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BBC opts for metered storage

BT Broadcast Services has signed up as the first customer for Hewlett-Packard's utility storage offering.

BT Broadcast Services has signed up as the first customer for Hewlett-Packard's utility storage offering.

HP has installed 145TBytes of its XP 1024 storage systems at BT Tower in London, which BT Broadcast will sell on to users such as the BBC on a metered basis.

The facility will be used to store streaming media.

"It's becoming cheaper to store TV in digital form rather than on videotape," said Stephen Murr, BT Broadcast's business development manager.

The cost of storing on tape is aggravated by the fact that broadcasters lose thousands of tapes every year, either taken out of the library and not returned, or accidentally overwritten. To protect against master tapes, they must create dozens of expensive sub-masters.

"So it makes sense to store broadcast media in digital form," Murr said. "8,000 hours of broadcast content goes through BT Tower every day. We have two capture stations integrated into a digital asset management system.

"The big drivers are the internet and mobile, both of which need video to originate in digital form, but the issue for content owners and broadcasters is that they don't know how much they'll have to put into digital format from day to day."

The storage set up is metered monthly by HP and BT Broadcast can then bill its own customers.

 "We pay only for what we use, so we can release storage as well as taking it up," Murr says.

Murr added that BT Broadcast is now looking at adding a second tier of HP mid-range storage.

Bryan Betts writes for Techworld.com

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