"...every programme needs to be transcoded in a Flash version (for PC streaming), a WMV version (Windows PC download), MPEG2 (TV set-top box), H.264 (web browser), and a variety of other formats coming soon. To do this, we have a transcoding farm of over 50 rack-mount PCs, most of which are running really fast dual quad-core Xeon CPUs. As content arrives off tape (for pre-recorded programmes) or off-air (from our digital satellite links, for live content like news and sport), it's fed into the transcoding platform.Update: backgrounder from Last100 -- Look mum, no DRM: BBC launches iPlayer on iPhone and iPod touch.
Those input files are encoded at over 50Mbps which makes them huge - around 25GB per hour of incoming video. With eight BBC TV channels plus 18 regional news broadcasts, that means we need to deal with up to 24 simultaneous incoming programmes, for a peak data rate of over a gigabit per second of incoming video." (via)
March 7, 2008
The BBC blogged a bit about their workflow to the web and mobile devices in BBC iPlayer On iPhone: Behind The Scenes: