The new system, operated by digital asset management service Adstream and in place since December, is for short-form material but is being seen as a test-bed for long-form programming.
'The first goal was to create a fully tapeless delivery system for short-form content,' says Roger Barton, Adstream head of broadcast services. 'We aren't capable of delivering hour-long series digitally at the moment.'
The system delivers files in MPEG2 over 100Mb pipes, but a software upgrade to the receiving boxes would be needed to transfer broadcast programming.
Adstream used to deliver up to 1,500 tapes a month to Red Bee's broadcast centre. Now it organises transfer of all spots as digital files along with relevant metadata directly into Red Bee's automation system.