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ISSUE 44 | FEBRUARY 2014
TECHNOLOGY INTELLIGENCE FOR TV, FILM AND RADIO
AFFORDABLE TV
My-HD reaches out
to the masses
TECH SPECIALS
•Understanding OTT
•Tackling transmission
PHYSIQUE TV
REDEFINED
Health and fitness channel shapes up with
new format and more programmes
PUBLICATION LICENSED BY IMPZ
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AND FOUNDER
Dominic De Sousa
K2 Summit
CABSAT Preview
GROUP CEO
Nadeem Hood
Media & Storage Solutions
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GROUP COO
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60
MANAGING DIRECTOR
Richard Judd
Publishing Director
Raz Islam
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+971 (0) 4 375 5471
Editorial Director
Vijaya Cherian
[email protected]
+971 (0) 55 105 3787
Welcome
EDITORIAL
Deputy Editor
Vibhuti Arora
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ADVERTISING
Group Sales Manager
Sandip Virk
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+971 (0) 50 459 2653
Sales Manager
Rodi Hennawi
[email protected]
+971 (0) 50 714 0427
DESIGN
Art Director
Simon Cobon
Graphic Designer
Jane Matthews
There’s no substitute for the best.
When you need speed and stability for your live event production,
K2 Summit® delivers. With 3G capabilities, record and playback,
four simultaneous 1080p signals, and flexible system integration
all neatly packaged to save on space, K2 Summit gets an ‘A’
grade across the board.
To learn more, visit www.grassvalley.com
Come and see the K2 Server live at CABSAT
Stand A5-20, 11-13 March 2014
Grass Valley
Shatha Tower, 31st Floor,
Office #3101,
Dubai Media City, P. O. Box 71808
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
+971 4 421 4470
www-ar.grassvalley.com
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PHOTOGRAPHY
Abdul Kader Pattambi
Jay Colina
MARKETING
Marketing Manager
Lisa Justice
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+971 (0) 4 375 5498
Marketing Assistant
Barbara Pankasz
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CIRCULATION & PRODUCTION
Production Manager
James P Tharian
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+971 (0) 4 440 9146
Circulation Manager
Rajeesh M
[email protected]
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DIGITAL SERVICES
Digital Services Manager
Tristan Troy P Maagma
Web Developers
Joel Azcuna
Janice Fulgencio
Whose side are you on? The big American
broadcasters’ or the little upstart Aereo’s?
For those of you who haven’t been following
the news closely, Aereo created a stir in the
US market two years ago when it took free,
over-the-air TV signals and streamed them to
subscribers on the internet for a small fee. More
importantly, Aereo’s main tool is a tiny remote
antenna that is hosted at its data centre and
leased to subscribers.
American broadcasters including CBS, NBC,
ABC and Fox have protested and sued Aereo
for “copyright infringement”. Although the US
federal court upheld the ruling of a lower court
deeming Aereo’s service perfectly legal, the case
now rests with the Supreme Court and its verdict
is likely to have serious implications on content
distribution, online streaming, cloud computing,
ad-skipping devices and more importantly, the
business of TV broadcasting itself.
I asked a well-respected broadcast CTO in
Dubai what he thought about this and he said
the TV industry must brace itself for some
serious change.
“What the TV industry is going through today
is what the audio industry went through a few
years ago and it is inevitable,” he explained.
“Content is going to be distributed over
multiple platforms and newer technologies
are going to make it easier to distribute
content while it makes life more difficult for
traditional broadcasters.”
Aereo’s model is presently restricted to the
US landscape, where cable operators primarily
offer channels for a fee to subscribers and
pay the channels for their content. In the UK,
Slingbox offers something similar, where the
box is connected to the subscriber’s digital
satellite receiver in the UK and content can be
received and viewed remotely in any part of
the world.
The prime difference between Aereo and
Slingbox, however, is the size of the technology,
which effectively changes the dynamics of the
TV market.
The legal implications of using such solutions
are still fairly blurred but it’s perhaps time for
broadcasters to start thinking of new ways to
generate money. Would the answer lie in making
content free and developing other models for
revenue generation?
Published by
VIjaya Cherian,
Editorial Director
ISSUE 44 | FEBRUARY 2014
TECHNOLOGY INTELLIGENCE FOR TV, FILM AND RADIO
HEADQUARTERS
PO Box 13700
Dubai, UAE
Tel: +971 (0) 4 440 9100
Fax: +971 (0) 4 447 2409
www.cpimediagroup.com
PRINTED BY
Printwell Printing Press LLC
AFFORDABLE TV
My-HD reaches out
to the masses
TECH SPECIALS
•Understanding OTT
•Tackling transmission
Let’s create a vibrant online broadcast community!
PHYSIQUE TV
REDEFINED
Health and fitness channel shapes up with
new format and more programmes
© Copyright 2014 CPI. All rights reserved.
While the publishers have made every effort to ensure
the accuracy of all information in this magazine, they
will not be held responsible for any errors therein.
From left: Physique TV’s GM,
Peter Einstein, and Technical
Consultant, Alan Constant.
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in this issue
FEBRUARY 2014
18
COVER
PHYSIQUE TV
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Purchase any one of Sony’s
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5 NEWS
•
•
Grass Valley, Phoenix 7 and
BSA expand operations
Arab films at the Oscars
INTERVIEWS
36 Affordable pay-TV in MENA
48 Filmmaker Wassim Beydoun
on the making of Ismi
TECH SPECIALS
30 OTT: A wild frontier
44 Overcoming OTT challenges
54 Transmission today
36
CLIFF NELSON,
CEO, MY-HD
48
WASSIM BEYDOUN,
FILMMAKER, UAE
PRONEWS
STOP
PRESS
● Paul Wallis exits MGI to join
Harris Broadcast
BSA expands operations
UAE-based Broadcast Systems Arabia
(BSA) has signed reseller agreements with
C-Com Sat satellite systems and Elenos,
a manufacturer of FM transmitters. The
agreement will enable the systems integrator
to sell the products of these companies in the
Middle East and Pakistan.
In an exclusive interview with BroadcastPro
ME, Irfan Gondal, CEO of BSA said: “This is
our first foray into direct sales. Now we have
a three-member strong dedicated sales team
who will be responsible for these products
that include FM transmitters and SNG
equipment. Our main focus for sales will be
on Libya and Syria, where we have already
established a strong footing.”
The company has been operating in the
region especially in war-torn countries to
deploy broadcast equipment and set up TV
and radio stations. In the three years of its
operations, this is the first time that BSA has
entered a reseller agreement with a vendor.
“We are expanding and this is the first step
in reaching out in order to grow our business.
We have more such agreements in the
pipeline, which will be announced closer to
CABSAT,” revealed Gondal.
UK-BASED PHOENIX 7
MULLS MIDDLE EAST ENTRY
UK-based broadcast
solutions provider Phoenix
7, which recently deployed
its channel management
system, Zeus, in Dubaibased Physique TV, is
looking at expanding to
the Middle East with an
office in Dubai, according
to a senior executive in
the company.
“The region has a very
high concentration of
TV channels and we are
looking at establishing a
base in Dubai,” commented
Hitesh Vekaria, Director at Phoenix 7, who
was in Dubai recently to oversee the Zeus
installation at Physique TV.
“This is a showcase project that gives us a
foothold in the Middle East.
“We are interested in a bigger presence
in the region and Dubai seems to be a good
gateway to achieve that. We are open to
discussions with agents who might like to
offer our solutions in the region. We also
intend to have a presence here to cater to
local needs,” he explained.
Phoenix 7 offers
an integrated suite of
products to cater to the
demands of multi-platform/
multi-format TV channels.
With solutions ranging
from channel management,
live event management
to sales, resource, rights
and asset management,
the company offers a host
bouquet of services
to broadcasters.
Phoenix 7, which was
Hitesh Vekaria,
Director, Phoenix 7.
launched 12 years ago
in the UK, already works
with several international broadcasters,”
Vekaria added.
“Our heritage includes working with some
of the leading names in the industry including
but not limited to Sky, BBC, Carlton,
Enteraction TV, BBC UK TV, Flextech,
Discovery Communication, Network
Centre, Channel 5, Showtime, Granada Sky
Broadcasting, Carlton Digital, Travel Channel
International, Sci Fi Channel, TV4 in Sweden
and many more across all flavours of media,”
he commented.
Media Digital Space debuts in Dubai
Hassan Chahine, former CEO of Glocom,
has set up a company in Dubai Media City,
BroadcastPro ME can reveal. Chahine’s newly
established company, Media Digital Space,
offers consultancy and engineering services to
broadcasters and telecom operators.
The new company offers project
management in technology, operations
and distribution. It also claims to provide
engineering and managed services to support
telecom and broadcast networks going through
migration phases while also helping to fill
any gaps during that migration. This support
includes providing new broadcast technology
that can be integrated with the existing
infrastructure to ensure internal efficiencies.
“The broadcast and media industry in the
region is going through a major phase of
change that needs an external view on
how to approach that migration from a
technological side and investment side;
Media Digital Space offers these services,”
Chahine explained.
Chahine is presently working as a consultant
with a number of entities including
an Egyptian TV channel, a UAE-based radio
channel, a satellite and telecom operator
as well as an international consulting firm
although he declined to provide names.
“One of the projects I am working on is to
bring an enhanced TV viewing experience to
viewers,” he explained.
“This capitalises on broadband interactive
capabilities and the high penetration of free
to-air, direct-to-home satellite TV in the region.
It is a combined technology solution to further
propel the growth of the broadcast satellite
industry in the region.”
Hassan Chahine,
Media Digital Space.
February 2014 | www.broadcastprome.com |
5
PRONEWS
ADVANCED MEDIA ADDS
FREEFLY TO PORTFOLIO
Peter Bale with Caroline Faraj.
CNN revamps
Arabic website
CNN International announced the re-launch
of CNNArabic.com, its online Arabic news
offering, as the website marks its 12th
anniversary. The reinvented CNNArabic.com
includes a range of new features providing
a seamless user experience across all
devices as the website embraces rapidly
evolving consumer needs.
At the heart of the re-launch is the new
concept of responsive design.
Peter Bale, VP and General Manager CNN
Digital International: “The Middle East is
one of the fastest growing mobile Internet
markets and the ideal place for a site built
around evolving news consumption habits.
“As the leading international
multiplatform news brand, CNN is bringing
the most modern design and technology
to the Arabic language market, with the
new CNNArabic reflecting our ambition to
be quick to embrace relevant new formats
while also listening carefully to the needs of
our consumers.”
Abu Dhabi Film
Festival invites Sanad
Fund submissions
John Kjellevold, MD,
Abu
Dhabi
Film Festival has announced
Mosart
Medialab.
the call for submissions for the Festival’s
SANAD grant which aims to support
filmmakers from the Arab world.
Submissions are open from January 26 to
February 28, 2014.
The SANAD fund supports projects
in the development or post-production
phases for Arab narrative and
documentary feature-length films.
Each year, SANAD awards grants
to Arab filmmakers in two categories:
development funds of up to US$20,000
and post-production funds of up to
US$60,000 per project.
Dubai-based distributor of broadcast
equipment, Advanced Media, has added
a new handheld 3-axis digital stabilised
camera gimbal from FreeFly systems to
its portfolio.
With the MOVI M10, Advanced Media
introduces Freefly for the first time to
the UAE, adding yet another brand to the
already existing stabilisers from Glidecam
and Manfrotto.
The MOVI M10 boasts Freefly’s
proprietary high performance IMU and
brushless direct drive system among
other features.
A key feature of the product is the
Majestic Mode, which allows for a single
operator to intuitively control the pointing
of the gimbal by moving the handles
without compromising the stabilisation of
the image. The gimbal takes the operator’s
movements and intelligently converts them
into stabilised pan and tilt movements.The
system features patent-pending translation
compensation, whereby the system will
automatically adjust the camera angle to
maintain a consistent frame.
Alaa Al Rantisi, Managing Director,
Alaa Al Rantisi, MD,
Advanced Media.
Advanced Media LLC said: “Freefly
Movi M10 camera stabiliser is the only
GPS enabled, 3-axis, digitally stabilised,
handheld camera gimbal in the new world
of stabilised cinematography. This is a high
performance inertial measurement device
interfaced with a brushless direct drive
system which can replace so many other
camera tools.”
MGI brings SIENNA to the region
Systems integrator Media Group International (MGI) has announced a partnership agreement with
Gallery SIENNA to offer its broadcast customers in the Middle East seamless integration and next
generation workflow.
SIENNA software offers an end-to-end digital media infrastructure for news, sports and
production featuring a tightly integrated MOS connection to ENPS. The SI claims that the new
partnership will bring enormous benefit to MGI’s customers by giving them easy access to the latest
systems for news, sport, live event and mutli-camera television production.
Mark Gilbert, CTO of Gallery SIENNA added: “We are delighted that MGI has made a strong
commitment to Sienna, and MGI’s experience and reach will make Sienna accessible to a new
audience in the Gulf region. Local support is fundamental to our vision, so MGI’s formally trained
Sienna engineers are a welcome addition.”
As well as becoming official Sienna distribution partners, MGI recently sent its Senior Solutions
Architects Jim White and Tyrone Donnelly on a weeklong intensive Sienna training programme in
London. The programme is designed to give MGI self-sufficiency in implementing and supporting
Sienna Systems and affords MGI the Approved Sienna Systems Integrator status.
Algeria considers partial TV deregulation
After years of speculation, the Algerian Parliament will vote on the audio-visual bill, which will
license private sector TV channels if passed into law. Private channels will be able to broadcast
their programmes through the Algerian Television Broadcasting Company (TDA) after the new
legislation comes into force, so long as the channels are “established under Algerian law”.
6 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2014
PRONEWS
PRONEWS
Harris Broadcast
completes acquisition of
Imagine Communications
Harris Broadcast has
announced that it
has completed the
acquisition of Imagine
Communications,
a digital video
solutions provider.
Charlie Vogt, CEO of
Harris Broadcast said:
“TV Everywhere is the
future of our industry,
and our customers are
vigorously pursuing
this path to expand
their business models
Charlie Vogt.
and improve the
monetisation of content across any screen.
“The advanced Adaptive Bit Rate (ABR)
technology created by Imagine combines
quality, density and a small footprint to greatly
leapfrog anything else on the market today
and improves transcoding economics up to
a factor of 10 over competing alternatives.
Our content creator and content distribution
customers, including cable, MSO and
telecommunications service providers, will
benefit significantly from end-to-end portfolio
integration that establishes a clear pathway
to linear and non-linear viewing parity across
every screen.”
OSN inks deal
with Sundance
OSN has signed a deal with AMC/Sundance
Channel Global to launch a regional version
of the Sundance Channel for the Middle East
and North Africa.
The channel of the international division
of AMC Networks have been available
exclusively on OSN from January 2014, offering
independent feature films, world cinema,
documentaries, short films, series and original
programmes. The new channel is available
to OSN subscribers on the Platinum HD and
Premier HD packages and via OSN Play, the
region’s first online TV viewing platform.
It complements OSN’s existing line-up of
over 135 channels, including 15 film channels
and 14 entertainment/series channels
offering even more premium and exclusive
content choices to OSN viewers. The move will
also take OSN’s total number of HD channels
to 37.
GRASS VALLEY EXPANDS
REGIONAL PRESENCE
In an attempt to establish a stronger
footprint in the Middle East, Grass Valley
has made a number of announcements in
the run-up to CABSAT next month.
The company has announced three
new hires for the Middle East operations
in Dubai, which include a regional sales
manager, a customer services engineer and
a marketing coordinator. The names of the
new recruits will be revealed later.
Grass Valley is also installing a new
demonstration facility in its Dubai office
for customers and end users to see and
experience the very latest broadcast and
media technologies brought to life. The
facility will be launched during CABSAT
2014, where the company will have a strong
presence with a two-deck stand.
To serve its Arabic-speaking customer
base in the Middle Eaast and around
the world, Grass Valley will launch its
first Arabic web site: http://www-ar.
grassvalley.com. The site will be complete
with product information and video
tutorials to further promote Grass Valley’s
dedication to the growing broadcast
market in the Middle East.
Said Bacho, Senior Vice President EMEA,
Grass Valley said: “2014 is an important
year for us in the Middle East as we are
further strengthening our regional team and
investing in additional local resources to
provide unrivalled opportunities for leading
broadcasters in the region, especially after
our very successful year in 2013 achieving
double-digit growth in the Middle East.”
The GV Director Nonlinear Live Production
System will be introduced to the Middle
Bechara to lead Avid Middle East as GM
Hassan Chahine.
Mounzer Bechara, GM, Avid Middle East.
Hitesh Vekaria,
Director, Phoenix 7.
Avid has promoted Mounzer Bechara to the position of General Manager for the Middle East.
Bechara previous served as Sales Manager for the Middle East, supporting Avid’s growth and
business development in the region. With more than 12 years of expertise in the broadcast
and technology industry, Bechara will be responsible for continuing the company’s ongoing
momentum and growth in the Middle Eastern market.
Reporting to Christopher Brennan, Managing Director of Central & Eastern Europe, Middle
East and Turkey, Bechara will continue to be based in Avid’s Dubai office.
“The Middle East is a very important region for Avid and having the right person to ensure its
continued expansion is key,” said Brennan.
“I am delighted to see someone of Mounzer’s calibre take the lead in growing Avid’s footprint
in the area. I am confident that his experience in the industry and knowledge of broadcasters
and media organisations will generate significant opportunity for the company.”
Bechara added: “I am pleased to take on this role. The region is gaining more market share
and influential power, attracting international investor attention and focus.”
83% growth for MENA
pay-TV by 2020:
Digital TV Research
A recent report by Digital TV Research has
revealed that pay-TV revenues in the Middle
East and North Africa (MENA) will grow by
more than 83% between 2010 and 2020 to
USD 5.60bn.
From the $1.490bn in pay-TV revenues to
be added between 2013 and 2020, Turkey
will supply $359m, Egypt $362m and Saudi
Arabia $257m.
Satellite TV will continue to dominate pay-TV
revenues, taking two-thirds of the 2020 total
(similar to the 2013 proportion). Satellite TV
revenues will reach $3.74bn in 2020, up
by $1bn on 2013 and nearly double the
2010 total.
In terms of platforms used — and despite a
transformation to IP-based video services such
as over-the-top (OTT) in countries such as
Qatar and the UAE beginning in 2013, satellite
TV will continue to dominate pay-TV revenues,
taking two-thirds of the 2020 total, similar to
the 2013 proportion.
Said Bacho.
East at CABSAT. GV Director integrates several
features such as video switching and graphics
in a single, intuitive system, and the new LDX
Compact series of small footprint advanced
imaging cameras.
“It’s very exciting for us to participate in
CABSAT 2014 because it serves as the perfect
venue to introduce GV Director and our LDX
Compact camera series to the Middle East
region for the first time – an area where we see
great potential,” added Bacho.
Dubai Moving Image Museum inaugurated
Dubai Moving Image Museum was officially inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Majid Bin
Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority.
A one-of-its-kind museum in the Middle East, it is one of the very few in the world focusing on the
history of the moving image. Akram Miknas, the museum’s founder and owner, said the museum’s
exhibits are original and were collected over a period of 30 years.
“This museum is one of only a handful of museums in the world focusing on the history of the
moving image, and is the only museum of its kind in the Middle East given Dubai’s impressive
track record of being the forefront in the fields of culture and arts” he added.
Charting the evolution of the moving image, from the first primitive cave drawings to the birth
of the motion picture film, the museum houses Miknas’ private collection accumulated over the
years. All items in the museum are original, dating back from the 1730s to the 20th century and it
is located on the first floor of MCN’s Hive building, located in Tecom in Dubai.
8 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2014
Damien Egan, Solid
State Logic.
February 2014 | www.broadcastprome.com |
9
PRONEWS
Al Jazeera initiatives
Al Jazeera Arabic
joins Freeview
Al Jazeera Arabic became the first nonEnglish language channel to launch its DTT
service on the Freeview platform in the UK. Al
Jazeera English became a part of the network
in November last year in HD and SD.
The Arabic news channel will use an MPEG4 transport stream but broadcast in SD. The
channel is carried on the new digital terrestrial
multiplexes awarded to Arqiva in 2013.
It is estimated that by June 2014
approximately 3.2 million Freeview HD
households across the UK will have access
to Al Jazeera Arabic bringing its total reach in
the UK to more than six million households.
Al Jazeera launches
digital service in Turkey
Al Jazeera has launched a new Turkish online
service ahead of a full television channel
launch from Istanbul. The service, known as Al
Jazeera Türk, will follow its initial digital launch
with a TV channel, based in Topkapi, Istanbul.
The new channel will join existing Al
Jazeera news services in Arabic, English, and
local Balkan languages.
Yaser Bishr, Executive Director, Strategy
and Development at Al Jazeera said: "Al
Jazeera Türk is an important new member
to the Al Jazeera Network, serving a key
geopolitical market. To launch on digital first
continues Al Jazeera's tradition of innovation.”
Initially the service will be available from the
portal aljazeera.com.tr.
Al Jazeera Sport
renamed beIN Sports
Al Jazeera Sport was rebranded beIN Sports
on Jan 1, 2014. The rebranding indicates
that the channel will now be part of beIN
Sports, a global network of sports channels,
jointly owned and operated by Qatari Sports
Investments (an affiliate of Al Jazeera Media
Networks). beIN presently operates three
channels in France – beIN Sport 1, beIN
Sport 2 and beIN Sport MAX – and launched
two channels in the United States (English
and Spanish) in August 2012. The channel
also holds Canadian broadcast rights to
several sports properties. beIN Sport holds
the broadcast rights to several top European
football leagues among others.
ICON ART PRODUCTION
INVESTS IN NEW EQUIPMENT
Dubai-based production and rental house,
Icon Art Production (IAP), has upgraded
its equipment by adding an extensive array
of high-end production cameras, dollies,
jibs, lights and cranes. The company has
invested more than USD 2.7 million on the
latest equipment.
The decision to buy new equipment was
based on an increase in demand for local
and international production of feature films,
short films, TV programmes, music videos,
TV commercials and live event productions
in the UAE, according to Zakir Hussain, CEO
of the company.
IAP invested in state-of-the-art kit last
year to support seven feature films, 30 TV
commercials, 10 music video and several
corporate films. Hussain claims that the
company was also instrumental in the
production of the big-budget Bollywood film
Welcome Back.
“Presently, we are quite busy with that
film. We will also begin work on at least two
more big productions from India very soon.
In fact, we are expecting to shoot 10 Indian
films in 2014, with support from Dubai Film
and TV Commission. This will also include an
action thriller,” he added.
Zakir Hussain,
CEO, Icon Art.
According to Hussain, Icon Art Production
offers a one-stop shop to cater to the
production and post production needs of
local as well as foreign producers.
“With more than seven years’ experience
in the industry, our team understands the
requirements of the industry, based on which
we design a feasible budget for any type of
project to assist directors and producers,”
explained Hussain.
Three Arab films nominated for Oscars
DIFF opening film and Palestinian thriller Omar,
directed by Hany Abu Assad, is up for Best
Foreign Film at the Academy Awards this year.
The nomination for Assad’s Omar is the second
for a Palestinian film, following the nomination
for Paradise Now in 2006.
Omar is among the five nominees in the
category that inlcudes Belgium’s The Broken
Circle Breakdown, Cambodia’s The Missing
Picture, Denmark’s The Hunt, and Italy’s The
Great Beauty. The final five were selected from
a shortlist of nine films that had been whittled
down from 76 submissions.
A tale of love, betrayal and struggle in the
Israeli-occupied territories, Omar received
the Un Certain Regard jury prize at last year’s
Cannes film festival. The film won Muhr Awards
for Best Film and Best Director at the tenth
Dubai International Film Festival held in
December last year.
Egyptian film The Square has been
nominated for Best Documentary. Throughout
the Best Foreign Film category’s 58-year history
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The team of Omar with Director Hany Abu Assad.
(AMPAS introduced it in 1956), Egypt has
never been nominated but holds the record of
submitting the most films to the competition
without ever getting a nomination.
Directed by Jehane Noujaim, The Square won
accolades at DIFF 2013, Sundance Film Festival
at the Toronto International Film Festival
last year.
A third film from the region, Karama
Has No Walls will be in the running for Best
Documentary Short.
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track of your video and audio quality at all times and is the
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Abu Dhabi to invest in
Time Warner HQ
Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the
world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds, is
investing alongside Singapore’s state fund
GIC Pte in Time Warner Inc.’s headquarters in
New York City.
Reports said that the sovereign wealth
fund was part of a $1.3bn deal, which is now
in the final stages.
The buyer, led by real estate firm Related
Group, has secured money for this from
Abu Dhabi and Singapore, which agreed to
finance more than 80% of the purchase, it
was reported in The Wall Street Journal.
The deal is said to be one of the biggest
in a surge of businesses involving foreign
investors in US commercial real estate.
Benghazi TV deploys
OASYS Chameleon
OASYS Automated Playout has announced
that Benghazi TV has launched a new
HD channel using its integrated playout
platform, Chameleon. Broadcasting on
Nilesat, Benghazi TV is the first non-state
channel in Libya.
OASYS was commissioned to provide an
integrated playout solution by UMC, Libya as
part of an end-to-end tapeless workflow.
Commenting on the deployment, Omar
Abukhatwa of BTV said: “The nature of
the channel meant that we needed a fast
turnaround of content and a workflow
capable of handling both SD and HD.
OASYS enabled us to manage graphics
and overlay features as well as the ability to
edit on the fly. The provision of a redundancy
system added up to a complete, costeffective solution.”
Mike Kenna, Sales Director, EMEA at
OASYS, said: “We are delighted to increase
our installed base in Libya and thus our
footprint in the Middle East with the addition
of Benghazi TV.”
The OASYS install was the first phase of
the project; the second phase being the
addition of additional infrastructure within
the 500 sq m studio.
DUBAI TV LAUNCHES FOOTBALL REALITY
SHOW WITH MARADONA
Diego Maradona.
DMI has announced the launch of the
first football sports reality show in the
Arab world titled The Victorious. The
show, which will be aired on Dubai TV and
Dubai Sports channels, will scout for local
football talent under the supervision of
football legend and Ambassador of Dubai
Sports Council, Diego Maradona.
Commenting on the initiative, Ali Khalifa
Al Rumaithi, Director of Dubai TV said this
show offered a good opportunity for Arab
talent to be known internationally.
The show will be filmed in Dubai Sports
City as a first logistical production. Al
Rumaithi added that the new programme
GY-HM850 & GY-HM890
will rank among the best shows in terms of
the concept, preparation and production.
The Victorious will also highlight the
main sports features in the UAE through
a series of activities and events about the
participants’ training programmes.
Weekly episodes will also feature the
daily activities and training undertaken by
professional players under the supervision
of experts in health, nutrition and fitness.
Each week, the show will also host
an Arab or international football star,
in addition to featuring a group of
professional trainers and supervisors led
by Diego Maradona.
MBC Hope Awards announced
MBC Hope – MBC Group’s Corporate Social
Responsibility arm hosted its ‘Doing Good
Awards’ recently to recognise the contribution
of Arabs to various fields.
Five winners were picked through a careful
selection by the jury comprising eminent
figures in the Arab world.
Engineer Hosni Al Shafei from Egypt won
in the category of “Energy & Environment”.
Director Merieme Addou from Morocco was
awarded for her participation in a documentary
called Pirates of Sella, which was a joint
project with British filmmaker Rosa Rogers.
Mashal Al Nahari, from Saudi Arabia, won for
his project “Saudi HR Solutions”, which was
based on starting up a HR company to train
young people in various skills. Omar Samra,
from Egypt, won the award for her contribution
to humanitarian causes and MBC Hope
12 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2014
The winners of MBC Hope Awards
pose with the jury members.
Outstanding was awarded to Sara Shatila from
AIESEC, Lebanon.
Each of the winners received USD 26,666
and were also promised access to MBC Group’s
media platforms to highlight their projects as
well as their progress and results.
Arab Idol’s Mohammad Assaf made a
guest appearance at the awards ceremony to
congratulate the winners.
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Nile TV appoints new head
6
Egyptian broadcaster Nile TV International
has appointed a new head after the satellite
channel mistakenly televised a report on the
achievements of former president Mohammed
Morsi, who was ousted on July 3, 2013.
Mervat Mohsen has been replaced by
Samih Rajae, who now heads Nile TV as its
General Manager.
Mohammed Morsi is presently on trial for
inciting the murder of protesters, while the
Muslim Brotherhood, the political party he led,
was declared a “terrorist organisation” by the
Egyptian authorities in December 2013.
Nile TV International, which launched in
1994, is broadcast as a terrestrial channel
within Egypt, and via satellite across the Arab
world, Europe and the US.
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The World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at
Sundance 2014 went to Syrian documentary
Return to Homs. Directed by Talal Derki,
the film chronicles the life of a national
football team goalkeeper, who becomes a
demonstration leader and singer, and then
a fighter. Ossama, a 24-year-old renowned
citizen cameraman, is critical, a pacifist, and
ironic until he is detained by the regime.
DUBAI PRODUCER TAPS
NANOTECH TO PREPARE AND
DELIVER FILM IN 4K
Dubai-based content producer Global
New Age Media (GNAM) has entered into
an agreement with US-based NanoTech
Entertainment’s 4K Studios to convert its
sci-fi thriller Mantera (Man Transformable
Exo-Robotic Armour) to 4K Ultra HD.
The deal includes a global distribution
agreement that will see NanoTech
distribute the film through UltraFlix,
NanoTech’s streaming 4K Ultra HD service.
UltraFlix will deliver the film at four
times the resolution of full HD on a variety
of devices including NanoTech’s Nuvola
NP-1 4K Ultra HD streaming media player.
Nuvola NP-1, which debuted at the
International CES show last month, is
powered by the NVIDIA Tegra 4 and can
stream 4K UltraHD movies such as the
film Mantera.
The NP-1 can also stream videos in HD,
SD and 3D formats as well as 4K. With
streaming capabilities, users don’t have to
wait for downloads or use up the capacity
of their drives to store large files.
First released in 2012, Mantera was
filmed in Dubai, Moscow and Kuala
Lumpur, giving it broad international
appeal. The action-packed film combines
CGI (computer-generated imagery) and
live action to tell the story of a brave
young man who saves Mantera from
falling into the wrong hands.
“By working with 4K Studios to convert
Mantera to 4K Ultra HD, we’re providing
viewers with a new and more exciting
entertainment experience,” Fayez
Sabbagh, Chairman of GNAM said.
“Mantera combines CGI and live
action; and when we saw a preview of the
film that was converted to 4K, the results
were amazing. There’s just no comparison
between CGI HD and CGI Ultra HD.”
Speaking about why 4K Studio’s
conversion process doesn’t just involve
up-scaling, Alexander “LX” Rudis, Vice
President of Development at NanoTech
said: “Upscaled content is muddy and full
of artifacts. It’s just not acceptable for
consumers who pay for and expect the
true 4K resolution experience.”
Lebanese production house chooses Argosy for OB truck
UK-based infrastructure solutions provider,
Argosy, recently supplied most of the
cables, racks, patch panels and other
infrastructure required to kit out the first
High Definition (HD) Outside Broadcast (OB)
truck in Lebanon.
The new truck, built by Lebanon-based
broadcast production company Hedgehog,
is designed to cover the complete range
of sporting and cultural events, and is
equipped with 14 Grass Valley cameras and
a sophisticated 240-channel Calrec digital
audio console.
The truck required reels of ruggedised triax
camera cables, and multi-core and digital
audio cables to be rigged as required.
Argosy provided most of the cables and
connectors for the internal wiring, along with
patch panels and cords, as well as the power
distribution units for each rack. As with any
OB design, the engineers needed to balance
minimising the weight of the installation with
absolute reliability.
George Moufarrej, CEO of Hedgehog said:
“Argosy has one of the broadest portfolio of
the ‘right’ products — many of which have
been used in our latest HD OB production
vehicle. The team at Argosy also understands
our business and delivers the highest quality
products in the shortest possible time to
meet our time-critical roll out requirements.”
Argosy engineers were able to provide
expert advice on the optimum choices of
matched cables and connectors, as well
as delivering the location cable reels ready
to go. All the material that was supplied
by Argosy came direct from the company’s
Middle East distribution centre in Dubai.
“Our customers look to us as a one-stop
shop for projects like this,” said Mike Purnell,
director of Argosy.
“We can work with the systems engineers
to ensure that all the requirements are
covered, with the right materials and the
right quantities. This is a great new outside
broadcast unit: we are proud to have played
our part in it and we wish the team at
Hedgehog great success.”
February 2014 | www.broadcastprome.com |
15
PROOPINION
®
PROOPINION
Heart of Gold.
Doug Sheer.
Doug Sheer.
People
People
power
power
Our industry not only rises and falls on efficiency but also on savvy
Our industry not only rises and falls on efficiency but also on savvy
management,good
goodcontent
content
and
quality
engineering.
In that
regard,
management,
and
quality
engineering.
In that
regard,
trainedand
andexperienced
experienced
workforce
is essential
for growth
its growth
aa trained
workforce
is essential
for its
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A large number of the technological
innovationsbeing
being
promoted
in our
innovations
promoted
in our
industry
today
involve
the
elimination
industry today involve the elimination of of
jobsand
andare
arepurposefully
purposefully
promoted
jobs
promoted
thatthat
way.But,
But,what’s
what’s
wrong
with
creating
way.
wrong
with
creating
professionaljobs
jobs
and
sustaining
a class
professional
and
sustaining
a class
experiencedand
and
savvy
broadcasting
ofofexperienced
savvy
broadcasting
and
professionals?
andproduction
production
professionals?
Jeff
of of
Amazon
hashas
JeffBezos,
Bezos,CEO
CEO
Amazon
recently
toto
promote
thethe
concept
of of
recentlybegun
begun
promote
concept
using
to to
deliver
packages
usingrobotic
roboticdrones
drones
deliver
packages
totothe
customers,
thereby
thedoors
doorsofof
customers,
thereby
potentially
eliminating
FedEx,
UPS
or or
potentially eliminating FedEx,
UPS
the postal system. Setting aside the
the postal system. Setting aside the
futuristic wonder of such an approach,
futuristic wonder of such an approach,
what does it say about the elimination of
what does it say about the elimination of
a paid workforce that can then afford to
a paid workforce that can then afford to
buy the products that Amazon is selling?
buyI am
thetaking
products
that Amazon is selling?
So,
the unfashionable,
So, I amradical,
takingposition
the unfashionable,
perhaps
that we need
perhaps radical,
position
thatand
weinneed
employment
to sustain
society
employment
sustain society
and in
turn
pay for thetotechnology
we want.
turn pay
the
technology
we want.
While
therefor
are
many
benefits from
doing
Whilecheaper,
there are
manydoes
benefits
from doing
things
where
real quality
come
in?cheaper,
My pointwhere
is doesdoes
anyone
to
things
realstop
quality
consider
the
impact
of innovation?
come in?
Myfull
point
is does
anyone stop to
The industry
panicked
and
consider
the full
impactinof2008
innovation?
the The
ensuing
years panicked
and cut itself
to the
industry
in 2008
and
bone,
starting years
with aand
massive
downsizing.
the ensuing
cut itself
to the
One
of the
least with
attractive
aspects
of the
bone,
starting
a massive
downsizing.
worldwide
recession
was
the
veritable
One of the least attractive aspects of the
bloodletting in reducing the professional
worldwide recession was the veritable
ranks it stimulated. But, unlike many
bloodletting in reducing the professional
previous recessions where a policy
ranks it stimulated. But, unlike many
of ‘last in, first out’ was typical, this
previoussaw
recessions
where
a policy
recession
the greatest
cuts
among
of
‘last
in,
first
out’
was
typical,
this
middle to upper level managers. Why?
recession saw the greatest cuts among
middle to upper level managers. Why?
They made more money and accounted
industry should foster the employment
They made more money and accounted
industry should foster the employment
for of
usegreater
of greater
benefits.
as networks
both younger
and
moreand
mature and
for use
benefits.
So, asSo,
networks
of bothofyounger
and more
mature
made
hundreds,
sometimes
thousands
experienced
professional
men
and women
made hundreds, sometimes thousands
experienced professional men and women
of experienced
workers
redundant,
with
theof
target
of rebuilding
capabilities
by
of experienced
workers
redundant,
they they with the
target
rebuilding
capabilities
by
didn’t
spare
the managers.
Cuts
to news expanding
expanding
employment.
didn’t
spare
the managers.
Cuts to
news
employment.
divisions
particularly
severe.
have
the arrival
divisions
werewere
particularly
severe.
ThoseThose RecentRecent
decadesdecades
have seen
theseen
arrival
are occurring,
still occurring,
particularly
and absorption
of automation,
cutscuts
are still
particularly
and absorption
of automation,
robotic robotic
in Europe.
One One
reallyreally
negative,
and and
cameras,
virtual imaging,
etc. Yes, etc.
some
in Europe.
negative,
cameras,
virtual imaging,
Yes, some
shortsighted
resultresult
has been
an extreme
been
quite
beneficial
and
shortsighted
has been
an extreme of these
ofhave
these
have
been
quite beneficial
and
reduction
in investigative
journalism.
there
is there
no going
reduction
in investigative
journalism. I wouldI agree
wouldthat
agree
that
is no going
TheThe
careers
of anof
entire
generation
of
as we embrace
more more
careers
an entire
generation
of back. However,
back. However,
as we embrace
younger
would-be
mediamedia
professionals,
let’s consider
their impact
younger
would-be
professionals, innovations,
innovations,
let’s consider
their impact
often
freshfresh
fromfrom
university,
have been
industry
not onlynot
rises
often
university,
have been on jobs.onOur
jobs.
Our industry
only rises
effectively put on hold. In fact, many
and falls on efficiency but also on savvy
effectively put on hold. In fact, many
and falls on efficiency but also on savvy
young people have steered away from
management, good content and quality
young people have steered away from
management, good content and quality
the very idea of a career in any form of
engineering. In that regard, a trained and
the very idea of a career in any form of
engineering. In that regard, a trained and
journalism or media, except for blogging
experienced workforce is an essential tool,
journalism or media, except for blogging
experienced workforce is an essential tool,
or social media and there the competition
reflects good technology policy and is a
or
social
media
and
there
the
competition
good technology policy and is a
is frighteningly cutthroat. It is not a pretty
sign of reflects
good governance.
is frighteningly
cutthroat.
of good
governance.
picture
for those starting
out. It is not a pretty So, Isign
suggest
the question
at hand
picture itfor
starting
out. to
So, I suggest
the question
I suggest
is those
time for
the industry
as the industry
builds back,
is not at hand
I suggest
it is innovation
time for the
industry to merelyas
the industry
builds
is not
call a halt
to putting
before
whether
something
canback,
be done
calland
a halt
to putting
innovation
merely or
whether
something
can be done
people
thereby
acknowledge
the before more cheaply,
even seemingly
more
people and
thereby
acknowledge
more
cheaply,
seemingly
importance
of people
power.
Where to the
efficiently,
but
whetherororeven
not that
is evenmore
begin?
How about
it to desirable
in the first
place
if it threatens
importance
ofacknowledging
people power.that
Where
efficiently,
but
whether
or not that is even
takes
trained
andabout
experienced
people, that it jobs. My
thesis is in
that
shouldif be
begin?
How
acknowledging
desirable
theprofits
first place
it threatens
not takes
robotstrained
or drones,
run stations people, balanced
with
needisfor
andprofits
the desire
andtoexperienced
jobs.
Mythe
thesis
that
should be
and not
facilities?
when those
to maintain
goodwith
people.
invented
robotsEven
or drones,
to runfacilities
stations
balanced
thePeople
need for
and the desire
are highly
automated,
they
still those
requirefacilities and developed
the industry
and people
and facilities?
Even
when
to maintain
good people.
People invented
PRO
helping
human
minds,
hands
and
eyes.
will
keep
it
innovating
and
growing.
are highly automated, they still require
and developed the industry and people
So, Ihelping
submit human
that it would
be
refreshing
minds, hands and eyes.
will keep it innovating and growing. PRO
to plan for accommodating the concept
So, I submit that it would be refreshing
of employment and using competent
to plan for accommodating the concept
managers for the stewardship of media
of employment and using competent
operations. Companies can sponsor
Douglas I. Sheer is CEO and Chief
managers
forendowed
the stewardship
of media
students
through
scholarships
Analyst of D.I.S. Consulting Corporation
Companies
can sponsor
Douglas
Sheer is CEO
and operations.
offer paid internships.
Generally,
the
headquartered
in I.Woodstock,
NY. and Chief
students through endowed scholarships
Analyst of D.I.S. Consulting Corporation
and offer paid internships. Generally, the
headquartered in Woodstock, NY.
February 2014 | www.broadcastprome.com |
17
February 2014 | www.broadcastprome.com | 1
PROCOVER
PROCOVER
Physique TV
shapes up!
Physique TV, which claims to be the MENA region’s first health and fitness channel,
underwent a significant revamp in terms of both format and content under its new
management team. Vibhuti Arora takes a tour of the channel’s new facility
“The channel’s infrastructure is built around
five pillars namely the Oasys Chameleon automated
playout, a Phoenix7 Zeus channel management
system, QNAP storage, Adobe editing systems
and One Connxt’s content delivery system”
Alan Constant, Technical Consultant, Physique TV
Dubai-based health and fitness channel
Physique TV was officially launched
in December 2013, promising a host
of healthy lifestyle programmes and
fitness-oriented reality TV. In existence
since 2009, the channel was overhauled
last year with brand new kit and a
newly appointed team to run it.
Starlight General Trading, a company
dealing in health products and other
commodities, is the main investor in the
channel. It was a natural progression for
the company to launch a health and fitness
channel to further its growth in the region.
The Farsi-speaking audience was the
prime market of interest for the channel
when it was initially launched in 2009.
In March 2013, however, the channel
refocused its business to target the
Middle East. It was also migrated from
Hotbird, from where it was previously
beamed, to Arabsat. Physique TV is now
available on the My-HD platform as well
as through Du (CH 412) and E- Life (CH
577) networks. The channel transmits HD
1080i with both English and Arabic sound
tracks along with Arabic DVB subtitling.
Peter Einstein, General Manager of
Physique TV, says that the launch of
Top left: Alan Constant, Technical Consultant, Physique TV.
Left: Physique TV's gym studio.
Right: Peter Einstein, General Manager, Physique TV.
18 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2014
February 2014 | www.broadcastprome.com |
19
PROCOVER
a fitness channel is a step in the right
direction to combat the surge of obesity
and lifestyle diseases in the region.
“The idea is to inculcate a culture of
healthy living in the region. Physique
TV fills a major gap in that area as the
region lacked a dedicated channel
that caters to such needs. Companies
and products encouraging health and
fitness are our partners in launching
region-wide campaigns to promote
healthy living. In fact, a number of
banks and insurance companies
have also shown interest as potential
advertisers on the channel,” he adds.
The channel has been patronised by
entities such as Dubai Municipality to
support healthy lifestyle campaigns.
Physique TV’s programming includes
a variety of entertaining, inspiring,
instructional and informative shows
to keep the viewers engaged.
“We produce about 25% of our
content in-house with our own
production team,” explains Einstein.
“The rest of it is acquired. We
have close to 600 hours of content
available at present. The production
team has eight members including the
cameramen and technical crew. Our
production unit includes two studios
with a 2500 sq. ft gym studio,” he adds.
The massive gym studio is a first-ofits-kind in the region, which was purpose
built for the channel. This studio will be
kitted further to enable live broadcast.
“Our mantra for the channel is ‘be
your best’. In order to keep the viewers
engaged, we offer a good balance in
terms of content including entertainment
shows and dramas, alongside instructional
programmes. The local content is carefully
planned with gym and spa reviews in
English and Arabic,” explains Einstein.
“Technically, we are very sound with
a brand new channel management
system that can accommodate any type
of sponsorship opportunity. We provide
advertisers with a diverse array of
partnership options, including product
integration into the programmes that
are produced in-house,” he adds.
Transmission and playout
Alan Constant, who led the technical
upgrade at Physique TV, says the
channel was revamped from SD to
a state-of-the-art full HD facility
with renewed programming.
“The channel’s infrastructure is built
around five pillars, namely the Oasys
Chameleon automated playout, a Phoenix7
Zeus channel management system,
QNAP storage, Adobe Adobe Premier
CS6 editing suites and One Connxt’s
content delivery system. The content is
delivered to the station on flash drives
or via our FTP site,” explains Constant.
At the heart of Physique TV's
transmission lies the Oasys
Chameleon automated playout,
which has been integrated with Zeus
channel management system from
Phoenix 7, a UK-based company.
Oasys deployed a multiplex solution
for Physique TV that encompasses one
video channel, two audio channels,
DVB subtitling, graphics and conversion
to ASI. The ASI is sent over a fibre
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February 2014 | www.broadcastprome.com |
21
PROCOVER
From left to right: The editing room;
Oasys Chameleon installation at
Physique TV headquarters in Dubai.
“Our mantra for the
channel is ‘be your
best’. In order to keep
the viewers engaged,
we offer a good balance
in terms of content
including entertainment
shows and dramas
alongside instructional
programmes”
Peter Einstein, General Manager, Physique TV
channel link, and reconverted at the
transmission facility for up-linking.
Prior to the revamp, Physique TV
used to be played out from Italy over
Hotbird. The acquired content in the
previous setup was in MPEG2, SD as
very highly compressed files as opposed
to the HD MPEG4 format it uses now.
Oasys Chameleon consolidates
relevant software into a single optimal
configuration for a variety of channel
playout requirements. Using proprietary
software, the Chameleon setup adapts
to the broadcast workflow environment
in which it is deployed to ensure that
operating parameters for that specific
environment are seamlessly configured.
“We chose the playout transmission
equipment with most of the options
including high-powered graphics and
automatic twitter feeds among other
features. It’s transmission in a box, an
all-in-one unit. This enhanced the internal
production and upgraded the backbone
from a semi-professional 1G to 10G
broadcast solution,” adds Constant.
Chameleon, as one integrated
playout solution, replaces the need to
engage with multiple vendors. Oasys
servers can be quickly reconfigured and
Chameleon can be adapted to fit broadcast
workflows as they change and evolve.
“Presently, we don’t have a fibre link
between our headquarters in Oud Metha,
Dubai and the uplink site in Tas (near
Sharjah, about 50km from Dubai). Owing
to this, the workflow had to be changed
to allow us to operate and manage
the playout in Dubai before onward
transmission to their new distribution
uplink at Tas,” explains Constant.
The Chameleon system was adapted
Peter Einstein, Partner and General Manager, Physique TV
Peter Einstein was the founding President and CEO of Showtime Arabia (now OSN), a direct-tohome, digital satellite pay-TV service for the Middle East/North Africa owned by Viacom, Inc and The
Kuwait Investment Project Company. For 10 years, Einstein had overall responsibility for platform
strategy, development and operations. He oversaw the successful growth of the company from
start-up to profit with turnover of $250 million and over 600 employees serving 16 territories across
the MENA region. Einstein is the Founder and Managing Partner of Eclipse Media Group, Inc. a firm
specialising in advisory and operational expertise in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications
(TMT) sector. He is also Chairman of the Board and non executive Director of GINX TV (www.ginx.
tv) a TV channel/internet portal targeting the lucrative video gaming consumer and is distributed
globally. He has worked in an advisory capacity for a number of Media/Technology companies
across the MENA region including Rotana Media Group, Doha Film Institute (DFI) and The Lebanese
Broadcast Corporation (LBC). He is also a sworn “Expert” to the civil court of Abu Dhabi, UAE
providing mediation and conflict resolution services for Media and Technology litigation.
22 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2014
PROCOVER
to make room for the altered workflow.
When the parameters changed
during the implementation period,
the automated playout had to be
adjusted to the configurations of the
systems very quickly to meet the
new requirements of the channel.
The workflow
All material is ingested into Chameleon,
where it is converted to Physique
TV’s in-house standard of MXFOP1a
XDCAM. Once ingested, the Zeus
system automatically detects that
the material has been ingested and
updates the media database.
“Zeus was deployed because of its
ability to automatically update the media
files and generate work lists. The work
lists are used to prioritise the schedule of
individual processes,” explains Constant.
As the dubbing and subtitling of the
content is outsourced at the ingest stage,
a low resolution version of the content
file is created and sent to the audio
dubbing and subtitling company. In the
present setup, one cannot switch off the
subtitling but once the fibre goes live, the
channel will have that option as well.
When the subtitling PAC file arrives
back, the media is married and readied
for quality control (QC) for compliance.
Zeus automatically detects that the
file has been checked for compliance
and again, updates the media library.
Post QC, the editing is done with
Adobe editor. The three Adobe
editing systems are connected to
the QNAP storage and are used
for promo production, which
is undertaken in-house.
The final stage includes technical
quality check. This is required to ensure
that the English, Arabic sound tracks
along with the PAC file are present.
Only programmes that do not have an
Arabic sound track are subtitled.
At every stage, Zeus automatically
detects that the process has been
completed and updates the media
library. It archives this by interrogating
the QNAP file directory.
Subsequently, the content is
pushed into the OASYS Chameleon
transmission system manually.
It was a Physique TV security
requirement that this was a manual
process. It would have been easy for
the system to have automatically
Alan Constant, CTO,
Constant Consulting
An industry veteran, Alan Constant has worked
in the television industry for more than forty
years. He is widely respected as an industry
authority in most major broadcast, distribution
and media production areas, and has worked in
both managerial and technical design capacity
on satellite, terrestrial and cable TV networks,
combining a strategic insight with a practical
understanding of the technologies involved. He
has been a senior technical and commercial
manager of a number of prominent broadcast
organisations, including Sky, Showtime and AMC.
Recently, he was responsible for the project
and product management, and much of the
technical design of a major internet/satellite TV
system, which incorporated VOD, NVOD, download
and play, and hybrid technologies. Although broadly
based, his particular interest has been in the
assessment and implementation of CA systems
from a wide variety of vendors, and is now actively
applying this expertise to the growing problem
of content security for OTT and IP networks.
loaded it, according to Constant.
Zeus then downloads the playlist into
Chameleon, which checks its media
library and plays out the content.
“The complete broadcast chain
consisting of ingest, QC, scheduling ad
insertion and playout takes three people
to operate. The system has proved to be so
reliable that it is left unmanned during the
night and on weekends,” adds Constant.
Chameleon outputs an ASI signal
containing the video, dual language audio
and DVB subtitling. The ASI signal is
delivered to the Tas uplink site using the
One Connxt delivery system (for now).
One Connxt offers an end-to-end HD/
SD content distribution service that
provides high quality live and recorded
video programming virtually anywhere
in the world using IP solutions. Although
it is more commonly used for live feeds,
especially in the transmission of live sport,
One Connxt has been used to transmit
Physique TV without degradation quite
successfully for the past several months.
One Connxt was chosen as a shortterm solution in the absence of a fibre link
between the channel headquarters and
the uplink facility, explains Constant.
“Once the fibre is in place, we
will stop using One Connxt for our
24 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2014
“Once the fibre is
in place, we will stop
using One Connxt for
our main broadcast
path but will use it for
our live content. The
plan, next year, is to
have live contributions
from our studios as
well as other gyms from
around the UAE”
Alan Constant, Technical Consultant, Physique TV
Interactive
Graphics
On-air
3D Graphics
Clockwise from top: Physique TV's studio; the fibre link from the Physique TV HQ in Dubai; an edit suite; and QNAP file directory connected to live edit suites.
The workflow
• Main and backup playout servers which
play out SDI for local monitoring in Dubai,
simulcast IP output of Video and audio, and
a separate IP stream of DVB subtitles.
• The playout servers run playlists consisting
of video files with multi-language audio, live
sources, graphics, and branding and subtitles.
• The IP output of A/V and subtitles goes to
an OASYS UDP router for automated failover
between main and backup, if required.
• The output of the UDP router goes to a
Dektec mux where it is converted to ASI.
• The ASI feed to be connected to an ASI
over fibre link (yet to be established) from
Dubai to Sharjah, where it is uplinked.
main broadcast path but will use it
for live content. The plan, next year,
is to have live contributions from
our studios and other gyms from
around the UAE,” adds Constant.
For live contributions, the channel
will require an IP delivery system to
get the signals back to the studio.
This will be enabled with the portable
One Connxt system on location.
The in-house programmes are shot
either at Physique TV’s purposebuilt studio and gym located several
miles from the transmission facility
or at various locations in and around
Dubai. The studios are equipped
with flyaway kits, which are used for
shooting at other locations as well.
“Our location production uses up
to three HD cameras. We record the
output of each camera on to flash
drives and edit them back in Physique
TV's facilities,” says Constant.
Physique TV is in the process of
upgrading its key kit, which, at present,
comprises five Sony DR-Z7E cameras and
a good collection of lighting equipment.
The systems and the facility are both
scalable. There is a central storage
system to handle files coming from
post production, which can cater for
multiple channels if required. To add
more channels, Physique TV must add
a new playout server for each channel,
and backup can either be dedicated
playout servers, or shared servers.
The channel is presently using some
of the simplified graphics processes for
branding, but will be expanding its use to
include more complex features including
now/next promotions, end credit squeeze
backs, and other metadata-based graphics.
The road ahead
Since its official launch, the channel
has been vying for advertising
opportunities. For advertisements,
the channel is available to any brand
that would like to associate itself with
healthy living and active lifestyle. Du
and Blackberry have come on board as
the first advertisers for the channel.
Einstein concludes by saying that
even small steps can lead to a big
change in terms of health which is what
the channel aims to achieve. PRO
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PROOTT
PROOTT
PROOTT
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way to do it. Existing broadcasters may try
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32 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2014
32 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2014
b e h i n d
“For most
“For most
broadcasters, getting
broadcasters,
getting
an OTT operation
off
anthe
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operation
off the
ground requires
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and
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IPSimen
technologies”
Frostad, Chairman, Bridge Technologies
Simen Frostad, Chairman, Bridge Technologies
e v e r y
s u c c e s s
PROOTT
“With the right
planning, an operator
can create an integration
of OTT into the other
services it provides,
and use monitoring
and analysis systems
designed specifically for
the hybrid environment
to achieve efficiencies
throughout the business”
Simen Frostad, Chairman, Bridge Technologies
See us at
CABSAT Hall 7/ C7-30
engineers, because very few technicians
understand both broadcast and IP
technologies. It’s a natural human
tendency as silos of expertise tend to
develop around each set of tools, at the
expense of the ‘big picture’ view that the
technical team should have in order to
maintain the network as a whole entity.
A lot of small inefficiencies added
together can have a big cumulative
impact on costs and performance, and
this is why the design of infrastructure
and the choice of monitoring tools is
not just an engineering issue – it’s a
boardroom issue too. Deploying a lot
of heterogeneous technologies and
parallel systems actually becomes a
challenge to operational efficiency
and a threat to business efficiency: the
complexity can be overwhelming.
A tight integration of the OTT
services with the overall operation can
help avoid this situation. By avoiding
parallel systems, operators can keep
costs down. By deploying a monitoring
system explicitly designed for the hybrid
of heterogeneous technologies required
to deliver OTT, operators can create
monitoring and maintenance environment,
which seems coherent and transparent
to the operator’s staff, who may be from
either a broadcast or IT background.
The range of viewing devices that an
OTT operator has to support is another
source of complexity. If a broadcaster
is encoding content for SD and HD TV,
adding an OTT service means preparing
the content also for a combination of HLS
(Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming), Smooth
Streaming from Microsoft, and Adobe’s
HDS formats. These adaptive streaming
technologies share some common features
but they are not identical, and as usual,
when there are competing formats, there
is uncertainty about which horse to back.
Having to cater to multiple formats
increases the cost and complexity of
establishing and operating services in what
is still an immature market sector. The
adoption of a universal standard would
do much to raise confidence and speed
the development of the OTT market, and
MPEG-DASH is a possible common format.
In theory, a common format supported
by all devices would lower the cost of
establishing new services and make entry
into the OTT market easier. But MPEGDASH is another new format; it is still
evolving, and it is too early to say whether
34 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2014
it will become the standard. In fact, a crossplatform standard is not necessarily such
an appealing prospect to a well-established
operator with enormous resources and
a strong market position to defend. But
MPEG-DASH is codec agnostic, and while
the vast majority of video is currently
encoded as H.264, this does mean that
DASH is ready for UltraHD and hyperbitrate codecs when they are needed.
The ideal approach to this issue is to
achieve the maximum possible versatility
by choosing technology that is readily
adaptable to all current standards, and
which has the architecture to allow easy
updating when standards evolve.
So in developing a strategy for OTT,
the potential operators need to be aware
that they are entering a more complex
undertaking. They need to accept that by
bolting together broadcast and IP, they
create a third type of technical arena, a
hybrid with its own challenges. With the
right planning, an operator can create
an integration of OTT into the other
services it provides, and use monitoring
and analysis systems designed specifically
for the hybrid environment to achieve
efficiencies throughout the business.
All that complexity can be
overwhelming, and in the rush to claim
some of the OTT action, it’s easy to
forget that complexity can be made
simple with the right strategy and
careful choice of appropriate tools. PRO
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Ahmed Magd El Din
Regional Sales Manager
Middle East and Turkey
Simen Frostad is Chairman of
Bridge Technologies.
Mobile +971 50 55 99 018
[email protected]
PROINTERVIEW
PROINTERVIEW
Affordable HD
With the MENA region being the stronghold of FTA channels, pay-TV has not found
much favour thus far. Cliff Nelson, CEO of MY-HD speaks about how affordable
platforms can potentially change the dynamics of the pay-TV industry in the region
What is unique about the
My-HD platform?
My-HD is the first ultra-low pay DTH
platform in the Middle East. Through
My-HD, we aim to introduce HD TV to
MENA households at a price anyone
can afford. You buy an approved My-HD
receiver such as Humax, and you get
to watch the channels for one year at
no extra cost and then after one year,
you pay the equivalent of USD 54 each
year to renew your subscription.
Our model is similar to the HD Plus
model in Germany. The consumer buys
the HD set-top box and gets 15 HD
channels with the box for a year, all of
which are also available free-to-air (FTA)
in SD. My-HD is already offering more
than 37 HD channels as well as several
exclusive SD channels, the majority
of which are not available FTA.
Our platform offers an extensive
bouquet of encrypted satellite channels
including nine MBC HD channels,
two of which are exclusive to My-HD:
MBC3 HD with dual Arabic and English
audio as well as the newly launched
MBC Plus Variety HD, which offers
western content with no commercial
breaks. It is the first MBC channel not
available on satellite in SD FTA.
What is the current reach
of your subscriptions?
We already have in excess of 100,000
DTH subscribers even though we
are still in the soft launch phase.
We believe that the premium payTV model is finite; premium pay-TV
in the Middle East has a very niche
audience. The existing premium
platforms cater to less than 5% of the
population, which hasn’t grown more
and we don’t expect it to grow further.
We are targeting the remaining 95%
plus of the satellite households that
have no pay-TV. These households
can’t afford it or are not willing to
pay for the premium-priced products
available in the market and that’s
where our product fills the gap.
When we launched our first ethnic
36 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2014
package, MyGMA, in April 2013, our
partnership with the GMA network
gave us access to two-and-a-half million
overseas Filipinos in the region.
You have a special offering for the
Filipino population residing in the
region. Do you have plans to woo
the Subcontinent population also?
Our Filipino ethnic package comes
with three premium channels,
which were previously on OSN.
With regards to the business from
the Subcontinent, frankly, given the
massive grey pay-TV piracy penetration
of Dish TV India in our region that has
already been sold to up to a few million
households here, it’s an extremely tough
market for a legitimate Asian pay-TV
platform in the Middle East to survive.
How does your platform work? Which
smartcards are you deploying?
We have two conditional access systems
from Irdeto and Conax. Our conditional
access systems are based in Dubai but
we uplink with Arabsat in Jordan Media
City, Sama Com in Dubai, Tas in Sharjah
Etisalat and more recently from Spain.
We have licensed at least five
manufacturers in the region to supply settop boxes via their distribution network.
Our newest addition is the hard drive PVR
box, which has been received very well.
We offer built-in internet connectivity in
some of our new licensed set-top boxes.
“One of our key
strategies is to
never force the
consumer to do
something, instead
let the market do
the work; customers
are smart and don’t
like to be forced”
Cliff Nelson, CEO, My-HD
February 2014 | www.broadcastprome.com |
37
PROINTERVIEW
The future of the set-top box industry
is the hybrid box or smart box. A hybrid
box offers satellite linear TV and is also
IP enabled with Wi-Fi, providing the
consumer with the best of both worlds.
Video via IP/OTT will enhance the viewer’s
experience. People like to watch TV
at their convenience and we will adopt
whatever technological tools are practical
to meet the consumer’s objectives.
We don’t buy the boxes ourselves
but let the existing manufacturers and
their respective distribution networks
do what they do best. We follow a retail
model, where consumers decide what
they want. It is no different than what
the Microsofts of the world have done
with enormous success. One of our key
strategies is to never force the consumer
to do something, instead let the market do
the work; customers are smart and don’t
like to be forced. If a company is unable to
provide a product people want to purchase
at the right price, cheap tricks will not
keep them as customers in the long run.
Our boxes are not proprietary boxes;
the end users are free to choose whatever
channels they want to watch. Our boxes
even work with the new beIN sports
cards provided beIN sports allows it.
We are confident that we will be able
to offer premium HD channels at a value
never seen before in the MENA region.
This will drive sales and renewals without
adopting consumer unfriendly policies.
What is unique about this region?
There are several, one of them being
that the region has a high concentration
of under-30 youth. The young generation,
as we know it, is technologically
adept and very well-informed and
this changes the dynamics of the
entertainment market to some extent.
Secondly, satellite TV has one of
the highest penetration levels among
TV households in the world.
Many households in the Middle East
have multiple screens with different
members of the household watching
different content. Kuwait, for instance,
has an average of three TVs per household
and possibly more than seven screens.
Top networks, MBC, Rotana, Al Nahar
and MTV Lebanon rank among the
most watched channels in the region.
The content in this region caters to
a very diverse audience; expats in the
Middle East live in large communities
The CAS room at the My-HD
HQ in Dubai Media City.
and maintain their own culture, which,
in turn, gives rise to the need to cater
to these communities separately.
That said, we are lucky that the
overwhelming dominance of one
common language and similar religious
beliefs across this vast and complex
region simplifies our business a bit as
compared to Europe’s vast diversity.
“The existing premium
platforms cater to
less than 5% of the
population. That hasn’t
grown more and we don’t
expect it to grow further”
Cliff Nelson, CEO, My-HD
How is My-HD translating the unique
factors of this market to its advantage?
Television is a hugely popular medium
of entertainment in the region, not
to mention in the world. Most MENA
households have large families as the
culture promotes multi-generational
families, which means that there is a lot
of demand for television in the house.
The demand is often for three different
generations with different age-groups
watching different content. Through
our large selection of channels, we
are trying to cater to that demand.
There are gaps in the market that need
to be addressed. For instance, out of the
approximately 40 million DTH households,
only about 400,000 have an electronic
February 2014 | www.broadcastprome.com |
39
PROINTERVIEW
programming guide (EPG). How are the
rest of them supposed to navigate through
the thousands of channels or even 50?
People watch TV in a relaxed mode
and don’t want to be struggling with what
to watch. Spending 15-30 minutes just
to find something interesting to watch
via surfing, is not rational. My-HD is
readying an EPG, which will be available
to our customers at no extra cost.
We often hear about the demise of
satellite with IPTV taking over. Do you
see that happening any time soon?
Satellite will be around for a very long
time. We are witnessing new developments
where Arabsat will become the hotspot
for HDTV in the region. Satellite is still the
most effective way to deliver bandwidth
hungry HD channels to the mass market
and even in Europe and the U.S. where
internet speeds are superb. Of course, IP
OTT delivering video content will continue
its aggressive growth path as well.
In the present scenario, satellite is
definitely more affordable and reliable
than IP for HD delivery. HD content is big
with six to 12 Mbps a sec. Per channel,
it consumes a lot of bandwidth, and
most of the countries in this region don’t
offer that kind of bandwidth via IP.
I am not aware of any telco that
wishes to clog its network with a lot of
OTT video content and unnecessarily
invest billions in expanding its
infrastructure to cope with it.
Hybrid boxes are just entering the
arena. We will be introducing the easyto-set-up hybrid boxes this year – ‘MyHD Smart Boxes’. With the increasing
use of multi-screens, bandwidth
issues are bound to arise. If I were a
telco, I would be encouraging hybrid
boxes to ease the pressure on the
bandwidth of linear video services that
consume my precious fibre capacity.
“TV is almost like
the wall paper
now, viewers engage
themselves with multiple
screens while TV plays
in the background”
Cliff Nelson, CEO, My-HD
What is your view on 4K and
higher resolution TV?
At present, 4K is being driven by TV
manufacturers. People were sceptical
about HD when it was newly launched
and asked if they really needed it. Today,
however, it’s a different story. HD is almost
everywhere now and most of us would
agree that even higher resolution TV is
on the cards. Having said that, it’s still
early days for 4K and I would give it at
least five to 10 years before becoming a
42 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2014
mass market proposition in the form of
4K channels. Eventually, 4K might just
end up as a niche, catering to specific
genres of broadcasting such as live
sport. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a
sports channel launch the first 4K feed
in the MENA region within a year.
What’s new on the cards for My-HD?
In addition to a seven-day full EPG as
well as catchup TV service for most
of our channels, we are developing
our rewind EPG service, powered
by Selevision. These services will
come free with the hybrid boxes,
‘My HD approved Smart boxes’.
Although our core markets are the
Gulf countries, we are also targeting Iraq,
Syria and Lebanon and hope to be able
to offer Egyptians our package as well.
We will be launching three exclusive
channels with Rotana soon. We
are also in the process of signing
exclusive deals for HD content with
Al Nahar and MTV Lebanon.
All of our channels are on Arabsat with
whom we have an excellent relationship.
Arabsat recently concluded a strategic
alliance with the Qatari Satellite
operator Es’hailSat, which is co-located
with Arabsat. It is in the process of
launching all beIN Sports' (formerly
Al Jazeera Sport) existing HD and
new HD channels on that platform.
How do you see the road ahead
for TV, especially pay-TV?
Trade pundits had predicted the
end of linear TV some time ago but
that never happened. Linear TV is
stronger today, with more channels
being launched than ever before.
One can’t help but think that TV
is almost like the wall paper now,
viewers engage themselves with
multiple screens while TV plays in the
background. The viewer multitasks
focusing on whatever screen provides
the most stimulating entertainment.
It’s going to be a very long and exciting
journey. With the market evolving so
quickly, we are expecting many new
developments in the near future. We will
be involved in some of those directly and
some indirectly. I would love to expand
further but due to recent predatory
practices by self-perceived competitors,
it is prudent to abstain until we are
ready to launch such services. PRO
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PROTECH
The OTT
challenge
With an increasing consumer appetite for OTT services, broadcasters face numerous
challenges to deliver uncompromised picture quality. Here’s a look at some of the challenges
of OTT delivery and ways to overcome them
By now, broadcasters and media
enterprises everywhere are grappling
with one of the hottest industry trends
of the decade — delivery of high-quality
HD content over IP networks to a wide
range of user devices and platforms.
This is the essence of over-the-top
(OTT) video services, and it’s creating
daunting challenges for broadcasters
whose infrastructures are steeped in
more traditional, linear content delivery.
Building a successful framework for
delivering the OTT and multi-platform
services of today and tomorrow boils
down to bandwidth: how to conserve it
and control network costs, but without
compromising the consistently high
HD picture quality that discerning
viewers expect. With new formats such
as ultra high-definition (UHD) on the
horizon, operators will have to tackle the
bandwidth question and readily embrace
new compression codecs as they become
available. One such standard is High
Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), the
successor to today’s state-of-the-art H.264/
MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding (AVC).
For the most part, HEVC-compatible
products are still in development, but
they offer strong potential for the next
generation 4K distribution networks
that will be required for UHD delivery.
In fact, HEVC tests have already shown
that the new codec can deliver a bit-rate
reduction of up to 50% over H.264.
The market opportunity
It behooves the operators to develop an
effective strategy for multi-screen delivery,
and to do it quickly. Consumer demand will
only grow stronger for content that can
be accessed on a galaxy of user devices
from gaming consoles to smartphones
and tablets, PCs and smart TVs. For
operators who can latch on to these new
paradigms quickly and cost-effectively, the
rewards will be great: access to lucrative
new audiences such as younger viewers,
reduced churn in pay-TV services, and
increased revenue streams through more
44 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2014
targeted advertising. However, OTT
can only deliver on its promise if it can
operate as an extension of conventional
broadcast television. Operators must be
able to provide the same quality levels
and viewing experience that people
are accustomed to on their home TVs,
including HD resolutions, support for
multiple languages and subtitles, and a
consistent graphical user interface.
PROTECH
“Advanced encoding
technologies will
be a must for media
enterprises as they begin
to embrace HEVC for
next generation OTT
delivery. In order to help
broadcasters realise
the maximum potential
of their OTT services,
encoding/transcoding
solutions should include
several key attributes”
Alain Pellen, Marketing Manager, IPTV & OTT
Markets, Thomson Video Networks
OTT barriers
In order to reach the widest audience,
OTT services must support every possible
platform. This requires supporting the full
range of adaptive bit rate (ABR) streaming
technologies including HTTP Live
Streaming (HLS) and smooth streaming
for mobile phones and tablets as well as
PC, Mac, and Linux browsers. At present,
operators must reserve enough bandwidth
to accommodate each ABR protocol
variation. That will change, however with
the emergence of the Dynamic Adaptive
Streaming over HTTP (DASH) standard.
Also known as MPEG-DASH, this standard
offers great potential for harmonising
high-quality ABR content streaming
while reducing network storage costs and
bandwidth requirements. OTT delivery
will be greatly simplified as more device
manufacturers embrace MPEG-DASH.
Another barrier to OTT delivery is
its unicast, point-to-point distribution
mechanism, a stark contrast to traditional
broadcasting that uses a multicast
workflow to send a single stream to
many viewers. Since every 1,000 viewers
represents 1,000 streams, unicast delivery
presents obvious bandwidth challenges as
the number of users multiplies. Largescale OTT providers that rely on content
distribution networks (CDNs) to deliver
their services over the open internet suffer
the most from these inefficiencies, since
most CDN providers base their fees on
user volume. This especially affects nonsubscription, pay-per-view OTT services:
the more popular they become, the more
expensive and less profitable they are
to operate unless bandwidth usage is
somehow reduced. The answer here is
HEVC compression, since it will enable
operators to send the same streams using
half the bandwidth. OTT will not only
become more profitable but the picture
quality will be able to keep pace with
consumers’ ever evolving expectations.
Encoding for today and tomorrow
Advanced encoding technologies will
be a must for media enterprises as
they begin to embrace HEVC for next
generation OTT delivery. In order to
help broadcasters realise the maximum
potential of their OTT services, encoding/
transcoding solutions should include
several key attributes. First and foremost,
the encoding platform should support
today’s H.264 delivery via all major ABR
streaming formats, but also provide
extensibility to accommodate HEVC,
MPEG-DASH, and other emerging
standards through software upgrades.
In addition, the encoding solution
should enable operators to approach
bandwidth efficiency from two
perspectives: maintaining current levels of
video quality while using less bandwidth,
or improving video resolution at the same
bit rates. The best systems can encode
live content as well as pre-recorded files
for delayed streaming via services such as
VOD and catch-up TV, and they provide
content protection features with support
for subtitles and multiple languages. Of
course, the encoding solution should
deliver pristine picture quality to satisfy
the most discriminating viewers, and
reliability is a critical factor since every
second of downtime in an OTT operation
represents a significant loss of revenue.
Glimpsing the UltraHD future
The OTT future looks bright for
broadcasters and content providers, now
that chip manufacturers are beginning
to introduce 4K HEVC decoder chipsets.
This is driving the emergence of
encoding platforms with built-in HEVC
functionality, offering multi-screen
video encoding/transcoding system.
Since HEVC will allow operators to
send the same streams using half the
bandwidth, OTT will not only become a
more profitable venture but the picture
quality will be able to keep pace with
consumers’ ever-evolving expectations as
UHD delivery appears on the horizon.
With such technology advances,
widespread commercial adoption of HEVC
and UHD delivery over 4K networks is
on its way. Soon, we’ll see HD and UHD
content delivery on any type of device
and network – especially when HEVC is
combined with exciting new technologies
such as MPEG-DASH, eMBMS, and LTE.
In the near term, the bandwidth savings
afforded by these technologies can
reduce operating expenses,
while smoothing video
delivery in our increasingly
multi-platform world. PRO
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46 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2014
PROFILMMAKER
PROFILMMAKER
Snapshot
Writer and Director:
Wassim Beydoun
Camera: Sony NEX-FS700
Post Production: Adobe Premiere CC
Grading: Da Vinci Resolve
live life to the fullest, to make the
most of what they have,” he says.
“The disorder has a taboo attached to it,
which makes it worse for those suffering
from it. Although things have drastically
improved from what they were a decade
ago, more awareness needs to be created
to quell myths about the disorder, which
is the reason I made this film,” he adds.
Beydoun began researching the subject
to make a film at the behest of a friend.
He had just completed a black-and-white
medical documentary about breast
cancer, and had expressed a desire to
make more medical documentaries.
With no knowledge about the disorder,
Beydoun started reading about it on the
internet. To his dismay, while there was a
lot of medical and scientific information
about the disorder, it was hard to find
what it meant to live with the disorder.
“There was expansive information in
medical and scientific terms but for a lay
person trying to learn about the condition,
there was very little available on the
internet. I struggled to find more,” he says.
That’s when Beydoun contacted
his uncle, a pathologist in the U.S. He
“Although things have
drastically improved
from what they were
a decade ago, more
awareness needs to be
created to quell myths
about the disorder”
Wassim Beydoun, Filmmaker
Wassim Beydoun is a filmmaker and
photographer who specialises in
making medical documentaries.
Wassim Beydoun shooting
inside a car with a
thalassaemia patient, who
features in Ismi.
Reaching out
Dubai-based filmmaker Wassim Beydoun made a documentary on thalassaemia using a
Sony NEX- FS700. In an exclusive interview with Vibhuti Arora, the filmmaker talks about his
experience of working on the medical documentary
48 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2014
Ismi – My Name Is
Wassim Beydoun’s Ismi – My Name is, is
a documentary about thalassaemia. In his
film, Beydoun pays tribute to thalassaemia
patients, who live happy, wholesome
lives despite the challenges they face in
everyday life owing to the blood disorder.
It’s a positive film according to Beydoun,
who wanted to show that patients suffering
from the condition can lead a normal life.
“They look normal and have dreams
and aspirations just like us. Most
importantly, they have a passion to
February 2014 | www.broadcastprome.com |
49
PROFILMMAKER
helped him get a backgrounder on the
disorder and gave him better insight
into what the treatment entailed.
The former First lady of Lebanon, Mouna
Haroui who happens to be a family friend of
Beydoun advised him to contact the Ministry
of Health in Dubai to tell his story. She
guided Beydoun and put him in contact with
the right people to approach for the film.
“I got a mixed feeling, the people that
I approached for the film encouraged me
but did not promise any support. That
stemmed from the taboo attached to the
disorder. It’s a common misconception
that thalassaemia patients look sickly
and weak. It was also politically difficult
to approach government hospitals to
have access to the patients,” he says.
After several months of trying, with no
breakthrough in sight, Beydoun almost gave
up the idea, when Haroui told him about
the Shaikh Sultan Thalassaemia Awards.
“She even called them up on my
behalf and fixed a meeting with HH
Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan
Humanitarian and Scientific Foundation.
“I had a meeting with the Head of Public
Relations, Saeed Al Awadhi. Our meeting
lasted four hours, wherein I explained
to him my vision for the film. Al Awadhi
is a thalassaemia major himself and was
very keen to help make the film.”
After the initial hiccups, the film
received the necessary support it needed
and the project finally took off. Beydoun
was given an official letter saying that
the film was made in cooperation with
HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan
Humanitarian and Scientific Foundation.
This was the moment he had been
waiting for. With the story board and
script in place, Beydoun approached
Dubai-based distributor of broadcast
equipment, Advanced Media for the
equipment. Sony NEX-FS700 was the
main camera he wanted to use in the
film for its proven ability to shoot in slow
motion. He owns a Sony DG-900, and the
complimentary lenses – Zeiss 24/70 and
Zeiss 85mm, which he used to shoot Ismi.
“I have previously worked on ARRI,
RED and FS700 and, of course, Sony
DG-900 but I believe no other camera
would have captured the essence of
Ismi like the FS700,” he explains.
According to Beydoun, the FS700’s
slow motion capture was the main reason
for his choice. He calls it a simple-to-
use, idiot-proof camera, which leaves
little scope for error. The camera was
deployed for both indoor and outdoor
shooting without many additional lights.
The film was to be shot around
the lives of 10 Emirati thalassaemia
patients who were receiving treatment
in Thalassaemia Specialty Hospital in
Fujairah. The film, however, did not focus
on their suffering or what they had to go
through at the hospital. Instead, it was
about what these brave men, women
and children did outside the hospital.
“There was expansive
information in medical
and scientific terms
but for a lay person
trying to learn about
the condition, there
was very little available
on the internet”
Wassim Beydoun, Filmmaker
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The filming had to be as non-invasive
as possible. It had to be a pleasant
experience for those working in the film,
says Beydoun. This was the reason why
Beydoun shot the entire film alone.
With just one camera, Audioteknic
mics, and a couple LED panels,
Beydoun set out to shoot.
He used zoom recording, which
was a good way to not let the subjects
get distracted with the camera. The
FS700 offered a lot of dynamic range
and worked well in low-light besides
being a super slow motion camera.
Working with non-actors comes
with its own set of challenges, says
Beydoun, and it’s up to the filmmaker
to make it work for the viewer.
“I made friends with them first to ensure
that they had a certain level of comfort when
they spoke to me. They were going to bare
a significant part of their lives that hadn’t
been talked about earlier. I asked them what
they liked doing in their free time and was
quite amazed with the answers I heard.
“One of the patients I interviewed
is an avid swimmer, another one is a
runner. I weaved a story around them
and captured their activities. It was a
very enriching experience for me, a
life-altering one,” he comments.
The shoots were conducted
around a football field, swimming
pool and even inside a car.
“We also went to Latifa Hospital
following a patient who needed a bone
marrow transfusion. I shot it in blackand-white with only the blood in red.”
The colour grading of the film was
done using Da Vinci Resolve and the film
was edited with Adobe Premier CC.
The introductory music piece was
done by Idris Phillips at JR Studios in
Studio City. The studio belongs to Majid
Hussain, who owns a recording studio and
record label with Youseff Islam formally
‘Cat Stevens’, Hussain’s father-in-law.
The whole documentary took the
filmmaker about two months to film.
He explains: “As I was working around the
patients’ schedules and their treatments, I
had to make myself available accordingly.”
He says the camera had to be
as discreet as possible for the
patients to feel comfortable.
“The camera was almost a part of
me. I made sure, my subjects were not
intimidated by it and they behaved as if
they were talking to a friend,” he says.
The film was shot in Dubai, Abu Dhabi
and Fujairah as Beydoun followed the
patients’ lives outside the medical confines
of the hospital. He also had to ensure
that they were calm and composed and
appeared natural before the camera.
There were no assistants or ancillary
staff on location in order to ensure the
patients had one-on-one interviews. Each
of the patients, Beydoun insists made a
connection with him on a human level.
However, Beydoun says many people
contributed to the film in their own
way. Dr. Essam Dohair, Director of
the Regional Collaborating Office of
Thalassaemia International Federation
was the medical advisor on the film.
Beydoun adds that he appreciates each
and every person’s contribution to the
making of his film. H. E. Dr. Mahmoud
Talib Al Ali, Executive Director of the
Foundation, signed off and approved
the co-operation of the office.
“I can’t leave out Asma Obaid,
Administrative Officer at the Foundation,
who arranged my first meetings with
Saeed and His Excellency. One more
person at the Foundation, who really
helped me was Niven Harab.
Harab is in the Abu Dhabi Office of
the Foundation that I first called to
get in touch with the authority.”
The film was exclusively premiered
for His Highness HH Sheikh Sultan Bin
Khalifa Al Nahyan in October last year and
it is due to be released in May this year
to mark the World Thalassaemia Day.
Beydoun plans to release the film
on the internet subsequently.
“I want my film to reach out to as
many viewers as possible,” he says. PRO
Beydoun filming at Latifa Hospital (l); a screenshot from Ismi
showing one of the patients playing football on the field.
“It was a very
enriching experience
for me, a life-altering one”
Wassim Beydoun, Filmmaker
February 2014 | www.broadcastprome.com |
53
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Optimising
digital television
transmission
As digitisation of television
becomes more widespread,
the focus is now shifting
on achieving impeccable
transmission. We look at
some of the prerequisites
for delivering quality and
choice to the viewer in a
cost-effective way
It is common knowledge in the
broadcast industry that all television
transmission will eventually move from
analogue to digital, and in many parts
of the world this transition has already
been completed. The technologies
available to achieve this are maturing,
so we should now be considering
how we can deliver the best viewer
experience in digital transmission.
We can define three
fundamental requirements for
54 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2014
E 5 – Efficiency to
the power of five.
any transmission system.
The first and foremost requirement
is quality. Audiences perceive
digital transmission to be the route
to consistently good images and
audio. Wherever possible these
should be available in high definition,
accompanied by surround sound.
Please visit us at
CABSAT in Dubai,
March 11 to 13,
booth C5-10, hall 5
PROTRANSMISSION
“Terrestrial
transmission is still
hugely popular because
it is relatively simple for
consumers to receive
through a rooftop aerial”
Helge Stephansen, Senior Solution Architect, Nevion
After 60 years of analogue television,
audiences also expect digital to be
seamless and flowing smoothly, not
beset by freezes and judders.
The second requirement, which is
often used as a justification for analogue
switch-off, is increased choice. While
maintaining our first goal of quality, we
want to pack as many channels into
the available bandwidth as we can.
The third most important requisite
is that we should do both these
things cost effectively. Budgets are
not expanding, so we have to find
ways of delivering choice and quality
without increasing operational costs.
We should also remember that various
delivery platforms are now in competition.
Ease of use and added functionality
like the ability to record on PVRs, extra
data and “red button” services are
also important. One critical element of
usability is to include the full service
information (SI) on all multiplexes.
Known as cross-SI, this enables viewers to
browse the electronic programme guides
(EPG) on other multiplexes, while still
watching their choice of programme, for
example, in a picture in picture window.
What follows are some suggestions
of how these requirements can
be achieved by optimising the
implementation of DVB-T2.
Terrestrial transmission is still hugely
popular because it is relatively simple
for consumers to receive through a
rooftop aerial. Apart from extreme
topographical areas – deep narrow valleys,
for instance – it is practical to reach
close to 100% of the population. Extra
television receivers in the home can be
served with no additional equipment.
Typical transmission networks will have
distributed hardware. Individual channels
will be delivered from broadcasters to a
national headend. There may be regional
headends to allow for the insertion of
localised content. A regional headend
may feed a group of transmitters, or it
could be located at a single transmitter.
Delivering the best quality signal to
the headend allows the processor to
be more aggressive with the delivery
compression without degrading the
viewer experience. We recommend using
JPEG2000 compression for the circuits
from broadcaster to headend to get the
best quality for the bitrate. It gives you the
option to squeeze harder in the headend,
and thereby push through more content.
56 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2014
You bought an NVISION router.
Multiplex
At the headend, a number of channels
are multiplexed together into a transport
stream, along with other data, such as
EPG information, for example. Critical to
operational efficiency is to use as much
of the capacity as possible, without any
content packets being squeezed out.
The traditional technique was to allow
a significant part of the stream for stuffing
packets to ensure sufficient headroom
whatever happened. The result was the
transmission of a large number of null
packets: packets containing no data.
In some systems this could result in as
much as 1 Mb/s of null packets, which in a
transport stream of 40 Mb/s is a big loss in
efficiency and waste of available resources.
We developed a technique, originally for
broadcasters in the UK, which intelligently
manages EPG data in the form of SI
packets in the headend. It interprets
the data and calculates, according to
defined rules, when it must be sent and
how frequently it needs repeating. EPG
information for the next 24 hours will be
repeated more often than information
for seven days ahead, for example.
An opportunistic data inserter then
feeds SI information into the multiplex as
soon as null packets appear. The result is
a typical bitrate saving of 3 to 5% thanks
to having virtually no null packets.
For the JPEG2000 signal from
broadcaster to headend, and for the
DVB-T2 stream from the headend to the
transmitters, it is now standard practice
to use IP networks. This is a significant
operational cost saving over dedicated
“In some territories, the cost of building out a distribution network to a
relatively large number of transmitters can be significant. The alternative is to use
a satellite to distribute the national signal to transmitters or to regional headends”
Helge Stephansen, Senior Solution Architect, Nevion
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PROTRANSMISSION
“To combine this
with satellite
distribution is
clearly a poor use
of bandwidth as the
common services
will need to be sent
multiple times. A
better option is to
use a deterministic
multiplexing solution
which can allow
local insertion”
Helge Stephansen, Senior Solution Architect, Nevion
video lines and a major boost to efficiency.
IP networks are now extremely reliable,
but the infrastructure must be carefully
designed to overcome any problems
which do occur. The edge devices in
the DTT delivery platform must be
protected against packet loss, burst
loss, jitter and latency variations. The
first step to overcoming these issues is
through good forward error correction.
SMPTE already provides guidance
in FEC for transmission networks,
through its 2022-1 standard. DVB-T2,
which is susceptible to packet loss in the
distribution network, will work well given
a good implementation. To support the
most challenging cases, Nevion offers
an extended version of the SMPTE FEC
matrix so that the terrestrial signal can
safely reach the transmitter sites.
For even higher resilience, some
networks will consider redundant paths
from the headend to the transmitter, with
the receiving device selecting packets
in real time from the stronger input.
Broadcasters routinely use redundant
paths for critical content like contribution
circuits from major sporting events.
In some territories, the cost of
building out a distribution network to a
relatively large number of transmitters
can be significant. The alternative is to
use a satellite to distribute the national
signal to transmitters or to regional
headends. The national multiplexes can
be streamed over DVB-S2 and received
at any number of transmitter locations.
Single frequency network
Digital transmission has brought about a
new way of improving coverage, the single
frequency network (SFN). Traditionally,
neighbouring transmitters, even if
broadcasting the same content, needed to
be on different frequencies to eliminate
interference. Where countries border
each other, there needs to be international
agreements to ensure that frequency
allocations are clear and one country’s
signals do not affect reception in another.
The single frequency network, as its
name suggests, puts all the transmitters
in a region or a country on a single set
of frequencies. It makes better use of
the spectrum, and it allows the network
to use many cost-effective lower power
transmitters rather than a few high
power transmitters. That improves
coverage while reducing operational
costs and releasing spectrum for
58 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2014
more television and other services.
The challenge for SFNs is that each
transmitter must carry an identical
signal and be precisely synchronised.
The lack of interference comes from the
fact that each transmitter is radiating
exactly the same information at exactly
the same instant. As long as the distance
to a receiver from the SFN transmitters
are within the guard interval, the beams
add up and become a stronger signal.
The other challenge is that broadcasters
will want to insert local content
into national channels. This may be
regionalised advertising, or local news,
or area-specific programming. Because
the SFN expects the transport stream
to be identical, the usual solution to
local content is to combine the national
and local content at a local headend.
To combine this with satellite
distribution is clearly a poor use of
bandwidth as the common services
will need to be sent multiple times. A
better option is to use a deterministic
multiplexing solution which can
allow local insertion. This uses a time
stamp in the satellite feed and a set of
rules for the multiplexing process.
This allows multiplexers in each
region to rebuild identical streams as
required for SFN operations. Each
multiplexer at each transmitter site will
build, packet for packet, an identical
combination of national and local
services. Deterministic re-multiplexing
allows local content to be added to
national signals without disturbing the
SFN integrity of the transmission.
These technologies, along with
other functionality and intelligent
network monitoring and management,
combine to maximise the effectiveness
and efficiency of a digital terrestrial
transmission network. Using the best
of today’s technology, broadcasters and
network operators can
offer their audiences a
broad choice of channels,
in excellent technical
quality and high availability,
while controlling the costs
of the distribution and
transmission network. PRO
Helge Stephansen is a
Senior Solution Architect at
Nevion.
PROxxx
PREVIEW
CANON TO SHOWCASE EOS
AT CABSAT 2014, Canon Middle East will be directly
targeting key vertical market players and engaging
with them to yield future business and grow the
pro-video business. Canon’s 10 m x 10 m stand
will showcase an extensive range of professional
video products, allowing visitor’s first-hand
experience including Canon’s first 4K cinema
camera. 4K cinema workshops and seminars will
also be available at the Canon stand.
There will be a showcase of the full range of
EOS C-series including C500, C300, C100. The key
USPs for these models include low light ISO, full
4K workflow solution along with AJA/CODECS for
recording and Blackmagic Design for post editing
and colour correction.
The new range of ENG cameras including XA20/
XA25 and will also be showcased at the stand,
which will clearly highlight its OIS features in
addition to displaying the comprehensive range of
cine lenses.
Hendrik Verbrugghe, Marketing Director, Canon
Middle East said: “CABSAT has cemented its
position as the must-attend regional show within
the industry. Our participation at this year’s show
will showcase our strongest-ever professional video
line-up. The EOS C range has been developed with
the needs of professionals in mind, empowering
our customers to be more creative than ever before.
This year, we will concentrate on educating visitors
about 4K technology through dedicated seminars
and also create awareness on the strength of
Canon’s core technologies. Visitors to our stand will
be able to sample the company’s strongest-ever
professional range, underpinned by its industryrenowned expertise in broadcast lens design.”
Recently, MBC ordered the flagship Canon EOS C
500, EOS C100 and XF 305. This was also followed
by a deal for 10 units of EOS C300 for a major
production company in Kenya. We also signed a
major deal with Qatar Broadcasting company for XA
series – Canon’s ENG range of cameras.
Canon has already announced the availability of
a new firmware update for EOS C100, EOS C300
and EOS1Dc users, which enables users to get
more creative and provides them the flexibility and
enhanced operability.
HALL 6 STAND C6-20
MORE STABILITY WITH FILMOTECHNIC
Filmotechnic LLC will display its latest range of
broadcast products for the first time at CABSAT.
The highlight of Filmotechnic’s stand will
be engineered gyrostabilised heads and mobile
camera cranes.
Gyrostabilised head series will feature Flight Head
FH- 5, FH-Compact 3 and FH-Compact 4. FH-Apex,
FH-TV, FH-XL and FH-XXL, designed and developed
for extensive use with cameras weighing between five
and 30 kg as well as for 3D rigs.
Also on display will be the Flight Head Mini 1, Mini
2 and Mini 3, suitable for extensive use with cameras
weighing between 3.5 and 10.5 kg, for use with
lighter cameras between 0.5 and 15 kg.
HALL 8 STAND E8-21
60 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2014
ETL BUILDS THE MATRIX
ETL Systems, a manufacturer of RF equipment,
will showcase the Vulcan Matrix, a part of the
V-Series matrix range at CABSAT. The Vulcan
routers’ architecture focuses on compactness
routing up to 128 inputs x 128 outputs in a
single 16U chassis. Vulcan can also be used
in conjunction with splitters and combiners to
configure larger systems such as 128 x 256 in
a 45U rack and 128 x 512 in two racks. It is
designed to offer an extremely compact form
factor, and compliments the Enigma range of high
resilience routers. The matrix offers redundancy of
some critical components and hot-swap of active
parts, providing a high-performance solution to
frequent signal routing changes.
Along with this, ETL will be showcasing the
new passive splitter/combiner component
mounting system. This unit offers an easy-to-use,
cost-effective, and compact mounting system for
ETL’s ‘Scorpion range of passive L-band splitter/
combiner components in a 1U 19” chassis.
ETL’s RF solutions have been successfully
implemented at a number of sites in the Middle
East. The 64x64 Vortex switch matrix/router, one
of ETL’s newest additions to the V-series range,
was installed to provide TV content for Al Jazeera
children’s channel.
HALL 2 STAND G2-23
PROPRODUCTS
PROxxx
THE WIRELESS
SGL IN A FLASH
At CABSAT, SGL technical and commercial staff will
be at hand to discuss the latest developments in
archive workflows and the continued development
of LTO based systems enabling ingest of material
directly into the archive store. The team will
explain how SGL’s notification service takes the
next step by allowing details about the archived
material to be automatically pushed to a MAM
system, creating time and cost benefits. SGL’s open
system architecture provides broadcasters, post
production facilities, news and sport, with reliable,
scalable solutions with substantial cost and
workflow benefits.
In addition to demonstrating FlashNet,
FlashWeb and FlashBrowse, SGL technical and
commercial staff will have details of the latest
developments with the Sony ODA system.
SGL FlashNet allows Sony’s scalable Optical
Disc Archive users to store valuable media safely
with ease. This combination opens up a world
of workflow possibilities from disaster recovery
solutions to management of archive material over
disparate geographic areas. With SGL’s experience
of managing multiple storage devices within
production, news and sport,
Sony’s Optical Disc Archive can sit anywhere
within a workflow, not simply as an ‘end of process’
archive. The integration gives SGL users access
to a greater choice of storage devices in DR,
production, news and sports workflows.
Sony’s Optical Disc Archive stores data in a
compact cartridge with twelve optical discs for
file-based archiving.
HALL 6 STAND B6-42
ELENOS’ DIGITAL OFFER
Elenos will be presenting the new ETG3000 Digital at
CABSAT. The ETG3000 Digital comes with integrated
technologies such as intelligent
protection, ICEFET technology, ecosavings and
Lifextender algorithms.
At the CABSAT stand the company will provide
information about smart, synaptic functions,
reliability, ease of maintenance, planar technology,
sound purity and fidelity of its products.
HALL 8 STAND C8-40
BLUEBELL OPTIMISES
BROADCAST OFFERINGS
Bluebell Opticom, a manufacturer and distributor of
fibre optic transmission equipment for the broadcast,
telecommunications and satellite industries, will
introduce a new signal transport platform for OB and
Infrastructure applications at CABSAT. With the drive to
4K and 3G systems the PW140 series from Bluebell
offers a universal SDI signal transport over fibre in a compact 1RU frame. At the heart is a processor, which
provides simultaneous multiplexing and de-multiplexing of the signals presented to it from the input/output
cards. The initial base configuration provides six x bidirectional HD-SDI signals over two fibres or 10G Ethernet.
When used with CWDM optical multiplexing 96 x HD-SDI signals can be transported over a single fibre.
Bluebell will display Net Caddie, a new compact camera interface which allows HD-SDI to be injected directly
into a standard network environment, bringing IP to the camera.
The company will also launch an extensive range of stand-alone products, including the new BlueLite and
Caddie-LB 3G, specifically designed for OB and deployable applications. Also on show will be the BC
series, a complete suite of fibre optic interfaces, for all current and projected
HALL 6 STAND D6-45
broadcast standards.
MASTERPIECE.
FILECATALYST ACCELERATES
THE NET RACER CHARGES AHEAD
ERECA, a producer of systems for signal
transmission over optical fibre, will be present as
part of the French pavilion at CABSAT. The company
will introduce its latest NET-RACER product line
with remote or steady camera transmission and
powering and multiplexed HD SDI bus or ring
optical transmission, among other features. For
compact or mobile applications, the NET RACER
COMPACT standalone chassis holds up to two
transmission boards. ERECA develops new field
solutions for broadcast camera transmission over
optical fibre with the SToRA (Strong Racer) series,
which offer the signal transmission in a ruggedised
box, over hybrid cable or on optical cable, for HD,
3D and slow motion cameras.
FileCatalyst will be showcasing its suite of
accelerated and managed file transfer solutions.
Founded in the year 2000, the company has more
than 1,000 clients with a user base of more than
a million, including organisations such as NBC
Sports, Travel Channel, Al Jazeera, BBC, ZEE TV,
Sony Pictures, and Dreamworks.
The FileCatalyst platform provides many
advantages to media and broadcasting
organisations over traditional file transfer methods,
including the fast, reliable, secure and efficient
delivery of all large format media files. As file
sizes of today’s digital content continue to grow,
organisations can reduce the amount of time spent
waiting for files to transfers, including file delivery
across geographically dispersed locations. Other
FileCatalyst features tailored to the media and
entertainment include the ability to transfer growing
files and multi-file transfers.
HALL 5 STAND B5-33
HALL 8 STAND 8-03
GAMMA ENGINEERING DEBUTS AT CABSAT
A new entrant at CABSAT, Gamma Engineering will launch the Russian arm of its operations in the Middle
East. CABSAT will also be a good platform to find a distributor for Koto Bulbs, said a company spokesperson.
The product showcase at Gamma Engineering’s 100m long stand will include Movix camera, helicopters and
epic dragon, and a range of new lenses. There will be a demonstration of the company’s complete solution
for filming cars in motion, off-road or on road, high speed action, air suspension low bed, quad, shot makers,
technocranes, and aerial shots.
HALL 8 STAND E8-21
62 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2014
Lifting the Curtain: World Class Goes Digital.
Sennheiser Middle East
Office # 345, Bldg. 6E/B
Dubai Airport Free Zone
P.O. Box 371004
Dubai, UAE
Tel: +971 4299 4004
Email: [email protected]
facebook.com/sennheiserme
For decades Sennheiser has been a reliable
and innovative partner in broadcast and
theatre. Therefore, we understand that
world-class sound engineers have the
highest of demands and expectations.
With this firmly in mind, we took all of
our extensive experience and rolled it into
our first digital multi-channel wireless
system. This is it and it’s in a class all by
itself: DIGITAL 9000 provides uncompressed
digital audio transmission, free from
intermodulation, and delivers stunning
sound and dynamics with a cable-like purity.
Additionally, DIGITAL 9000 offers control
functions that make system setup simple
and fail-safe. The highly intuitive user
interface provides a complete overview of
system performance offering peace of mind
in challenging live situations. A pinnacle
of innovation, DIGITAL 9000 is the best-inclass digital wireless system available and
represents a future-proof investment. We’re
lifting the curtain. You’ll get to know it.
DIGITAL 9000 – The Wireless Masterpiece.
www.sennheiser.ae
PROPRODUCTS
PROxxx
BAVARIAN PAVILION
RETURNS TO CABSAT
Bavarian Pavilion will come to CABSAT for the 12th
time this year with participation from 10 companies.
For the first time, the companies will be exhibiting at
two different locations.
• Teracue – a company offering consulting,
engineering and training services for professional
video, IPTV and video-networking
• AVT – a manufacturer of audio codecs for IP, ISDN,
X.21 and E1 (2-Mbit/s) networks
• BEBOB – a maker of power broad range of
batteries, chargers, hot swap adapters – li-ion and
li-manganese
• Citycom – a satellite reception system for Sat-IFdistribution
• KATHREIN-Werke KG – a developer of wide range of
products for antenna systems, signal processing,
distribution, and measurement
• Rosenberger OSI – a provider of fibre optic system
solutions
• MAYAH Communications – a German codec
manufacturer
• IB/E OPTICS – a producer of optics in the area of
industry, medicine and cinema
• Band Pro Munich GmbH – a full service provider for
audio, video and media technology
• WALSER GmbH & Co. KG – an international
brand product supplier for photography and video
accessories for beginners and professionals
TERACUE OFFERS HD
STREAMING ENCODER
IPTV and end-to-end video streaming systems
provider, Teracue AG has added recording and RTSP/
RTMP support for the ENC-300 HD/SD real-time
broadcast quality encoder family.
Teracue’s H.264 encoders and decoders support
the broadcast industry standard Pro-MPEG FEC,
which allows for FEC ‘Forward Error Correction’
transmission to enable failure-free video IP
contribution and internet streaming, even if the
network and IP connectivity is not perfect.
The ENC-300 encoder series offers real-time
HD/SD-SDI H.264 encoding for continuous 24/7
operation – due to its rock-solid layout without any
moving parts. The units are designed, assembled
and supported in Germany”.
The ENC-300 encoder model is available with
DVI/HDMI or HD-SDI/VGA/
analogue inputs, and can also
support multiple RTSP output
streams for delivering live
video feeds at the same time
to multiple receiving locations.
HALL 8 STAND E8-44
CUSTOM CONSOLES
IMPROVE ERGONOMICS
Custom Consoles will launch its low-cost flat-pack
technical furniture for the first time to the Middle East
market at CABSAT. The EditOne desk incorporates
three equipment pods with a collective nine units of
rack space. These form the base of a monitor shelf with full
cable management and optional power distribution. An auxiliary
equipment pedestal with an additional nine units of rack space and an
integral worktop is also being introduced.
Front and rear corners at the desk and auxiliary pedestal are curved,
eliminating any possibility of collision with sharp protrusions and contributing to the ultra-modern
appearance. The worktop and monitor base also have hard-wearing and operator-friendly curved edges at
front, sides and rear. Finish is in oak with contrasting black powder-coated MDF.
All furniture in the EditOne range can be shipped in compact flat-pack form for onsite assembly by
customers or systems integrators, saving space, cost and delivery time.
HALL 6 STAND C6-33
TELESPAZIO COMES TO CABSAT
Telespazio, a satellite communications company,
will showcase its solutions at CABSAT. The company
manages one of the largest teleports, Italy’s Fucino
E/S equipped with over 100 antennas and 83°W
to 57°East visibility. Its teleport network extends to
Lario and Scanzano in Italy, Romania for Eastern
European coverage, Brazil and Argentina. Since
1960, Telespazio has supported the evolving TV and
radio broadcasting sector, providing tailor-made
solutions on all major satellite orbital positions.
Telespazio broadcasts TV channels over Europe,
the MENA region, North and South America and
Asia. It brings content via satellite through a secure
international fibre network (with international
points of presence all over the world), and
playout systems.
The company operates several multiplexers on
the Eutelsat 13° East satellite received by over
120 million households in Central/Eastern Europe
and the MENA region. It offers services in both
DVB-S and DVB-S2, offering low price, channel
broadcasting, as well as over the Astra 19,2° East
orbital position, mostly for Northern Europe.
Telespazio provides services at -7° West, focusing
on the MENA region, as well as on the Galaxy 19
(North America) and Intelsat 21 (North and South
America) for cable distribution.
Telespazio provides encoding for MPEG-2 or
MPEG-4, SD or HD, encryption services and play-
64 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2014
Fucino Space Centre.
out, as well as OTT multi-device content distribution.
The company delivers key Mobile Satellite Services,
including Inmarsat BGAN, Thuraya, and Iridium. It
provides worldwide connectivity for both voice and
broadband data.
Telespazio’s main reference customers include:
Al Jazeera Satellite Network, RAI Radiotelevisone
Italiana, Sky Italia, and Mediaset.
HALL 6 STAND 33
PROPRODUCTS
MEDIA & BROADCAST
SYSTEMS INTEGRATION
EMBRACING TOMORROW’S
TECHNOLOGY
ATG Middle East is one of the
world’s most innovative
broadcast systems integrators.
DIGITAL NEWS ROOMS
FILE BASED WORKFLOW
NUGEN Audio launches Stereopack
NUGEN Audio, a creator of tools for audio
professionals, has launched Stereopack, a complete
toolset for stereo image enhancement and
manipulation including expansion, positioning, and
low-frequency control. Stereopack is designed to
offer maximum flexibility in a highly accessible and
configurable combination of powerful tools.
With Stereopack, users can naturally widen or
reduce the stereo image, focus and define low
frequencies, and move specific captured spectra
within the stereo soundfield. Each Stereopack
component integrates advanced audio analysis
feedback directly into the user interface,
delivering intuitive control of all main parameters
with clear and immediate dynamic feedback. All
three plug-ins are highly mono-compatible, using
unique algorithms that maintain the original
character of the source audio without introducing
any strange phase, reverb, or delay-related
artifacts. Each tool is compatible with 64-bit
OSX, AAX (32- and 64-bit), and the latest
VST3 standards.
Stereoizer is a high-specification stereo image
manipulation tool suitable for natural expansion,
reduction, and introduction of stereo width at any
stage of the audio production process. Another
Stereopack tool is the Monofilter plug-in,
which enables users to align and balance low
frequencies with minimum effort to create solid,
natural-sounding bass. The third tool in the
Stereopack bundle is Stereoplacer, an advanced
fine-tune parametric balancing control tool
that allows users to tune each band to specific
frequencies and move the frequency content
around in the stereo sound stage.
DIGITAL ARCHIVES
PLAYOUT CENTRES
MASTER CONTROL ROOMS
TV STUDIOS
EDITING FACILITIES
Visit us at
CabSat 2014
Stand G6-32
INNOVATIVE MEDIA SOLUTIONS
FOR TODAY & TOMORROW
Wireless HD extension from Gefen
Gefen’s new wireless for HDMI 60 GHz is designed
for any in-room transmission of 1080p full HD video
up to 33 feet (10m). It delivers 3DTV, is plug and play
and supports all audio formats including the new
lossless high bit rate (HBR) 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD
and DTS-HD Master Audio. The ability to pass through
uncompressed video, lossless audio and 3DTV is ideal
for cutting-edge, high-performance commercial or
residential installations.
This extender uses the best technology currently
available for an impeccable method of wireless
extension that takes full advantage of the WirelessHD
specification, which is based on the 60 GHz EHF
(extremely high frequency) radio band. This method of
extension eliminates the need to run cables, making
it a great solution for retrofits or any environment
that wants to streamline cabling.
Due to its in-room transmission and use of
the uncluttered 60 GHz frequency band, this
extender can perform seamlessly alongside other
wireless devices in adjacent rooms with zero
interference. It is very easy to install, requiring a
connection of the video source to the sender and
of the display or projector to the receiver. Content
is transported wirelessly at 4Gbps from source
to display. This extender also features a small
footprint and a compelling MSRP. Included is a
risk-free warranty backed by Gefen’s reputation
and well-regarded customer support team.
Ideal Systems softens
Ideal Systems Group, an Asian broadcast
systems integrator, has announced the launch
of SoftCast Technologies, the world’s first
suite of downloadable solutions for broadcast
television operators.
The SoftCast range is a comprehensive
suite of software products for operating and
managing broadcast television channels.
In an industry first, Ideal Systems is making
the new SoftCast range of products available
for broadcasters to purchase and download
online through its new online store, www.IdealDirect.com.
The new SoftCast range of products
includes modules for channel-in-a-box;
traditional automation; hybrid automation;
content ingest; content playout in HD-SDI and
IP; CG graphics; media asset management;
newsroom computer system; live feed edit
and censorship; broadcast schedule planning
(traffic); and broadcast ad sales and contract
management solutions.
The SoftCast modules can be used as
standalone solutions or natively connected
to provide a seamless end-to-end broadcast
system. SoftCast modules can be delivered
internationally over the internet and are
optimised to run on standard Dell computers
that can be obtained locally in the user country.
The ability to use standard equipment removes
any difficult import regulations that many
countries impose on broadcast equipment.
“This is the first time this type of product
has been sold and delivered on the internet,
and it’s very exciting that Ideal Systems is
pioneering this new delivery method and
customer engagement paradigm,” said Fintan
Mc Kiernan, Ideal Systems’ Spokesman
for SoftCast.
“This is also the first time that all of Ideal
Systems Group offices will be supporting a
common product set. At each of our offices, we
will provide a high level of support with trained
SoftCast engineers and production equipment
for demonstrations, trials, and proof-of-concept
work,” he added.
www.atgme.com
February 2014 | www.broadcastprome.com |
67
PROPRODUCTS
Series 6.6kW C-Band Rackmount UltraLinear
power satellite teleport uplinks.
TM
GaN SSPA/BUC, the ultimate solution for wide bandwidth, ultra high
TM
TM
The new SapphireBlu
Series of UltraLinear
GaN technology based
SSPAs
and
BUCs
from
Advantech
Wireless
are
designed
for Multi Carrier
Advantech Wireless releases new SapphireBlu
Operations
and offer the
highest
linearand
power available in the market. These
Advantech Wireless
Inc., a privately-held
Canadian
corporation
new
systems
are designed
in a systems
compact
indoor modular package with Built
manufacturer
of satellite,
RF equipment
and microwave
announced
for Series
maximum
link availability.
the releasein
of Redundancy
the New SapphireBlu
6.6kW C-Band
Rackmount
VidOvation expands fibre
VidOvation, a technology provider of video and
data communication systems to the broadcast
television, sports, corporate audio-visual, and
government markets, will expand its VidOptic
UltraLinear GaN SSPA/BUC for ultra high power satellite teleport uplinks.
product line of fibre optic transport systems
The new SapphireBlu series of UltraLinear GaN technology based
“Our new high power density, GaN based SSPA concept, offers the
specifically designed for critical applications
SSPAs and BUCs from Advantech Wireless are designed for multi-carrier
maximum
power/bandwidth
combination.
We have already started shipping
requiring high-quality video performance and
operations. These new systems
are designed in a compact
indoor modular
and
completed
initial
orders,”
stated
Cristi Damian, VP Business
reliability with price-performance leadership.
package with built-in redundancy for maximum link availability.
atGaN
Advantech
“We
The new products include:
“Our newDevelopment
high power density,
based SSPAWireless,
concept, offers
the can now saturate all transponders
USB-DVI Computer Graphics Transport - The
maximum power/bandwidth
combination.and
We have
already
started
of an entire satellite
obtain
maximum
bandwidth/power efficiency. Our
VidOptic FVT/FVR-2100-A-D-USB-DVI is
shipping and
completed
initial
orders,
”
stated
Cristi
Damian,
VP Business
customers realize great savings in energy
cost, Satellite Bandwidth, CAPEX
designed for optical KVM extension to
Development at Advantech Wireless.
and OPEX.”
transport computer graphics while extending
“We can now saturate all transponders of an entire satellite and obtain
computer control via USB and serial data
maximum bandwidth/power efficiency. Our customers realise great savings
TM
TM
Series
of UltraLinear
GaN technology based
Thesatellite
Newbandwidth,
SapphireBlu
transport. The system supports highin energy cost,
CAPEX and OPEX.
”
quality HDTV formats from 480P up to and
The newSSPAs
SapphireBlu
series
of UltraLinear
technology based
SSPAs exceed all barriers between
and
BUCs
from GaN
Advantech
Wireless,
including 1080P with full clarity over one fiber
and BUCs from
AdvantechTWTs
Wireless,and
exceedSSPAs,
all barriersbacked
between Klystrons,
Klystrons,
by over 25 years of Outdoor SSPA
and the transport of non-RGB video formats
TWTs and SSPAs,
backed
by
over
25
years
of
outdoor
SSPA
design
design and manufacturing, combined
withandthe traditional Advantech Wireless
such as YUV, YCrCb or YPrPb, RGB–HV, DVI–D
manufacturing, combined with the traditional Advantech Wireless features.
features.
and DVI-DL through a DVI–I interface. This
VidOptic transport is also designed to increase
the transmission distance limitations of high
About Advantech Wireless
Sony gets a voice
resolution RGB, DVI video and computer Advantech Wireless, an ISO 9001: 2008 certified corporation, is the leading-edge wireless broadband communications
graphics, and can support audio functionality
compact Advantech
professional camcorders
moredesigns, manufactures
transmitter and receiver,
can clearlynetworking
reproduce
solution With
provider.
Wireless
andand
deploys
for broadband connectivity,
as well as peripherals such as printers, broadcastwidely
used for electronic
andand
field distribution,
quality sound.
solutions,
video newsgathering
contribution
mobile 2G, 3G and LTE backhaul and DTH & DTT video
scanners, and web cams.
production
UWP-D wireless
The UWP-D components’
display
is twice the
size
distribution,
usingapplications,
satellite Sony’s
and new
terrestrial
wireless communications.
The
products
include
VSAT Hubs and Terminals,
4 Channel 3G HDSDI Fibre Optic Transport
microphone
series
delivers
the
right
combination
of
of
previous
UWP
series,
with
a
white
background
world-leading GaN technology High Power Amplifiers (SSPAs), Block-Up Convertersthat
(SSPB), Frequency Converters,
Card for openGear – VidOptic FVT/FVR- Satellite form
and function forModems,
pro shooters.fixed and deployable
makes Antennas,
information easier
to see. Controllers, Terrestrial Microwave Radios,
MCPC/SCPC
Antenna
5400-3G is a four channel 3G HD-SDI fibre
“Production professionals are using handy type
The new series employs wide frequency coverage,
Routers and ruggedized military products. For further information please visit the company’s web site at:
optic transport card with 4x4 matrix for
and palm-size camcorders more for mobile, ‘runwith a wide band of up to 72 MHz coverage available.
http://www.advantechwireless.com/news/
openGear and is the most cost-effective way
and-gun’ applications, and the wireless microphones
As a result, users can select from a broader range of
to transport HD signals while also providing
need
to
match
and
easily
mount
to
the
camera,
”
said
operating frequencies.
Media Contact
the convenience of a built-in switcher, Rosario Toxqui
Shuji Okada, General Manager – Marketing, Sony
An Automatic Channel Setting mode lets users
remote monitoring, and automatic fail-over
Professional Solutions MEA.
perform channel scan and channel setting functions
Marketing Communications
protection.
“This new series can even fit interchangeable lens
easily. The Clear Channel Scan function detects
Advantech Wireless
These systems are capable of handling
cameras to give shooters more options for capturing
unused channels and IR Sync enables easy channel
[email protected]
SDI rates from 5 Mb/sec to 3 Gb/sec
their content easily and in high quality.”
setting by sending information from the receiver to the
uncompressed with cards that automatically
The UWP-D series uses new hybrid digital
transmitter by infrared communication.
detect the incoming signal, and provide full
processing techology to achieve high quality sound.
The series’ receiver is equipped with an output level
control over re-clocking and routing.
This technology performs signal processing by
control, so even if the camcorder or camera does not have
Fiber Optic CATV Cable TV RF Transmitter
digital companding, with transmission handled by
input level control, users can easily adjust to optimise
– VidOptic FCT-2300 utilises a high
conventional analogue FM modulation. This improves
recording levels. The UWP-D transmitters and receivers are
linearity 1310nm DFB laser, RF power
transient response performance between the
compatible with Sony’s WL-800 series and UWP series.
digital automatic process technique, along
with RF pre-distortion circuit. The built-in
microprocessor monitors the transmitter laser
output power and temperature, automatically
Facilis Technology has announced the availability of TerraBlock 6.0, the latest iteration of its shared storage solution.
TerraBlock 6.0 features several improvements designed to augment usability, collaboration and performance – including
insuring optimal performance for TV video
Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)/Active Directory synchronisation, volume size reduction on the fly, a sleek
signal, digital TV signal, telephone voice
new customisable Graphical User Interface (GUI), support for Adobe Anywhere for video and more.
signal, and data signal long-distance fibre
TerraBlock is Facilis’ multi-platform, high-capacity shared storage solution delivers highly
transmission.
collaborative workflows in post production and content creation environments. The high-performance
SilverBACK-II Camera-Back Fibre Optic
solution supports 8/16Gbps Fibre Channel and 1/10Gbps Ethernet through the Facilis Shared File
Transceiver – the VidOptic SilverBack-II
System and is compatible with most all industry-standard creative applications.
camera back supports bi-directional signals
SyncBlock 2.0, a complementary archiving and backup solution to TerraBlock, is slated to be
for GVG, Hitachi, Ikegami, Panasonic, wand
available in the coming months and will feature improved archive management, tiered storage
Sony cameras used in D-SNG, news, stu dio,
automation and support for LTO-6.
and multi-camera production applications.
Facilis Technology launches TerraBlock 6.0
68 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2014
PROPRODUCTS
Atlona powers up
1000s
OF
C
O
N
V
COUNTRIES
REPRESENTED
NEW PRODUCTS
AND SOLUTIONS
ENGAGING
SESSIONS
BRAND NEW
EVENT FEATURES
ING
.
4
G 20 YEARS
MENA’s Media and Broadcast Market will
THE CABSAT
CONFERENCE IN
PARTNERSHIP
WITH NAB SHOW
be worth more than
$2 Billion by Year End*
AT
IC
16
IN
RAT
L EB
E
C
UN
convenience of two-way control and feedback
over a greater area, without the expense of
purchasing additional processors.”
Featuring a durable plastic enclosure, the
Pro.rfz can be located up to 70 feet away from
the ProLink.z processor. For increased reliability,
multiple modules can be utilised within a
single system to create a wireless 2.4-GHz
ZigBee RF network, which instantly adapts to
changes or problems within the communication
path for greater accuracy. For installers, the
range extender is easily configured via the Pro
Control Studio software and a micro USB cable.
Providing a clean and simple installation, the
Pro.rfz features a detachable wall bracket and
can be powered from any electrical outlet.
60 +
EXHIBITING
COMPANIES
NNECTIN
Pro Control, a division of Remote Technologies
Incorporated (RTI), has announced that its new Pro.
rfz wireless range extender is now shipping. The device
makes it simple and cost-effective to extend the ProLink.z
processor’s 2.4-GHz ZigBee wireless network to additional
areas of a home or commercial facility, providing users
with powerful two-way control and feedback — including
song metadata, volume levels, current temperature, and
more — via the sleek Pro24.z remote.
“For larger homes, sports bars, nightclubs, and
more, the Pro.rfz range extender dramatically lowers
overall system costs,” said Mike Everett, General
Manager at Pro Control.
“By extending the wireless range of the ProLink.z’s
internal 2.4-GHz ZigBee antenna, the device allows
installers to provide their customers with the
900 +
, CO
Pro Control’s wireless offering
N E W F E AT U R E S . N E W T R E N D S . N E W O P P O RT U N I T I E S .
M
Atlas draws on Prism Sound’s conversion and
clocking expertise developed over many years in
products ranging from the AD-2 and DA-2 and the
popular ADA-8XR modular converter to Orpheus
and the latest releases, Lyra and Titan. It offers
eight analogue inputs, eight analogue outputs
plus S/PDIF and TOSLINK optical digital I/O ports.
The optical ports can also be used for ADAT, giving
a single Atlas unit a maximum capability of 18
concurrent input and output channels plus dual
stereo headphones.
Atlas also features high quality digitallycontrolled preamplifiers – eight for microphones
and two for instruments, which are automatically
selected when the respective sources are plugged
in. An assignable rotary control is provided for
monitoring or output level control, which can be
applied to any desired set of output channels.
In addition, dual stereo headphone outputs are
provided, each with its own volume control.
DUBAI WORLD TRADE CENTRE
GA
N
DC
OM
Prism Sound has announced its third new
interface product – Atlas. Designed with Prism
Sound’s latest CleverClox clocking technology
and incorporating eight of the company’s
popular mic pre’s as standard, this latest
addition to the USB interface family is aimed
squarely at multitrack recording applications.
Atlas offers recording professionals quality
analogue and digital I/O for Mac or Windows
PC at sample rates up to 192kHz via a simple
USB interface. In addition to the USB host
interface, Atlas also features Prism Sound’s new
MDIO interface expansion slot, which was first
incorporated into Titan and announced at AES
New York in October 2013. Using this miniature
expansion slot users can, for example, directly
connect to Pro Tools|HDX systems. A range
of other MDIO interfaces is planned for later
introduction. Atlas will also run with Apple and
Windows native applications over USB.
11-13 MARCH 2014
NG
GI
ER
Prism Sound unveils new audio Interface
Atlona, an AV distribution solutions provider,
will be shipping its new AT-PS-POCC midspan power supply. Designed to power
PoCc-compatible HDBaseT transmitters and/
or receivers without requiring the related
Atlona power source device, the AT-PS-POCC
can send power to a compatible transmitter,
receiver, or both using the same category
cable as the HDBaseT signal.
The AT-PS-POCC is a 24V DC bi-directional
power supply ideal for any AV environment
in which neither the transmitters nor
receivers can receive power from a powered
transmitter or switch. The system is also
useful in installations that would be unduly
cluttered with additional power supply
wiring. A switch allows the AT-PS-POCC to
provide power between the transmitter and
receiver, in either direction or both directions
simultaneously, and a single power supply
can power multiple AT-PS-POCC devices. The
elegant solution can be used to enable and
disable PoCc devices for easy power routing,
and its captive screw design ensures a
secure and reliable connection.
In a typical installation, the AT-PS-POCC
could connect Atlona’s AT-HDVS-TX-WP
transmitters/switchers with RSNET, IR, and
PRO3 receivers or HDBaseT displays (such as
those from Epson or Panasonic). The power
supply also supports RSNET, IR, and PRO3
PoCc receivers with PRO2 switchers and
RSNET, IR, and PRO3 PoCc receivers from
HDBaseT AVRs (such as Pioneer).
“In the past, integrators using both PoCcand non-PoCc-compatible products in an
installation would have to run power supplies
at both the transmitter and receiver,” said
Bill Schripsema, Atlona commercial
product manager.
“Atlona’s AT-PS-POCC mid-span power
supply eliminates that need and ensures that
PoCc-compatible HDBaseT transmitters and/
or receivers are compatible with a variety of
devices that don’t provide PoCc power.”
REGISTER NOW
CAPTURE THE GROWTH!
REGISTER NOW AT CABSAT.COM/VISIT
CONFERENCE PARTNER
”Transforming Broadcasting
in the Always Connected
Digital World”
SECURE YOUR SEAT!
[email protected]
+971 4 308 6152
CABSAT GLOBAL
MEETINGS PROGRAMME
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DELIVERY HUB
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Exclusive, ROI elevating,
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Lucrative exhibitor
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CABSAT.com/Connect
*Source: CABSAT Research 2013
SHOW TIMINGS
Organised by
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70 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2014
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CABSAT
PROGUEST
Mobile customers today are influenced by
a “connected culture” and have a need to
remain connected, informed and entertained
continually through the use of digital mobile
services
Juan Jose De La Torre, Intigral.
MENA’s new
digital arena
Traditional mobile value added services
(MVAS), which primarily comprised of
messaging, ring-back tones, and occasional
web sessions, has now passed its product
maturity cycle, thus laying the foundation
to what we call VAS 2.0 or digital mobile
services, covering interactive applications
and internet-enabled services.
Mobile customers today are influenced
by a “connected culture” and have a
need to remain connected, informed and
entertained continually through the use
of digital mobile services. A number of
factors are contributing to the growth and
uptake of these services however; one of
the biggest drivers is the changing devices
landscape in the region. The Middle East
region has been receiving a lot of attention
from vendors who are working to “smart”
up their entry level devices and introduce
feature-rich smartphones at affordable
price points, what we call smartfeature phones.
In seeking to maximise the VAS 2.0
opportunity, regional operators are luring
smartphone owners to subscribe to
various data-access packages. Besides,
they are offering smartphones at
subsidised rates when customers commit
to a certain period. Regional telcos are also
actively contributing to the digital content
landscape through a number of initiatives
such as the launch of operator-owned
digital services, which aim to facilitate
the consumption of traditional content
through digitally-enabled and enhanced
services. Furthermore, operators, and
device and platform providers in the
region are actively encouraging local
application development through
developer communities.
Moreover, initiatives by Arab countries
for the development of digital content
will boost the adoption of localised
Arabic digital content services. For
example, in Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah
Initiative for Arabic Content has
more than 60 projects for developing
digital content. Qatar established the
Digital Content Incubation Centre to
promote entrepreneurship related
to the production of Arabic content
and a Creative Commons affiliate to
encourage and protect digital creativity.
Similarly, ‘Badir’, a technology incubator
programme launched by King Abdulaziz
City for Science and Technology
(KACST) in 2007 has been funding
and supporting many start-up projects
related to mobile apps development.
These factors have led to a visible
shift from traditional mobile valueadded services to data-oriented
services. However, there still exists a
72 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2014
clear disconnect in the type of content and
applications, which consumers use and
demand, than what is being developed and
supplied by aggregators and operators.
As smartphone penetration rises, mobile
tariffs rationalise and the availability of
localised content increases, consumers
will increasingly look for relevant localised
content that provides them with a userfriendly and intuitive interface. Therefore,
use of data analytics, on both content
aggregators’ and operators’ part will play
a major role in narrowing the supply and
demand gap, enabling absolute visibility of
both content consumption and data usage,
as well as help differentiate and microsegment products and services easily, thus
addressing some key concerns in the digital
content industry.
Going forward, the ability to understand
the psychographic, geographic, and
the demographics of consumers while
also improve quality of service, increase
customer satisfaction, and effectively
communicating with customers anytime,
anywhere will be key element to promoting
the adoption of mobile content services over
the next couple of years. Hence, operators
will need to explore new customer
engagement models, develop niche
products for different customer segments,
and understand how to leverage an ever
increasing mass of customer data. They will
also have to harness new market drivers
such as social networking and mobile
advertising, stretch their business models
and facilitate the development of a selfsustaining digital content eco-system. PRO
Juan Jose De La Torre is Vice President of
Mobile and Web at Intigral.
Our automated playout solution
that adapts seamlessly into your
broadcast workflow.
Visit us at Cabsat Stand B6-44.
t: +44 845 0942 612 e: [email protected] w: www.oasys.com
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