Cutting Edge


IBM intros Supercomputing

IBM's General Parallel File System (GPFS) was unveiled in a new broadcast-centric application at IBC. Available for both AIX and Linux clusters, the technology allows multiple numbers of animators and content creators to edit video files at one time. According to an IBM spokeswoman, GPFS allows hundreds of servers to interact simultaneously. It splits video frames into pieces, allowing users to take a frame and edit it in perfect synchronization. Storage limit on the clusters is about 10 TB; cost of the system varies depending on size. Current Linux pricing is based on $7,000 per disk server, with most systems needing at least two-way server systems for $14,000.

Sun shines at IBC

Sun Microsystems' OC48 Packet Over Sonet Adapter was shown at IBC. The adapter gives Sun servers up to 2.4 Gb/s of bandwidth for networking needs. Sun Fire V880, Fire 4800 and Fire 6800 servers can all use the adapter. It also gives engineers the ability to connect Sun servers directly onto an OC48 Resilient Packet Ring (RPR) network. The Sun OC48 Packet Over Sonet Adapter with PPP support lists for $12,000, with SRP support for $24,250.

SGI meets da Vinci

SGI has added HSDL functionality to its DMediaPro DM2 and DMediaPro DM3 video I/O systems, enabling high-speed data transfers and improved workflow between SGI workstations and da Vinci's 2K color corrector. The integrated HSDL technology allows SGI HD/SD video I/O products to have better image quality and to provide faster file transfers. HSDL technology works by providing a digital pipe that moves data, packaged in a "video" wrapping, between devices without altering the data properties. Thus, images maintain their position in sequence within contiguous frames, allowing real-time color correction and editing assembly.

Turner taps Fast Forward

Fast Forward Video's Omega Deck digital video recorders (DVRs) have been selected by Turner Sports for use in a new college-football package this fall. The DVRs will be used primarily for replay transitions, commercial bumps and transition wipes during coverage of Saturday PAC10 and Big 12 football games, NBA games, Atlanta Braves baseball and Atlanta Thrashers hockey. The Omega Deck features similar controls, inputs and outputs to analog tape decks but with digital video and nonlinear random access. It has an LCD touch-screen menu and front-panel control over compression levels.

Avalon gets graphic

Data-storage-management supplier Avalon has introduced a graphical user interface for its Avalon intelligent data-management software. Called AAMconsole, the GUI can monitor the operations of the data-management subsystem, administer both the software and storage hardware managed by the subsystem and issue operational commands to the subsystem as needed. Avalon's IDM system comprises AAMidm, the intelligent data-manager module, as well as AAMdisk. AAMtape and AAMdvd storage-manager modules. It was introduced at NAB last spring and allows users to build customized data-storage workflow models. The IDM system's open architecture allows it to be used with products from a number of third-party vendors, including Sony, SGI and Pinnacle.

Convergys, AOL Time Warner pact

AOL Time Warner has signed a long-term agreement with Convergys for the customer care and billing of 20 of its 39 Time Warner Cable divisions. Convergys will use its ICOMS convergent voice, video, data billing and customer-care product, designed to scale easily and quickly to support a growing number of subscribers and services.

Pixel Power intros PixelMOS

Pixel Power introduced two products at IBC designed for newsrooms using the MOS protocol. Called PixelMOS, the products include the PixelMOS server and the PixelMOS ActiveX control. The former maintains graphics content and connects physical devices to the newsroom computer system. The ActiveX control allows journalists to create content for character generation at their desktop. It works with both standard-definition and HD Pixel Power Clarity character generators.

100x for canon

Canon is introducing the first-ever 100x lens at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam. Known as the Digi Super 100xs (or XJ100x9.3B IE-D), it is the world's first triple-digit zoom lens. It makes use of Canon's Image Stabilizer technology and is the next step up from the Canon Digi Super 86xs and 86xs Tele. It has a focal length of 9.3~930mm (18.6~1860mm using the 2X extender) and a speed of F/1.7, with a weight of 23.5 kg (50.18 lb), the same weight as the XJ86xs. Minimum object distance from the lens front is 3.0 m. Price for the lens with case is $160,000.