Page 1



An ITP Business Publication | SEPTEMBER 2012 | VOL. 5 ISSUE 9


We speak with the CEO of Ideal Shopping Direct

You tell us what you think about the region’s broadcast industry


What to see, who to meet and where to go at IBC 2012

New channels in the Middle East; satellite launches; new satellite earth station

FROM UP ABOVE With multibillion dollar investments, the Middle East’s satellite operators are ready for the big league

Our world. Now sharper than ever with the HDTV portal of the Middle East. Your world. See the difference with the region’s largest satellite operator With the reach, power and unmatched capacity of Arabsat’s state-of-the-art satellite fleet, the largest Arab community in the sky now brings you more power to experience the future in incredible detail. No wonder over 90% of free-to-air HD-TV channels in the MENA region are now exclusively broadcasting on Arabsat satellites. Join our premium community today!




36 06 Update UAE to launch satellite soon; My-HD media to offer MBC HD channels; Al Sharqiya adds new channel; Al Jazeera and Es’hailSat enter MOU.

18 Analysis An in-depth look at the growing phenomenon of second screens.


22 IBC PREVIEW THE TOP TEN What should you absolutely not miss at IBC 2012 everything from sessions to speakers is here.

28 MENA MARKET THE BIG SURVEY OF 2012 How robust is the region’s broadcast market? Our survey answers that and more.

36 COVER STORY WRITTEN IN THE STARS An in-depth look at the satellite industry of the Middle East and some of its biggest players.

What’s new? A look at the latest products released in the last month.

62 Data What does the future hold for paid satellite TV? Some hard facts.



18 22 57

Test card In conversation with the CEO of Ideal Shopping Direct, Mike Hancox.



It is finally here! You know sometimes you wait for something and the anticipation is just too much to take. Well here at Digital Broadcast Middle East, that kind of anticipation usually surrounds a big exhibition and conference. And this time it is one of the biggest ones on the planet! Yes folks, its that time of the year when everyone heads over to Amsterdam for IBC. We have been talking about IBC for a while here. We have done previews and product focuses talking about some of the most exciting releases to look forward to at the show. But it is a completely different to actually be there and experience what is new and exciting in the field. As most of you know, IBC is one of the biggest shows in the world and that translates to its size - literally. The exhibition and conference extend over 5 days and over a wide space. Over 1,300 exhibitors display their wares to the world and I am sure many of our readers will be there discussing their new products and services. While it can be exciting to visit, you will need a guide to navigate this gigantic conference if you want to get the most out of it. So with that in mind we have provided a Top Ten list of things to do at the exhibition and conference. Most of those are free to all participants and most of you should take advantage of that. Alternatively, you could map your own route by visiting the exhibition’s website beforehand and picking out sessions and exhibits that are of particular interest to you. It is not much different than visiting a giant amusement park, like Disney World in Orlando, Fl. However, one of the most important things to do at a conference like IBC is to network and listen to some experts discuss their fortes. You


will get to meet industry experts from around the world and it will be interesting to see how they respond when put together to discuss issues that are common all over the globe. So make sure to take in some sessions which you think are interesting and you can relate to. Trust me when I say that you will not to get to see this kind of intellectual collaboration in many other places. And remember, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. IBC takes care of your play as well. So let out the kid in you and take advantage of some of the cool toys. With a wide variety of exciting things to do, you can take a break from the routine and business by visiting their big 3D movie theatre. One of the hottest topics of discussion, 3D takes center-stage in the conference sessions. Not to be outdone, we did a quick recap of how 3D is faring post the London Olympics. And the picture is not exactly rosy. So have fun and network at IBC and tell us what you thought was your favority moment of the conference and exhition. Where did you learn the most and what was the most innovative product on the floor. I look forward to receiving your comments and suggestions.

Ruchi Shroff Editor

Registered at Dubai Media City PO Box 500024, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 444 3000, Fax: +971 4 444 3030 Web: Offices in Dubai & London ITP Business Publishing CEO Walid Akawi Managing Director Neil Davies Managing Director, ITP Business Karam Awad Deputy Managing Director Matthew Southwell Editorial Director David Ingham Editorial Editor Ruchi Shroff Tel: +971 4 444 3635 email: Advertising Sales Director George Hojeige Tel: +971 4 444 3203 email: Sales Manager Wissam Khodur Tel: +971 4 444 3272 email: Japan Advertising Representative Mikio Tsuchiya Tel: + 81 354 568230 email: Studio Head of Design Daniel Prescott Principal Creative Simon Cobon Photography Chief Photographer Jovana Obradovic Senior Photographers Isidora Bojovic, Efraim Evidor Staff Photographers Lester Ali, George Dipin, Juliet Dunne, Murrindie Frew, Lyubov Galushko, Verko Ignjatovic, Shruti Jagdesh, Mosh Lafuente, Ruel Pableo, Rajesh Raghav Production & Distribution Group Production & Distribution Director Kyle Smith Deputy Production Manager Matthew Grant Production Coordinator Nelly Pereira Managing Picture Editor Patrick Littlejohn Image Editor Emmalyn Robles Distribution Executive Nada Al Alami Circulation Head of Circulation & Database Gaurav Gulati Marketing Head of Marketing Daniel Fewtrell Marketing Manager Michelle Meyrick ITP Digital Director Peter Conmy ITP Group Chairman Andrew Neil Managing Director Robert Serafin Finance Director Toby Jay Board of Directors K.M. Jamieson, Mike Bayman, Walid Akawi, Neil Davies, Rob Corder, Mary Serafin Circulation Customer Service Tel: +971 4 444 3000 Certain images in this issue are available for purchase. Please contact for further details or visit Printed by Atlas Printing Press L.L.C Subscribe online at

Visit us online For the latest news, analysis and reviews from the Middle East content delivery, media management and new media distribution business head to

The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for error or omissions contained in this publication, however caused. The opinions and views contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. Readers are advised to seek specialist advice before acting on information contained in this publication which is provided for general use and may not be appropriate for the reader’s particular circumstances. The ownership of trademarks is acknowledged. No part of this publication or any part of the contents thereof may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the permission of the publishers in writing. An exemption is hereby granted for extracts used for the purpose of fair review.

Published by and Copyright © 2012 ITP Business Publishing, a division of ITP Business Publishing Group Ltd. Registered in the B.V.I. under Company Registration number 1402846.

Imagine Achieve with Avid integrated news Imagine working with a set of news solutions that let you create a complete news package on your laptop, break a story from a mobile device, or put a rundown together from the field. Our next-generation integrated news packages help you achieve better content, faster workflows, and ways for everyone in your organization to work more effectively together.

Find out how. Visit © 2012 Avid Technology, Inc. All rights reserved. Product features, specifications, system requirements, and availability are subject to change without notice. Avid, and the Avid logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Avid Technology, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. All other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.



Tests on latest UAE satellite EIAST engineers are in the final stages of testing DubaiSat-2 in South Korea EM assembly of satellite

Twenty-two Emirati engineers from the Emirates Institute for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST), based in South Korea, are in the final stages of testing the second advanced imaging satellite DubaiSat-2. It is expected to be launched in the last quarter of 2012 from Yasny Cosmodrome in north Russia. Salem Al Marri, project manager of the space programme at EIAST, said that the satellite would be “basically completed” in “less than a month”. DubaiSat-1, which was launched in 2009, has been able to send

The UAE engineers have acquired experience and knowledge that will enable them to initiate UAE projects. OMRAN ANWAR SHARAF Director, EIAST Space Images

back images four times a day to EIAST’s listening station in Al Khawaneej, Dubai. On the other hand, DubaiSat-2 will have a much higher resolution camera, offering images of one metre per pixel, comparable with those offered by Google Earth and will be used by UAE authorities for town planning. The two satellites will be joined in 2015 by a third EIAST satellite, DubaiSat-3. The third satellite, now being designed, will be built entirely by Emirati engineers on UAE soil. DubaiSat-1 and 2 were built with the cooperation of the South Korean company Satrec1. “The UAE engineers have acquired experience and knowledge that will enable them to initiate UAE projects to serve the country in the field of space and satellite manufacturing,” added EIAST Director of Space Images Department, Omran Anwar Sharaf.


Worldwide share of broadband homes Broadband connections have changed the way people communicate. It has also deeply affected the worldwide cable and TV markets as more people are opting to watch video over the internet. This graphic looks at the worldwide distribution of broadband subscribers. As expected, Asia has a big share of the market, while some of the underdeveloped nations lag behind. The growth of broadband and the market forces that will shape the future of this industry, including adoption, have been issues debated by many experts.

Asia/ Pacific


Eastern & Central Europe

Western Europe

North America

Latin America Middle East/ Central Asia


Source: Parks Associates

Coming 2013










w w w. a b s a t e l l i t e .c o m




Satellite operator AsiaSat signed a contract with Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI) to broadcast ‘Dubai TV’ and ‘Dubai Sports’ free-to-air satellite channels throughout the Asia-Pacifi c region. The channels will be added to the existing bouquet of over 40 Middle Eastern TV and radio programmes on AsiaSat 5 and will be available on the C-band.

Ahmad Abdullah Al Shaikh, Managing Director of Dubai Media Inc.

‘YahClick’ to launch in five markets Yahsat has launched its YahClick “broadband everyone” satellite service in five key markets. From August 2012, the YahClick service has been available in Iraq, Afghanistan, South Africa, Nigeria, and Angola. YahClick will be operational across most of its coverage area spanning a total of 28 markets, in South West Asia, Africa and the Middle East, including the GCC states, by October 2012.


AsiaSat 5 adds Dubai channels


MBC HD channels on offer by My-HD Media The long-term agreement with will cover seven HD channels Dubai-based satellite TV platform, My-HD Media, entered into a strategic long-term partnership with MBC Group to distribute all 7 MBC HD channels to satellite TV households. Viewers who purchase My-HD approved receivers or viewing cards will receive MBC 1, MBC 2, MBC 4, MBC Action, MBC Drama, MBC MAX, and Al Arabiya News Channel, for free, in High Definition available on both Nilesat and Yahsat. My-HD is the first satellite TV platform to offer all MBC HD channels on a large number of leading HD Digital receiver brands, including nearly one million Humax HD receivers in the GCC, NHE in Kuwait, Dansat in Saudi Arabia, Lotus in Algeria and Tevicom in Morocco. “As MBC expands its HD offering, we anticipate more viewers will upgrade their SD receivers for approved HD receivers,” Sam Barnett, MBC Group CEO said. “And as they do so, we anticipate reducing our SD channels. Ultimately

the market is moving to an HD environment – but we do want to ensure that consumers don’t purchase non-approved HD satellite receivers which will not be able to receive our channels.”

Cliff Nelson, CEO of My-HD and Sam Barnett, CEO of MBC Group.

Al-Sharqiya adds channel Dubai-based Al-Sharqiya Television caster’s channels include general launched Al-Sharqiya Drama, a new entertainment Al-Sharqiya TV and channel showcasing Arabic, Turk- news channel Al-Sharqiya News. ish and Western programmes on the Some of the series produced by first day of the holy month of Rama- Al-Sharqiya Television include ‘Sadan. The new channel can be lima Basha’ and ‘Al Dars Al Awviewed on two satellites wal’. Turkish series Jinan FAST FACT including Nilesat 102 and or ‘Canan’ and Yaqout or Hotbird 9. ‘Zehirli Sarmasik’ will The third of Al-Sharbe dubbed into Arabic qiya Television’s bouas well. Other shows inAsia-Pacific’s share of the 220 quet of channels broadclude a comedy series, million set-top casts 24 hours a day ‘Firqat Naji Atallah’, feaboxes by 2013 focusing primarily on turing one of the most Source: ABI Research. soap operas and drama. famous Arab comedians The other pan-Arab broadAdil Emam.



Turkish operator Sky to create content Globecomm exports launches OTT service distribution arm European teleport Turkish pay TV provider DSmart has launched a new overthe-top service in partnership with KIT digital, who designed and configured the software solution at the heart of the OTT service based on its Cosmos video platform. KIT digital will partner with a local systems integrator to complete the implementation. D-Smart is Turkey’s second largest DTH platform.

Sky acquired Parthenon Media Group to sell its commissioned content in the international market. It says the new inhouse model will help generate additional revenues that can then be ploughed back into the UK’s creative economy. Sophie Turner Laing, Sky’s MD of Entertainment, News and Broadcast Operations, will lead the new function.

Globecomm’s teleport in Biddinghuizen, Netherlands completed installation of a new nine-metre antenna offering access to Intelsat’s IS-17 satellite. The IS-17 offers global C and Ku-band beams serving northern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian Ocean. The large, powerful antenna has capacity for many more customers needing service in this region.


Qatar’s Es’hailSat enters MOU The Memorandum will aide Al Jazeera in extending its reach to new areas Qatari satellite company Es’hailSat and Al Jazeera Networks signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote closer co-operation between the two companies regarding the strategic satellite infrastructure required by Al Jazeera. Within the framework of the MOU, Es’hailSat will provide independent and strategic satellite solutions to meet Al Jazeera’s requirements for broadcast independence and sustainability, including the provision of satellite capacity and the development of orbital positions and ground services to support future expansion opportunities in new markets. The agreement was signed in Doha by Sheikh Ahmed Bin Jassim Al Thani, Direc-

Sheikh Ahmed Bin Jassim Al Thani

tor General of Aljazeera Media Network and Ali Al Kuwari, Es’hailSat’s CEO. “We are delighted to be able to work with Al Jazeera Networks on the development of satellite services over the long term and to support their evolving strategic interests including satellite radio, ground services, news gathering and other ancillary communications services,” Ali Al Kuwari, the CEO of Es’hailSat said. With the first satellite – Es’hail 1 – under construction and future satellites planned, Es’hailSat can provide the necessary capacity to enable its customers to substantially increase their communications capability, particularly in broadcasting in HD and 3D.


Salam Media Cast UK, will be the first of a number of offices the integrated broadcasting solutions provider plans to open in new geographic locations. The offi ce will be headed by Niels Thomas as managing director. He was formerly head of sales for North Europe at Sony and has worked at Omeon, Thomson and Grass Valley.

Niels Thomas


Salam Media Cast opens UK office


Sky News Arabia gets new earth station Paradigm installed the new satellite station in Abu Dhabi Paradigm Communication Systems completed Sky News Arabia in Abu Dhabi. Sky News Arabia’s new state-of-the-art satellite earth station in Abu Dhabi. Designed and built by Paradigm, completion of this earth station means that Sky News Arabia is now ready to support satellite contribution and interchange of news over C, Ku and Ka-bands. The delivery encompassed the network design and layout of the antenna farm, installation, testing and commissioning of a multitude of antennas systems from 1.5m through to fully motorized 4m tracking antennas, RF subsystems, as well as a fully managed extensive and able satellite in that region,” comments flexible L-band infrastructure. Ulf Sandberg, managing director of “The primary requirement Paradigm. “Paradigm delivered a FAST FACT for the Sky News Arabia satelcomplete system including suplite system was flexibility. This port for planned satellites for multiband contribution hub the next five years, the earth Rise in on-demand was designed from the outset station is multi band compliant TV revenues by 2017 to support visibility of every suitfrom the outset.” Source: Digital TV Research Ltd.


Sky-Stream selects two Eutelsat satellites Dubai-based Sky-Stream selected capacity on two satellites operated by Eutelsat Communications to respond to connectivity demands from customers engaged in the marine and oil & gas sectors. Sky-Stream has contracted for a total of 70 MHz of bandwidth. Their combined footprint provides coverage across Europe and the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and Africa. Using an Automatic Beam Switching feature, Sky-Stream will use EUTELSAT 3C to extend its current Middle East Ku band coverage to the Mediterranean for the luxury yacht market.

012 SEPTEMBER 2012

QUOTES OF THE MONTH Our focus is now taking the success from the Olympics and taking it to fall TV and other kinds of programming, primarily sports, news and kids. MATT STRAUSS Senior vice president, Comcast.

Conformance really is key to end-user adoption, as poorly delivered content and applications can lead to negative user perception. KEITH POTTER CEO of Digital TV Labs.


Films Tawash The four-day Arabic workshop is hosted by the Doha Film Institute’s Gulf Development Unit for aspiring filmmakers. Emirati filmmaker, Abdullah Hassan Ahmed, will show one of his short films each day, sharing his skills and knowledge in film-making. www.dohafilminstitute. com/blog/films-tawashworkshop SEPTEMBER 6-11




DPC holds talks about Arabic programming The series organized by the DPC looked at Arab dramas Ramadan Majlis, organized by Dubai Press Club (DPC), examined emerging trends in the Arab drama landscape during its concluding session. Titled ‘New Trends in Arab Drama Production’, the evening drew the participation of experts, producers and local artists from the Arab drama and television production industry.

IBC Probably the biggest event in the broadcast and satellite world, IBC has been one that Digital Broadcast has closely followed. Check out our feature on the top 10 things to do at the conference on page 22. SEPTEMBER 12-15

Bengalaru Space Expo It will provide a platform for space agencies, specialists, entrepreneurs and space industry heavyweights to display their visions to the decision makers. SEPTEMBER 25-27

APSCC 2012 Satellite Conference & Exhibition At the conference in Seoul, South Korea, participants will be able to reach the highly targeted selection of satellite professionals. The event will also feature people from the Northeast Asian satellite industry. sub3_2.asp

Experts at the event hosted by the Dubai Press Club.

Ibrahim Ustadi of Dubai Media Incorporated moderated the discussion that drew rich insights from Jamal Al Sharif, Director of Dubai Media City and Dubai Studio City; Abdullah Al Ajlah, Director of Production and Purchases of Drama in Dubai Media Incorporated; Emirati artist and producer Ahmed Al Jasimi; Emirati writer and author Jamal Salem; Fadi Ismail, General Manager of O3 Productions, MBC group. All panelists agreed on the need to evenly distribute Arab drama productions throughout the year in order to reduce overcrowding during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Tropfest Arabia’s judging panel Tropfest Arabia, the Arabic version of the world’s largest short film festival, has announced its panel of celebrity judges. This is the second year of Tropfest Arabia, which will take place on 26th October 2012 on the Abu Dhabi Corniche. Emirati animator and chairman of Lammtara, Mohammed Saeed Harib will be on the panel, joined by Kuwaiti film producer and director Amer Al Zuhair, Jordanian actress and producer Seba Mubarak, Syrian actress and filmmaker Kinda Alloush, Egyptian writer and director Amr Salama, Lebanese musician and composer Khaled Mouzanar, and Saudi Arabia’s first female filmmaker Haifaa Al Mansour. The deadline for entry is closing on

Thursday 6th September. Shortlisted finalists will be announced Sunday 30th September, and the winner announced Friday 26th October. Workshop in Cairo, Egypt.






Mark Christie has been appointed as the chief technology officer of KIT Digital. In his new role he will continue to consolidate the company’s technology centers around the world, with a particular focus on leveraging resources in Prague and Milan to further develop the Cosmos video platform.

Damien Thomson joined Pilat Media as general manager of Australasia. Thomson will be based in Sydney and as part of the new role will manage all operations throughout the AsiaPacific region, including direct sales for Pilat Media’s flagship Integrated Broadcast Management System (IBMS).

Snell appointed Andrey Velichko as the head of sales for CIS and the Baltic region, a position that includes leadership of Snell’s Moscow office and primary responsibility for supporting and further developing Snell business. Velichko will define and implement account plans and sales strategies.

ATG BROADCAST MIDDLE EAST Mir Zaheer Ali Khan has joined ATG Broadcast as head of its Middle East operations from IVSM Systems, where he worked as a product specialist and technical support officer. Prior to that, he worked as head of graphics for virtual studio at Al Dafrah TV.

SEPTEMBER 2012 015


The online home of:

NASA’s Spacewalks Enjoy the final frontier live with NASA’s astronauts Astronauts and cosmonauts will perform two spacewalks outside the International Space Station this month, both to be broadcast live via NASA Television. Coverage of the first will begin at 10 a.m. EDT, Monday, 20 August. It will feature Expedition 32 Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency in Russian Orlan spacesuits. They will float outside the Pirs docking compartment airlock for a six and a half hour spacewalk to relocate a cargo boom from Pirs to the Zarya module, complete the installation of micrometeoroid debris shields on the Zvezda service module and deploy a small science satellite. Coverage of the second walk will begin at 7 a.m., Thursday, 30 August. That will feature NASA Flight Engineer Sunita Williams and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Flight Engineer Akihiko Hoshide. It will be a six and a half hour excursion designed Astronauts perform repairs to replace a faulty power relay outside the space station. unit on the station’s truss.

How do you compete with Apple TV? Apple plans to launch a new generation of its Apple TV, turning the device into a fullyfledged cable or satellite set-top box, the Wall Street Journal reported. The device will feature an internet-based PVR, access to full season, on-demand TV shows, and an icon-based user interface as well as a ‘start again’ feature.




Did you watch the Olympics opening ceremony in 3D?

1. The Frame announces funding for UAE film projects 2. Al Sharqiya launches new channel 3. MBC Shahid catch up app tops iPad charts in region

DIY Satellite! South Korean artist Song Ho jun created his satellite for $440 from discarded electronics and it will launch later this year. 016 SEPTEMBER 2012


72% No – I don’t have the equipment

28% I started, but switched to 2D

Imagine Achieve with Avid ISIS Storage Imagine being able to put your media to work more effectively than ever before. Advanced, affordable ISIS® 5000 storage can help you achieve the reliability, performance, and collaborative capability you need to build both creativity and profit at the same time.

See how. Visit © 2012 Avid Technology, Inc. All rights reserved. Product features, specifications, system requirements, and availability are subject to change without notice. Avid, the Avid logo, and ISIS are trademarks or registered trademarks of Avid Technology, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. All other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.



Multitasking as well as “multiscreening”

Nearly half of all 16-24 year olds use messaging, email, Facebook or Twitter to discuss what they are viewing on TV, according to a new report from Deloitte. The rise of ‘second screening’ – the use of other screens, such as laptops, smartphones and tablets while watching TV – is a source of excitement and concern for many in the TV and technology industry, the report notes.


ith all the visual stimulation around us, you would think that operators would be thinking about reducing their presence to just a few screens. But it seems that they don’t want to miss out on a growing trend. Second screens have slowly become ubiquitous in our society in the form of tablets and smartphones. In fact multi-tasking can now be termed “multi-screening” with the number of devices people engage with at the same time. Sports broadcasters, to stem the flight of the TV audience away from watching the main screen to the second screen, are offering alternative content to the main program. They present content re- interact with the show dilated to the main program, such as unseen moments, alternative rectly, there is a “muted apinformation, soundtrack, and characters. Further, proposed new petite” for interaction with technology allows the viewer to see different camera angles while TV programmes. Only one in watching the game. TV2, Denmark’s largest commercial 10 people browse the TV channel, synchronized its second screen service internet for inforto live events of the Giro d’Italia 2012 bicycling. And mation about fast fact in the U.S., HDNet Fights utilizes a second screen the TV proservice to synchronize to live MMA broadcasts, gramme they where viewers on smartphones and tablets can are watching. Viewers who like to get stats, vote on fights and rounds, chat, win prizSome viewers send in comments es, and see how fellow second screen users voted (40%) like beabout a show to win fights. ing able to send According to the survey report by Deloitte, majortheir comments in ity of the 16-24 year olds use communication tools such as to a live programme. messaging, email, Facebook, or Twitter to discuss what they are On the other hand, Deloitte watching on TV. The vast majority of over 55s (79%) never talk reports that 68% would not about what they’re watching on TV on the internet. want the websites for prodHowever, despite the abundance of apps that allow users to ucts, personalities or adverts


018 SEPTEMBER 2012

that have just been shown on television, to automatically appear on their computer, tablet, or smartphone. Paul Lee, director of technology, media and telecommunications research at Deloitte, commented: “Second screening’s impact is far greater in driving conversations about a programme, as opposed to interaction with it. Second screening may well end up with a similar status as eating in front of the TV: an everyday experience for some; absolutely unthinkable for others. One thing is certain: it is here for good.


PAUL LEE Director of technology, media and telecommunications research, Deloitte.


Second screening may well end up with a similar status as eating in front of the TV: an everyday experience for some; absolutely unthinkable for others. One thing is certain: it is here for good.

“Browsing the web whilst watching television is undertaken “frequently” by a third of the sample. This might be a brand new technology-enabled distraction or it might simply represent the swapping of an analogue distraction for a digital one. Browsing while watching television typically means flitting between a preferred set of websites, often comprising news, sports, e-commerce. Time spent on these may be a substitute for reading newspapers and magazines, or looking through catalogues.” This means that investments in second screen content are likely to reduce resources for the first screen and actual television content. And the second screen content does not get the same amount of viewership as the all important first screen. The key then is to strike a balance and realize that there won’t be a second screen without the first one. Lee concluded: “The challenge for second screen content today is that it is likely to be relatively expensive as we are still in an experimental, bespoke phase. Every pound spent on second screen content may be a pound diverted from the first screen; in order to justify the investment content creators need to get the balance right between all screens. “In time, creating official second screen experiences should become more formulaic and more easily reduced to a template. The more standardised second screen content becomes, the easier it should be to attain a positive return on investment.”

Activities undertaken while watching television

Participate in the programme I am watching by playing along, voting, sending in a message or piece of content

Browse the internet for info about the programme I am watching

Browse the internet for general information

Communicate with others via the internet about the programme I am watching by messaging, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter etc.

Communicate with others via the internet about general things by messaging, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter etc.

Text/message with others who are watching the programme

Talk on the phone

Talk to other people in the room


20% Frequently

40% Occasionally


80% Rarely

100% Never

Source: Deloitte/GfK Sample: All respondents answering this module (2000 nationally representative)

SEPTEMBER 2012 019


Dubai’s New Player Broadcast Solutions is making its mark felt in the region by adding to its team in Dubai and expanding their presence at IBC 2012. They are also furthering their interests by establishing partnerships.


ermany-based Broadcast Solutions has entered the

cross-section of their wares, Broadcast Solutions will have one of the largest displays in the Outside

network enabled HD/SD/3G Multichannel video recording server with slow motion/instant replay

Middle East market seeing the potential here. The company is well-known in the high-end field of mobile production equipment, from the

Exhibit area at IBC. Further, their full product line will be on dislay at the show. Further, the company has entered into a partnership with As part of the agreement,

capabilities, compatible with most NLE systems. And to demonstrate their commitment to the Middle East, Broadcast Solutions has appointed Munzer Rushdi to its team.

smallest radio car to the most advanced outside broadcasting van. In the last three years they have produced over 40 outside broadcasting vans in every conceivable variant, as well as diverse studio installations, SNG’s and fixed upand downlink stations. The company has also recently developed a groundbreaking concept named “streamline”, bringing more cost effective affordable OB Vans to the market. This concept cuts both cost and delivery times dramatically, the latest model with 12 cameras and partial expansion is on display at IBC. Many of their products and services will be on display

Broadcast Solutions will become the European and Middle East distributor of a new line of instant replay multi-channel recording systems for broadcasting and TV studio production from This will feature the “Simple R” which is the world’s smallest replay machine, as well as the “Dominator” which is a state of the art

“After 31 years in the region working with Broadcast and 22 years at DMI I wanted to move on to the supplier side of the industry” says Mr Rushdi. “I had several opportunities but eventually I chose to join Broadcast Solutions because I found them to be a mature but still very innovative international System Integrator.”

at the world’s largest broadcast show in Amsterdam, IBC. Displaying a

020 SEPTEMBER 2012

Visit Nautel at Stand 8.C61

Introducing the

NV Series 3.5 – 10 kW Analog FM LT

Proven NV Series Architecture Outstanding Efficiency Exceptional Value Intelligent Features

111 0 1 0 0

Integrated Digital Exciter

Backup Audio AUI Control System

Even MORE RDS generator Audio spectrum analyzer Powerful presets Scheduler Instrumentation Play lists


Streaming Input

Nautel PhoneHome

IP Audio

Meet the new NVLT Series for analog FM broadcasting. Based on the proven NV Series architecture, they’re built tough with integrated exciter(s) and parallel power amplifiers, power modules and switching power supplies. Unmatched Nautel control helps you save time, trips and money. Add the highest efficiency in their class and the result is unprecedented value.


Videos, webinar and more at

Feature sponsor

IBC 2012


What do you do when attending one of the biggest technology shows in Europe and Asia? If you are confused, here is Digital Broadcast Middle East’s guide to what to see, where to go and who to listen to at IBC 2012. These events will give you a wellrounded picture of the current state of the broadcast industry while providing a view of the future.

Network with the world Touted as the biggest broadcasting event in the world, you are sure to meet people from around the globe at IBC. The event presents a golden opportunity to meet potential clients from as far as Australia, or as close as Abu Dhabi. It also introduces the visitor to cutting-edge technology and the people behind it. The conference brings together over 50,000 visitors from 160 countries as well as over 1,300 exhibitors in a FAST FACT variety of fields including mobile video, automated playout, stereo 3D and cloud production. The host of activities in the 14 exhibition halls and series of talks gives everyone an Number ber of opportunity to meet with their target audience while learning someexhibitors tors at thing new about other businesses in the world. IBC 2011 Besides geographical variation, the attendees also represent a Source: ce: IBC variation in business size, purchasing power, core business activity and job titles, to cover a wide spectrum. Regardless of how small or big your company and your goals are, IBC will have someone interesting for you. So put on your business suit and network with people you wouldn’t usually meet.


022 SEPTEMBER 2012

Feature sponsor

IBC 2012

IBC continues to be one of the most important events in the broadcast industry and is at the top of our list every year. We consistently see high-quality visitors in decisionmaking positions across all markets and regions. DAVE FREDERICK VP of Marketing, Harmonic Inc.

The IBC conference Along with the exhibitor exhibitors, orr s, s the IBC conference c on nfe e re renc n e formss the largest portion of the event in Amsterdam. Am m st s erdam. m. ell evv is e isio ion io n Debate will be particupartititicu c We think the Connected T Television larly interesting with participants participant ntts lilike ke informitv’s William Coo op pe e r, Cooper, zeebox’s Anthony Rose and Media Medi diaa Native’s David Brennan. Th di he The discussion on next generation cable cabll e and wireless networks will also have a lot of new views. Also in light of the recent Olympic Games, there is a session devoted to the successes and failures in technology at the Games in London. Participants in this forum represent some of the biggest networks, including BBC’s Barbara Slater and NBC’s Darryl Jefferson. SEPTEMBER SEPTEM M BER 2012 023

Feature sponsor


Back to the future No we are not talking about the movie or taking a sci-fi trip down James Cameron lane, but the ultimate way to experience the future now. At IBC, the Future Zone will provide a glimpse into what exists only in broadcast research labs and in academic papers. In 2011 the Future Zone featured an astonishing live presentation of Super Hi-Vision built by NHK ( Japan Broadcast Corporation); DOTS, an archiving format claimed to have a 100-year lifespan; an interactive panoramic soccer game, part of the EU’s FascinatE project; and breakthroughs in High Dynamic Range imaging from the University of Warwick. This year, Mediapro Research will exhibit its FINE project which generates replays with a free viewpoint from previously recorded video sequences. Also NHK will showcase its Super Hi-Vision technology, an ultra HD TV system, which was deployed by the BBC during its Olympics coverage. Like its name suggests, Faceware Technologies will demonstrate its facial performance capture hardware while Actual Consumer Behavior will demonstrate its Media Lab. Also included in the Future Zone are Posters chosen by the IBC Technical Papers Committee in relevance to the conference topics being discussed. IBC2012 FUTURE ZONE EXHIBITORS Exhibitor

Project Name


Mediapro Research

Project FINE


School of Engineering and Design, Brunel Unviersity



Actual Customer Behaviour LLP

Industry Neutral 1-3-9 Longitudinal Media Lab


Computer Graphics, Technische Universitat Berlin

Throwable Panoramic Ball Camera





Faceware Technologies, Inc.

Faceware Technologies Inc










New gizmos and gadgets Digital Broadcast Middle East has provided a comprehensive overview of some of the most exciting products to debut at IBC on page 53. New products include apps, cameras, set-top boxes and everything else in between. With some of the biggest names in attendance, the wide array of products at the conference will be nothing short of spectacular. Also big companies like Green Valley, Wohler, FAST FACT and Sonnet will display the best of their Expected number wares. So of participants at IBC 2012 make sure to Source: IBC check out some of the new toys.


Enter the connected world

The Connected World exhibit at IBC 2011.

024 SEPTEMBER 2012

Anyone looking to make sense of the rapid changes in Internet-connected devices should head for the IBC Connected World, a special area of IBC which encapsulates the very latest developments in mobile TV, 3G and 4G services with the pioneering applications and technologies that are driving content over-the-top into the home and into our future. The conference is recreating the Demonstrations Area from last year with a little twist. This year, the area is being

supplemented by a series of high-powered Connected Consumer Debates – with industry experts and business specialists reviewing the critical issues that are affecting our industry and answering your questions from the floor. Debates include those on connected TV, IPTV/OTT TV, video solutions, mobile solutions and apps, as well as connected home and home networks.

Feature sponsor

IBC 2012

Go to the movies

Meet some rising stars If you are just entering the world of electronic media and entertainment, the Rising Stars Program is perfect for you. The program allows participants to engage as much as they want in the conference sessions and training. The full programme is specifically designed to offer participants the chance to learn more about the industry, network with peers, meet potential employers and have some fun. It also provides the opportunity to meet some inspirational entrepreneurs and hear their insights into the industry as well as providing a unique view on all the latest trends and opportunities from 3D to Social TV. Participants are offered a free ticket to the IBC Rising Stars Partyin Amsterdam.

One of the most spectacular attractions at IBC is the big screen used for ceremonies and conference events. With capacity for 1,200 people and boasting facilities for 4K and stereoscopic 3D digital projection, with audio presented in Dolby 7.1 surround sound, the stunning IBC Big Screen plays host to numerous presentations and conference sessions, as well as exclusive movie screenings. The screen is used for demonstrations of acquisition, digital intermediate, VFX, stereo 3D and of course digital cinema. At last year’s conference this included a core program dedicated to 3D technology. Obviously the big screen hosts some of the best movie screenings. Last year the main highlight was the world’s first preview of Titanic 3D with visionary director James Cameron. This year don’t miss out on Prometheus in Dolby Surround 7.1 and Dolby 3D and the world’s first screening of a feature length movie in high brightness 3D presented A scene frrom Prometheus. by Christie.

PC add-on cards, USB and IP devices and software tools for professional digital TV market i For Test & Measurement purposes i To build broadcast infra-structure i As OEM component integrated in your product DVB-S2 Modulator for PCI-e

x Satellite modulator with integrated L-band up

converter x DVB-S and DVB-S2 modulation with support for all constellations (including 16-APSK and 32APSK) x Multi-purpose satellite-TV RF signal generator for R&D, demos, exhibitions and repair

Xpect Mosaic

Dual Port HD-SDI Adapter with Genlock

x Dual port HD-SDI adapter for PCI Express with

analogue genlock input x Each port can be independently configured as HD-SDI input or output x Supports SD (SMPTE 259M) and HD (SMPTE 292M) signals

x Creates an easy-to-oversee mosaic of decoded video,

subtitles, audio bars and monitoring status x Software-based solution that runs on standard PC hard-

ware x Supports MPEG-2 and AVC video, SD and HD x Loudness indicators compliant to EBU R 128 x Picture cells with custom contents

+971 4 2839906 / +971 50 4587317 SEPTEMBER 2012 025

Feature sponsor

IBC 2012

WASP3D has been associated with IBC for over 5 years now and the show has outdone itself every time. The quality of visitors, exhibitors, its global reach, technology showcase, conferences and the responsive organizing team makes it one of the best tradeshow in the broadcast arena. ANSHUL GUPTA Marketing Manager, WASP3D.

Get some workflow solutions The relentless drive to end-to-end filebased digital production throws up as many complexities as it does opportunities for creative freedom and budget saving. Having acquired tapeless media on set or on location, you can track the creation management journey and assess the options for yourself at the brand new Workflow Solutions Village in Hall 9 which is dedicated to file-based technologies. Visitors to the Village will find a presentation theatre housing case stud-

ies for, among others, live sports, automated QC and cloud creation for brands and broadcasters as well as ‘look and learn’ presentations by current users. These master classes include speakers from MTV, ITV, Sky News Arabia, BBC, Channel 4 and more. All of this is played out adjacent to a practical demonstration of tapeless news production in action from the IBC TV News team. Get away from the marketing hype associated with products in isolation and ask questions of expert technicians who are ready to answer all your queries.

Meet industry leaders

IBC Awards 2011

For a conference the size of IBC, there are bound to be many experts and industry professionals attending. If you can get to the IBC Leaders’ Summit you will get to see many of them. The Summit is an exclusive, invitation-only event designed specifically to cater to the needs of the most influential and visionary people in the electronic media and entertainment industry. It features high level networking opportunities with the thought-leaders who are shaping the industry, as well as an in-depth, rigorous examination of this years’ theme entitled ‘Smart Connections’. In a series of sessions, the day-long Summit will investigate how connected TV is shifting value, changing business models and creating new opportunities. Each delegate will leave the summit equipped with an exclusive package of informed strategic knowledge that will give your organisation the competitive edge. Participants include C-level delegates from companies like BBC, Endemol, Walt Disney, BSkyB, Discovery, HBO, Turkish Radio Television and many more. James Cameron at last year’s presentation of Titanic 3D.

IBC Awards

On Sunday, 9th September 2012, the best of the broadcast industry will be awarded for their vision and creations at the awards. The most important award of the night is undoubtedly the International FAST FACT Honor for Excellence, which is being awarded to NHK’s Science and Technical Research Laboratories this year. The number of exhibition halls at Besides that there will be the IBC 2012 awards in Content Creation, Source: IBC Content Management and Content Delivery as well as Best Conference Paper Award.


026 SEPTEMBER 2012


028 september 2012


THE MENA BROADCAST SURVEY 2012 What is it that really drives growth in the broadcast sector in the Middle East? Our survey looks at what industry experts think will be the biggest revenue generator, while what will be the biggest hindrances to growth everywhere. t is one thing to look at facts and figures and see how robust an industry is and quite another to be on the ground and experience the realities. It seems that the broadcast and satellite industry is suffering from a similar fate. While it appears that there is an abundance of users willing to adopt new technologies, companies are still struggling to move on the same level as some of the other emerging markets. Our survey looks at what is really going in terms of revenues and users in the Middle East and what is the future of new technologies like HD and 3D here. The Olympics spurred a growth in the amount of HD and 3D content being made available around the world and really started a trend. It now remains to be seen how much of this change will actually translate into technological changes in the

field. Our survey participants seem a little skeptical about the levels of competition in the market as well as availability of good infrastructure. While the Arab Spring proved to be a damper in 2011, broadcasters are not expecting soaring growth rates this year either. While most people were optimistic about HD and mobile content, 3D is an area where many are still skeptical. Interestingly that is a trend reflected in other parts of the world also as the expected viewership for the Olympics 3D broadcasts were not met. It is a technology which might need a little more tweaking before it finds loyal followers. Some of the other responses were what we expected. Participants think that the region is primed for new technologies, but there are certain factors holding the industry back, mainly being the intense competition.

WHO TOOK PART The MENA Broadcast Survey 2012 was open to all our readers on across the region. A mix of respondents answered 10 questions about the broadcast indsutry. Turn over for the full results of this year’s survey.

september 2012 029


How do you expect the market to perform over the next 12 months?

15% I expect growth to slow

Where do you expect to see the greatest growth in the next year in terms of users?

5% DTTV 32% I expect growth to increase 53%

I expect the same market performance

Unlike last year, people in the industry are not as optimistic about growth this year as in 2011. In last year’s survey we found that more people were expecting growth to increase, despite the effects of the Arab Spring around the GCC countries. This is an interesting twist considering that many more countries are stable politically now than they were in 2011. We think that people are keeping their growth expectations on the conservative side because of the experience from previous years. But it seems that the market will perform well in 2012 as well. However, slowing growth around the world paired with the economic recession in the Eurozone will probably affect growth in the Middle East as well. A slowdown in China and India will also affect the overall market in the region.



60% Satellite It should come as no surprise that satellite users are expected to increase in the next year. Growing revenues are driven by an increase in the number of people adopting the technology in homes. And with satellite services becoming easily available in the region more people are expected to jump on board. According to a new report by Digital TV Research, there will be 220 million pay Direct to Home (DTH) homes in 80 countries by the end of 2017, up from 154 million at the end of 2011 and 91 million at the end of 2007. India will lead the sector with 50.9 million pay DTH homes in 2017, followed by the US with 36.5 million. Russia (14.7 million) and Brazil (14.6 million) will take third and fourth places respectively. This signals a growth in emerging markets as well.

Where do you expect to see the greatest growth in the next year in terms of revenue?

5% DTTV 37% IPTV 56% Satellite NSR’s 9th edition of the Global Assessment of Satellite Supply & Demand found that commercial satellite operators grew capacity leasing revenues by US$635 million between 2010 and 2011 and are aggressively targeting new markets such as mobility and other high value services in order to maintain sustained revenue expansion for the coming years. Like the rest of the world, satellite is expected to see the most growth in the Middle East. The London Olympics were a truly successful event thanks to brilliant satellite broadcasts of all the events. And it seems that people in the remote corners of the planet are also adopting the technology. With more satellites acquiring capacity for the Middle East, there is clearly a reason why experts think that it will have a great year in terms of revenue. Regional players are also launching their own devices to add to the quickly-crowding satellite space. 030 SEPTEMBER 2012


Is Pay TV a viable business model in the Middle East and Africa region?

25% Yes

75% No

This was one of the answers that surprised us here at Digital Broadcast. Pay TV has been a viable business model in many of the developed markets in North America and Europe. While Pyramid Researh forecasted an annual growth of 11% in the number of pay TV subscribers in the region, it seems our survey participants are not as optimistic. Analysts at Pyramid also predict that pay TV revenue for the MEA region would double, with pay TV reaching 16% of households by 2015. However, the current view is pretty grim. Severe competition and a lack of infrastructure do plague the market. While the pay TV service currently suffers from a weak infrastructure within the region, Pyramid analysts state that these obstacles may be overcome through mobile access.

MBC CEO Sam Barnett

Do you think the new audience rating system will increase ad spending in the region?

66% Yes

34% No

The UAE’s tview is all set to debut commercially in October. Digital Broadcast Middle East did an extensive piece on the system in our August 2012 issue that talks about the importance of such a system to better guarantee ad spending in the region. It seems the survey participants agree with what experts in the region are saying about the new initiative that will help spur growth in international ad spending as people are more aware of what content is being watched. “tview is a major step forward for the TV and advertising industry in the UAE, providing in-depth, objective data which can be used to make better programmes, improve TV schedules and help advertisers reach the people who are most interested in their products,” said EMMC’s general manager, Christopher O’Hearn.

How long will it take to monetise HD content in the Middle East and Africa region?

0% It will never be viable 0% 1-3 years 100%

It is already available

The only question in the survey which got a unanimous answer was that of HD content in the region. While markets in North America are in the process of switching over to more HD content than standard definition, it is still a niche market in the Middle East. Much of the Ramadan programming was available in HD. Further, MBC signed a deal with My-HD media to air seven of their channels in high definition for free to customers who have a My-HD receiver. “As MBC expands its HD offering, we anticipate more viewers will upgrade their SD receivers for approved HD receivers,” said Sam Barnett, CEO of MBC. “And as they do so, we anticipate reducing our SD channels. Ultimately the market is moving to an HD environment.” 032 SEPTEMBER 2012


How long will it take to monetise 3D content in the Middle East and Africa region?

5% It will never be viable 28% It is already viable 67% 1-3 years The Olympics provided a breakthrough for 3D content, but the Middle East has been a little slower in adopting the technology. “At the moment I just don’t think there are economies of scale where there are distinct returns on revenue to make it happen because broadcasters have recently invested huge amounts of money in HD infrastructure upgrades, and are still probably trying to recoup that cash,” said Simon Farnsworth, CEO of GlobeCast Australia. “And to go to them again and say, “Ok, now we want to move to a 3D environment,” there is still debate as to how they will monetise that 3D content, and whether they can charge more for the 3D content than the HD content.”

SEPTEMBER 2012 033


What are the biggest hurdles to doing business in the Middle East and Africa region?

14% Strict regulations 38%

Lack of standardization


Too much competition

The Middle East has historically presented hurdles to doing business. The lack of strict regulations has irked international investors while the lack of a transparent monitoring system makes it hard for advertisers to get correct figures on the market. Besides these woes, our survey participants think that too much competition in the market is the hardest thing to deal with. There are too many players for such a small market and this seems to be the case in many fields. However, some companies feel differently. “The markets now served by HYLAS 2 demonstrate a fantastic combination of strong macro-economics, high unmet demand for telecoms and low competition in satellite services,” commented David Williams, the chief executive of Avanti Communications, on the launch of the Hylas 2 satellite for the Middle East.

What is the greatest advantage to doing business in the Middle East and Africa region?

9% Ease of policy

3% More than 3 years 26% Wide audience range

30% 1-3 years 65%

Willingness to adopt new technologies

One of the hardest things to teach someone is a new technology. However, with smart devices, more and more people are adopting new technologies even if they are unfamiliar and foreign to them. Numerous studies suggest that technology adoption rates are higher in emerging markets than in developed countries. And the Middle East is no different. People here are open to trying new technologies and this is one of the main advantages to doing business in the region. Most of our survey participants put this attitude above the wide audience range and ease of policy. More companies want to invest in the satellite market here and as we have seen from some of the previous responses, many think that content will be monetized very soon in the region. It remains to be seen how far 3D and HD content will take root in the region in the face of lacking broadband structures. 034 SEPTEMBER 2012

How long will it take to monetise mobile content in the Middle East and Africa region?


It is viable now

A recent survey by market research firm Ipsos found that rich GCC countries boast some of world’s highest rates of smartphone penetration, with the United Arab Emirates in the lead at 61%. But even in poorer nations smartphone adoption is respectable: 26% in Egypt, not much below Germany’s 29%. This means that our survey participants were not wrong in thinking that mobile content can be monetized in the region immediately. But it is one thing to use your phone to update your Facebook status and something completely different to use it to watch TV shows and movies. In that regard the people who believe that it might take 1-3 years to really make the content profitable might be on to something. A better broadband infrastructure combined with more reliable networks will definitely see a boost in revenues and many regional companies like Yahsat are investing in these technologies.

RAI Amsterdam Conference 6-11 September : Exhibition 7-11 September

IBC2012 Discover More IBC is at the cutting-edge of new technology in the rapidly evolving electronic media industry. It couples a comprehensive exhibition covering all facets of today’s industry with a highly respected peer reviewed conference that helps shape the way the industry will develop in the future. Take advantage of a variety of extra special features including: • • •

Future Zone showcasing the latest developments in broadcast technology IBC Connected World including demonstration area in Hall 14 IBC Big Screen providing the perfect platform for manufacturer demonstrations and the Saturday Night Movie

IBC Production Village presenting the latest camera technology in a purpose built environment IBC Awards Ceremony acknowledges those who have made a real contribution to the industry hosted on Sunday 9 September IBC Fifth Floor International Press Centre 76 Shoe Lane London EC4A 3JB UK T +44 (0) 20 7832 4100 F +44 (0) 20 7832 4130 E

t w a ster o n i er /reg t s rg gi Re ibc.o w. w w

Feature sponsor

Middle east satellites



T w he M it on h m id d a n e a le d of ny Ea Eu t h p s te e lay t is l s a f i r er e t r st s e x p ul pla nt eri e s y er en t h er s i n g c i e in t ng a i t he a r w he g b o ge ave ma row om og s o rk in in ra ve et g m th ph r o a n a e ic ne d rk sa a l o a l e t te re f t on . A l l i g i he g w r a te on m b s s i o ith sat ecto n st Ya w r th u h as e n iq s a w u t or e ld . 036 AUGUST 2012

Feature sponsor

middle east satellites

september 2012 037

Feature sponsor

middle east satellites

arkets for satellite commuIn just a few years, nications equipment and the region has services have expanded to experienced great fill the gaps in terrestrial demand growth for broadcasting and telecommunications networks in broadcasting and the Middle East. Comprisdata transmission ing this picture are satellite operators, such as bandwidth. This Arabsat and Nilesat; teleport operators in Dubai, demand has Egypt and Jordan; and service providers who contributed to a utilize these facilities to deliver applications to severe shortage of customers. Satellite TV is a very important service for the region as it occupies most of the available regional transponder satellite transponders in the region. capacity, as The Middle East has a unique geography and evidenced by the population dispersion which presents its own rapid escalation opportunities and challenges compared to the of market rates on U.S. and European markets. While a majority of the population is centralized in fewer cities, those leases. cities are separated by vast deserts. While some Scott Sobhani efforts have been put forth by various national ITAG. governments to invest in fiber optics, cost and logistics limit the fiber networks to the most important and EUTELSAT 16A satellite largest centers, making satelin the clean room. lite a more obvious choice for the region. The combination of wealth from oil revenues, a relatively new telecommunications industry, and an expanding consumer market makes the Middle East a very interesting (and potentially profitable) opportunity.

(which, at the time was made up of representatives from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia, Kuwait, Algeria, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Mauritania, Somalia, and the newly admitted Palestine) founded Arabsat with the express purpose of creating and operating the first Arab satellite communications system. Where media providers once had to broadcast to the region from the outside (generally out of London), there are now a variety of locations, including “media cities,� that permit both international and local content providers to be closer to their audience within the Middle East. A number of satellite operators offer transponder capacity to the region. European regional operator Eutelsat expanded its coverage to include the Middle East and Africa (among other areas). Egyptian satellite operator Nilesat launched Nilesat 101 in April of 1998 and began broadcasting over Africa, the Middle East and Southern Europe. UAE’s Yahsat successfully launched its Y1B satellite in April of 2012 and plans to expand its broadband service

SATELLITE OPERATORS Most of what is transmitted over satellite in the Middle East is at Ku band, which is more effective than C band in signal strength and the small antenna size that relates to it. Even in the Jordan Valley, the wettest part of the Middle East, the average annual rainfall indicates that even a particularly heavy storm is within the acceptable limits. The rest of the Middle East is one of the driest regions of the world and so Ku band is nearly an optimum fit. In 1976, the Arab League 038 september 2012

Feature sponsor

middle east satellites

to five new markets. “The percentage of internet users in Africa is far below the levels shown in other regions,” said Yahsat CEO Tareq Abdul Raheem Al Hosani. “Improved broadband services in Africa will lead to a significant increase in the number of people within reach of internet services.” “In just a few years, the region has experienced great demand growth for broadcasting and data transmission bandwidth,” according to industry veteran Scott Sobhani. “This demand has contributed to a severe shortage of regional transponder capacity, as evidenced by the rapid escalation of market rates on leases. The imminent introduction of Ka-band and S-Band services by the satellite operators will serve to fulfill some of the demand, especially that resulting from the rapidly growing data traffic (3G/4G, mobile TV) requirements of regional mobile network operators.” Arabsat Headquartered in Riyadh, Arabsat owns and operates five satellites, at 3 orbital positions, 20°, 26°, 30.5° and 34.5° East: Arabsat5C (20°E), BADR-4, BADR-5 and BADR-6 (26°E), Arabsat5A (30.5°E) and Arabsat-2B (34.5°E). Arabsat serves the private and public sectors, consisting of regional and international organizations, corporations and local businessmen. Also addressed is the A picture taken on March 29, 2011 shows the transfer of Ariane V to range of telecoms, including the Launch Zone at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Internet service providers and Ariane V deployed the Yahsat Y1A and Intelsat New Dawn satellites. operators in telephony trunking, cellular backhaul, Internet broadsatellites, while Arianespace will launch The percentage band access, as them. With a design life exceeding 15 of internet users in fast fact well as the years, these two communications Africa is far below the provision satellites will provide telecommuof VSATs nications and television broadlevels shown in other and other cast services in the Middle East, regions. Improved Number of interactive Africa, Europe and the Indian satellites broadband services services. subcontinent, according to Khalid developed by in Africa will lead to a Arabsat Balkheyour, president and CEO of the UAE significant increase has signed conArabsat. They will be positioned at in the number of tracts for the manu20° East and 26° East. facturing and launching Arabsat offers broadcast, telecom and people within reach of of two new satellites, 5C and broadband services. Broadcast services include internet services. Arabsat Badr-7, with a total direct-to-home, contribution and satellite services. Tareq Abdul Raheem cost of $590 million. EADS Telecom services include VSATs and GSM backAl Hosani Astrium and Thales Alenia hauling. Broadband services include multimedia CEO, Yahsat. Space will manufacture the exchange and IP trunking.


september 2012 039

Feature sponsor

middle east satellites

The imminent introduction of Kaband and S-Band services by the satellite operators will serve to fulfill some of the bandwidth demand, especially that resulting from the rapidly growing data traffic (3G/4G, mobile TV) requirements of regional mobile network operators. Scott Sobhani ITAG.

Nilesat Nilesat, which is under the supervision of the Egyptian Ministry of Information, was founded with a focus on DTH broadcasting and data transfer services which are used extensively for media and education. The organization currently has four satellites.

ing from 8 degrees WL to 35 degrees EL, are capable of serving the Middle East and all of Africa. Atlantic Bird 2, for example, is used to deliver programming in Arabic and other regional languages.

Eutelsat fast fact Eutelsat was founded in France Yahsat as an intergovernmental organiAl Yah Satelzation and evolved into a private lite ComNumber of company, Eutelsat S.A. (traded munications satellites operated in Paris). The organization’s Company by Arabsat fleet has grown from a modest (Yahsat) is five to 24 different satellites, with a subsidiary additional capacity on three other of Mubadala Desatellites. The company offers broadcast velopment Company, services, satellite broadband services, telecom an investment arm of the services, and maritime communications. government of Abu Dhabi, The European orbit locations of Eutelsat, rangand the newest entrant to the Middle Eastern satellite communicaEUTELSAT HOT BIRD satellites. tion systems industry. YahSat’s second satellite, Y1B is equipped with a commercial multi-beam Ka-band payload, which is used to provide a variety of government and commercial applications, including “YahClick”, a new reliable and affordable satellite broadband service for the Middle East, Africa, and South West Asia. “With the satellite in orbit, we are on track in our mission to connect communities around the region with reliable, affordable broadband services through our “YahClick” service,” Tareq Abdul Raheem Al Hosani, Yahsat CEO, said. “Communications is a vital factor for economic and social growth in today’s world and we are very excited to be bringing this pioneering vision into reality.”


TELEPORTS AND MEDIA CITIES A teleport is a ground-based facility located in or near a major city or economic zone and containing one or more satellite communications earth stations. Its purpose is to serve multiple user organiza040 september 2012

Feature sponsor

middle east satellites

to strongly establish itself and is an area designated as a tax free zone specifically for media producers and broadcasters. DMC was created by the investment arm of the Dubai government as an “open and flexible environment” to encourage media companies to base their efforts in tapping the opening markets of the Middle East out of the UAE and specifically Dubai. This effort has been very successful and some of the companies that have taken advantage of the benefits include CNN, BBC World, CNBC Arabia, and Showtime Arabia. Sama Communications Company Limited (Samacom) is the principal DMC operating entity and is a member of Dubai Holding Group. Technical facilities include: a state of the art teleport, professional and highly specialized manpower, and an operational infrastructure with support and solution-development services. Samacom can access multiple satellites, including Arabsat “Badr-3”, Arabsat “Badr-4”, Nilesat, Asiasat 2, Asiasat 3S, Hotbird 2 and Atlantic Bird 2.

European launcher Ariane 5 blasting off at the Kourou base in French Guiana to place Protostar and Arabsat satellites in orbit.

tions that operate independently to broadcast and/or receive information from one or more satellites. Teleports are often found in an economic zone called a “media city” dedicated to serving the needs of mass media companies in proximity to each other. New York City, home to all major US TV networks and many cable TV networks as well, would qualify as a very large media city. Within NYC there are as many as 20 operating teleports. The media city designation would likewise apply to London, Hollywood, and Singapore. In the Middle East, the term “media city” is applied to an area identified by the national government and designated as a tax-free zone where media companies can enjoy various benefits for doing business and originating their Middle Easterndirected content. In addition to the tax free status, content suppliers and operators may enjoy a more accommodating regulatory environment. Dubai Media City Dubai Media City (DMC) was the first media city

With the satellite in orbit, we are on track in our mission to connect communities around the region with reliable, affordable broadband services through our “YahClick” service. Communications is a vital factor for economic and social growth in today’s world and we are very excited to be bringing this pioneering vision into reality. Tareq Abdul Raheem Al Hosani CEO, Yahsat.

CONCLUSION Like the history of satellite communications in other regions, the MENA region is rich in experience and unique in its perspective. As indicated by Scott Sobhani, there is a vibrant demand for current and evolving services, and some new operators are finding opportunities for investment. Currently, nearly all requirements are met through standard Ku-band satellites using the resources of media cities and a mix of local and foreign ground resources. Ka band is arriving on the scene as well, which will add a new dimension to broadband service provision. This could further shape the telecommunications scene in MENA in ways much different from North America and Western Europe. september 2012 041


3dtv soldiers on

As 3D TV struggles to gain buyers of 3D sets and audiences for 3DTV content, not even the Olympics will boost business with industry exponents forced to play a long game. But it seems that all the negative hype might not be completely true. Adrian Pennington reports.

t’s been two years since the world’s first 3DTV channels launched in a blaze of publicity but the industry has not managed to translate its enthusiasm for the format to consumers in high enough numbers, prompting many advocates to reign in their expectations of it ever going mainstream. There’s no single reason for the trough that 3DTV finds itself in, and no one factor that will put it out, but there’s one thing that even the most pessimistic analyst would agree on: 3D is not going to go away. Take the Sky 3D channel, which launched in the UK in October 2010, but seems stalled on a base of 250,000 Sky subscribers. BSkyB prides itself on pioneering new technology, it has invested heavily in production equipment, primarily OB facilities for live 3D sports, and has always described its 3D activity as core to attracting consumers to the brand rather than a profit centre in its own right. “Growth in 3D has been pretty much as expected,” says chief operating officer Mike Darcey. “Take-up is linked closely to the sale of 3DTV sets which in turn is linked to the cycle of TV replacement which has slowed due to the economy. An improved consumer environment will help and will be progressed further as prices come down and as glasses-free displays emerge.” Another high-profile entrant, Discovery Communications, has no imminent plans in Europe to replicate 3Net, its 3D channel co-run with Sony and 042 SEPTEMBER 2012

Imax in the US, but emphasises it isn’t leaving the game either. “3DTV set sales are not going as fast as HD did and the biggest hurdle is the need to wear glasses, but autostereo displays will come,” says John Honeycutt, EVP and COO, DNI. “We’ve learned a lot about how to produce in 3D and to tell a story in 2D as well as 3D in a way that drives down cost. We’ve confirmed that if consumers have an opportunity to watch content that is closer to reality they will migrate toward that. So as the market develops we are right there and ready to go.” His boss, the chief executive officer of DNI, Mark Hollinger, confirms the company is “still very bullish” about 3D and that “the exact trajectory will be unpredictable but our investment horizon is long term. The consumer platform for strong 3D business is getting established.” The leading market in terms of both 3DTV sales and household penetration is the US, where penetration will reach 4% this year, from an installed base of over 4.5 million (according to Futuresource Consulting statistics). This will grow significantly so that by 2015 close to half (47%) of US households will own a 3DTV. Such trending is being echoed in the major markets across Europe. In the UK, approximately 800,000 (3%) households will own a 3DTV by the end of 2012 and by 2016 the forecast is for a 20.2 million installed base. Many consumers purchase the 3D function by

Whether a consumer chooses an active or passive 3D display, there is no question that, given a free choice, they would opt for a glasses-free solution. Auto-stereoscopic displays are the Holy Grail in terms of 3D viewing. Olivier Bovis Head of AV Media, Sony.

fast fact


Number of Blu-Ray titles in the U.S. by 2013


september 2012 043


default and sometimes are Filming the London 2012 Olympics even unaware at the time in 3D has been no small task. of purchase - one of the key reasons behind the growth in 3D capable households. Indeed the global outlook for 3D continues to be positive across the various entertainment platforms, says Futuresource director Jim Bottoms. The number of worldwide 3D channels, demo channels or 3D VoD services is expected to reach around 110 by 2013; while the 3D Blu-ray library is estimated to contain over 300 titles in the US by 2013. Within Western Europe 8.5 million homes will be 3D Blu-ray capable by year end (households owing both a 3D TV and either a standalone 3D Blu-ray player or PS3) rising to 41% of homes by 2016. Within the BRIC countries, 3D ticket sales have helped drive theatrical revenues to record breaking levels and stimulated the installation of digital cinema screens, providing the framework for growth. Aided by 3D, China became the third largest and the fastest growing theatrical market in the world reaping 13,120 RBM ($2.03 We’ve learned a lot billion) last year. It’s no coincidence that James about how to produce Cameron recently signed a high-profile joint venin 3D and to tell a story ture between his production services company in 2D as well as 3D in a CPG and two state-owned entities. way that drives down With all this positive news, why does the percost. We’ve confirmed ception persist, perpetuated by national media, that 3D is the Emperor’s new clothes? that if consumers have There are certainly hindrances to market adopan opportunity to watch tion, primarily poor consumer education of the content that is closer format with many still struggling with the concept to reality they will of Blu-ray; as well as negative publicity surroundmigrate toward that. So ing the idea that 3D causes viewer headaches and as the market develops dizziness in a lot of cases. The lack of 3D content has been a stumbling we are right there and block for the industry as a whole but particularly ready to go. for pay TV operators. Canal Plus cited the limited John Honeycutt availability of 3D content alongside slow subEVP and COO, DNI. scriber uptake (20,000) as the key factors behind 044 september 2012

the termination of its 3D linear channel in January. DirecTV, which launched the 24-hour channel n3D partnered with Panasonic in 2010, drastically scaled back its commitment in July, slashing the budget for production of content and citing lack of audience demand for the finished product. In terms of content, 3D remains a largely eventdriven format with investment in movies, live sports and music festivals or set-piece documentaries dominating the sector. The London Olympics has not had a significant impact on the uptake of 3DTVs or 3D services. Indeed, there have been several reports of disappointing viewing figures of BBC’s Olympics coverage in 3D. According to the BBC just 66,000 people watched the 100m final in 3D despite the fact that it was available free to air and that well over 1 million UK homes now own a 3DTV. “This may well be down to the fact that the




100m is a very short event and Yet no major network in Europe or the US has therefore many people may committed to a 3D TV episodic series with CPG or not want the hassle of switchany other vendor (though rumours of a 3DTV Dr ing to the 3D channel and Who continue). putting on the glasses,” notes A year ago Sony Pictures Entertainment conFuturesource analyst Amy ducted scripted 3D production trials (with 3Ality Martin. “However, viewing Digital) and concluded that 3DTV shows can be figures of other sports events made cost-effectively. It shot pilot episodes of multiin 3D from the BBC (including camera NBC soap Days of Our Lives and of ABC’s the Wimbledon final) have Happy Endings, a single-camera style sitcom. been low and it seems that Some extra costs are unavoidable, SPE conspecialised 3D video and cercluded. While editing could follow a standard 2D tain 3D movies are the most schedule, the productions may entail an extra popular forms of 3D content.” conforming step. Yet, it said, productions can Across genre, costs can be avoid many other added costs and experience double that of a 2D HD show, virtually no impact on schedule. particularly if high volumes 3D production has evolved from black art to of CGI is involved, but the something approaching normality with experiperception that 3D is high enced OB crews able to rig 3D cameras in near the risk and high cost needs to be same time as 2D ones. As more of the processes tackled, says Andrew Shelley, of calibration and convergence is automated by COO at production facilities software like 3Ality’s Intellical and Intellicam, company OnSight. building the look up tables and being able to align “Producers are able to the rigs need only take a few minutes. Greater strip back the component automation will reduce the number of specialist parts of a 3D production in crew (convergence ops in particular) bringing terms of processes, equipcosts even further in line with 2DHD. ment and people to make an Technology is not the real issue and neither is efficient and quality productechnique where producers must adhere to tried tion,” he says. “There’s no siland tested ‘safe’ guidelines for pulling negative and ver bullet which will reduce positive parallax for programming destined for the cost of making 3D. What flagship channels like 3Net, ESPN3D and Sky3D. is happening is that manufacEven the controversy surrounding poorly turers are now talking to executed 3D conversions (notably in movies each other and developing innovative like Clash of the Titans) has died away. products that fill in the gaps in the The algorithms have improved, the FAST FACT workflow to reduce costs.” processes more advanced and Broadcasters need to provide quality assured. the bulk of content that can fill Even Sony’s professional diviairtime on 3D channels. In turn sion emphasise its leadership in The rank of China’s that builds a bigger 3D distribu4K over that of 3D, with head of theatrical market tion market leading ultimately AV Media Olivier Bovis confirmin the world to greater demand for technology ing that the company will have “no supply in the field. brand new product that will revolu“Don’t give us one episode to shoot tionise 3D” on show at IBC2012. and think you can extrapolate from that what “We have left the early adopter stage and the cost of a whole series will be,” James Cameron entered a stage of standardised production, but argued at NAB. “The numbers we offer will make it one which is not yet mainstream,” he adds. profitable for you.” Instead it’s a waiting game. Waiting for decent Cameron wants producers to license CPG techquality, mass produced glasses free screens. “In the nology and services and shoot 2D and 3D (5D) so early days of 3D TV, the high cost of active shutter that the cost difference over separate productions glasses was frequently cited as an impediment to can be reduced to zero. widespread adoption, the price normally in excess

3DTV Installed Base Futuresource looks at the number of installed bases in three countries which have been fastest to adopt the technology and at a forecast for 2016.

2011 (Million Units)

0.8 1.6 3.6 2016 (Million Units)

20.2 27.0 87.6 SEPTEMBER 2012 045



Digitally Fit

3D filming is a lot easier technologically than it sounds.

Visit us at 11.A50 046 SEPTEMBER 2012

of US$100 compared with a few dollars for a passive pair,” says Bottoms. “However, prices have fallen rapidly with entry-level active glasses now available in the US for $20. “Whether a consumer chooses an active or passive 3D display, there is no question that, given a free choice, they would opt for a glasses-free solution. Auto-stereoscopic displays are the Holy Grail in terms of 3D viewing.” The Holy Grail he might add is multi-view 3D viewing. While parallax barrier technology to deliver a glasses-free 3D experience to one viewer is more or less cracked and we’ll see more and more mobiles, tablets and PCs fitted with it in the next year, for the large screen living room experience technologies capable of generating nine or more views seamlessly and at high resolution is still a major R&D issue. A full HD panel with nine views results in a picture with SD resolution. A 4K panel with nine views is able to achieve a picture roughly equivalent to HD. And 4K displays will of course push the prices up much higher. Predicts Futuresource’s Martin, “Passive 3D is gaining share versus active shutter and enables the feature to be offered on a wider product range at lower prices, and within 3-4 years we expect auto-stereo or glasses-free sets to start building displacing active shutter at the high-end of the market “ All the major consumer electronics brands are investing in it with Dolby making a considerable splash at NAB2012 with its full HD autostereoscopic display technology devised with Philips Research. The latter developed a receiver and lens array to optimise the display of glasses-free 3D content compressed with Dolby’s codec over any size screen or device. The first commercial models are expected in 2013, according to Dolby. These though will be high-end models so the 3DTV industry will have to bide its time until the latter half of the decade for business to improve.

sd-hd conversion

scaling up to hd

Whether broadcasters have migrated to HD or are just beginning that transition, the ability to convert content from one standard to another is an essential business requirement, says Adrian Pennington. hile the world’s primary markets are well on their way through the transition to HD, there are still a huge number of secondary markets that are further behind the curve. They will find themselves in a similar position to where the US, Japan or Germany was 10 years ago with HD stations and not enough HD content. There will be a need to up-convert legacy content and a requirement for up-conversion of signals from existing SD infrastructures until the facilities can transition to HD. All of which requires the ability to up-convert at a high quality so that the result is almost as good as true HD. These secondary markets tend to be countries where the economics dictate that equipment has to be run for as long as possible,” says Don Thomas, Grass Valley product manager, production switchers. “It is worth remembering that this applies to consumers as well as broadcasters; there is little point in rushing HD channels to air without the prospect of a worthwhile audience being able to see it.” Key emerging markets for HD include South America, the Middle East and China but secondary markets also lie within so-called mature markets. The US is on the face of it a very mature HD market, but there are also large numbers of lowervalue assets in the country, part of a larger archive perhaps, which are still being up-converted. And although we may think Europe is in a similar state,

048 SEPTEMBER 2012

In general, deinterlacing quality will be the biggest factor in determining the quality of the final output,” he says. “Bad de-interlacing is typically the root cause of ‘obvious’ visual artifacts such as ringing around text, obvious blockiness in the output, jagged edges. John Pallett Director of product marketing, Telestream.

only 500 channels out of 9000 are HD today, so there’s still a good demand for SD to HD content. “Although most prime European and US channels are broadcast in HD, they have to deal with SD-based content up-converted to HD,” observes Daniel Collin, product manager for infrastructure, Miranda. “Examples are the various incoming feeds with international content, SD news studios [only 300 out of 600 are HD in the US], lower quality feeds and legacy/archived content.” “Up-conversion will be with us for years to come because there’s a huge library of content that was created in SD,” agrees Thomas. “News and sports, most obviously, have archives which are continually in use. However, there are programmes from decades past which are now finding new audiences, through niche channels which have HD outputs.” Indeed, says Simon Westland, Blackmagic Design EMEA, the need for good quality downconversion is just as important in mature markets as deliveries are made to regions that are still predominantly standard definition. Upconversion process Broadly, each broadcaster will go through a number of stages in its SD-HD journey: (1) Investment in the actual HD transmission and production infrastructure; (2) Acquisition of original HD content, with up-conversion for high-value assets such as prime-time movies, syndicated content and commercials; (3) Mass up-conversion of ‘higher value’ archival file assets such as highly-rated syndicated content and movies; and (4) Mass

sd-hd conversion

conversion of ‘lower value’ archival file assets such as old news footage, old syndicated content. “Where broadcasters are in this process depends largely on when they started supporting HD, and how large their archive is,” notes Telestream director of product marketing John Pallett. “Some of the largest broadcasters in the world are still up-converting content today.” “First you need to provide a high quality video processing technology that includes detail enhancement, advanced motion adaptive deinterlacing and anti-ringing,” explains Collin in reference to Miranda’s modular XVP-3901. “Then you need to make sure the video is delivered in the right colour space with the correct aspect ratio through the full support of active format description. Metadata embedded with the video, such as closed captioned, teletext, timecode and audio, need to be transcoded in the HD equivalent. Then high quality audio processing - with stereo to 5:1 upmixing, automatic loudness control and optional Dolby Digital encoding - will complete the conversion process.” The most common methods are using a dedicated up-scaling hardware (which processes a real-time video signal); using hands-on software in either an edit bay or on a computer (which processes a single file and gives the operator control over the individual file’s processing); using an enterprise file-based appliance or enterprise software solution (which automated multiple files). Since an HD image has approximately six times more information than SD in the temporal/ spatial domain, up-conversion is a process of

fast fact


Number of HD channels in Europe out of 9000

september 2012 049

sd-hd conversion

tion to create resolution that didn’t exist. “How well you do so depends on the sophistication of the algorithms processing the picture, which in turn is dependent upon how much processing power you can afford to throw at it,” says Thomas. “A wide variety of algorithms exist to perform this for native SD footage, and most will attempt to synthesise the second field from other fields nearby, either through motion detection algorithms or motion vector searching,” explains Pallett.

One of the classic problems with upconversion is the creation of jaggies, which are a stairstepped pattern that is created when de-interlacing areas in motion have high contrast low angle lines. These are inevitable, but applying a good multidirectional diagonal filter can minimise those artefacts and give you a much better quality result.

Where problems occur “In general, de-interlacing quality will be the biggest factor in determining the quality of the final output,” he says. “Bad de-interlacing is typically the root cause of ‘obvious’ visual artifacts such as ringing around text, obvious blockiness in the output, jagged edges.” Rescaling is also a significant contributor to final quality. Simple algorithms can introduce blurring; more sophisticated algorithms will ensure preservation of detailed lines. Simon Westland “While rescaling, some content might also Blackmagic Design EMEA. benefit from the introduction of gentle film grain effects but this is largely a subjective question and a decision will be affected by the intended use of the content,” explains Pallett. Creating pixels which were not in the original video can cause image artefacts in the output. Moiré patterns in verticals and repeating objects are some of the most obvious. The process can also create ‘mosquito noise’, a fine rippling pattern. And because the SD and HD colour spaces are different this can cause issues, too. “One of the classic problems with up-conversion is the creation of jaggies, which are a stair-stepped pattern that is created when deinterlacing areas in motion have high contrast low angle lines,” says Westland. “These are inevitable, but applying a good multi-directional diagoCreating pixels in HD images can cause image nal filter can minimise those artefacts in the output video. artefacts and give you a much 050 september 2012

better quality result.” A lot of SD content is quite noisy so up-converting that noise just creates larger artefacts in an HD image. Blackmagic’s Teranex processors feature “powerful temporal recursive noise reduction filters,” explains Westland, “that are able to clean up the source to give the best possible results in HD. Once these processes have been handled correctly you need to apply a good resampling filter with enough taps to create a good image at an HD resolution. Most solutions have adequate resampling filters but fail to or are unable to do the heavy lifting to ensure that what they are up-converting is of the highest quality. If you don’t start with a good image in SD you can’t end up with a good image in HD.” SD-HD-4k Research and development continues in the area, both in the algorithms and the surrounding auto-

sd-hd conversion

Blackmagic Design’s Teranex

mation platforms. IP cores to do the basics, and then fine Telestream, for example, recenttune the results with the way that fast fact ly introduced new up-conversion they implement the algorithms algorithms based on its GPUand filter the outputs. It is always accelerated computing platform nice when the IT industry Number of Lightspeed for introduction to spends some of its massive R&D conversion optics its broadcast product Transcode budget in a way which benefits offered by BlackPro. It also has a new transcoding us in the broadcast market.” magic Design’s engine (Transcode Multiscreen) Blackmagic Design launched Teranex designed for multi-rate H.264 encoda new line of Teranex line earlier ing for adaptive bit rate formats. this year, with a 2D model offering 496 Many broadcasters use modular video conversion options and the 3D model offering and audio processing like 1,300. “For those unfamiliar with Teranex, it is a Miranda’s XVP-3901, which powerful video-processing engine that has the offers real-time high quality ability to examine every pixel of every frame, SD to HD up-conversion, and store those results across multiple frames,” metadata transcoding and explains Westland. “Our unique hardware design audio processing. It enables also allows the flexibility to apply the appropriate the construction of an HDalgorithm to the particular region of the image, all only facility that can connect the way down to pixel level.” to an existing SD routing Nor is the need for standards conversion in infrastructure. SD signals are danger of fading away. Quite the reverse in fact automatically up-converted since technologies addressing HD to 4K upand translated to the required conversion are already being sought. Since this HD format without operator process shares the same challenges of de-interlacintervention. ing, scaling and detail enhancement as SD to HD According to Grass Valley’s the same up-conversion technologies can be used, Thomas, “Most manufacturbut with more powerful hardware to deal with ers developing devices for the the increased number of pixels (by a factor of four broadcast market tend to use over HD). FPGAs, relying on the quality “The technology is certainly there to perform of the firmware running on the up-conversion, but market size and lack of it to differentiate them in the a transport standard for 4K at 60/50 frames/sec marketplace. The growth of prevent the development of commercial products video in applications away today,” says Collin. from broadcast means that “There is a growing market for this; but it is still there is now a market for very emergent,” agrees Pallett. “As 4K moves into core FPGA firmware for up, the living room we anticipate yet another set of down, and cross-conversion. requirements preparing content for low-bitrate Developers of broadcast transmission while addressing the visual artifacts products can pick and choose specific to HD to 4K up-conversion.”


Although most prime European and US channels are broadcast in HD, they have to deal with SD-based content up-converted to HD. Examples are the various incoming feeds with international content, SD news studios [only 300 out of 600 are HD in the US], lower quality feeds and legacy/archived content. Daniel Collin Product manager for infrastructure, Miranda. september 2012 051

The market leader in mass door-to-door ĚŝƐƚƌŝďƵƟŽŶĂŶĚĐŽŶƚƌŽůůĞĚďƵůŬĚŝƐƚƌŝďƵƟŽŶ of magazines within the UAE.


Tel. +971 4 238 1555

Fax. +971 4 238 2325


AssoĐiate member

ȾAward winning ĐŽŵƉĂŶLJ

PRODUCT FOCUS Feature sponsor

Product Focus


Continuing the trend from the last issue, Digital Broadcast Middle East gives you ten more products to watch out for at IBC 2012 while you are there. Mosart / Newscast Automation 3.0 The company is showcasing a variety of products. One of them is the Mosart Newscast Automation 3.0, which has a range of new features and functions, including a redesigned graphical user interface (GUI) with full user configurability,

Vislink / MSAT At IBC 2012 the broadcast version of Vislink’s Advent Mantis “MSAT” Man Portable Data Terminal Vislink will make its debut. Alongside it, a new HD micro camera from Gigawave will be introduced to the market for the first time. MSAT is a highly portable tri-band satellite antenna system specifically designed for ease of use and rapid deployment. At only 12.5 kilos, the Advent MSAT can easily be carIBC STAND ried by one person. The system’s NUMBER fully integrated design means 1.A61 that set up takes only minutes from arrival to satellite acquisition, making it ideal for rapid deployment field applications. Powered by a 10–18VDC supply. the Gigawave camera is designed to deliver full broadcast quality images.

which further enhance the studio automation system on the market. Story elements such as cameras, clips, and graphics can easily be assigned to buttons for simple and quick access. A range of interface overviews also can be assigned to buttons, making the GUI a shot box for touch screens and adaptable for a range of TV IBC productions. Story STAND NUMBER scripts from the 5.C26 newsroom computer system are shown directly in the Mosart GUI, and Mosart operators can store clips and graphical elements in a pool ready for execution on request.



Pilat Media / IBMS Pilat Media is demonstrating a new automated metadata and media preparation workflow for its integrated broadcast management system (IBMS) that accelerates the process of acquiring and preparing content and building subsequent offers. The new capability enables IBMS to automatically import metadata for large volumes of content, check and retrieve missing metadata from information suppliers, drive transcoders for distribution.

Wowza / Media Server 3 The latest version of the Wowza Media Server software includes refinements to the Network DVR (nDVR) AddOn, an audio-only option for the Wowza Transcoder AddOn, dynamic overlays, additional content protection options, multicast, and more — all aimed at making Internet streaming cost-effective for the broadcaster while further improving the experience for the viewer. The software continues to offer the broadest any-screen coverage including Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight-capable devices. With Wowza AddOns, the media server becomes a full-fledged streaming media infrastructure helping users drive revenuegenerating services and simplify workflows. SEPTEMBER 2012 053

PRODUCT FOCUS Feature sponsor


Front Porch Digital / Lynx

Snell / Momentum Television content is increasingly being delivered to a variety of second-screen devices including mobile phones, tablets, the Web, and computers. Snell’s solutions include TV Everywhere solutions, including ICE, Morpheus, and Momentum and they will all be on display at IBC2012. While media organizations’ workflows increase in complexity and evolve to satisfy different media delivery platforms, operational inefficiencies and the cost of handling media multiple times also increase exponentially. In order to address

these concerns, Snell has introduced Momentum, a breakthrough in workflow automated media asset management and resource planning. Momentum delivers maximum control and flexibility to media and broadcast operators, enabling them to reduce operational costs by allocating resources more efficiently and making content more accessible.

LYNX from Front Porch Digital is the industry’s first enterprise-scale cloud implementation of content storage management (CSM). LYNX delivers adaptable on-demand scalability, reduces capital and operational costs, and improves the way media organizations manage assets. LYNX leverages the latest cloud and Web technologies to provide a range of networked and distributed solutions. At IBC2012, the company will introduce LYNXdr and LYNXlocal IBC for the first time in Europe. STAND NUMBER 7.C16

Meet us at

2nd Annual Saudi Broadcasting Business Forum mipcom - Stand G3.20

Vision247 will present its multi-device, Over-The-Top (OTT) delivery to the internet and Freeview (the British digital terrestrial platform, which reaches over 20M homes in the UK). Vision247’s services are designed for broadcasters, content owners and media companies seeking to increase the reach and distribution of their content, for free-to-air and pay models, linear channels and VOD. Vision247 delivers channels into 3 million hotel rooms. So if you are looking to reach the global hotel market, come and see us. To schedule a demo please contact Tanya Vidmar email: or call 0044 7960 040 484 Vision247, 97-101 Cleveland Street, London W1T 6PL, UK Phone: +44 20 7636 7474 |

054 SEPTEMBER 2012

8th – 11th October 2012 Palais des Festivals Cannes, France

29th September – 1st October 2012 Marriott Hotel Riyadh, KSA

Business Forum

PRODUCT FOCUS Feature sponsor


Wheatstone / LX-24

Digigram / Iqoya*Call/LE IQOYA *CALL/LE is a cost-effective, versatile audio-over-IP (AoIP) codec for use over standard Internet connections such as DSL lines, WiFi, and 3G. Designed for any real-time AoIP contribution application requiring superior end-to-end 24-bit full-duplex audio quality, this highly reliable codec offers a symmetric RTP mode that allows for quick and easy setup of full-duplex connections over the Internet, without any challenging NAT issues or the need for SIP infrastructure. Digigram’s FluidIP audio transport technology ensures a connection with efficient management of jitter, packet loss, clock drift, QoS, and FEC, and the unit’s low latency and error concealment capabilities deliver exceptional quality.

Wheatstone will introduce an all-new tabletop IP control surface, several IP audio products and an updated spectral audio processor at IBC2012. The LX-24 IP control surface combines a traditional board layout with extreme AoIP networkability. It is Wheatstone’s latest control surface for its WheatNet-IP audioover-IP Intelligent Network. The LX-24 is a low-profile, tabletop IP control surface that has the feel of a traditional board with all of the intelligence and flexibility of Wheatstone AoIP routing. This board lets users assign

Hiltron / HSACU Now in full production, the Hiltron HSACU satellite newsgathering antenna controller incorporates fully-automated satellite auto-acquisition. It is compatible with many motorised satellite newsgathering antennas. The HSACU is designed for integration into SNG trucks or for refurbishment of existing SNG antenna control systems. Housed in a compact rack-

mountable chassis, it provides easy and efficient control of three-axis motorised antennas up to 2.4 metres in diameter. Azimuth, elevation and polarisation control are performed entirely in software, as per the official release. The Hiltron HSACU can be fully controlled locally or from a remote IP browser. Local control is achieved via front-panel pushbuttons and a colour touchpanel graphic display. In IP remote control mode, the entire system can be operated from anywhere.

any source to any fader, hot-swap individual modules without powering down, take command of the control surface from anywhere in the network, interoperate with an automation at the micro level and change a signature sound from the console. An IP-88e Mix Engine BLADE provides audio mix functionality; additional BLADEs can be added. IBC STAND NUMBER 14.119

Volicon / Observer 7.0 Version 7.0 of Volicon’s Observer transport stream MPEG transport stream logging and monitoring system has been enhanced to accommodate a broader array of inputs, including ASI, QAM, 8-VSB, and DVB-T MPEG TS interfaces, and to provide improved system density for HD and SD programs. Simplified user interfaces on the Observer system make it even easier for cable, satellite, broadcast, and IPTV operators to address the volume and complexity of broadcast and network services. Users can stream and IBC export content as well. STAND NUMBER 7.G23


SEPTEMBER 2012 055

The Online Home for Digital Content Production in the Middle East

For advertising enquiries, please contact: Wissam Khodur, Sales Manager, Digital Broadcast, Tel: +971 4 444 3272, E-mail:

PRODUCTS Feature sponsor

Digital Broadcast Middle East reviews the latest gadgets, essential kit and serious product innovations making an impact in the GCC broadcast market. Let us know if there is something you would like to see on these pages. WANT TO FEATURE YOUR PRODUCT HERE? E-mail

Primestream / FORK 3.5 The FORK 3.5 is the newest version of the FORK Production Suite for managing and automating broadcast workflows. Improvements to FORK’s underlying technology — such as FORK Drones, dynamic metadata forms, and scripts – increase the software’s stability, reliability, and functionality, enabling FORK 3.5 to manage larger installations. The FORK Xchange Suite companion application and Shot List Editor are significant improvements.

Pro Control / ProLink.z

1. FOCUS Know what you are looking for and exactly what you need it to do 2. RESEARCH Get suppliers to provide detailed product information based on your specifi c requirements 3. PRICE VERSUS... Is price the most important factor? 4. ...QUALITY Or will quality matter more in the long run? 5. IS IT NEEDED? Is the product something the project really needs? Could it be done without or bought at a later stage?

The ProLink.z features an integrated 2.4-GHz ZigBee® antenna for bidirectional communication via the Pro24.z, in addition to two two-way RS-232 ports for advanced control and monitoring of devices. The Pro24.z controller features a high-resolution 2.4-inch TFT LCD touch-screen display, programmable five-way joystick, and backlit hard buttons for intuitive operation, even in a darkened room. The ProPanel app is also available.

6. SUSTAINABILITY Does this product need to be ‘green’? 7. STANDARDS Does the product need to conform to any specifi c standards?

Wohler / RMV16 Multiviewer The RMV16 Multiviewer gives can drive up to 16 separate monitoring windows to a common flatpanel display. The RMV16’s mix-and-match design allows broadcasters to select the number of inputs and outputs they require, and to display these sources combined with de-embedding and


New Products

New products come on to the market at a great rate. While many shout about their innovation or competitive pricing, it can be difficult to spot the true merit of a product without the right information. DB offers a few top tips that are always worth keeping in mind when purchase orders are on the way.

metering of up to eight audio channels, UMD, timecode, and insertion/display of both clock and still images. The RMV16 Series provides for maximum versatility and was designed to support up to 64 inputs of 3G/HD/SD-SDI and analog composite signals.

8. SHIPPING Will the product make it to production on time, or is there an order backlog? 9. LIABILITY How long will your company be liable for the product’s performance? 10. SORTED Will this purchase sort the job or will it come back to haunt you?

SEPTEMBER 2012 057

PRODUCTS Feature sponsor


Mobile devices are becoming a ubiquitous tool in many industries. DB looks at some of the latest mobile applications that may help to make an engineer’s working life a little bit easier.

Haivision / Viper 1.1 The Viper 1.1 is the latest revision of its compact appliance combining dual-channel HD en-

coding, low-latency secure streaming, video on demand, and a contextual multichannel record-review-publish workflow — all within a single chassis. With the new release, the company is also introducing the Viper VF, a companion to the Furnace IP video distribution system. This gives institutions the ability to record video streams from multiple rooms, then combine all the assets in a central videoon-demand system.

Miranda Technologies / NVISION 9000 The key improvements to its NVISION 9000 router control system enables new customer options for router system upgrades with bi-directional communications with all NVISION routing systems and many legacy, third-party router systems. Once a connection is established takes can be requested via established tie-lines from any control system within the facility. The existing routing infrastructures can be modernized in a three-step

Sonnet / Echo Express SE

1. HINDENBURG The Field Recorder is made with radio production in mind and works for conducting interviews.

The new device enables the use of a wide variety of highperformance PCIe adapter cards, originally designed for use in desktop computers, with any computer equipped with a Thunderbolt port to use Thunderbolt-compatible professional video capture, audio interface, SAS and SATA HBA, 8Gb FC, 10GbE, and RAID controller cards. The Echo Express SE was designed for users needing a simple way to connect an adapter card to their computers, and it supports the majority of Thunderboltcompatible PCIe cards. The SE has dual Thunderbolt ports to support daisy-chaining of devices.

2. MONLE It is a four track, non-linear audio editor which can record new audio and send it. 3. QIK VIDEO PRO Qik Video Camera Pro, bought out by Skype, brings video capabilities to any iPhone with iOS 4. 4. 1ST VIDEO The app is a complete solution to quickly record, edit, send and distribute video. 5. VOXIE PRO It allows audio recording, note taking, dictation, transcription and group-messaging app available. 058 SEPTEMBER 2012

progression. There is a high level of integration with multiviewers and signal processing.

Matrox / MicroQuad The device is a four-channel SDI-to-HDMI multiviewer that lets users monitor up to four SDI inputs on a single HDMI display in quadrant view, or toggle to a full-screen view at the touch of a button. Inputs can be 3G or HD or SD, and all controls are on the unit itself; no computer is required. Alternatively, use the Windows-based Matrox MicroQuad Remote application to control the unit from a distance. The new Matrox MicroQuad lets you use an affordable HDMI display to view your video signals. It is ideal for OB vans, onset productions and live events.

PRODUCTS Feature sponsor

This software-based application gives any operator, including a master control operator, the ability to monitor and control multiple remote desktop systems simultaneously from a single desktop within a single application. The Desktop Multi-Viewer displays each system in a view-only grid view without affecting any onair devices. Maximizing a given view permits control of that specific system. Shortcut keys for maximizing each system are available.


Chyron / Desktop Multi-Viewer

Volicon / Observer Scout The Observer Scout is a low-cost enterprisegrade A/V monitoring, logging, and troubleshooting system that allows broadcasters and networks to perform proactive content-based monitoring. The new loudness monitoring module for Observer Scout allows users to handle loudness complaint issues, while troubleshooting. The device also has BS-1770-2, EBU R128, and ATSC A/85 compliant loudness monitoring.

Vizrt / FirstLook Vizrt customers will get a “first look” at any digital satellite imagery captured by one of DigitalGlobe’s three commercial satellites. When an event happens globally, DigitalGlobe activates the service by tasking their constellation of satellites to the event location, taking new high-resolution images. Within hours these images are available to all DigitalGlobe Online customers with the option to purchase anywhere in the world.

Snell / Vega Router Vega is a new routing platform that allows users to configure any signal port independently for fiber or coax (copper), easing a mixed connectivity environment and helping broadcasters to migrate simply and cost-effectively. It uses proprietary algorithms to monitor every subassembly.

HARRIS NEXIO STUDIO SUITE NEXIO Studio Suite is designed for live multicamera studio productions such as news and magazineformat, entertainment and reality TV shows. It enhances the control of video servers in production studios, while adding the benefits of multichannel, nonlinear video servers. The software simplifies the multichannel recording and playback within NEXIO servers. “Broadcasters and production professionals are increasingly moving away from expensive, high-maintenance VTRs as they transition to tapeless studio production and filebased workflows. Harris NEXIO Studio Suite gives our customers the best of both worlds for live studio production: A familiar user interface and the path to a cost-efficient, streamlined, tapeless studio production experience.” Harris Morris CEO, Harris Corporation SEPTEMBER 2012 059

PRODUCTS Feature sponsor

Harris / NEXIO Farad

NETIA / CMS NETIA’s enhanced content management system allows users to manage all processes within the global production environment through workow and task automation. The new release leverages all of NETIA’s popular CMS and includes enriched features in its metadata management module, more robust indexing and segmentation tools, and more exible control over the entire system. The system is an integrated suite of media asset management solutions and helps reduce operational costs.

Harris Broadcast Communications establishes a common shared storage platform that adds a 50% bandwidth improvement to its NEXIO Farad online storage solution and introduces a second storage protection scheme with a lower cost of entry. The new conďŹ gurations serve customers who need anywhere from 8TB to half a petabyte of online shared storage, essentially solving the storage challenges through a single, common platform. The key beneďŹ ts of the NEXIO Farad include felxible capacity and bandwidth; high availability; collaboration facilitation; reduction of capital expenditures; and ease of management.

NUGEN Audio / LMB 1.4 NUGEN Audio expanded its range of loudness correction tools with the release of Loudness Management Batch (LMB) version 1.4. A complementary tool to NUGEN Audio’s VisLM and LM-Correct plug-ins, the LMB processor delivers network-based automated loudness processing of large numbers of audio and video ďŹ les, without requiring user intervention. LMB can automatically de-mux video to analyze the audio content without changing the original ďŹ le. It acts faster than real-time on ďŹ les.


XOR Universal MediaLibrary storage with simultaneous NAS and SAN access While most storage systems provide NAS and SAN only, the XOR Universal MediaLibrary (UML) storage provides both NAS and SAN at the same time. We swing both ways in many ways: ơ ÂżÂ¸ĂˆÂťž¡ÄĝÂƑÂż Ć‘ Ć‘ Ć‘ ¡Äº ¡ššÉÉ ơ No reconfigurations or gateways ơ¡Ă?Ć–ĂŠĂ…Ć–ÂˇÂżĂˆ¡ÄºĂ†ĂˆĂ…ºËšÊ¿ÅÄ ơ Archive and air protect ơ Local and cloud ơ ĂˆĂ…ĂƒʸʽĂŠĂ…ʽʝ¿Ä¡ɿĽ½ÂŸ¡Â namespace Ă…ĂˆĂƒĂ…ĂˆÂťÂżĂ„ÂźĂ…ĂˆĂƒÂˇĂŠÂżĂ…Ă„Ć‘ĂŒÂżĂ‰ÂżĂŠ Ă?Ă?Ă?Ć”ĂŽĂ…ĂˆĆ–ĂƒÂťÂşÂżÂˇĆ”ÂšĂ…ĂƒĆ­ ʚʡʸʚ

060 SEPTEMBER 2012

Simultaneous NAS and SAN

ÅÅʞʽƔʚˀÆÊƔʞƖʸʸ ĂƒĂ‰ĂŠÂťĂˆÂşÂˇĂƒ Register for free via Ă‹Ă‰ĂŠĂ…ĂƒÂťĂˆÊ¿šà ÊƓʸʞʿʡʺ *Visit our booth to find out how.



Real-time SD/HD video codecs for direct ingest & playout

ƺ¿ Ć‘ ÂżÂ¸ĂˆÂťž¡ÄĝÂƝ Ćş Ć‘ Ć‘ Ćť

Universal MediaLibrary Storage System




Scan me. Visit us ¡Ê  ʚʡʸʚƔ













PULLING Vol. 14 Issue 6 June 2012



An ITP Business Publication

The Middle East & North Africa’s ONLY monthly magazine for the broadcast and production industry

Official Publication




Wissam Khodur Tel: +971 4 444 3272 Email:

Christopher Newbould Tel: +971 4 444 3596 Email:

Subscription is FREE for industry professionals. Simply visit: today.


38,037 34,901

Paid satellite TV here to stay Although cable-cutting continues to be a problem, paid satellite TV is here to stay and dominates the market in many countries as seen by the data below. Top countries by DTH revenues (US$ million)







South Africa




154 million





220 million

Total number of pay DTH (DBS) homes by end-2011

Estimated number of pay DTH (DBS) homes by end-2017

Top 5 pay DTH countries by end-2017 (Households)

Top 10 pay DTH countries by end-2017












062 SEPTEMBER 2012

South Africa














34% Mexico





39% UK


New Zealand Source: Digital TV Research Ltd


Test Card

Digital Broadcast Middle East delves below the corporate strategy to understand what really makes the region’s broadcast leaders tick.

Mike Hancox CEO of Ideal Shopping Direct What is Ideal Shopping Direct all about and how are you involved with it? Ideal Shopping Direct is a TV shopping retailer in the UK. We are number two in the market behind QVC. We have been established for around 12 years and have a sales turnover of around a £150 million. We are present in almost every household in the UK and we broadcast on all of the major platforms, including Freeview, the free-to-air platform, digital satellite, on cable TV as well as broadcasting directly to our website and mobile devices. The business changed ownership in June 2011 when higher management led a buyout of the business. The buyout was backed by a midmarket private equity firm called Inflection. Prior to that the company was listed on the AIM stock market. I joined the company in November 2008 and effectively led the public to private change. As a business we have grown rapidly and that is due to a number of factors. Sales have grown by an average of 17.5% over the last three years and the profit has grown by 30% over the same period. So the growth has been very positive in what has been a very difficult retail environment in the UK, in particular, and Europe in general. What are some of the growth factors? One of the biggest factors is a larger audience. That larger audience comes from the fact that more and more people in the UK are getting access to the Freeview platform. We have gone through the digital switchover in the UK where the analog signal has been turned off and customers now receive their TV broadcasts through

064 SEPTEMBER 2012

a digital signal. Because of that they get access to a Freeview platform and we are one of the very few TV shopping retailers who are present on the platform and are quite high up on the listing at 22. This means we get people who look for us as a destination, but also quite a few channel flickers, or what we would call them as passing trade. Further, our customers have become very loyal and have a high level of repeat customers who shop many times with us. From a product perspective we have also seen very exciting growth in the hobby craft area, including things like card-making, jewellery-making, etc. It has driven the overall sales numbers and profitability.

That larger audience comes from the fact that more and more people in the UK are getting access to the Freeview platform. Mike Hancox CEO, ISD.

How do you think the recession affected the television shopping sector? I think it’s possible that the recession has helped us. With the TV shopping market you get a very broad range of shoppers and you tend to see different shoppers at different times of the day. During the day we get more people who are based at home like mothers, shift workers or the elderly and retired. In the evenings, we generally have more affluent buyers who have come home from work. So we cater to a very wide range of socioeconomic buyers. On the other hand, big events like the Olympics, the Jubilee celebrations or the royal wedding last year go against us because people tend to watch those and don’t stop by our channel as much. So there is always a mixture of different factors when you are trying to assess what is working for you and what is not.

Digital Broadcast - September 2012  

Digital Broadcast (Middle East) - September 2012 - Volume 5 - Issue 09 "68 Pages" ITP Technology Publishing, Dubai, UAE

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you