Imagine Communications, a market leader in advertising management and video infrastructure solutions serving global TV networks, broadcast stations, multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), governments and enterprise markets, today announced that it has completed a major upgrade of the playout and asset management facilities at Rotana TV in Cairo, Egypt. The project for Rotana TV, which currently broadcasts 14 discrete channels as well as time shifts and rebrands, reflects continued innovation in the Imagine Communications technology platform which was implemented in 2009.
The upgrade project delivered significant benefits, allowing Rotana TV to migrate all of its channels to HD and enabling the playout center to operate completely in the file domain. Simplifying internal operations, the enhancements enable Rotana TV to deliver output via a data stream for satellite providers Arabsat and Nilesat, and to other broadcast facilities in Europe and the USA. Rotana TV plans to move IP delivery to outlets in Canada and South America in the future.
“When we installed our original automated playout and asset management architecture in 2009, we knew it was one step in our continuing growth and that we would need to expand it in due course,” said Dr. Naser Refaat, Technical Services Executive Manager of Rotana TV. “That system has proved extremely robust and reliable, and it is very pleasing that we do not have to lose any of that capital investment as part of our upgrade.”
At the heart of this upgrade are Imagine Communications Nexio Volt servers and Nexio® Farad scalable online storage systems to enable the HD capabilities. Rotana TV already had Imagine Communications’ ADC playout automation and Nexio® Motion digital media management, both of which were HD-ready. The Nexio Motion media management platform in place provided extensive functionality to manage and move media assets. For the HD upgrade, the platform provided a file-based environment that included ingest stations both within Rotana TV and remotely at the broadcaster’s facilities in Cairo’s Media Production City. Other Imagine Communications’ equipment, including Nexio® IconMaster modular master control switchers, graphics and Platinum™ routers with integrated multiviewers, was simply upgraded to handle HD signals.
“Imagine Communications proposed a seamless upgrade to enable us to broadcast in HD and to streamline our operations by moving away from tapes completely,” Dr. Naser added. “Coupled with the excellent support we received from Systems Design, the Cairo-based dealer, and from the Imagine Communications regional centre in Dubai, this was an easy choice to make.”
“Our broadcast customers are navigating various states of transition, whether migrating from tape to file, from SD to HD and beyond, or from traditional infrastructures to software-defined networks,” said Mathias Eckert, Vice President of Europe, Middle East and Africa at Imagine Communications. “We strive to provide solutions that are tailored for these transitions wherever our customers are in the process. Rotana TV, which five years ago implemented an end-to-end solution for SD playout, demonstrates this clearly. Today, we have upgraded it for file-based HD without compromising their existing investments in equipment and skills, and we have delivered a solution that remains future-proofed, whenever Rotana TV wants to take that next step.”
The upgrade project, with new HD channels and file-based workflows, was designed and delivered by the Imagine Communications regional specialist center in Dubai, supported by Systems Design.