Alliance Atlantis Expands Encoda Systems’ Solution for


Denver, CO — Encoda Systems today announced that Alliance Atlantis Broadcasting is expanding its DAL Channel Manager D-Series automation solution to accommodate seven new digital specialty channels. Alliance Atlantis is tied as the second-largest owner of specialty networks in Canada, and the Toronto-based company’s umbrella reaches 83 percent of Canada’s English-speaking specialty channel viewers.

“The rich functionality of the D-Series solution provides a complete, end-to-end solution that meets our needs as a leading multichannel broadcast operation,” said Harvey Rogers, Senior Vice President of Broadcast Operations and Engineering for Alliance Atlantis. “We chose Encoda because they offered a fully automated master control system with real-time inventory management and the ability to supervise major peripheral devices, linking all of our systems efficiently. Now, as Alliance Atlantis continues its rapid development, we’re able to expand our existing Encoda systems to meet the demands of our increasingly complex broadcast operations.”

Alliance Atlantis purchased a new Encoda Systems D-Series automation system – much like the one already in operation for the company’s broadcast of the Showcase, Life Network, History Television, HGTV Canada, and Food Network Canada channels. The new National Geographic Channel, Showcase Action, Showcase DIVA, BBC Canada,

Discovery Health Channel, and the Independent Film Channel Canada go live using the new automation system early in November 2001. BBC Kids goes live on November 5.

“It’s exciting to see Encoda technology facilitating the growth of an operation like Alliance Atlantis,” said Joe French, Vice President for Media Delivery Solutions at Encoda Systems. “By using just one multichannel broadcast management solution in conjunction with the new and existing automation systems running independently, Alliance Atlantis is able to undertake major channel launches while maintaining the benefits of a familiar, wholly integrated system.”

The D-Series solution being utilized at Alliance Atlantis incorporates the on-air automation software and DAL Ingest Manager software. Together, the two provide synchronous multichannel automation with frame-accurate switching within a dedicated system that enables recording of live incoming feeds, movement of new material to video servers, and compilation and transfer of taped material to and from digital storage. Operators manage the system via a user-friendly graphical interface with single-button functionality for direct system control and monitoring.

At the core of D-Series is a dual computer system running in keystroke shadow mode. Main and standby computers continually monitor and update each other via direct serial connections and proprietary LANs. Both computers concurrently run the schedule so in the unlikely event of component failure, control is automatically switched to standby – with no manual intervention required. The unique dual redundant architecture ensures transmission is never interrupted by failure of an automation computer.

The system being installed by Alliance Atlantis includes new interfaces to a Pinnacle SAN server and a Masstech archive manager controlling a SONY Pedasite library.

The D-Series is reliable and robust, the solution of choice for many of the world’s leading multichannel broadcasters, including Alliance Atlantis, and is becoming one of the leading automation solutions in the world.

About Encoda Systems

Encoda Systems, Inc., a new company created by combining the operations of Columbine JDS Systems, Enterprise Systems, CCMS, and Drake Automation/DAL, provides comprehensive technology solutions for electronic media markets (broadcast television, cable, DBS, radio, streaming media, advertising agencies, media buyers, and national sales reps). Encoda Systems offers one of the most complete arrays of business systems and automated delivery systems and services in the world. The Company has offices in Colorado, New York, New Jersey, Tennessee, Michigan, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Encoda Systems is privately held with funding from a group including LiveWire, Thomas H. Lee Company, the Blackstone Group, and Evercore Partners. Additional information is available at

About Alliance Atlantis Communications

Alliance Atlantis Communications, Inc. is a leading vertically integrated broadcaster, creator and distributor of filmed entertainment with ownership interests in 18 specialty channels, including seven existing analog channels: Showcase, Life Network, History Television, HGTV Canada, Food Network Canada, Series+, Historia; seven new digital channels: Showcase Romance, Showcase Action, Independent Film Channel Canada (subject to CRTC approval), Discovery Health Channel, National Geographic Channel, BBC Canada, BBC Kids; and four specialty channels in which the Company has minority interests: Scream, The Score, Pride Vision and One: the Body, Mind and Spirit Channel.

The Company’s principal business activities are conducted through three operating groups: Broadcast, Motion Pictures and Televsion. Headquartered in Toronto, ALLIANCE ATLANTIS operates offices in Los Angeles, Edmonton, Montreal, Halifax, Shannon, London and Sydney. The Company’s common shares are listed on The Toronto Stock Exchange – trading symbols AAC.A, AAC.B and on NASDAQ – trading symbol AACB. The Company’s Web Site is