Television

Sony set to digitise content

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MUMBAI: Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) has announced a deal with Ascent Media Group (AMG) and HP to convert its film and television content into digital form.

The move is a first of its kind for a major Hollywood studio and is seen by analysts as a trend which will be followed by other content creators worldwide.

In India, Sony has set up a separate digital and licensing division under the direct supervision of SET India COO NP Singh. This indicates Sony's serious intention to move towards the digital era across the globe.

The multinational giant realises that the best way to do this is to ally with technology companies. SPE will use a series of new digital entertainment technology and services created by Ascent Media Group (AMG) and HP. By digitising its library of media assets SPE states that it can create content once and deliver it to its partners and customers many times, in any standard or format, more securely, quickly and cost-effectively than ever before.

SPE's first-of-its-kind alliance with AMG and HP will transition the formatting, management and distribution of its vast portfolio of media assets from the traditional analogue format to a tapeless digital environment.

The move from analogue to digital formats dramatically reduces the time and cost required to distribute content for a wide variety of broadcast standards and entertainment formats and allows for increased flexibility in delivery.

SPE senior VP worldwide product fulfillment Jeff Hargleroad says, "This project marks a significant step towards the future of file-based digital content delivery."

SPE selected AMG to provide the end-to-end technology and services required to create, manage and store the studio's digital library.

AMG oversees SPE's file-based digital asset management archive. AMG and SPE chose HP's Digital Media Platform (DMP) as its technology foundation.

Ascent Media Group CEO Ken Williams says, "This is the first time any studio has taken an opportunity -- or this challenge -- of this magnitude. Today's announcement is a powerful statement on how the industry is addressing issues like security, time and manufacturing efficiencies and new forms of distribution.

"Our history and expertise in content management combined with Hp's technological prowess and ability to execute enables us to deliver a flexible and cost-effective solution for the secure creation, management and distribution of digital content."

SPE teams up with Microsoft

Meanwhile, SPE is implementing the Microsoft Connected Services Framework. SPE is the first company in the broadcast and film industries to adopt and deploy Microsoft's solution, and is now running the Connected Services Framework in a live application environment.

The Microsoft Connected Services Framework is a flexible and customisable product that uses a service-oriented architecture (SOA) approach to build an interoperable, manageable and scalable infrastructure of shared services such as digital asset management and content distribution processes. These shared

services connect existing technology to support a dynamic production process across organisational boundaries.

Built on Microsoft platform technologies and using industry standards such as Extensible Markup Language (XML), Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and Web Services Description Language (WSDL), the Microsoft Connected Services Framework is enabling SPE to enhance its existing SOA infrastructure and build a connected system that allows digital marketing assets to move seamlessly across platforms and applications.

SPE VP digital media initiatives Jerry Ledbetter says, "By implementing the Microsoft Connected Services Framework, Sony Pictures Entertainment has been able to extend our existing production environment to enable new services, increase interoperability, improve workflow management and reduce costs."

Through this implementation, SPE now can seamlessly connect the workflow across the company, streamlining marketing production processes and enabling access to associated digital content from virtually anywhere.

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