RLJ Acquires Image Entertainment and Acorn Media Group

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Mon, 04/30/2012 - 20:00 -- Nick Dager

Robert L. Johnson chairman of The RLJ Companies and founder of Black Entertainment Television has announced today that RLJ Acquisition has entered into agreements to acquire Image Entertainment and Acorn Media Group to create one of the largest independent distributors of digital and video content globally. The new combined company will be named RLJ Entertainment. Shares of the new company are expected to trade on the NASDAQ Stock Market. RLJ Entertainment where Johnson will serve as Executive Chairman and will leverage his substantial expertise in media consumer branding and strategic relationships to accelerate growth and drive value creation. “As executive chairman of RLJ Entertainment I am looking forward to this unique business combination of Image Entertainment and Acorn Media Group says Johnson.  RLJ Entertainment will have a broad strategy for financial growth by providing content to all media platforms including broadcast and cable DVD and Blu-Ray digital downloads and digital streaming. Image Entertainment is a leader in the urban independent film comedy and horror genres and Acorn Media Group founded by Peter Edwards who will serve as Vice Chairman of RLJ Entertainment is a dynamic brand-oriented company that provides engaging British drama such as the Agatha Christie library to its target audiences. I am excited to work with the management team to run a company that will increase the opportunity for independent and urban-oriented producers to reach a broader audience across the expanding number of media outlets.” In a growing demand for global content RLJ Entertainment will be well positioned by having a presence in the United States Canada Australia and the United Kingdom Johnson says. I believe combining Acorn Media Group with Image Entertainment under the RLJ Entertainment brand and with Bob Johnson as executive chairman provides us with a more robust content library and a larger platform for continued growth says Ted Green chairman and chief executive officer of Image Entertainment who will serve as the CEO of RLJ Entertainment after the completion of the business combination. I am thrilled that Acorn Media Group a company founded with a vision for British programming and a direct to consumer channel will become part of RLJ Entertainment says Miguel Penella CEO of Acorn Media Group.   We expect to greatly benefit from Bob Johnson's vision as we continue to acquire library content and build Acorn TV he says. ,3266
Rushes Upgrades Networking with Brocade System,2012-05-01,Post-production and visual effects processing increasingly rely on 2K/4K film resolution high-definition CGI content and real-time digital end-to-end workflows. To address that challenge the post house Rushes (part of the Deluxe Entertainment Services Group) has deployed a Brocade BRCD -0.08% data center networking solution based on Ethernet fabric technology helping it meet growing demand and link seven data centers located across five buildings in the Soho area of London. Specifically Rushes turned to Brocade VCS Fabric technology and Brocade VDX 6720 Data Center Switches the primary building blocks for Ethernet fabrics that have revolutionized the design of Layer 2 networks inside of data centers. Brocade Ethernet fabrics are designed to improve network utilization maximize application availability increase scalability and dramatically simplify network architectures in highly virtualized data centers. The new Ethernet fabric deployment will provide the 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) performance elasticity and resilience needed to boost network capacity to meet increasing bandwidth demands. This type of solution will be increasingly important to modern enterprises irrespective of the vertical in which they operate since most will be dealing with increasing volumes of video in coming years; the media sector is paving the way for others to follow. With more than 120 staff members Rushes is a creative post-production and visual effects house recognized for its work on films Wuthering Heights Unknown The Disappearance of Alice Creed and Slumdog Millionaire; television series the BBC's Inside the Human Body and ABC's 13-part series Combat Hospital; music promos for Coldplay Bjoerk and U2; and commercials for Max Factor Nokia and Vodafone. Rushes hosts the Soho Shorts Film Festival each year which showcases new talent in the UK. On any given project at Rushes numerous departments are involved: Telecine (color-correction) editing computer graphics visual effects motion graphics data conversion and delivery. Jez Tucker Rushes' senior systems administrator says All the departments need to work together and connect to the same data stored in the same place so files aren't continually shuffled around creating islands of data or worse duplicates. Rather there's one proven joined-up workflow. Making sure your workflow is as efficient as it can be is a primary concern for post-production. To underpin this Rushes has implemented an IBM General Parallel File System SAN throughout the business to centralize file management. Departments connect either using Fibre Channel – for Effects Artists requiring guaranteed real-time 2K/4K (film resolution) HD or stereoscopic 3D playback performance – or alternatively via VDX 10 GbE. Tucker says In the post-production industry Fibre Channel connectivity is long proven but the move from 1 GbE to 10 GbE is designed to improve collaboration and the efficiency of staff across all departments. Real-time editing over 10 GbE is in its youth but we are excited at the prospect of what it can offer us. Over and above 10 GbE performance Rushes chose the Brocade VDX 6720 switches because they provide the foundation for Ethernet fabrics. Tucker says Given we have a distributed data center environment if we had deployed traditional top-of-rack switches we would have created a huge mesh network resulting in vastly increased management overhead. In contrast installing Brocade VDX switches in each computer room to create an Ethernet fabric is far simpler. Essentially VDX with VCS technology allows you to deploy a geographically distributed chassis switch with each VDX being a blade in that chassis -- all managed as one switch. Over the coming months Rushes plans to install additional Brocade VDX switches in each of the seven machine rooms which will appear logically as one data center. This phased rollout will provide an opportunity for the business to update end-of-life legacy-networking equipment thereby saving on support costs. The new Brocade VCS Fabric technology-based architecture is providing a stable high-performing low-latency infrastructure that is flexible enough to adapt to Rushes' evolving business. Tucker says Low latency is crucial when viewing image playback. You can't have a suite where the video stream is stuttering and dropping frames. The experience for the client must be nothing less than perfect. That's where we set the bar. Neither can you afford to take a hit on production schedules when your render farm starts crunching data. Your network must be capable of performing the tasks required of it. Alberto Soto vice president EMEA at Brocade says The ease of management is the big win for customers choosing VCS Fabric technology and why Rushes purchased our switches over competitive products. They're moving away from dealing with complex network management issues to focus on supporting line-of-business applications and the main task of serving and delighting clients.