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Ascent Media Group Completes Industrys Largest And Most Secure File-Based Facility

The complete production environment of the Digital Media Data Center creates unprecedented efficiencies (February 21, 2006)

Ascent Media Group (AMG) today announced the completion of the industrys largest, most technologically advanced independent digital post-production network and distribution facility, the 100,000 square foot Digital Media Data Center (DMDC). Based in Burbank, California, the facility consolidates post-production, media management and syndication services, processes and technologies typically spread across multiple facilities under a single roof for the very first time. Linked via a secure digital production network, all major production processes can now occur concurrently.

The DMDC, the result of a $17 million investment and more than five years of planning, consolidates multiple facilities and facilitates new workflows that address the increasingly complex delivery needs of an on-demand media landscape.

?Emerging technologies such as iPods and cell phones streaming feature length content coupled with video-on-demand and digital cinema are challenging traditional business models and creating new revenue opportunities for content owners, said Ken Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ascent Media Group. ?Our state-of-the-art facility supports our clients by managing the full range of file formats necessary to deliver content to consumers wherever they demand it, and represents the future of the industry by bridging workflows that adapt seamlessly to the requirements of physical and file-based content.

The highly scalable DMDC facility provides a full slate of services including editing, mastering, 4K digital intermediate, audio and video restoration, quality control, audio mixing, digital conversion, sub-titling and closed captioning, data translations, water marking, versioning for region, data asset management, distribution and the vaulting of physical and digital assets.

The DMDC also allows Ascents talented personnel to deliver world class service by giving our customers unmatched visibility into the status of their work across multiple operational disciplines. Monitored by our proprietary Agility suite of tools, Ascent has created an environment that allows our customers to drive large scale volume while at the same time receiving a level of personal customer service normally experienced at much smaller facilities. Our tools allow Ascent personnel to monitor in real-time customers job status and estimated delivery dates as well as anticipate potential issues that may impact timely execution. We believe these tools, layered across the scope of the DMDC business lines, gives Ascents customers a unique environment in which to process and deliver their content.

Internal production processes are facilitated by Ascents highly secure, high bandwidth network called ProdNet. This proprietary network creates significant efficiencies by allowing Ascent to compress what were once linear and operationally dependent processes into time saving parallel workflows. For example, a traditional feature or television mastering timeline can be cut almost in half by utilizing a file-based workflow and parallel processes (e.g. performing dirt and scratch removal while simultaneously color correcting). These advantages begin with film or digital elements all extend all the way through to DVD authoring, VOD or any other client-specified deliverable. These efficiencies are passed along to AMG customers to dramatically speed up the traditional time to market, reduce the risk of piracy and enhance more profitable revenue streams. In some cases, ProdNet-supported processes have delivered up to a 75% reduction in the time required to take projects through particular workflows.

ProdNet can process data at 1.2 terabits per second and stores up to 368 hours of uncompressed high definition content at any given time. This represents over ten times the throughput, capacity of AMG Media Services prior to the implementation of the network. ProdNet is designed to scale to over a petabyte in the coming years as the DMDC grows to accommodate clients exploding bandwidth requirements for digital remastering and restoration, particularly at 4K resolutions and above.

ProdNet includes the most advanced physical and file based security measures and sets new standards for the post-production service industry. It features multiple discreet security zones restricting access only to specific employees designated to interact inside the network. These zones are further protected by the installation of video cameras networked to long-term video storage and backup. Additionally, digital fingerprinting enables authorized personnel to monitor and log every event that requires access to a digital element.

?Building a facility around all digital workflows demanded a serious evaluation of security for both the digital and physical assets vaulted on site, stated Gavin Schutz, Executive Vice president and Chief Technology Officer, Ascent Media Group. ?With the entertainment industry losing nearly $3.5 billion dollars a year to piracy, it was critical that we implement security measures that meet the requirements of our studio clients and initiatives led by key industry organizations such as the MPAA, GSAM and SMPTE.

To extend the workflow beyond the DMDC, content developed in the facility can be delivered via physical distribution or accessed/delivered via Atlas, AMGs file-based content management and delivery system powered by HPs Digital Media Platform. Ascent Media Network Services Global Interconnect (GI) provides a secure, dedicated, fiber-based network with guaranteed quality of service and high reliability content transport between AMGs facilities in North America, Europe and Southeast Asia.

About Ascent Media Group
Santa Monica, California-based Ascent Media Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Discovery Holding Company (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB), which through its Creative Services, Media Management Services and Network Services groups, provides creative and technical media services to the media and entertainment industries. Through more than 70 facilities in the regions of Southern California, New York, Atlanta, London and Singapore and at locations throughout the world, Ascent Media Group provides effective solutions for the creation, management and distribution of content to major motion picture studios, independent producers, broadcast networks, cable channels, advertising agencies and other companies that produce, own and/or distribute entertainment, news, sports, corporate, educational, industrial and advertising content.

More information about Ascent Media Group is available at


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Related Keywords:Ascent Media Group, Digital Media Data Center, digital post-production, media management, editing, mastering, audio mixing, sub-titling, ProdNet, DVD authoring,

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