Fastest Cable Network Addresses Need for Speed with DataDirect Networks xStreamScaler File Storage Solution

SPEED Channel Implements DDN System and On-air in Matter of Weeks

NAB SHOW, LAS VEGAS — April 20, 2009 — DataDirect Networks, Inc. (DDN) the data infrastructure provider for the most extreme, content-intensive environments in the world—including the largest online gaming and music sites, social networking applications developers, photo and video sharing services, high performance computing environments, and more than 400 broadcast and post-production facilities, today announced that SPEED™, a member of the Fox Cable Networks family, has selected the DDN xStreamScaler File Storage Solution as the data backbone for its file-based broadcast workflow.

Fox Network’s Engineering & Operations team was tasked with designing a new workflow solution for SPEED, specifically addressing the requirements to move from SD to HD content. And in doing so, it decided to build a new, purpose-built facility and transition SPEED from a conventional, tape-based workflow to an all-HD digital, file-based workflow, very similar to a newsroom environment.

Fox and SPEED selected DDN and Dalet® as the technology providers for the broadcast workflow, leveraging approximately 100TB of scalable, broadcast-quality storage. The DDN xStreamScaler system, based on the award-winning S2A9900 storage platform, supports nearly 200 clients in this environment including a large number of Windows clients and gateways for Dalet clients and processes along with more than a dozen Apple® Final Cut Pro® editing bays.

“Fox selected the XStreamScaler as the central storage because it was robust and it knew that DDN could deliver the sustained performance needed to run the Dalet workflow efficiently — especially the ability to ingest, clip, edit, transcode and play-out in parallel,” said Alex Bouzari, CEO and Cofounder, DataDirect Networks. “SPEED’s broadcasting infrastructure incorporates a number of diverse, heterogeneous applications and devices, which can leverage the performance capabilities of DDN’s xStreamScaler to perform tasks concurrently and in real-time.”

SPEED’s workflow includes ingesting content directly into a Storage Area Network (SAN), creating low-res copies for easy editing, production and advanced editing supporting Dalet transfers to and from video servers – while enabling 75 concurrent Dalet users to go about their everyday tasks, from logging content to rundown preparation.

“There was a huge sense of urgency for SPEED because the complete system had to be up and running in a new facility and on air within a matter of weeks, and there was absolutely no margin for error,” said Benjamin Desbois, General Manager, Dalet Digital Media Systems USA. “Dalet and DDN have a close partnership, having successfully deployed other broadcast workflows together, so we were confident that we could meet SPEED’s timeline and provide a seamlessly integrated digital workflow solution.”

DDN’s xSTREAMScaler file storage system enables SPEED to connect all of their broadcast workflow elements in a single, consolidated storage system, virtually eliminating the need to copy or transcode content from one system into another. Having all the content digitally and in one place has dramatically improved efficiencies for editors. Now, editors are able to quickly access, share, collaborate and move content through the facility without ever going to tape, giving the producers the power to make decisions at their desktops, which was a key deciding factor. Additionally, since the content is now in a file-based format, it makes it easier to repurpose and distribute through multiple platforms for additional revenue streams such as Video-On-Demand and mobile phone applications.

SPEED™ is a member of the Fox Cable Networks family and the nation’s first and foremost cable television network dedicated to motor sports and the passion for everything automotive. From racing to restoration, motorcycles to movies, SPEED delivers quality programming from the track to the garage. Now available in more than 78 million homes in North America, SPEED is among the fastest-growing sports cable networks in the country, home to NASCAR® on SPEED and an industry leader in interactive TV, video on demand, mobile initiatives and broadband services.

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