Press Release: June 26, 2007

HP Helps Warner Bros. Entertainment Move Post-production to 4K Digital with Advanced Media Storage Technology

PALO ALTO, Calif., June 26, 2007

HP today announced that Warner Bros. Entertainment has deployed the company’s media storage technology to help transform the complex post-production of new films, as well as the restoration of older titles, from the traditional process using celluloid to one that is entirely digital.

HP Media Storage is helping Warner Bros. move to an environment that uses 4K Digital, the industry’s highest resolution format for digital video, which now provides four times the resolution quality of high-definition television.

By doing so, Warner Bros. can streamline its post-production processes, while maintaining the high resolution quality that the studio considers essential for the creative community making new films and the audiences that enjoy them. Warner Bros. relied on HP Media Storage to produce its recent hit “Oceans 13.”

Using HP Media Storage, creative teams can store and retrieve the massive 4K files in real time while working on the task of transforming a director’s raw footage into a finished movie that will be ready for distribution into many different formats, such as 35 mm and digital cinema screens, high-definition discs, Internet TV and mobile devices. A 4K digital master also preserves enough information to guarantee the value of the film for future generations and presentation technologies.

Designed specifically for the entertainment industry, HP Media Storage is compatible with Apple’s Final Cut Studio through the use of Apple Xsan software.

With 6,500 movies and tens of thousands of TV and animated titles in its library, the legendary studio – now a broad-based, global entertainment company owned by Time-Warner – is a pioneer in harnessing digital technology to the art of filmmaking as well as film distribution. Warner Bros. is the only major studio that has created an infrastructure that allows it to do high-resolution image post-production digitally on its own lot.

“HP studied our post-production processes and worked with us to deliver a flexible storage solution that supports our directors’ creative needs – and allows us to work at the quality we consider essential,” said Chris Cookson, president of Technical Operations and chief technology officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment. “Working in 4K generates enormous amounts of data and HP has made storing and retrieving that data effortless, while helping to streamline the post-production process. The bottom line is we can now meet the creative needs of filmmakers as well as the image quality demands we have as a studio. HP has helped us make that possible.”

At its Motion Picture Imaging (MPI) facility, Warner Bros. uses HP Media Storage to support high-resolution post-production tasks such as dailies, 4K digital intermediates, color correction, mastering for cinema and high/standard definition video, digital clean-up, and laser film recording.

A video clip showcasing this innovative facility is available at http://video.telecomtv.com/hp/mediastorage.wmv.

The HP Media Storage solution at Warner Bros. MPI includes HP StorageWorks 8000 Enterprise Virtual Arrays and Linux-based HP ProLiant servers and HP BladeSystem server blades as well as multi-core processor HP workstations. HP partner Quantum provides its leading storage management software, StorNext®, to manage the data via a heterogeneous file system that allows the data to be accessed by all clients.

HP also provided specialized consulting and integration services, working closely with Warner Bros. MPI to provide discovery workshops to understand the existing post-production workflow and design – and to deploy the entire solution.

HP Media Storage solution meets an expanding market

During the entertainment industry’s historic shift to digital content, storage management has emerged as a pivotal process, as films, videos and music move from creation through distribution to final consumer enjoyment.

Conventional storage systems were not designed for massive film and video files. Since they cannot provide fast, seamless file access, they can’t support the multi-team workflow that is needed to re-purpose digital content and get the various products to market quickly.

Through the use of StorNext, HP Media Storage provides a single, “virtual disk” view across all the different tiers of storage. This includes high-performance disk for fast, concurrent file sharing for active data, near-line systems for reference or older data, disk systems for back-up, and off-line tape for archived data.

With its core, standards-based storage area network (SAN) architecture, HP Media Storage provides high-throughput workflow that:

  • minimizes data movement and duplication to increase efficiency,
  • streamlines editing, collaboration and workflow to accelerate time to market,
  • provides highly scalable capacity to accommodate rapid, unpredictable growth, and
  • automates processes to simplify management and reduce cost.

Expanding on its support for the Linux, Windows® and HP-UX 11i operating systems, HP Media Storage now supports Apple Mac OS X and Windows XP connectivity to the Fibre Channel-based HP StorageWorks EVA SAN arrays. With this addition, HP Media Storage now supports all the major operating systems used in post-production.

“HP is committed to helping the entertainment and communications industries meet the technical challenges – and tap the huge opportunities – in digital content,” said Ananda Subbiah, vice president, Solutions, Communications, Media and Entertainment, HP. “HP Media Storage is a key part of our strategy, and our customers have shown that it is delivering positive business outcomes.”

HP Media Storage has been deployed by content creators and distributors around the world, such as Starz Entertainment, a leading provider of premium movies in the United States for the cable, satellite and telecom industries.

Recently, for example, the British Film Institute (BFI) worked with HP to begin the task of making available to the public Britain’s film heritage of more than 230,000 films and 675,000 TV programs. With HP Media Storage as a backbone, the new Mediatheque at BFI Southbank in London will provide free access to historic film records such as the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and England’s World Cup victory in 1966.

“We are proving time and time again that there is a real public appetite for archive film. The BFI cares for the world’s most significant moving image collection and this partnership with HP represents an important step forward in our long-term investment to open it up to the public,” said Amanda Nevill, director, British Film Institute. “It is a great example of culture, commerce and technology coming together in an innovative way to enhance public value.”

In related news, Stephen McKenna has been named vice president of HP’s Communications, Media and Entertainment unit. McKenna will lead HP’s effort to help the world’s media and entertainment companies take advantage of opportunities in digital content.

More information on HP’s Communications, Media and Entertainment offerings is available at www.hp.com/go/cme.

About HP

HP focuses on simplifying technology experiences for all of its customers – from individual consumers to the largest businesses. With a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure, HP is among the world’s largest IT companies, with revenue totaling $97.1 billion for the four fiscal quarters ended April 30, 2007. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.


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