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March 11, 2009

BBFC Selects Digital Rapids Ingest and Encoding Systems for Massive Digital Archive Initiative

Passfield, UK: Digital Rapids -- the leading provider of tools and solutions for bringing television, film and web content to wider audiences -- announced today that the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has selected Digital Rapids' StreamZ media ingest and encoding systems for the board's ongoing initiative to digitise and archive their tape-based library of over 200,000 programmes.

Six dual-channel StreamZ systems are in operation, digitising content from 12 industrial video tape machines under the control of a Neptune automation system from Pebble Beach Systems. The robust and versatile attributes of the StreamZ systems made them an ideal choice for this enormous task. Key considerations in the selection of StreamZ for the project were the encoders' configurability to the exacting compression parameters for the BBFC's requirements; the ability to generate MPEG-2 master and Windows Media browse versions of each video tape simultaneously in real time; optional logo overlay capability for the browse material; and the availability of a comprehensive custom development API to enable complete frame-accurate remote automation of the encoding process.

"Seamless automation from ingest and encoding through archive is essential for efficiently processing high volumes of media, and we're pleased that the BBFC has chosen our systems for such a critical project in support of their mandate," said Clive Vickery, Managing Director of Digital Rapids Europe. "The tight integration between our systems and Pebble Beach automation offers considerable advantages over typical control protocols. Combining this advanced automation with our renowned quality, robust functionality and simultaneous multi-format output capabilities, Digital Rapids solutions are clearly ideal for media initiatives of this magnitude."

The BBFC, established in 1912, is the independent body responsible for approval and certification of cinematic releases, DVDs, videos and computer games in the United Kingdom. During its lifetime the BBFC has amassed a huge archive of VHS tapes containing copies of the material it has classified. With an obligation to maintain copies of all versions of movies submitted for certification in perpetuity, it is the BBFC's duty to ensure that the contents of those video tapes can be accessed long after they are able to play them back. The new initiative will bring BBFC's archived video material into the digital domain, allowing the BBFC to meet their contractual commitments and to improve productivity.
A custom interface developed by Pebble Beach using the Digital Rapids API allows their Neptune automation to synchronise the serial control of the S-VHS machines with network-based control of the Digital Rapids encoders. The overall system has been integrated by Sun Microsystems and incorporates ingest and archive management capabilities that the BBFC have deliberately kept separate in order to allow simple future integration of new video formats and ingest methods. The scalable nature of the system ensures that additional storage or ingest capacity can be added without significant modification to the existing system.

The complete line of Digital Rapids solutions will be showcased in booth number SL6213 at the 2009 NAB Show, April 20-23 in Las Vegas.  For more information about Digital Rapids, please visit

About Digital Rapids Corporation – Digital Rapids develops market-leading hardware and software solutions for transforming and delivering media, enabling the multi-platform experiences that are defining the future of digital video. Scaling from individual applications to enterprise and global operations, Digital Rapids systems span the critical points in today's complex media workflows. Recipient of two prestigious Frost & Sullivan awards in the World Video Encoders and Transcoders market, Digital Rapids combines innovative technology with proven expertise to help our customers maximize their productivity, quality, and the value of their content in the evolving digital media market. Digital Rapids Corporation ( is headquartered in Ontario, Canada with offices in the United States, the UK, Australia, Argentina and Hong Kong.

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