Ascent Media builds play-out facility in London

By Kevin Hilton

Ascent Media is to build a new facility at its central London offices to handle the acquisition, transcoding, archiving and delivery of material, as well as providing commenatry and presentation areas for sports programs.

The Media Centre, which is scheduled to open during the fourth quarter of this year, will also be based at Ascent’s Stephen Street facility in the West End alongside Ascent’s European Transmission Centre (ETC), which opened during March. At the core of the Centre will be a digital storage system, operating on a 512×512 wideband router capable of accepting SD, ASI and HD material.

The ETC already provides play-out facilities for 32 channels and the new Media Centre will offer presentation suites for the live hosting of news, reality TV and sports programs, with facilities for commentary and graphics.

Another key function of the new facility will be to provide the European centre for Ascent Media’s Viia service, which offer digital technologies to tailor services for major production companies, broadcasters and other programming providers.

The Media Centre will also be able to provide signal switching, worldwide connections and satellite downlinks, to Ascent’s offices in New York, Los Angeles and Singapore as well as to other destinations. In addition to conventional broadcast television the Centre will used to re-purpose material for video-on-demand, mobile and IPTV services.

Ascent Media’s managing director and senior vice president of content distribution, Roger Henderson, commented, “This facility will enable us to deliver an even wider range and greater scale of services for ingest, transcoding and archive broadcast media than we are currently able to support. We are further able to expand our service offering to our customers with the addition of live presentation capabilities to support our ETC operations.”