Anystream brings Agility to Avid DNxHD files

Anystream has introduced Agility Play-to-Air for Avid DNxHD, a grid-scalable, file-based system that converts Avid DNxHD content to Grass Valley, Omneon, and Pinnacle MPEG2 High Definition formats.

Agility Play-to-Air for Avid DNxHD dramatically accelerates the transfer of finished Avid DNxHD content to playout servers and enables programmers to spend more time on content development. At IBC2006, Anystream will demonstrate a 6 blade server configuration that moves content twice as fast as current real-time, hardware-based streaming transfers.

The Avid DNxHD codec, which is gaining rapid acceptance in high-definition (HD) television production workflows, delivers HD files with the image quality of 8-and 10-bit uncompressed HD media, but at the bandwidth of standard-definition files. Most broadcasters rely upon play-to-air servers based on MPEG2 formats and, in turn, rely upon hardware-based real-time streaming workflows to transfer finished Avid DNxHD files into those servers. Typically, such workflows require a minute or more of streaming for every minute of content produced.
Until now, replacing the real-time streaming workflow with file-based software converters has been impractical due to the computationally-intensive nature of the transcoding task. Agility Play-to-Air for Avid DNxHD organizes multiple computers into a grid processor to radically improve the speed at which content can be readied for playout. This breakthrough enables broadcasters to implement fast, convenient tapeless workflows for High Definition television production. Instead of spending a minute of streaming for each minute of content, broadcasters can exploit the grid-scalable nature of the Agility Play-to-Air for Avid DNxHD solution and tailor the size of the grid processor to achieve the necessary throughput rates needed to support production. In a fast-paced news or sports production environment, where every minute counts, Agility Play-to-Air for Avid DNxHD enables those minutes to be better invested in developing or improving content.

“Agility Play-to-Air for Avid DNxHD enables broadcasters to accelerate the conversion of programs from production to broadcast-ready formats,” said Bill Thompson, director, broadband media products at Anystream. “As a result broadcasters get more of their time back; time that can then be spent creating higher quality programs or pursuing new opportunities.”

“As demonstrated at the 2006 World Cup Tournament, Avid DNxHD is the industry’s premier and most practical format for HD production,” said Jim Frantzreb, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Avid Broadcast and Workgroups. “Anystream’s grid-scalable, tapeless Agility Play-to-Air for Avid DNxHD gives Avid customers even more time to improve the production quality of time-critical HD content and still make on-air deadlines.”

Anystream Agility is an end-to-end platform for automated media production, from ingest and transformation, to programmatic editing, transcoding, and packaging for digital distribution. Agility combines a modular architecture that scales to achieve unparalleled output capacity, a robust Web Services API that facilitates seamless integration with enterprise systems, and a proven fault tolerant redundant design for demanding 24/7 media operations. With more than 500 installations, including over 100 high-capacity enterprise-grade multi-node systems, the Anystream Agility solution automates more media production tasks for the top media companies than any other digital media production and publishing solution.

Agility Play-to-Air for Avid DNxHD will be available in October 2006.