Zend - The PHP Company

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BEAM.TV relies on Zend Platform to ensure maximum application performance


While working on special effects for Ridley Scott's blockbusting film, Gladiator world–renown production house The Mill needed to send material for the director’s approval from London to Los Angeles daily. The production team pioneered a system of transporting electronic media via the Internet rather than using overnight couriers. Realizing that this solution was a technological building block that could benefit similar industries they established BEAM.TV. Today the company is the media industry standard for digital archiving and delivery. Core services include storing TV, radio and print material as digital files on the web. BEAM.TV has more than 70,000 registered users and over 500,000 pieces of archived media. Their entire application is written in PHP.

The Challenge

BEAM.TV wanted to provide web-based global services to the advertising and post-production industries to allow clients to collaborate on projects, deliver finished products to their customers, and archive their work on-line.

The application needed to ensure maximum uptime, allowing clients access to digital files around the clock. Full scalability was also important, both in terms of server space and bandwidth, to meet everincreasing customer requirements while maintaining a high level of service.

As BEAM.TV created a multi-language interface with new languages being added  all the time, the application needed to localize with ease. BEAM.TV required tools to translate and program their website quickly and easily as their client-base expanded.

The solution needed to provide BEAM.TV the ability to rapidly develop and launch new functionality to meet market demands.

“Our application is constantly scaling – many aspects of our architecture were designed with this in mind. We have the necessary infrastructure in place to scale the application horizontally as our user base grows and we serve even more media. This will include the Session Clustering component of Zend Platform.”

James Stewart Systems Manager

The Solution: PHP and Zend Platform

After carefully evaluating several programming languages to build their application interface, BEAM.TV realized they would benefit most from a technology that was as open and flexible as possible. They concluded that PHP was the best option since it allows rapid prototyping and flexible development. They also found that PHP was more feature-rich than its competitors and the low barriers to entry made it ideal for a company just launching its site.

PHP’s integration of XML and XSLT made adding additional languages to the application relatively simple.

To implement their site, BEAM.TV chose Zend PlatformTM primarily for its caching and acceleration capabilities. However, Zend Platform's ability to guarantee application reliability and improve response time through enhanced PHP performance proved crucial for optimizing performance of the application.

The PHP Intelligence feature of the Zend Platform™ was essential in identifying poor performance in different areas of the site. The company also benefited from Zend Platform’s unique Session Clustering scalability feature to load balance across their Web servers.

PHP’s large global user base, its extensive online development community and Zend’s ongoing commitment to support and continue development of PHP-based products has strengthened BEAM.TV’s confidence in the ongoing evolvement of the language.


  • Zend Platform
  • PHP


  • Rapid Prototyping
  • Flexible Deployment
  • XML and XSLT Integration
  • Zend Platform’s caching and acceleration capabilities
  • Session Clustering
  • Minimal Downtime
  • Zend’s ongoing commitment to support and continue development of PHP-based products

“Zend is obviously pushing PHP into the Enterprise. By partnering with vendors such as Oracle and focusing on development and deployment tools such as Platform, Studio and Framework, Zend is making PHP a more stable and fully featured web platform.”

James Stewart Systems Manager

“Zend is of course also a main contributor to the continuing evolution of the PHP language. Personally I hope that Zend continues in its current direction, offering a platform and related tools that pose minimal barriers to entry level users, while also offering Enterprise-class tools and support required for large-scale projects.”

James Stewart Systems Manager


BEAM.TV, a web-based system for the media industry that allows clients worldwide to receive and approve media content online; providing production companies and advertising agencies with enormous time and cost savings while simplifying their project management.

Since its inception, the company has set the industry standard in using the Internet for digital archiving and delivery. BEAM.TV is a global operation, with a network of over one hundred top international post production partners who offer BEAM.TV’s services in just about every corner of the world.

PHP, the premier language for Web development, and Zend Platform, the most comprehensive solutions for PHP production environment, seamlessly collaborate to make BEAM.TV the leader in digital asset management, archiving and online distribution of media. With Zend’s solutions, BEAM.TV has achieved the ability to scale and localize as needed, while ensuring high performance and effortless pinpointing of problems in the site.

For more information on BEAM.TV, visit www.beam.tv.

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