation and playback, as well as VANC/HANC preservation.

Workflow optimization and interoperability powered by Intel

Intel’s new server platform, the Intel Server System SR1550AL, lies at the heart of the new BML6000ex and HD-ready MediaClient – respectively 2RU and 1U servers designed for high-density configurations. Each platform offers two Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors, hot swappable and redundant power supplies, and an integrated RAID5 option supporting either SAS or SATA drives for outstanding performance, dependability and manageability.

BMLs provide centralized online access to any video/audio file on any device, helping to streamline operations from capture to on-air. I/O bandwidth is guaranteed via specialized IP accelerator Gigabit Ethernet ports. The BML 6000ex and BML24000ex scale by adding nodes for incremental increases in bandwidth and storage. Together, these products satisfy real-time broadcast play-to-air requirements for HD and SD in any operation, and seamlessly connect to best-of-breed production systems for content exchange. Based on SeaChange’s patented MediaCluster ‘single-copy’ technology, BMLs provide fault-resilience without mirroring, an exclusive advantage in reliability and economy.

Broad support for any media format

MediaClient supports MPEG-2 long GOP format in SD and HD, as well as frame-based formats such as IMX, DVCPro and DVCam. It also handles MXF and Quicktime. Any format will play back-to-back frame-accurately from the same decoder output. Completed material from production servers no longer needs to be transcoded or dubbed back to tape for ingest before playout from transmission servers, reducing operator intervention and significantly diminishing time from production to on-air. Further, broadcasters can use native acquisition and production formats on their SeaChange play-to-air solutions since the versatile MediaClient also supports native XDCAM HD, HDV 1080 & 720 back-to-back on a single codec.

“The superiority of MediaClient’s software-based encoding and decoding compared to hardware-based schemes is clear with this new series of products powered by the latest Intel server technology. This open platform uses IT standards, including Common Internet File Standard, for an economical, modular approach that meets the accelerating demand for High Definition broadcast,” said Jauroyou.

Availability

The BML6000ex, the BML24000ex and HD Ready MediaClients will be available this quarter.

About SeaChange

SeaChange International provides digital video systems that are changing television. Its powerful server and software systems enable television operators to provide new on-demand services and to gain greater efficiencies in advertising and content delivery. With its Emmy-winning MediaCluster technology, thousands of SeaChange systems are helping broadband, broadcast and satellite television companies to streamline operations, expand services and increase revenues. SeaChange is headquartered in Acton, Massachusetts and has product development, support and sales offices throughout the world. Visit www.schange.com.

MediaCluster is a registered trademark of SeaChange International, Inc. SeaChange MediaClient and SeaChange MediaLibrary are trademarks of SeaChange International, Inc.