Sun Microsystems Becomes a Digital Star for HBO, Cinemax

6/16/2003 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) announced a first-of-its-kind digital programming repository to stage and manage video program content for 15 HBO and Cinemax networks over the next three years. HBO's goal is to move from a tape/server based platform to a fully digital server architecture while maintaining the 99.999% reliability of traditional playout mechinisms. This digital repository solution will reduce cost and increase HBO's overall operational effiency.

With interconnectivity to its digital "to-air" broadcast content, HBO's digital programming repository takes advantage of Sun's cost effective enterprise servers and storage solutions, Java(tm) technology and custom applications designed to meet HBO's demanding throughput, reliability and growth requirements.

"Sun is a leader in end-to-end computing solutions, and its technology will allow us to replace our current server and tape-based playout systems with a complete server-based storage and playout system guaranteeing the speeds and reliability we need," said Charles Cataldo, senior vice president of broadcast operations at HBO. "Sun worked with us for close to a year to design this digital programming repository and was the only UNIX(r) vendor to meet and exceed our system requirements with off-the-shelf components."

HBO's digital programming repository is a leading example of the broadcast industry's move from tape-based systems to digital storage for to-air content. The digital programming repository includes five terabytes (TB) of fully redundant storage, growing to 50 TBs, for a total of 5,000 hours of content. It sustains a constant data rate of more than 300 megabytes (MB) per second to HBO's suite of Grass Valley Group Profile XP-based playout systems using fibre channel interconnections. This state-of-the-art system can support a peak of 900 MB per second in recovery mode allowing HBO to deliver content to-air without a reduction in playout bandwidth while completely restoring the repository within a single broadcast day.

"By providing the servers, storage and software, Sun was able to craft a complete system for HBO and work closely with them to integrate it into their broadcast systems," said Mark Canepa, executive vice president for network storage at Sun Microsystems. "This solution helped them achieve a major business objective and better service their customers. It demonstrates the strength of Sun's technology and approach."

The digital programming repository system for HBO consists of two Sun Fire(tm) 6800 servers to manage and stage content and two Sun StorEdge(tm) 9980 systems, that provide complete availability, installed in a mirrored configuration. The Sun StorEdge QFS high-performance file-system provides the scalability needed to store large files created by program-length video, the performance necessary to meet HBO's demanding throughput goals and precluded the need for an expensive, traditional tape backup architecture. Sun's Java technology ensures cross-platform compatibility and aligns with HBO's strategy to develop its Video Network systems in the Java programming language. Combined with the powerful and highly available Sun Fire Midframe servers, this complete solution provides the performance, ease of management and flexibility required in today's digital media environment.

About Home Box Office, Inc.
Home Box Office, Inc., is the premium television programming subsidiary of AOL Time Warner Inc., providing two 24-hour premium television services, HBO and Cinemax. Together, both networks reach approximately 39 million subscribers in the United States via cable and satellite delivery. Home Box Office's international joint ventures bring HBO branded services to more than 50 countries around the globe.

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer" -- has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the World Wide Web at

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Java, Sun Fire, Sun StorEdge and The Network is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and in other countries. UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries exclusively licensed through X/Open Company, Ltd.

Previous Page | News by Category | News Search

If you found this page useful, bookmark and share it on: