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Ascent Media invests in new Media Centre

20 September 2007

Ascent Media has unveiled plans for a new state-of-the-art Media Centre to be built in its central London facility. The Media Centre will provide ingest, transcode, archive, and delivery services as well as directly supporting Ascent Media’s already established European Transmission Centre (ETC).

The ETC opened earlier this year and provides outsourced file-based transmission services to the company’s broadcast clients. Along with the Media Centre, which is due to open by the end of this year, it represents a significant investment in new hardware and systems for the company. The new facility will support and enhance the playout functions of the 32 channel capacity ETC and fulfils a commitment by the company to invest in the scaled development of future-proofed ingest and output facilities for clients looking for a turnkey broadcast solution.

The build of the Media Centre will see the installation of live presentation suites to enable the ETC to host live event programmes such as reality TV, news and sport, and to add live commentary and graphics, thus boosting functionality of the ETC. The centre will also act as the London hub for signal switching, global connectivity and satellite downlink. The new facility will integrate ingest, storage and archiving, to make content more easily accessible to playout and repurposing for new media such as VoD, mobile and IPTV.

In addition the Media Centre will be the European hub for Ascent Media’s Viia service, the company’s new suite of digital technologies and resources, which provide a scalable end-to-end asset management and delivery solution for major studios, broadcasters and the like. As with the ETC facility, Ascent Media’s Systems & Technology Services (S&TS) group is collaborating on the design and build of the Media Centre to ensure it meets the requirements of existing broadcast playout clients as well as content owners from other entertainment sectors. The facility will be managed and operated by Ascent Media’s Content Management team.

Roger Henderson, MD & senior VP content distribution, Ascent Media commented: “The new Media Centre is represents continued investment in advanced solutions for our clients and builds an even stronger foundation for our move into the truly tapeless future. This facility will enable us to deliver an even wider range and greater scale of services for ingest, transcoding and archive broadcast media than we are currently able to support. In addition to this we are able to further expand our service offering to our customers with the addition of live presentation capabilities in support of our ETC operations, and our new suite of digital archive and distribution technologies which will allow us to operate on a global scale.”

A key requirement for the new Media Centre is a robust digital storage solution. The facility’s infrastructure is designed to be fully HD compatible and will be equipped with a 512 x 512 wideband router, capable of handling SD, ASI and HD in the new ingest stations to support the current commercial requirements of the ETC for both long form programme and short form commercials media ingests. The Media Centre will have full satellite downlinking integration and connectivity to other Ascent Media sites in New York, Los Angeles and Singapore.

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