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SGI Highlights New IT Infrastructures & Interoperability at NAB

At NAB 2004, Silicon Graphics will demonstrate how it is delivering IT infrastructures and interoperability to solve problems with the move to digital at broadcast and post-production facilities. The will be at Booth SL4755 at the conference, which runs until April 22, 2004.

SGI will demonstrate in a broadcast workflow, end-to-end compatibility with the Material Exchange Format (MXF) from ingest to play-to-air. Content sourced from a Sony XDCAM player will be ingested on a SGI Media Server for broadcast system, wrapped in MXF and stored on an SGI InfiniteStorage CXFS SAN server. It will also be interoperating with an Avid non-linear editor, automation from Harris Corp. and utilizing software from MassTech for asset management, archive browse and EDL prep for the Avid system. Once edited on the SAN, the file may be played directly to air while maintaining its MXF compatibility for later use.

SGI will replicate a post-production workflow incorporating leading applications, all on different operating systems, from Alias, Apple, Discreet, Interactive Effects, mental images and Quantel. Multiple content creation seats on any operating system can now share SD, HD and 2K files in a heterogeneous SAN architecture. The Silicon Graphics Tezro visual workstation, which makes 2K resolution production ubiquitous, will be the featured IRIX OS-based system, and the new SGI Altix 350 64-bit Linux OS-based server will debut as the 64-bit Linux host platform on the SAN at NAB. Simultaneous support for IRIX, Mac OS X, Windows 2000 and 32- and 64-bit Linux system applications will be demonstrated.

"Our broadcast and production customers worldwide have been telling us they want industry standard systems and interoperability between systems," said Chris Golson, senior director, market strategy, media industries, SGI. "As a high-performance computing company, we have been successful in delivering IT digital infrastructures that offer a level of interoperability unachievable by any other vendor. We do this with scalable InfiniteStorage SAN solutions based on our CXFS shared filesystem. That means that all the popular application clients on different operating systems can now simultaneously access files as if they were on their own system. We invite everyone to play in our SAN box. Also, we will be announcing a fully delivered MXF system to a customer in Australia-among the world's first."

The broadcast and post-production facilities using SGI InfiniteStorage solutions include Crawford Communications, Czech Television, Danish Broadcasting, Südwestrundfunk (SWR), Georgia Public Broadcasting, Universal Studios, Tippett Studio, The Orphanage, Image Film, Reel FX Creative Studios, EFILM and Pacific Title & Art Studio.

SGI InfiniteStorage solutions enable broadcasters and video/film companies to optimize their facility-wide workflows by leveraging IT advances. Enormous amounts of data may be shared by many without the need to make additional copies. InfiniteStorage solutions optimize dataflow through the facility by providing true file sharing at production speeds with a choice of both network attached storage (NAS) and SAN storage architectures. Broadcast material can be shared at 25x realtime rates and film resolution material can be accessed throughout the production workflow as data at real-time rates.

Making their NAB debut will be SGI InfiniteStorage Serial ATA (SATA) solutions that provide economical secondary disk storage for high-performance computing applications. The SATA storage systems and SGI InfiniteStorage TP9300 and TP9500 systems, featured in the booth as the heart of the SAN, are developed by LSI Logic Storage Systems and marketed by SGI under the InfiniteStorage brand through an OEM arrangement. Serial ATA is a new technology that brings much lower cost-per-megabyte storage to the market, greatly narrowing the price gap between disk and tape.

The SGI InfiniteStorage solution for broadcast demonstration will feature a data-centric broadcast workflow. Demonstrating leadership with enhanced MXF capabilities for the SGI Media Server for broadcast, the SGI end-to-end MXF solution also incorporates SGI InfiniteStorage TP9100 SAN server, CXFS, MassTech MassBrowse, MassProxy and MassStore for low-res browse, proxy and archive, Avid NLEs for editing, and playout using multiple SGI Media Server for broadcast servers under the control of Harris automation. The SGI system features tight integration between ingest, edit, playout, distribution, and archive and allows for many times faster than realtime file sharing between workstations of different operating systems throughout the broadcast operation. This greatly simplified approach utilizing IT technology to integrate workflows allows easy web browsing from any location enabling the business of television to be carried on faster and with improved production.

The SGI InfiniteStorage for Production demonstration will show a truly heterogeneous client SAN architecture in which all client applications can simultaneous share SD, HD and 2K files.

Connected to the SGI CXFS SAN will be:* Mac G5 system running Apple Final Cut Pro. With the recently released Mac OS X client on CXFS shared filesystem, those on Macintosh systems will finally be able to take full advantage of the benefits of a shared filesystem approach to SANs-saving time and storage capacity by not having to copy files and move data.

* Silicon Graphics Tezro visual workstation running the latest Discreet smoke 6 and Interactive Effects Piranha HD software. A quad-processor Tezro offers unparalleled performance and the image quality of an Onyx® system on the desktop. When combined with exciting features of the new smoke 6 release or Piranha HD, Tezro is the ideal platform for the multi-resolution demands of short-form and long-form editorial and effects, providing two HD streams or 2K play out. The DMediaPro DM3 digital option supports OpenML as part of its core features.

* The new SGI® Guaranteed Rate I/O (GRIO V.2) feature of the InfiniteStorage solution will debut at NAB. GRIO V.2 enables the scheduling of dedicated bandwidth on a SAN for applications that require guaranteed high-bandwidth performance, such as film scanners, color grading and editing and compositing applications. GRIO V.2 will be showcased with the Interactive Effects and Tezro demonstration.

* SGI Altix 350, an 8-processor Intel Itanium 2 processor-based Linux mid-range technical server, with mental images mental ray renderer interfaced to Alias Maya modeler running on a 32-bit Linux client

* Quantel iQ Digital Intermediate dual-processor Windows 2000 system. iQ and SGI InfiniteStorage SAN solutions are already proven in the real world, with a system having been in operation for the last six months at The Film Unit in New Zealand.

SGI, also known as Silicon Graphics, Inc., is the world's leader in high-performance computing, visualization and storage. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Mountain View, California, and can be found on the Web at

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