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Pharos Reports Accelerating Adoption of Broadcast Process Management

1 December 2005

Media management remains the big issue for most broadcasters in 2005. Key buzzword at the industry's largest annual exhibition, the NAB Spring Convention in Las Vegas, was 'workflow'. Roger Heath, Sales & Marketing Director of Pharos Communications comments:

"Workflow has always been a concern for broadcasters; the transition from tape-based workflow to server-based programme archiving sounds easy but has to be managed carefully or you can end up with a system that keeps switching back to tape because there is a comfort factor in having the physical asset. It is no longer good enough just to build an effective library filing system. It needs to be media centric and map the processes of a broadcast operation. Pharos has the flexibility to operate on a customer by customer basis rather than impose black-box solutions."

"Pharos is continuing to focus on building its brand and reputation in broadcast process management. Media asset management is central to this and we have rolled out some significant systems that make the handling of rich media files a far easier element of the broadcast process. We see ourselves as a software systems provider for rich media logistics."

"In development terms Pharos has delivered systems that meet broadcasters' requirements in terms of deployment, management and reliability. All three of these are important when considering solutions in terms of ROI (return on investment) and SLAs (service-level agreements)."

"This infrastructure technology has been included with the systems delivered throughout 2005 including Advanced Broadcast Services, Manchester United Television and TWI-SNTV."

"Advanced Broadcast Services chose a combination of Sony Flexicart, Sony PetaSite and Pharos Playtime for its expanded transmission centre. Manchester United Television ordered Pharos Playtime as the core of a new state-of-the-art technical gallery and transmission suite. SNTV, the world's only dedicated sports news television agency, began using Pharos Playtime as the heart of a highly versatile production system delivering six daily bulletins of sports news."

"On the exhibition front, IBC2005 was Pharos' busiest show ever. We launched Mediator on an enterprise architecture that allows it to be scaled to many thousands of users. Mediator for broadcast process management meets the demands of media asset management.
integrating library management, media browsing and workflow control. Mediator's web-based GUI is revolutionary in its simplicity of use, employing tasks that lead logically through each step of a broadcast or pre-transmission operation. New operators find Mediator's control routine very easy to learn and enjoy the freedom it offers to tackle non-urgent tasks in any order."

"Mediator plays a central role at Technicolor Network Services UK which selected Pharos for its new multi-channel playout facility.
Mediator provides Technicolor with workflow management which integrates asset tracking, audio file uploads, processing, archive management, reporting and status."

"Media file exchange is becoming an increasingly popular technology among broadcasters. We introduced three Pharos Rich Media
Appliances: Rewrapper. Reflection and Transcoder."

"Pharos Rewrapper enables MPEG2 metadata to be matched precisely between different video servers. This eliminates the need for slow and lossy decompression and recompression processing of the video and audio data stream."

"Pharos Reflection is an MPEG4 browse proxy server enabling web based browse for any video server."

"Pharos Transcoder allows video files to be converted between a wide range of formats by dragging and dropping between source and destination folders. Applications include downconverting broadcast- quality content for internet-based distribution and upconverting internet-delivered ENG feeds."

"Outlook for 2006? Ongoing confusion in the world of file formats and the linking of different platforms together in the terms both of data format and process workflow. We see a great opportunity for Pharos as broadcasters will need to get systems in place fairly rapidly to meet the accelerating demands of IPTV and HD delivery. The broadcast world will align itself increasingly to the publishing model, hence our emphasis on 'Smarter Media Publishing'."

Based in Reading, England, Pharos Communications
(www.pharos-comms.com) is focused on software architecture for broadcast process management. Since its formation in 1997, the company has developed a wide range of systems for automating the flow of material through broadcast facilities including playout presentation, media asset management, archiving, and facility management.

Contacts for further information:

Hannah Trimble, Pharos Communications
t: +44 (0)118 950 2323
e: hannah@pharos-comms.com

David Kirk, Stylus Media Consultants
t: +44 (0)1342 311 983
e: stylusmedia@compuserve.com