SGI India: Gung-ho about Interactive TV

The Indian arm of the California-based animation and graphics workstation company, SGI, organised a seminar on 5 December at Hotel Le Meridien Mumbai focusing on interactive television and digital asset management. Australia-based SGI Media Commerce business development manager (Asia Pacific) Greg Doyle jetted down to India to highlight SGI's solutions around the ITV domain along with SGI India director marketing Avinash Fotedar.

The duo talked at length about SGI products such as the VOD (Video on Demand) and NVOD (Near Video on Demand) software and Media Servers which are mainly targeting media and entertainment enterprises including broadcast, cable networks satellite providers and telcos.

The duo says they offer asset management solutions with Media 360 using Ascential software which allows organisations to acquire, index, manage, track and store multiple media content targeting the Internet, educational institutions, government organisations, and for science and research

SGI media servers support most digital, MPEG-2, DVCPRO-25,and uncompressed formats, he reveals. These servers enable feed, acquisition, simultaneous ingest and play out-to-air multiple channels, ad insertions, digital news editing systems creation of play lists and also distribution between networked facilities. Costly satellite transmission and tape transfers are made redundant with this technology

According to Doyle, SGI has a vast range of products. Says he: "The range is limitless today. SGI servers enable a system to be scaled from two to 512 processors with up to 80GB per second of sustained I/O bandwidth, enabling a production system supporting thousands of digital video streams simultaneously," he points out. Wherever we do not have the complete know how , we tie up with established people to offer solutions, we have tie ups with Oracle Video server, Marconi, Streammaster from Motorola, Viagate technologies to name a few."

Doyle believes that there is a lot of potential for interactive television solutions in the Indian market. "We do not have any installations in India as yet, but we decided to hold this seminar to showcase our technology and gauge the response from industry."

But he adds that internationally, media servers have found a lot of acceptance, both in the US, Europe and Japan. Says he: "Tens of thousands of servers in the US play directly to air in cable channels in the US. In south-east Asia, a government telecom body in Taiwan has already acquired our NVOD and VOD servers at a cost of US$3 million. We feel that Taiwan ,China and India are the biggest markets for our technology today

He adds that SGI offers other solutions for weather prediction, mapping, science and technology, space, aeronautics, oil and gas exploration, graphics and designing.

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