As the volume of streaming media grows, finding specific content can take a lot of
time. For IT shops recently drawn into a world resembling the TV business, the need to
index and manage such Web-borne multimedia presents new problems.
Those problems will become more complex as some organizations look to sell streaming
content, but novel solutions are being considered. The National Basketball Association,
for example, is at work constructing a Website to sell audio, video, and other forms of
content over the Internet. Web experts hope that some new Web standards such as XML,
the Extensible Markup Language, will reduce the amount of work needed to index and
exchange data about such video streams.
The W3C group, a World Wide Web standards body that oversees Web standards, has been
at work formalizing certain aspects of XML over a number of years. Companies helping
the NBA to create a useful online library expect to use XML.
Perhaps more central to the quest to archive video streams is advanced pattern-
recognition software of a kind once limited to military uses. Such software is moving,
by way of broadcasting systems, into commercial IT departments. Some analysts call the
emerging discipline "digital asset management."
Among the players in that area is Excalibur Technologies, a Herndon, Va., software
concern that was formed in the early 1980s largely to address the imaging needs of
government-related agencies. Earlier this year, Excalibur gained the endorsement of no
less a technology powerhouse than Intel Corp., when the chip giant agreed to form a new
public company that combined Excalibur with Intel's Interactive Media Services
Last month, Intel, Excalibur, and the NBA launched an effort to develop and
distribute sports content that includes enhanced broadband programming and interactive
broadcasts. The NBA hopes to provide access to some 50 years of NBA footage, said Dan
Agan, Excalibur's vice president of corporate marketing. Eventually, the NBA will offer
personalized, on-demand views of favorite players in action.
Enhancements to Screening Room Capture, Excalibur's flagship software program, are
intended to meet the NBA and others' evolving requirements. Screening Room allows
organizations to "get their arms around their video content" and then easily push that
out to an online environment, Agan said.
Moreover, Screening Room Capture will soon allow index information to encapsulate as
metadata in an XML format.