Al Aan TV has completed an important enhancement of it's playout chain to provide full redundancy and much greater production and delivery capabilities, in partnership with global media production systems provider Imagine Communications. Following the installation, the Dubai based free-to-air broadcaster, serving a predominantly female audience with Arabic news and entertainment programming, has significantly expanded its playout and storage technology. The new capabilities are seen as critical to Al Aan TV’s expansion of its current operations.
The new systems were implemented in the summer of 2017 and are now on air.
Digital Studio had previously reported on Al Aan TV upgrade of it's production environment from a hardware infrastructure to a virtualised environment back in September.
Seeking a technology refresh that would further support its expanding social media presence, Al Aan has been working with Imagine Communications, which has assisted the broadcaster with a transition to file-based HD production, since 2014. With this latest engagement, Al Aan will be equipped with a unified delivery platform, while converting the original system to a fully redundant backup chain.
Central to the new Al Aan playout centre is a shared storage network using three Nexio+ AMP servers for a total of 18 HD ports. Included in the fiber-connected network is a Nexio PRX transcoder and media gateway. This reportedly allows the system to provide a fully integrated previewing tool, creating proxy files much faster than real time. For live transmission services, Al Aan relies on Versio IOX online storage specifically designed for broadcast and production facilities. Imagine’s widely deployed ADC automation platform is also a key component of the installation.
“Our services are extremely popular and we are growing rapidly, and that has called for significant investment in new technology and systems,” said Raad Haddadin, head of engineering and support at Al Aan TV. “Imagine Communications has proved to be a valued technology partner, and by working with the company to extend our playout facilities we get the workflow gains we sought, along with the ability to provide a complete backup chain which provides channel redundancy with zero downtime.”
Anas Hantash, MENA director of sales at Imagine Communications, commented: “Our Dubai-based engineering team provided on-the-ground support to assist with the implementation, and continues to provide support for the future. This underlines the importance of committing to key markets with a real presence. We have watched with excitement as Al Aan has grown, providing a ground-breaking approach to news and consistently popular entertainment. It is satisfying to continue to support that growth with technology with the capacity to evolve to meet Al Aan’s future requirements for connectivity and social interaction.”