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Sky Racing to Deploy Grass Valley's STRATUS Platform for Country's Largest HD SAN Production Environment

Amsterdam, The Netherlands (IBC — Stand 1.D11), September 08, 2011 — Sky Racing, Australia’s premier multi-channel thoroughbred, harness, and greyhound racing network that televises more than 83,000 races each year to millions of viewers in Australia and internationally, will be installing a new Grass Valley™ STRATUS™ Media Workflow Application Framework.

As part of a comprehensive upgrade to Sky Racing's live production facilities, the IT-centric STRATUS application framework will provide an end-to-end seamless workflow for the staff incorporating ingest, editing, highlights creation, archiving, and playout functions, all controlled and managed via a single user interface for all to use.

The massive file-based production system—set to be installed later this year and go live in February 2012—will support an 80-channel Grass Valley K2 Summit™ media server system based on a storage area network (SAN), designed by Grass Valley engineers. This includes 30 channels of feed ingest under the control of a third-party asset management system and 50 channels to be used for a variety of studio program playout activities that could include race replays and live simulcasts.

"The Grass Valley STRATUS environment provided a much better overall enterprise level solution, with the reliability and flexibility we required to make this work, than anything else we considered," said Carl Petch, Chief Engineer, Sky Racing (owned by Australia's leading Wagering, Gaming and Keno operator Tabcorp). "The STRATUS and K2 Dyno technologies offer a complete suite of software and hardware tools ideal for live production and are a perfect fit to support our OB trucks in the field and fixed studios."

A total of seven Grass Valley K2 Dyno™ Replay Systems will support playout operations in eight studios and serve as powerful live replay production controllers that will work in conjunction with several modules of the STRATUS platform.

The system includes STRATUS Pro clients for marking races for live replay and metadata capture; STRATUS Elite for studio playout and tight integration with an AP ENPS newsroom computer system used to create rundowns for shows; and STRATUS Express to allow staff to use STRATUS within ENPS. Grass Valley's K2 Dyno Production Assistant (Dyno PA) software will also be employed for automated file movement and export of XML data that will be used by Sky Racing's vast content archive.

"The STRATUS Media Workflow Application Framework is revolutionary in its approach to file-based production and distribution operations and is designed to help organizations such as Sky Racing cost-effectively produce and manage the huge amount of programming that it does every year," said Jeff Rosica, Executive Vice President of Grass Valley. "STRATUS is also capable of scaling down to support smaller production companies and even individual professionals. The key is that customers needed a flexible, expandable platform that could adapt to their individual needs. For Sky Racing, it will allow them to produce content faster and with better organizational efficiencies."

The ability to efficiently leverage metadata as part of the workflow process was also critical to the deployment, as detailed race information metadata is captured and logged during the ingest process and enriched as files are played out for race replays.

The new STRATUS deployment is replacing an existing networked environment of Grass Valley Profile® XP servers with the latest K2 Summit servers (v. 8.0) to provide more than 2,300 hours of online storage capacity in a shared storage architecture. The K2 Dyno Replay System is replacing an aging race replay system.

As long-time Grass Valley customers, Sky Racing has entered into a comprehensive, multi-year Service Level Agreement (SLA) with Grass Valley to keep the SAN systems, K2 Dyno replay Systems, and STRATUS application software layer operational. Sky Racing also regularly uses Grass Valley live HD production equipment, such as the Kalypso™ Video Production Center switchers and multiple SD servers.

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