Astra Deploys Broadcast MediaCluster Digital Video Server / First Transmission of Theater Quality AC-3 Audio
International announced that ASTRA, Europe's leading direct-to- home satellite system, has deployed the SeaChange Broadcast MediaCluster video server system to streamline operations. ASTRA is using the advanced video server system to store and manage two continent-wide promotional channels called ASTRA-Vision, featuring 7 languages and the first-ever delivery of Dolby Digital AC-3 audio. Serving 77 million TV households in Europe, ASTRA is the leading European satellite system. It selected the Broadcast MediaCluster (BMC) for its advanced networking capabilities and critical fault-resiliency in support of its highly automated operation. "SeaChange's video server system truly capitalizes on digital technology's advantages and that is why it is the most appropriate system for ASTRA," said Steve Lachard, Earth Station Engineer, ASTRA. "The Broadcast MediaCluster provides the powerful combination of automation, network connectivity and reliability, together with high-quality MPEG-2 digital video and audio." ASTRA's four-node Broadcast MediaCluster delivers 10 channels of MPEG-2 video at data rates up to 24Mb/sec., and is capable of storing over a terabyte of video, equal to almost 100 hours. ASTRA's BMC system is integrated with a number of production systems, including vision and audio mixers, character generators and others, with automation provided by Omnibus Systems. MediaCluster Technology The MPEG-2 4:2:2 Broadcast MediaCluster supports multichannel play-to-air applications including program origination, commercial insertion and time shift/delay. The system employs SeaChange's patented RAID2 ('raid squared') technology which performs RAID-5 striping on the disk drives on each node (computer) and also across all the nodes in the cluster. Only one copy of any video file is required, thereby dramatically reducing storage requirements and also providing fault resilience. Nodes are available with 9GB, 18GB or 36GB disk drives. Expansion increases capacity to hundreds of hours of storage and 20 I/Os. The Broadcast MediaCluster will include full support for reliable storage and delivery of MPEG-based DVB or ATSC Transport Streams in the fourth quarter of 1999. About ASTRA Societe Europeenne des Satellites S.A. (SES) is the operator of ASTRA, Europe's leading direct-to-home Satellite System. ASTRA currently transmits on 152 transponders (120 at 19.2 degrees East and 32 at 28.2 degrees East) in analogue and digital more than 700 different television and radio channels as well as multimedia and Internet services to an audience of 77 million homes in Europe. The company to date operates nine active satellites (ASTRA 1A - 1H at 19.2 degrees East; ASTRA 2A at 28.2 degrees East). ASTRA 2B and ASTRA 1K are currently under construction with Matra Marconi Space and Alcatel Space respectively and are due for launch in 1999 and 2001. ASTRA 2C and ASTRA 2D, under final negotiations with Hughes Space and Communications, will be the 12th and 13th spacecraft in the ASTRA fleet. SES is also a major shareholder in ASIASAT (34.13% since January 15th, 1999), the prime Asian satellite operator providing broadcast and telecommunications services to 53 countries in the Asian/Pacific region. The combined footprints of ASTRA and ASIASAT cover three quarters of the world's population. SES is listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange under the form of Fiduciary Depositary Receipts (symbol: SES) and on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (symbol: SDSL). SeaChange in Europe Lines Broadcast Systems, headquartered in Belgium, has been SeaChange's instrumental partner in ASTRA's system implementation. Lines is focused on the broadcast television industry providing system integration and engineering. Lines supports SeaChange directly in Belgium, Luxembourg, and has recently been selected to represent the company in the Netherlands also. Further information on Lines Broadcast Systems can be obtained via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or via its website at: http://www.linesbroadcast.be. SeaChange's EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) sales operation, headquartered in Genoa, Italy, is managed by Marcello Dellepiane (Tel. +39 010 5530177; Fax +39 0 10 5459778). The company's EMEA customer service and support facility is located in Valbonne, France. Serving approximately 23,000 television channels for broadcast and cable television companies worldwide, SeaChange International, Inc. (http://www.schange.com) is the leading provider of MPEG-2 digital video systems. SeaChange's products, incorporating the Company's patented software and hardware technologies, automate the management and distribution of video streams including advertisements, movies, news updates and other broadcast- quality video programming requiring precise execution. Founded in 1993, SeaChange is headquartered in Maynard, Massachusetts. MediaCluster is a registered trademark of SeaChange International, Inc. All other trademarks are properties of their respective companies. All rights reserved. ots Original Text Service: SeaChange International, Inc. Internet: http://www.newsaktuell.de Contact: John Coulbourn of SeaChange International Tel.: (USA) 978-897-0100 x3098 e-mail: email@example.com Web site: http://www.schange.com
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