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WHYY Opens VOD Market for PBS Stations with SeaChange; WHYY Quadruples On-Demand Content with QuickSilver Agility VOD Workstation.

LAS VEGAS -- WHYY, the nationally recognized PBS member stations serving the Greater Philadelphia tri-state region (southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware and southern New Jersey), is creating a new model for public broadcasters. The model utilizes SeaChange International's (Nasdaq: SEAC) QuickSilver Agility VOD Workstation to optimize the production and distribution of WHYY's programs for on-demand distribution. In addition to quadrupling the volume of local and national programs available on-demand television services, WHYY will also act as a service bureau for other PBS stations, helping them encode their local and national productions for on-demand distribution.

"On-demand television is quickly growing into an important venue for intriguing, educating and inspiring public television viewers," said William J. Marrazzo, WHYY's President and Chief Executive Officer. "WHYY's on-demand content has increased dramatically since we started offering programs through ON DEMAND from Comcast Digital Cable in 2004. WHYY's efforts are a direct response to member interest in increasing program availability."

Breaking the production bottleneck to optimize on-demand

WHYY's pioneering efforts in on-demand distribution required developing a new set of production skills to repurpose programs developed for traditional broadcast. Inserting new 'bumpers' and breaks through non-linear editing, as well as adding metadata and encoding, the finished packages required turnaround time of up to several weeks. This limited WHYY's ability to include a more comprehensive selection from its vast library.

SeaChange QuickSilver Agility VOD Workstation, developed in conjunction with Anystream, Inc., is unique in its ability to automatically produce standards-based CableLabs-compliant on-demand content without requiring additional non-linear editing. The system automatically ingests files from storage or editing workstations, inserts metadata, branding messages, promos and underwriting credits and then processes it into CableLabs-compliant packages. Finished content can be sent over fiber optic links to PBS' on-demand partners for immediate access via on-demand subscriber navigation.

"Preparing content for on-demand distribution had been an exhausting, resource-intensive process and the SeaChange QuickSilver Agility VOD Workstation removes the production bottleneck," said Bill Weber, WHYY's Vice President for Content Distribution & Chief Technology Officer. "We're already targeting 120 local and national WHYY productions for on-demand availability. Ultimately, we can 'super serve' our community with the localism that is the lifeblood of public broadcasting, while giving each member the power to connect when and how they want."

Enhancing on-demand's depth and convenience

With the new efficiencies made possible by utilizing the SeaChange QuickSilver Agility VOD Workstation, WHYY is able to increase not just the quantity of programs available but also the quality. In addition to repurposed over-the-air shows, programmers are freed to include ancillary content that adds depth and context for understanding. This bonus material allows for a far greater degree of audience engagement.

"With our new workflow, on-demand television really comes into its own as a public broadcast service. Instead of just feeding programs to an audience, we have the ability to draw out their interests then nourish their curiosity," said Weber.

WHYY's aim is to offer other PBS stations, and other content producers, easy access to the millions who watch on-demand television. With a production workflow aided by the QuickSilver Agility VOD Workstation, WHYY can easily take on additional workload, acting as a clearinghouse to prep and deliver content to on-demand services so other PBS stations can begin building an on-demand audience without establishing additional production capabilities in-house. In addition, WHYY will extend its community outreach to independent producers and others seeking media access.

"Teaching these communications technologies is a key part of our mission. We want to take what we've learned here to help other PBS stations and our communities in new ways," said Weber.

Meanwhile, Weber is also set to implement the PBS ACE system at WHYY to improve workflow with traditional broadcast production.

"The ACE system was not conceived with on-demand television in mind," Weber said. "Just a year ago, no one anticipated that on-demand would become such a prime public broadcast outlet. The SeaChange system highly integrates with ACE and is a perfect complement, opening new possibilities for the future of public broadcast service," Weber said.

The Quicksilver Agility VOD Workstation is offered by SeaChange as a turnkey hardware and software solution, and is marketed as a software-only solution by Anystream under the brand name Agility VOD. The companies jointly announced the product in April of 2005 as a cost-effective solution for cable operators and content originators to serve on-demand consumers and distribution outlets with minimal production overhead. See the Quicksilver Agility VOD Workstation's streamlined, tapeless workflow at NAB 2006 this week in Las Vegas at SeaChange booth SU1393 in the Las Vegas Convention Center.

About Anystream, Inc.

Anystream is an essential element of the new media broadcast strategies of some of the world's largest media companies including Time Warner, Newscorp and Viacom. Anystream is the leader in providing easy-to-use, cost-effective solutions that maximize the value of video content. The company's automated, mission-critical solutions tightly integrate with legacy production systems to extract video and make it playout-ready across a wide range of distribution networks and consumer devices. Anystream has received numerous honors including the Frost and Sullivan Market Leadership Award, Presentations Magazine's Standing Ovation Award, PC Magazine's Technical Excellence Awards finalist and COMDEX Best of Show awards finalist, Entrepreneur Magazine's "Hot 100" list and Deloitte and Touche's "Fast 50."

About SeaChange International

SeaChange International provides digital video systems that are changing television. Its powerful server and software systems enable television operators to provide new on-demand services and to gain greater efficiencies in advertising and content delivery. With its Emmy-winning MediaCluster technology, thousands of SeaChange systems are helping broadband, broadcast and satellite television companies to streamline operations, expand services and increase revenues. SeaChange is headquartered in Maynard, Massachusetts and has product development, support and sales offices throughout the world. Visit

About WHYY

WHYY is what a diverse community has in common. WHYY, through television, radio and other communications services, makes our region a better place, connecting each of us to the world's richest ideas and all of us to each other. Visit

SeaChange Quicksilver Agility VOD Workstation is a trademark of SeaChange International. All other marks and products are properties of their respective companies.
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Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Article Type:Company overview
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 26, 2006
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