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Digital Rapids Provides Live Streaming and Encoding to the National Assembly for Wales

Digital Rapids LogoJune 8, 2009 — Passfield, United Kingdom: Broadcast service provider Barcud Derwen has purchased five Digital Rapids StreamZ encoders to provide streaming and encoding to the National Assembly for Wales. The National Assembly for Wales is the democratically elected body that represents the interests of Wales and its people, makes laws for Wales and holds the Welsh government to account. The launch of the service is the latest phase in the Assembly’s e-democracy initiative to encourage citizens to engage with the democratic process in Wales, allowing thousands of visitors to view content simultaneously at www.senedd.tv.

One Digital Rapids StreamZ encoder is currently used in the main Senedd chamber, plus one encoder in each of the three committee rooms. The fifth encoder has been purchased for a proposed fourth committee room, expected to be up and running in time for the start of the Autumn term in September 2009.

The StreamZ encoders are used for live streaming and to capture archived meetings from tape. One audio channel captures the verbatim language of the meeting whilst the second channel offers English translation when the spoken language is Welsh. Taking advantage of StreamZ’s capability to automatically FTP files once capture has ended, archive clips of all recorded meetings are available to visitors of senedd.tv just a few minutes after the end of sessions.

Barcud Derwen, the UK’s largest broadcast service provider outside of London, is responsible for delivering the broadcast infrastructure within the Welsh Assembly and will run the streaming application to provide an average of 35 hours of content per week. Members of the public and Assembly staff now have unrestricted access to plenary sessions and committee meetings, together with a searchable archive to allow viewers to search for specific content and view it on demand.

Digital tagging of content, provided by Barcud Derwen, allows users to search by topic, date, or by Assembly Member. All meetings are tagged by Assembly staff and sorted by agenda item, and links back to the transcripts of the meetings are also provided to allow users to view any items of interest in the easiest and quickest way. StreamZ’s ability to automatically generate unique filenames based on metadata variables for all clips created from each encoder makes it convenient for the back-end database to link correctly to each asset and select relevant language options.

Says Rhun Roberts of Barcud Derwen, “We’ve been the host broadcaster for the National Assembly of Wales since 1999 and see huge potential in extending our service to a new audience via the Internet. I had no hesitation in choosing Digital Rapids’ StreamZ systems as the live and transcode encoders for senedd.tv, and we have had 100% reliability from them. Our Digital Rapids representative’s expertise in recommending the right systems during the planning stages and intimate knowledge of the technology allow us to concentrate on what we do best, in the knowledge that the service we deliver has a robust, flexible foundation.”

“We’re pleased to be working with Barcud Derwen to support the Internet initiatives at the National Assembly for Wales. Internet streaming is the ideal platform for elected bodies and officials to engage their constituents, enabling citizens to have far more comprehensive and timely access to proceedings than ever before,” said Clive Vickery, Managing Director, EMEA and Asia at Digital Rapids. “The versatility of StreamZ to support both live streaming and on-demand content creation, combined with its exceptional quality and flexible integration features, make it the ideal encoding and streaming solution for all manner of government-related communications.”

For more information about Digital Rapids, please visit www.digital-rapids.com.

About Digital Rapids Corporation – Digital Rapids develops market-leading hardware and software solutions for transforming and delivering media, enabling the multi-platform experiences that are defining the future of digital video. Scaling from individual applications to enterprise and global operations, Digital Rapids systems span the critical points in today’s complex media workflows. Recipient of two prestigious Frost & Sullivan awards in the World Video Encoders and Transcoders market, Digital Rapids combines innovative technology with proven expertise to help our customers maximize their productivity, quality, and the value of their content in the evolving digital media market. Digital Rapids Corporation (www.digital-rapids.com) is headquartered in Ontario, Canada with offices in the United States, the UK, Australia, Argentina and Hong Kong.

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