~ Aspera Deployment Integrates Software Solutions for Automated Ingest, High-speed Content Field Gathering and VOD Orchestration ~

Broadcast Video Expo 2012, London, UK - February 15, 2012 - Aspera, Inc. today announced that leading pay-tv provider Sky Deutschland has deployed Aspera’s next-generation file sharing, content distribution and automation frameworks that exploit the company’s patented fasp™ transport platform for high performance automated ingest from global content suppliers, high-speed gathering of breaking news and sports from field reporters and complete video-on-demand orchestration.

With over 70 channels, including more than 40 in high-definition, Sky is dedicated to being the most innovative media company in Germany and Austria, developing and using new technologies to ultimately deliver the best quality content and the widest selection of digital TV programming – including exclusive football and sports coverage, as well as films and general entertainment – to over 3 million subscribers.

The need for an upgraded broadcast network infrastructure was initially driven by Sky Deutschland’s increasingly demanding content contribution process. With many post-production partners providing short-form media content (advertising and promotions), and global content owners supplying long-form programming it became necessary to look at a new solution to fully streamline broadcast operations.

“With this new deployment, we are looking to achieve multiple improvements in our content supply chain and shorten lead times on material procurement by automating the entire production process from the ingestion to the delivery,” explained Francesco Donato, Vice President of Broadcast Operations at Sky Deutschland. “We set out to implement high-performance, automated media ingest, delivery and distribution workflows.” 

Aspera software was selected as the core technology solution of choice following a thorough evaluation, which involved performing large-scale transfers with major content partners at global distances. Sky Deutschland’s technology team required the right combination of transfer performance, software usability, data security and automation; they also sought immediate compatibility with the largest number of partners and suppliers. Then they have identified Aspera as the clear leader in the broadcast and digital media space.

“The broadcast operations people at Sky have a very forward looking vision when it comes to building the most efficient content supply chain in support of the company’s main objective to provide the best entertainment experience to its subscribers on all screens,” said Bruce Brewer, European sales director at Aspera. “The deployment of Aspera software technologies for content ingest, contribution and workflow orchestration is the ideal foundation for this new breed of broadcast infrastructure and we’re delighted to be working with Sky in Italy, the UK and now Germany to achieve their vision.”

Sky Deutschland’s broadcast infrastructure in Munich is connected with substantial WAN bandwidth to the outside world. The comprehensive solution for long-form content transfer ingest, delivery and archive was supplied and installed by Aspera with the following components: The Aspera Connect Server for high-speed file transfer using a web browser and the universal Aspera Connect browser plugin as well as the Aspera mobile clients; Aspera faspex Server for person-to-person file exchange fully integrated with email; the Aspera Orchestrator for automation of the file transfer workflow, and the Aspera Console for centralized, browser-based transfer management and reporting.

The platform also enables Sky Deutschland to fully automate the internal workflows from receiving new material, performing automated quality control and transcoding to delivery and distribution to playout services using Aspera Orchestrator. Thanks to its scalable, open architecture, the system provides the ability to integrate high-speed file transfer operations with automated media processing steps, yielding further efficiencies and cost savings.

In December of 2011, Sky launched Sky Sport News HD, a brand new 24/7 sports news channel in high-definition – the first in Germany and Austria. To supply up-to-the-minute content to the new channel, journalists have been equipped with laptops with preinstalled Aspera software to directly upload video content at high speed from football games and other sporting events, very often over cellular UMTS networks.