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PROOSN

At 3 a.m. on May 29, technical staff at Orbit Showtime Network (OSN) received a call. A small fire had broken out at the pay TV network’s UPS room in Dubai Media City shutting off power to the entire facility. Many of OSN’s channels were off air for a period of time and it was running a skeleton schedule for 12 hours before service was fully restored. What happened that morning? We lost power just after 3 a.m. on Sunday, May 29. The cause is still being investigated but there was a small fire in the UPS room. The fact that the UPS room was affected meant that we lost power not just in some parts of the facility but in the entire building. The first thing to do then was to try and work out the quickest way to restore power to the building and get back on air. Fortunately, we still had a presence because we have two transponders serviced out of the UK by Globecast. That’s six High Definition channels plus 14 Standard Definition channels that remained on air unaffected. But all the transponders that played out of our broadcast centre in Dubai Media City were affected at this time. As part of our efforts to get back on air, we spoke with Samacom (Dubai’s satellite services provider) about how we could possibly build a mux. Fortunately, Glocom (Dubai-based SI) had a temporary mux at the site that we managed with their help to reconfigure. This, coupled with the four channels of Disaster Recovery (DR) that

“It took us a couple of days to stabilise. One of the big risks we had once we were on air was finding stability to stay on air not from a technical perspective but more from an operational media management perspective” Mark Billinge, VP of Broadcast Operations, OSN.

MBC let us access, meant that we got back on air by 10 a.m. in the morning with four channels. We also had a sports channel that was being played out from Ten Sports next door. So we initially had three movie channels and a sports channel being broadcast across the whole network. By 9 p.m. on Sunday, we had the entire bouquet back on air. From then, it took us a couple of days to stabilise. One of the big risks we had once we were on air was finding stability to stay on air, not from a technical perspective but more from an operational media management perspective as well. We had some issues with the archive and we had to get this back on line as quickly as we could to enable the media flow to transmission so as to run full schedules. Without the archive, we can run fresh schedules for approximately 48 hours. We managed to accomplish that by mid noon on May 30 (Monday) and from that point on, we were secure and back to a semi-normal operation. You mentioned that some of the broadcasters at Dubai Media City were very supportive? Yes, this is also a way for us to say thank you to some of the people around who helped us out massively. Ten Sports (our neighbours) were fantastic. Dominic Baillie (VP of operations) at Taj TV opened their doors to us so we based ourselves there in the morning which was excellent rather than standing in the car park in 45 degrees. MBC was brilliant. After speaking to Andy Palmer (Group tech director), they let us have access to their disaster recovery playout that they have up at Samacom. The team at Samacom supported us as well and let us move in there to get ourselves back on air. It was great to see the way everyone pulled together and it was really nice to have people calling from all over offering assistance. Once that first part was over, it was crucial to bring some longer term stability in terms of our power situation because at that time we were running entirely on DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) power, which is not an ideal situation. The next step, therefore, was to find someone who could supply a more robust power solution to us.

How did you manage to restore power to this building? We got in touch with the team at Aggreko. We are presently running all our technical power on their generators out of our cark park but we are also having a temporary UPS shipped in at the moment. The generators and soon-to -be-delivered UPS from Aggreko are a solid temporary solution until we can source and build a more robust permanent system. We also had temporary air conditioning set up by a company called Flow. They brought temporary air conditioning units to the site and this was a huge help to us. Who is Aggreko? They weren’t a familiar name to me but they are apparently the world’s largest supplier of temporary power and their track record is supplying to the Olympic Games, the World Cup and most of the big international events. Aggreko has provided OSN with 1.5Mva of power which provides the broadcast centre with an N+2 secured power supply, together with just under 2000m of temporary power cable and sub distribution. It also provides 24/7 engineering support with the package. The power package is made up of three 500Kva acoustically housed generators that are manufactured by Aggreko in the UK. What kind of power supply did you previously have? We had dual redundant 250KVA UPS units with around 10 minutes battery autonomy so we are looking at something similar to that. Will you have to rebuild your entire UPS room? Yes, the next part of our permanent recovery strategy is to source a new UPS. We do need to replace everything that we had so we need to source it. We are also simultaneously looking at the way we had things configured before and are looking at hopefully implementing a more robust solution.

July 2011 | www.broadcastprome.com |

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BroadcastPro Middle East - June 2011 Issue  

Broadcast Pro Middle East is a monthly publication covering television and radio broadcasting technology as well as filmmaking trends in the...

BroadcastPro Middle East - June 2011 Issue  

Broadcast Pro Middle East is a monthly publication covering television and radio broadcasting technology as well as filmmaking trends in the...

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