Ascent Media, BT Partner in Global Effort

Santa Monica, Calif.-based Ascent Media Group and British Telecommunications (BT) have entered into an agreement to create a global broadcast switching platform providing continuous connectivity between the world’s two largest video switch communities.

“By joining forces with BT's Media and Broadcast team, we are establishing an expanded global network that lays the groundwork for connectivity and capabilities that uniquely enable television broadcasters to operate more efficiently and cost-effectively worldwide while exporting their content to global destinations and distribution platforms,” said Tom Kuehle, Ascent Media Group’s executive vice president of Strategic Solutions. “BT is a natural partner for Ascent Media Group and we believe there is tremendous potential for the networks.”

The enhanced connectivity is designed to provide broadcast and cable networks, sports operations, news agencies, and others with the ability to move content between the video switch points in New York and London, as well as to provide full access to all television facilities and origination venues within those cities.

The operation is called the International Switched Video Services, and uses dedicated ports on Ascent Media’s Waterfront switch and on BT’s Tower switching facility. It provides a dedicated JPEG 2000 transport stream operating at 50 Mbps. Two-channel audio is sent along at 7 Mbps. The service includes booking support to allow customers to easily schedule switches from New York and London.