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August 10, 2007

Ascent Media UK chooses Digital Rapids Transcode Manager for High-Performance, Multi-Format Transcoding

Passfield, UK: Digital Rapids dealer ERA has completed an order from Ascent Media Group Ltd ( to install the Digital Rapids Transcode Manager distributed, high-volume media transcoding software at Ascent Media’s Wardour Street facility in London. Transcode Manager will power Ascent’s transcoding of material from 1080/50i and 625/50i source formats into multiple MPEG-2 and Windows Media 9 video files in various bit rates and sizes. The system is going live this month.

According to Chris Watson, Technical Manager at Ascent Media, "Digital Rapids Transcode Manager is a cost-effective way to automate the generation of various file formats, and Digital Rapids provides us with a first-rate development and software support team. Transcode Manager provides all the functionality that we've become accustomed to with our Digital Rapids StreamZ hardware, and will provide our transcoding operations with flexibility, increased throughput and the ability to scale rapidly as our volumes increase."

Digital Rapids Transcode Manager is integrated into Ascent Media's IP network-based digital media workflow. Transcode Engines are found automatically on the network using discovery protocols and can be assigned into groups, each monitoring specified watch folders (hot folders). Project files define transcode settings, video pre-processing functions (including inverse telecine, graphic overlay, color space conversion, scaling and more) and delivery options and priorities assigned to each job type. When files are dropped into a watch folder, tasks for each project file assigned to that folder are queued by Transcode Manager for intelligent distribution to available transcoders.

Transcode Manager provides Ascent Media with intelligent job assignment, predicting which node can most efficiently process a given job. The Transcode Manager server tracks the performance of all Transcode Engines for each type of encode, "learning" which systems are best for each and allocating jobs accordingly to optimize utilisation and throughput.

Ascent Media currently also use Digital Rapids' StreamZ and StreamZHD encoders for a number of encoding applications ranging from low bit-rate proxy files up to D-Cinema in 1080 HD MPEG-2.  StreamZHD is also used for large encoding projects such as Video on Demand (VOD) for major cable providers, back catalogue content for publication and PAL DV of film rolls for sound studios across Europe. Material that is urgently required in the U.S. can be encoded and sent within a short turn around time.

About Ascent Media – Ascent Media Group Limited provides effective solutions for the creation, management and distribution of content to major motion picture studios, independent producers, broadcast networks, cable channels, advertising agencies and other companies that produce, own and/or distribute entertainment, news, sports, corporate, educational, industrial and advertising content, through Ascent Media Creative Services


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