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WOWOW Selects SGI for Full HD Broadcasting Master Control Center

Leading Tokyo Broadcaster Implements File-Based Full High Definition Infrastructure

TOKYO, Japan. — December 13, 2011 — SGI (NASDAQ: SGI), the trusted leader in technical computing, today announced that WOWOW, Inc., headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo, has selected and integrated a content server supplied by SGI that is forming the core of a full high definition file-based program broadcasting infrastructure system. WOWOW, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, is the first private satellite and pay TV broadcaster in Japan to switch over to an entirely file-based program broadcasting infrastructure system, and offers three full high definition channels.

The overall program broadcasting infrastructure system was developed jointly with Toshiba Corporation. Software products independently developed by SGI Japan are used on 16 SGI® Rackable™ standard-depth servers to import and search content, as well as to perform subtitle registration. SGI Japan also custom-designed the unique configuration of the content servers, which store the vast volume of program data used in the program broadcasting system. The programs, commercials, and other content, converted to file format, are stored with redundancy in a system capable of holding up to approximately 5,000 hours of content, making it the largest capacity system of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region.

"In conjunction with the start of operation of three full high-definition channels, WOWOW Inc. began considering broadcasting equipment updates as long ago as 2006," said Hirohisa Tanabe, chief engineer in the Master Control and Transmission Department Engineering Division at WOWOW. "Based on industry trends, we decided to switch to a file-based program broadcasting system. We have been receiving cooperation from SGI Japan since the initial stage of considering the switch to a file-based system, and have obtained satisfying results through SGI Japan's exemplary system integration. In the end, we are aiming to use an entirely file-based system for all program data handled by the channel."

Until now, there had been no software, in Japan or abroad, which offered SMPTE436M Closed Captioning support, but SGI Japan designed and developed software which writes Closed Caption via an SGI server. The content server is a highly reliable real-time file based workflow system for efficient end-to-end full high definition quality ingest, archiving, production, and broadcasting. The high capacity storage system imports and centrally manages programs, commercials, and captions from tape and file formats. When these types of content are registered, location information and other meta-data are also acquired, and thumbnails are generated, enabling central management and material asset management functions.

"Constructing file-based systems by deploying only existing broadcasting equipment is not feasible, making IT-based system integration critically important," stated Ryuta Yamazaki, senior director, Telecommunications & Broadcast Media at SGI in Japan. "As a producer of high performance compute and storage solutions and an IT system integrator well versed in the video technologies used in the construction of comprehensive broadcast systems, SGI Japan was able to leverage its extensive track record in archive system configuration and its many years of broadcasting workflow experience and expertise."

There have been major movements in the Japan broadcasting industry, with the phase-out of analog broadcasting in July 2011 and the shift to digital broadcasting. The broadcasting industry is also changing, led by the growing diversification of terminal receiving devices, such as computers and smartphones. In response to these changes, broadcasters are switching over to file-based IT systems, from program recording to broadcasting, which offer superior operation efficiency and speed, with no loss in audio or video quality.

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Contact Information:

Ogilvy Public Relations
Meghan Fintland

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