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With its division for sale, BBC Technology heads to NAB

Colledia Control's 4.5 releases introduces four key advancements: intelligent configuration management, an alarms and monitoring logic system, full enterprise-wide scalability and new UI components

While announcing its “short list” of bidders for the assets of its division, BBC Technology executives said their products continue to be advanced and customers, like ESPN and the BBC, are moving ahead on schedule with significant installations. Despite the impending sale, the company will exhibit at the NAB convention in April with a full range of enhanced products.

The contract for BBC Technology is highly attractive because it includes a $3.6 billion service contract with the BBC. The BBC predicts it will save at least $36.4 million if its technology services are outsourced. The sale is subject to the approval of the U.K. Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Among the finalists to buy BBC Technology are CSC, Fujitsu, EDS, Capita, Accenture, IBM, Logica and Hewlett Packard.

“Product development and customer services have not been affected at all by the sale negotiations,” said Craig Dwyer, chief marketing officer for BBC Technology. “We continue to innovate at places like the BBC, in London and ESPN, in Conn., working with equipment partners like Quantel to implement workflow strategies that makes sense, both today and for the future.”

At NAB (booth #SU8469), BBC Technology will demonstrate an enhanced version of its Colledia Control monitoring and control software that enables a single operator to remotely manage broadcast equipment. Release 4.5 introduces four key advancements: intelligent configuration management, an alarms and monitoring logic system, full enterprise-wide scalability and new UI components.

Over the past year at ESPN’s new digital HD facility in Bristol, Conn., BBC Technology has developed and implemented the Colledia platform for its 24/7 sports production that allows: the manual and automated ingestion of feeds and videotape assets; the screening and logging of context on-the-fly; the searching, browsing and viewing of content elements; desktop editing; media movement from the main media store to playout servers in, or shared between, each of 28 control rooms; and the movement and management of media between the main media store and a robotic digital archive.

Kevin Ivey, project director at BBC Technology, will present a paper at NAB2004 about how ESPN can now more easily ingest, search, view, edit and present media, and how the new applications will replace a number of legacy production systems, and be deployed in ESPN’s Digital Center. His presentation will take place at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 17, in the Las Vegas Convention Center, room N110.

In related news, BBC Technology has launched a new Internet and Media Communications services division for the U.S. market. The Internet and Media Communications division will help broadcast organizations transmit stories from Europe back to the U.S.

Through the new service, U.S. broadcasters now have access to European audiences via multiple channels including: content acquisition, packaging and management; digital rights management (DRM) capabilities; and network distribution. The services are available on BBC Technology’s scalable and reliable media platform based in the U.K. The infrastructure manages 1.3 billion page impressions each month for BBCi, and has streamed 70 terabytes of rich media content in one month alone.

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