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Omneon Heads HBO Asia Upgrade

Storage systems and digital media management solutions provider Omneon Inc. and desktop content workflow management developer Pharos have been chosen to upgrade the infrastructure at HBO Asia’s Singapore facility. Once complete, the premium movie channel’s data will progress along a fully file-based workflow, the announcement stated.

With a consumer base of 31 million subscribers divided among 22 countries, programming efficiency is a must. HBO Asia’s blend of Omneon ProXchange transcoding and MediaGrid active storage coupled with Pharos Playtime automation and Mediator content management is expected to deliver.

“We have a good working relationship with Omneon and have confidence in the reliability of the company’s Spectrum media server system,” said Vincent Teo, HBO Asia senior vice president of technology and operations. “By adding MediaGrid active storage and deploying advanced media management and automation from Pharos, we have a solution that delivers an efficient workflow and meets our requirements for cost-effective easy expansion to support the growth of our Asian operations.”

Technical upgrade specifications include a 60TB Omneon MediaGrid as an active, centralized storage platform, delivery for 12 SD channels through Pharos’ Mediator and Playtime management tools and transcoding from ProXchange for content repurposing. HBO Asia reports the system will be operational by the last quarter of 2008.

“HBO Asia needed a more efficient workflow to ingest and manage content for its new sophisticated 3-D presentation style and an automation solution to better manage complex secondary events, subtitles, multiple languages, and local ad breaks,” said Pharos’ director of marketing, Russell Grute. “Mediator content management and Playtime automation in combination with Omneon storage provides a complete, tested package able to handle the demands of such a large-scale operation.”

Pharos Mediator’s duties will consist of managing transfers among the Omneon storage subsystems, integrating the current data tape library to ensure end-to-end content lifecycle management, streamlining HBO’s workflow while providing logistics for ingest, library and traffic operations and supporting future processes such as compliance editing, approvals, screening and managing future VoD and HD services.

Including its MediaGrid purchase, HBO Asia has boosted its current Spectrum server with additional system bandwidth and six added playback channels to be utilized as squeeze channels.

“As a leader in home entertainment, HBO Asia understands the importance of delivering timely, high-quality programming to viewers,” said Geoff Stedman, senior vice president of products and markets at Omneon. “A streamlined file-based workflow will help HBO achieve its goals of greater efficiency with easy expansion capability.”