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Rorke and PWR Team Up to Deliver SAN for Apple Final Cut Pro Users in NYC

(August 21, 2001)
Rorke Data, Inc., announced that the company's new StudioNet-FC, a high bandwidth Fibre-Channel workgroup solution, was recently installed at Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) in New York City. MNN is responsible for administering public access cable television services throughout the New York City borough of Manhattan. Rorke's reseller in New York, PWR Systems, was instrumental in facilitating the important new installation, which provides a Fibre-Channel SAN solution to MNN's need to cost-effectively network its Macintosh-based Final Cut Pro workstations.

Kenyatta Cheese, Producer, Manhattan Neighborhood Network, said MNN's networking needs were unique. "Our user base isn't made up of professional editors," said Cheese, "it's made up of the thousands of community producers and independent media-makers of Manhattan. They're users of all ages, all walks of life, and all levels of production experience. We needed a solution where a person could just come in, sit down, click a few buttons, and gigs and gigs of storage space would magically appear on their desktop, ready to use. The StudioNet-FC system does that for us.

"Our criteria were simple: good value, easy access, and no anxiety," said Cheese. "Rorke and PWR presented us with a solution that was easy to administer, emphasized workgroup collaboration, and fit within the project's budget. Manhattan Neighborhood Network is all about providing the tools of media-making in ways that the community can use. Having the StudioNet-FC system helps us open up a whole new world of expression for our producer community."

MNN's StudioNet installation features the networking of eight Final Cut Pro workstations (Apple G4s), allowing the sharing of stored video content in the amount of 1 TB of Fibre-Channel RAID5 storage.

StudioNet-FC is a full-duplex serial communications interface for networks in high-performance audio and video environments. Facilitating efficient data management, StudioNet-FC allows several editors or workstation operators to share what is commonly called a "Media Pool," a centralized storage volume that allows all networked users access to the files. Each system can capture DV, M-JPEG, compressed MPEG-2 (from 5 to 50 Mbit/sec) or uncompressed Standard Definition digital video files directly to the Rorke JBOD or RAID through the FC network, while simultaneously accessing files for playback.

Joe Rorke, VP Marketing, Rorke Data, said the MNN installation is further evidence of the penetration of Mac-based SAN solutions into the mainstream of the digital video community. "The benefits of Fibre-Channel SAN are too big to ignore," said Rorke. "By not having to copy files alone, a post-production studio can save huge amounts of time. When you combine that with the cost savings inherent in a Mac-based application like Final Cut Pro, it's not difficult to see why markets like New York and Los Angeles have been installing more and more SAN solutions this year."

Commenting on the project, Steve Manella, sales engineer for PWR Systems, said: "There is no question that the future of film production is digital. The issue confronting producers today is how to optimize the technology infrastructure supporting professional video. Rorke's Fibre-Channel SAN solutions address these issues, with high-capacity reliability and flexibility as well as support for key Apple applications, like Final Cut Pro."

Manhattan Neighborhood Network is responsible for administering the Public Access cable television services in Manhattan. The company's purpose is to ensure the ability of Manhattan residents to exercise their First Amendment rights through the medium of cable television and to create opportunities for mutual communication, education, artistic expression and other noncommercial uses of video facilities on an open, uncensored and equitable basis. In providing services, the company seeks to involve the diverse racial, ethnic and geographic communities of Manhattan in the electronic communication of their varied interests, needs, concerns and identities.

Public Access Television is supported by TimeWarner Cable and RCN Cable, under a franchise agreement with the City of New York. MNN is made possible by the work and support of thousands of individuals and groups in New York City.

PWR Systems, a subsidiary of Vizacom Inc. (Nasdaq: VIZY), is a professional technology organization dedicated to helping established businesses maximize efficiencies and build more profitable operations through the strategic use of internet, creative media and information technologies. The company's special expertise in creative media, including streaming media, Macintosh and cross-platform networking solutions, makes it a competitive force in the solutions industry and the provider of choice of many of the world's top advertisers, publishers, new media and entertainment companies. Clients include MTV Networks, Verizon Communications, Bozell Group (a True North Company), and Nickelodeon Networks.

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