Sept 10, 2004
Starz on Screen with Digital Rapids
IBC2004, Amsterdam, Stand 7.641: Five Digital Rapids StreamZ server units are now in daily use at Starz, the largest provider of premium movie services in the United States with approximately 164 million pay units. Starz offerings include the Starz Super PakR, with up to 13 digital movie channels and more than 750 movies per month, Starz On DemandR, the only on-demand pay TV subscription service available on cable, satellite, and broadband platforms, and a suite of advanced video offerings.
Starz has recently announced the immediate availability of the first premium subscription movie service - STARZ! Ticket on Real Movies, which offers major, recently released motion pictures delivered over high-speed broadband connections to PCs.
Says James Porter, Executive Director, Post Production and Broadcast Operation at Starz: “In order to make this happen, we needed a solution that provided the best encode quality for Real 10, as well as a suite of tools that would meet the needs of a traditional broadcast facility. When saw a demonstration of the Digital Rapids StreamZ we knew we had found the solution. The quality of the video encoding was the best we had seen - in fact, it is fabulous - and the features of the StreamEnterprise software, such as RS422 control with frame accurate VTR control, audio controls, video proc amp controls, and graphics overlay, were features our production facility had to have.
“At Starz, StreamZ is used for many projects: to create media files for internal approvals on projects, provide media files for video promotion and download on our Starz web sites (such as for Starz!Ticket), as well as other marketing web initiatives that require video and audio encodes.
“A bonus in having the Digital Rapids unit is that we require high quality encoding not only for Real but for Windows Media as well, and Digital Rapids gives us this.”
For Starz!Ticket, high bit rate broadband quality encodes (750K) are needed for immediate download so that subscribers can access full length feature films. In addition, the StreamZ is used to provide a live stream version of Starz East, part of Starz Premier Movie Service.
Porter continues, “We will continue to expand the use and numbers of Digital Rapids units at Starz, and we look forward to growing our partnership with them. Digital Rapids' future with us looks bright, as they help us with other projects, such as providing a traditional SD Cable VOD profile for MPEG2. We are also looking forward to using the StreamZHD product to provide high quality HD video for our subscribers”.
Starz is a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation
(NYSE: L,LMCb), www.starz.com.
About Digital Rapids Corporation – Digital Rapids is a leading developer of professional hardware and software solutions for real-time video ingest, playout, transcoding, and streaming. Product lines include Stream video ingest and transcoding solutions, Copper for the secure and error corrected distribution of digital media over diverse networks, StreamZHD and CarbonHD, an HD product line for real-time HD acquisition, playout, and transcoding. Digital Rapids products integrate seamlessly into existing post production, broadcast, and corporate environments, dramatically increasing the volume and quality of media produced while increasing productivity and lowering overall costs. Digital Rapids Corporation (www.digital-rapids.com) is headquartered in Ontario, Canada and has sales offices in California, the UK and Australia.