Wam!Net is introducing Wam! Base, a storage and archive service that will allow broadcasters to store their content on the Wam!Net network and access it from nearly anywhere in the world.
According to Director of Entertainment Marketing Don Ritzman, the company will sign deals in the upcoming months with broadcasters and production facilities for use of the service. Clients will be charged per megabyte.
"Wam!Base is our central storage and archive solution that sits in the middle of our Wam!Base network and is a fully redundant storage system," says Ritzman. "The storage is wrapped with a highly defined high-bandwidth network that has access devices on the edge. The environment is very secure, and no one can gain illegal access to the content."
Another advantage, according to Ritzman, is redundancy of storage. Content is stored in three locations: Eagan, Minn.; Las Vegas; and Brussels. "Proprietary management software creates the images and sends them to those three areas any time you handle an asset," he explains. "So, if there's a geographical fatality, you can handle the asset located in one of the other locations."
Potential uses of the network include network news bureaus'storing their video and audio so they can quickly access content from other bureaus, as well as archived material.
Users also can control how they handle content, thanks to the use of an API architecture. Ritzman says Wam!Net is talking with Virage and MediaSite about providing resources for cataloging the assets, including metadata.
"This system offers a cost value to broadcast companies," he says. He adds that today's server technology is still too expensive to meet archiving demands and also doesn't provide backup of material.
Wam!Net has signed up its first customer for the Wam!Base service: BBC Worldwide America, a wholly owned subsidiary of BBC Worldwide, the BBC's commercial arm. "They're subscribing to our compressed video service, and they have locations London and in North America: Los Angeles, Toronto and New York," says George Anderson, director of Wam!Net global strategic accounts. "From those locations, they furnish their content to their customers, which are traditionally stock footage buyers."