“THE REQUIREMENTS OF SPORTS TV ARE SIMPLE: MAKE SURE YOU COVER THE ACTION, AND WHEN SOMETHING INTERESTING HAPPENS LET THE AUDIENCE SEE IT.” STEVE BURGESS P24
MBC L AUNCHES CHANNEL NUMBER 12 IN EGYPT
DMI’S SALEH LOOTAH AND MOHAMED AL SHAHI
EVS IS HELPING SKY NEWS AR ABIA’S WORK FLOW
PLUS NEWS OPINION ANALYSIS HEAD-TO-HEAD REVIEWS COMMUNITY CAREERS EVENTS PRODUCTS
DMI’S NEWS CENTRE UPGRADE PUTS IT AMONG THE BEST QUALITY PRODUCTION FACILITIES IN THE REGION
An ITP Business Publication
Vol. 14 Issue 11 November 2012
Leave no story untold A new HD system for a new century, designed to serve the changing needs of cinematographic production work. Seamlessly compatible with a wide range of accessories and production tools and with a choice of PL or EF lens mounts: this is the Canon Cinema EOS System. cpn.canon-europe.com
NOVEMBER 2012 5 UPDATE RATINGS GO LIVE/ LOCAL FILMS AIM HIGH/DBX DOC PLANNED/MEDIACAST IN PAKISTAN/ CARTOONS GO HD/ QATARI OB LATEST/ NEW DISTRO FOR COOLUX/RIEDEL IN SPACE/NEW DOHA BROADCAST CENTRE/ SONY BIGS UP 4K/ DMI TO SCREEN MGM TITLES/CEEFAX BOWS OUT/BOLLYWOOD COMES TO OMAN/ MIRCHI’S GOT TALENT/X-FIGHTERS COMES TO BURJ 20 NEWS ANALYSIS IS THE REGIONAL FILM INDUSTRY AT CRISIS POINT? ADFF PANELISTS THINK SO 24 OPINION KIT DIGITAL’S STEVE BURGESS ON THE LATEST IN SPORTS OB DESIGN
28 BREAKING NEWS Dubai Media Incorporated has given its Media City news centre a major overhaul. We get the lowdown along with some exclusive shots of the new facility.
26 MY STUDIO ARABIAN RADIO NETWORK IS BROADCASTING TO THE REGION’S VARIED COMMUNITIES 47 COMMUNITY ALL THE LATEST GOINGS ON FROM THE MIDDLE EAST’S PRODUCTION AND BROADCAST COMMUNITIES
34 WORKFLOW MADE EASY EVS’ end-to-end workflow solutions are a key component in Sky News Arabia’s Abu Dhabi HQ. We talk to EVS’ Sebastien Verlaine about what the company has done for Sky’s workflow. 40 SHOWBOAT TO CAIRO MBC’s latest channel is a break from its usual genre-based channel map, based instead on geography and reaching out to the Egyptian audience.
44 BOXING CLEVER Harris’ Versio is rewriting the script for channel-in-a-box.
NOVEMBER 2012 / 1
Registered at Dubai Media City PO Box 500024, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 444 3000, Fax: +971 4 444 3030 Web: www.itp.com Offices in Dubai & London ITP BUSINESS PUBLISHING CEO Walid Akawi Managing Director Neil Davies Managing Director Karam Awad Deputy Managing Director Matthew Southwell Editorial Director David Ingham EDITORIAL Editor Chris Newbould Tel: +971 4 444 3596 email: firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING Sales Director George Hojeige Tel: +971 4 444 3203 email: email@example.com Sales Manager Wissam Khodur Tel: +971 4 444 3272 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Japan Representative Mikio Tsuchiya Tel: +81 354 568230 email: email@example.com 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 Co-ordinator Nelly Pereira Managing Picture Editor Patrick Littlejohn Image Editor Emmalyn Robles Distribution Executive Nada Al Alami CIRCULATION Head of Circulation and Database Gaurav Gulati MARKETING Head of Marketing Daniel Fewtrell Events Manager Michelle Meyrick ITP DIGITAL Director Peter Conmy ITP GROUP Chairman Andrew Neil Managing Director Robert Serafin Finance Director Toby Jay Spencer-Davies Board of Directors K.M. Jamieson, Mike Bayman, Walid Akawi, Neil Davies, Rob Corder, Mary Serafin Circulation Customer Service Tel: +971 4 444 3000
DON’T MISS AN ISSUE!
E B I R C S B SU FOR FREE
S BSCRIPTION U S / M O .C P IT WWW..IIT
Certain images in this issue are available for purchase. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further details or visit www.itpimages.com Printed by Atlas Printing Press Subscribe online at www.itp.com/subscriptions 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.
Audited by BPA Worldwide Average Qualified Circulation: 5,126 (July -December 2011)
Published by and © 2012 ITP Business Publishing, a division of the ITP Publishing Group Ltd. Registered in the B.V.I. under Company Number 1402846.
2 / NOVEMBER 2012
â€˜Exmorâ€™ APS-C CMOS se e
â€˜Exm morâ€™ AP PS-C CMOS S senssor. Full 1920x10080 AV Full 1920x10 080 AVCHD 2.0 0 recordin
Interchangea abl ble E-mount le
Interchang geab ble E-mo ount lens syste em.
Auto focus, Auto to exposure and Stabilis
Au uto fo ocus, Au uto exposure e and Stabi 16.1 meg gap apixel Still Image capture. Versatile sh hootin ng style. gapixe el Still Imag Versatile shooting style.16.1 meg C CMO OS senssor. CMOS sensor. â€˜EExmorâ€™ APS-C
â€˜Exmorâ€™ APS-C â€˜E Exmorâ€™ APS-C CMOS sensor. In Intterchangeabl 920x108 80 AVC CHD 2.0 reco ord Full 1920x1080 AVCHD 2.0 recording. FullFull191920x1080 AVCHD HD 2.0 recording. gea Interchangeable E-mount lens system. Interrchang Interchangeable e E-mou EAuto focus us s , A uto exp Auto focus, Auto exposure and Stabilisation. Auto focus,, Auto exposu ure an 16.1 16 megapixel Still Image cap p tu u re. re â€˜Exmorâ€™ APS-C C 16.1 megapixel Still Image capture. 16 6.1 1 me egapixe el Still Image Verssat atile shooting style. Versatile shooting style. MO Versatille shoo oting sty yle. â€˜Exmorâ€™ APS-C CM
The new Sony NEX-EA50. Unlimited flexibility. Unparalleled possibility. The NEX-EA50 is a professional NXCAM Camcorder that gives you the unrivaled versatility to shoot both Full HD movies and high-quality still images in exceptional quality. Meticulously designed and seasoned with a host of amazing extras, this incredible camera gives you the flexibility to do just about anything.
â€˜E Exmorâ€™ APS-C C CMO
Full 1920x1080 AVC VCHD 2.0 record
Full 19 920x108 80 AVC
Intercha hangeable e E-mount lens sy
Inte erchang geab
Auto focus, Auto o exposure e and Stabilisation.
Auto o focus,, Auto exposure an
16.1 megap pix ixel Sti till Image c
16.1 me egapixe p el Still Image ca aptu
â€˜Exmorâ€™ Exmor APS-C APS C C
â€˜E Exmorâ€™ APS S-C CC
6YQOQFGNUCXCKNCDNG 0':'#-5WRRNKGFYKVJOCPWCN\QQONGPU 0':'#*5WRRNKGFYKVJRQYGT\QQONGPU 5QP[2TQHGUUKQPCN5QNWVKQPU/'#(<..%7PKV%21$QZ+PVGTPCVKQPCN/GFKC2TQFWEVKQP<QPG&WDCK7PKVGF#TCD'OKTCVGU 6GN 'OCKNOKFFNGGCUV"GWUQP[EQOYGDUKVGYYYRTQUQP[GW
7 UPDATE 12 ONLINE 20 CHANNEL 22 ANALYSIS THIS MONTH IN THE TV AND FILM PRODUCTION INDUSTRY
26 EDITOR’S COLUMN 27 GUEST COLUMN
EMMC’s Christopher O’Hearn.
TVIEW GOES LIVE
UAE TV RATINGS LAUNCH MBC dominates market among both expat and Emirati Arabs, initial figures show.
Last month finally saw the launch of the much-anticipated TV ratings system for the UAE. Talk of a system had been around for some time, but thus far to no avail. Broadcasters had largely been open to the idea, although seemingly in two minds as to how much they really wanted it. In one sense, the broadcasters we spoke to clearly felt that lack of an accurate audience measurement system in the UAE had deterred advertisers from investing in the market, and were keen to publicly show their support. Beyond that, however, and invariably off the record, even some of the region’s best known broadcasters and channels seemed to hold a certain trepidation that the figures may reveal some- CONTINUED ON PAGE 8
NOVEMBER 2012 / 5
TOP 10 SHOWS AMONG ALL HOUSEHOLDS THE INAUGURAL FIGURES 1 The Voice, MBC1, Entertainment No surprises as the singing competition takes top spot in yet another territory 2 Al Awraq Motasaqeta, MBC1, Series MBC1 seals first and second spot 3 Titanic, MBC2,
thing they didn’t want to know. Nonetheless, the new ratings went live in October. The new ‘tview’ monitors, supplied and regulated by the Emirates Media Measurement Company (EMMC), are currently installed in around 850 homes and the company has now published viewing data about almost 60 of the region’s most popular channels. Christopher O’Hearn, general manager of EMMC commented on the early figures: “Our early users have found tview offers them an unprecedented and extremely valuable insight. Of course it is not yet perfect and we will continue to refine and improve it in cooperation with the industry. This is a huge leap which will help the media market grow, enable advertisers to reach their audiences and ultimately mean better choice and content for viewers.” MBC will probably be most pleased with the results. The broadcaster had four of the top five channels and seven of the top 10 shows among Arab expats, and an only slightly less impressive three out of five and six out of ten among Emirati viewers. No one at the network would be too surprised to learn that The Voice was the top show, following a trend set all around the world, wherever the talent show has been franchised. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7
6 / NOVEMBER 2012
Movie The first of two entries for James Cameron’s romance. This one the 10.30 pm showing 4 Harem Alsotan, Dubai1, Series Season Two of the popular Dubai 1 series 5 Inspector Garud, Asianet ME, Movie First entry on the list for a non-Arabic channel 6 Kumkumapoovu, Asianet ME, Series Asianet’s second top 10 entry 7 Romeo Must Die, MBC2, Movie The 12-year old revenge/ exploitation flick suggests arthouse has some catching up to do with audiences yet 8 Paranthu, Asianet ME, Movie Asianet’s third top 10 entry surely sending a message to
The new NatGeo doc will be following the high life.
advertisers by now? 9 Titanic, MBC2, Movie Second entry for Titanic. This time the 4.10 pm screening 10 Cinemala, Asianet ME, Entertainment
Sea Shadow is among local flying successes.
SKY HIGH SUCCESS LOCALLY PRODUCTIONS GAIN AIRLINE VIEWERS
Regional airlines have been getting behind local directors, with the news that both Mahmoud Kaabour’s successful documentary, Teta Alf Marra, and Image Nation Abu Dhabi’s first local production, Sea Shadow, are screening on a number of regional flights. Both Films have been selected to screen onboard Etihad, Emirates, flydubai, Oman Air, and Qatar Airways, while Kaabour’s film can add airlines further afield including Lufthansa, Moroccan and British Airways to the list of nine global carriers currently screening Teta. Michael Garin, CEO of Image Nation Abu Dhabi, commented: “This is another wonderful milestone for Image Nation Abu Dhabi’s first feature, Sea Shadow. We are incredibly proud of how the film has been received, first in cinemas around the region, then with its continued success in festivals around the world, and now reaching a whole new international audience onboard these leading regional airlines. Our regional carriers have recognized that we have home-grown talent worthy of showcasing, and we are excited to share this film with the world via these airlines.” Kaabour added of his own film’s adoption: “Teta has now really become an international ambassador.” NEWSMAKER
NEW NATGEO DOC SET FOR DBX National Geographic has commissioned a 10-part fly on the wall documentary about the day-today running of Dubai International Airport. Developed in conjunction with production company Arrow Media, the series will be broadcast to over 440 million households in 171 countries when it airs in 2013. With the working title “Dubai: Ultimate Airport,” the series will
follow the daily operation of the world’s fourth busiest airport for international passenger traffic and will involve staff from Emirates Airline, Dnata, Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Customs, Dubai Immigration, Dubai Police and Dubai Airports, among others. John Smithson, creative director at Arrow Media, added: “What makes Dubai International particularly intriguing is that it is at
the crossroads linking east and west. That gives it a unique cultural diversity, as our global audience will soon find out.” The team at Arrow Media was behind the making of Airbus’ A380 documentary series, the Megastructures series, and in Dubai has produced documentaries on the World Islands, Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah and the Burj Khalifa.
NOVEMBER 2012 / 7
ARABIC CARTOONS GO HD YAHLIVE HAS MADE CARTOON NETWORK ARABIC HD FOR THE FIRST TIME VIA THE YAHLIVE SATELLITE SERVICE. FANS ACROSS THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA REGION CAN NOW ENJOY ALL OF THE POPULAR NETWORK’S COMEDY AND ACTION-PACKED ADVENTURE ANIMATION SERIES IN HD. CARTOON NETWORK ARABIC DELIVERS A WIDE RANGE OF INTERNATIONAL AND LOCALLY PRODUCED KID’S SHOWS INCLUDING BEN 10, SKATOONY, AND FREEJ. MOHAMED YOUSSIF, CEO OF YAHLIVE, SAID: “WITH CARTOON NETWORK ARABIC HD GOING LIVE ON OUR SATELLITE, WE ARE ABLE TO BRING CHILDREN’S FAVOURITE CARTOON CHARACTERS TO LIFE IN HIGH DEFINITION. AS THE HOME OF HD, YAHLIVE IS DELIGHTED TO HAVE CARTOON NETWORK ARABIC BE A PART OF OUR GROWING CHANNEL BOUQUET AND A NEW ADDITION TO THE HD HOTSPOT FOR THE REGION.”
8 / NOVEMBER 2012
MEDIACAST KITS PAKISTAN OUT TRICASTER SET UP INSTALLED FOR WELLKNOWN UNIVERSITY
Dubai-based Mediacast got the travel bug last month when it supplied Newtek Tricaster to Pakistan’s Iqra University. Iqra University was the first in Pakistan to offer degrees in media sciences. It has installed a TriCaster integrated production solution to set up a professional studio for training and development in its Media Sciences Department. Tehmina Lodhi, head of media science at Iqra University, commented: “TriCaster’s ability to create a multi-camera studio with real-time effects and recording with a simple interface makes this product an ideal machine for our live production training - and it’s affordable. The main advantage of TriCaster is the fact that it includes multi-camera switching, recording, live chroma keying, effects and animations. Therefore, it prevents the university from purchasing multiple hardware devices and software.” MediaCast supplied the TriCaster through MediaLinks, a MediaCast channel partner in Pakistan. Hussain Bukhari, brand representative at MediaCast said: “Iqra University is a pioneer in leading media production and broadcast education in Pakistan, and when MediaLinks consulted us for this requirement, I didn’t have to think twice to recommend NewTek TriCaster. The students and faculties are excited about its functionalities and MediaCast is looking forward to helping develop more TriCaster installations in the region”. MediaCast is the authorised distributor of NewTek for Middle East and Pakistan. Students get to grips with the new gear.
MORE NEW QATARI OB VANS BTS ADDS TWO TO QTV FLEET
Around a month after Qatar TV took delivery of the historic OB Van 555 from German integrator BTS, an identical OB Van and support truck – vehicles 557 and 558 – have been completed and undergone factory acceptance testing. The vehicles have now left the BTS premises and are on their way to Qatar to join their siblings 555 and 556. Once there, BTS will offer full training in the high-tech vans before their anticipated debut at Qatar National Day in December.
PANDORA’S BOXING CLEVER
NEW DIST DEAL FOR COOLUX
Coolux’s Pandora’s Box system is extending its market presence in the Middle East, thanks to a distribution partnership struck at InfoComm MEA between Coolux Media Systems and TechnoPro llc. “We always target the best to keep our clientele up to date with the latest technology in the entertainment industry. Therefore, the Coolux product family was our first choice for offering media content applications and state-of-the-art solutions to our clients in the region. We are happy to congratulate our first batch of Pandora’s Box Basic Training Graduates last September, and we will have many more training programs to come,” said Nabil Bourgeili, MD of TechnoPro llc.
Apple Final Cut Pro
Adobe Premiere Pro
Avid Media Composer
Blackmagic Media Express
Adobe After Effects
The Foundry Nuke
Avid Pro Tools
Sony Vegas Pro
The new DeckLink HD Extreme 3D now adds true full resolution dual stream 3D! If you have wanted to get into exciting stereoscopic 3D workﬂows then DeckLink HD Extreme 3D is the perfect solution because it includes true full resolution dual stream 3D capture and playback! DeckLink HD Extreme 3D supports capture and playback on Mac OS X, Windows and Linux computers for SDI/HD-SDI, HDMI and analog devices, plus includes the latest technology 3 Gb/s SDI and dual stream video for 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 quality. There’s no better quality! Connect to any Deck, Camera or Monitor DeckLink HD Extreme 3D is the ﬁrst capture card to feature Dual Link 3 Gb/s SDI, HDMI 1.4a, component analog, NTSC, PAL and S-Video for capture and playback in SD, HD or 2K. Also included is 2 ch XLR AES/EBU audio and 2 ch balanced XLR analog audio. Connect to HDCAM SR, HDCAM, Digital Betacam, Betacam SP, HDV cameras, big-screen TVs and more!
Advanced 3 Gb/s SDI Technology With exciting new 3 Gb/s SDI connections, DeckLink HD Extreme 3D allows twice the SDI data rate of normal HD-SDI, while also connecting to all your HD-SDI and SD-SDI equipment. Use 3 Gb/s SDI for 1080p60, single link 4:4:4 or 2K! Imagine editing your latest feature ﬁlm using real time 2K 2048 x 1556 2K resolution capture and playback! Works in Mac OS X, Windows and Linux! DeckLink HD Extreme 3D is fully compatible with DaVinci Resolve, Apple Final Cut Pro™, Adobe Premiere Pro™, Avid Media Composer 6™, Adobe After Effects™, Adobe Photoshop™ and any DirectShow™ or QuickTime™ based software. You also get our Media Express frame accurate deck control software for a complete capture and playback solution on Mac, Windows and Linux!
Hardware Down Conversion If you’ve ever wanted to monitor in both HD and SD while you work, then you’ll love the built in high quality down converter. Use the Dual Link SDI outputs as a simultaneous HD and SD output, or you can switch back to Dual Link 4:4:4 when working in the highest quality RGB workﬂows. Select between letterbox, anamorphic 16:9 and even center cut 4:3 down conversion styles!
DeckLink HD Extreme 3D
Learn more today at www.blackmagicdesign.com/decklinkhdextreme
1 Zee launches Arabic language station 2 Burj Khalifa to host 2013 Red Bull X-Fighters 3 MBC wins exclusive freefall broadcast rights 4 Royal debut for LG OLED TV 5 Rihanna to play Meydan Racecourse 6 50 Cent and SMS Audio launch in MENA at GITEX 7 Robe shines a light on Mumford and Sons tour 8 MBC Group launches MBC Masr 9 Showtex goes green 10 MBC 4 begins airing latest Turkish buys SPOT POLL DID YOU WATCH THE OLYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY IN 3D?
No – I don’t have the equipment
I started to, but switched to 2D
Of course! I love 3D!
3D? What a silly idea
10 / NOVEMBER 2012
Baumgartners capsule, complete with Riedel branding.
RIEDEL HITS THE HEIGHTS WORLD RECORD FOR COMMS SPECIALIST
Riedel Communications was pleased to be involved with Felix Baumgartner’s recent world record skydive from an eye-watering 120,000 feet. Riedel provided the on-board video control system for nine HD video cameras in Baumgertner’s capsule with especially developed telemetry control. This system was responsible for the control of the video recording and also works as a comprehensive digital video router – not unlike a mini OB truck inside the capsule. It offered complete remote control of the whole video system and featured three HD video downlinks that were
dynamically assigned to the selected cameras. For providing communication between Baumgartner and Mission Control, an especially developed communications solution was used, while on the ground a Riedel Artist system integrated the compound, mission control, production offices, the media/press center and the OB truck into one single comms infrastructure. Riedel also furnished the on-site digital radio network with more than 100 radio receivers and ten channels, which were seamlessly integrated into the wired matrix intercom system.
PRODUCTION be The new centre should tar ready for this year’s Qa National Day
QATAR TV PLAYOUT REVEALED Qatar’s TV Support and Development Committee has installed a digital workflow based around an Avid production environment in its new, threestudio facility to enable the re-launch of two Qatar TV channels. The facility, which is due to go on air later this year, will produce and playout material in-house for the channels. As part of this new digital workflow, SGL’s FlashNet archive sits between an Avid Interplay MAM and a SpectraLogic T950 library with LTO tape for long-term storage. The installation also includes a PAM system that contains 21 Avid edit suites with EVS production servers and IPDirector playout and a Pebble Beach automation system.
Europe’s first exclusively OLED monitor-equipped broadcast vehicle.
WORK SOME MAGIC INTO YOUR WORKFLOW Content comes in from an assortment of inputs. You have to deliver it to a wide range of outputs. What happens in between can set you apart. Selenio integrates all processing, compression and IP networking into one unified platform. It’s so brilliantly simple, you’ll think it’s magic.
Middle East Sales: +971 4 433 8250 24x7 Service: +971 4 433 8260 Sales.MiddleEast@harris.com
Sony’s Awad Mousa.
DMI/MGM TIE THE KNOT DUBAI MEDIA CINORPORATED HAS SIGNED A NEW AGREEMENT WITH MGM FOR EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS TO BROADCAST MGM MATERIAL UNTIL 2015. THE AGREEMENT GIVES DMI EXCLUSIVE TV RIGHTS TO A NUMBER OF NEW FILMS FOR THE MENA REGION. UNDER THE AGREEMENT, DUBAI ONE WILL BE THE ONLY CHANNEL TO SCREEN THE LATEST JAMES BOND FILM, “SKYFALL”, AND PETER JACKSON’S “THE HOBBIT”. THE AGREEMENT WAS SIGNED BY AHMAD ABDULLAH AL SHAIKH, MD AND GM OF DMI, AND MEYER CHRIS AUATENGR, HEAD OF DISTRIBUTION AND ACQUISITIONS OF WORLD TV AT MGM, AT MIPCOM IN CANNES, FRANCE. SHAIKH SAID: “THE AGREEMENT ALLOWS NON-ARABS IN THE REGION THE OPPORTUNITY TO COMMUNICATE WITH THEIR CULTURE THROUGH THE DISTINGUISHED PRODUCT WHICH IS NOT INCOMPATIBLE WITH OUR VALUES AND OUR MORALS.”
12 / NOVEMBER 2012
RESOLUTION MILESTONES 1958: The Soviet Union develops Transformator, the first HD system capable of producing an image composed of 1,125 lines of resolution. The research project is aimed at providing teleconferencing for military command, but is never deployed by either the military or consumer broadcasting
SONY BANKS ON 4K HOST OF 4K LAUNCHES TAKE PLACE
Sony is banking on 4K adoption with the launch of the new XAVC recording format that will be at the heart of its new 4K products. Sony’s XAVC provides a dedicated 4K format that it hopes will encourage the adoption of 4K beyond feature films, in genres such as TV Dramas, Entertainment shows, Documentaries and Commercials. “The new XAVC format underlines Sony’s commitment to bringing high quality content to the consumer market”, said Awad Mousa, head of product marketing – content creation, Sony Professional Solutions MEA FZ LLC. “The quality of HDTV program originated in 4K is simply stunning and will allow both broadcaster and production communities to build right now a future proof catalogue of high-end content.” Sony has concurrently unveiled two new CineAlta 4K cameras and the PVM-X300, a 30-inch 4096 x 2160 resolution monitor for powerful support of 4K monitoring in the field. The new cameras – models F55 and F5 – fill a critical gap in large-sensor acquisition between Sony’s PMW-F3 camcorder and its F65 CineAlta Premium 4K camera. The jury is very much out on the likelihood of widespread 4K adoption, especially as 8K becomes cheaper and more accessible, while the Middle East is still only just beginning to switch on to HD adoption. Sony, however, seems convinced by the viability of 4K.
1989: Japan’s NHK broadcasts the first 1080i/1,125 content. The new system, first developed ten years earlier but as yet unbroadcast, requires twice the bandwidth of SD, but delivers four times the resolution 1990: As digital transmission begins to render previous analogue HD systems obsolete, Europe’s first digital HD broadcast takes place when Italian broadcaster RAI and Japan’s NHK team up to screen the 1990 world cup in eight cinemas in Italy and two in Spain 2005: Kuwait TV launches the Middle East’s first HD ready OB van 2006: Sony launches the world’s first 4K digital cinema projector, leading the way toward the digitalization of movie theaters 2007: The world’s first 4K camera, the REDOne becomes widely available and takes the production industry by storm 2008: Stephen Soderburgh’s Che, the biopic of the Argentinian revolutionary, is the first 4K film released in cinemas 2011: OSN announces its new 3D channel, which will broadcast on OSN Cinema HD as and when 3D content is available. Du launches a similar occasional service to its subscribers
Exceptional Editing Efﬁciency—End to End d With Media Composer® 6, our customers and critics raved about its 64-bit bit power, faster, more open workﬂows, and stereoscopic 3D capabilities. es. Now gain even more powerful tools to streamline your entire workﬂow— w— from acquisition to archival and beyond. nd.
These tools have become so powerful… I don’t have to think about how I hammer the nail—I can just be creative.” –Alan Edward Bell, A.C.E. (Water for Elephants, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire)
Get your free trial: avid.com/mediacomposer © 2012 Avid Technology, Inc. All rights reserved. Promotions and discounts are subject to availability and change without notice. Product features, speciﬁcations, system requirements and availability are subject to change without notice. Avid, the Avid logo and Media Composer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Avid Technology, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
MIRCHI’S GOT TALENT UAE RADIO IS OFFICIAL PARTNER WITH COLORS TV
CEE YOU CEEFAX TEXT SERVICE GOES BLANK
The BBC’s long standing Ceefax service, the world’s first 24-hour text-based TV news and information service, said a final farewell last month when the UK’s last analogue TV signal was switched off in Northern Ireland. Launched in the pre-internet era, the service used spare capacity on the analogue signal to bring constantly updated news, weather and sports to viewers. As the world moves to digital transmission and more people have access to the internet, however, the BBC finally pulled the plug, and the service bowed out for good.
Radio Mirchi has partnered with Colors TV as the exclusive radio station for the fourth series of India’s Got Talent in the MENA region, offering behind the scenes exclusives and more. “It is extremely exciting to partner with Colors TV and India’s Got Talent for the fourth series of the show. Radio Mirchi is thrilled to keep our fans up to date on all the action from the new season as the program’s official radio station,” said Sandeep Sud, head of Radio Mirchi in the UAE.
FIELD RECORDER, MONITOR, PLAYBACK & PLAYOUT DEVICE
10-BIT SMART PRODUCTION FOR DSLRs & HDMI CAMERAS
HD-SDI / HDMI DIGITAL VIDEO FORMAT CONVERTERS
OMAN’S BOLLYWOOD BOOM OMAN HOPES FILMING WILL DRAW TOURISTS
Tourism chiefs in Oman have signed a deal with a Bollywood movie company to film part of its latest production in the Gulf sultanate. The Ministry of Tourism has collaborated with Balaji Telefilms to shoot part of Balaji Motion Pictures’ Once Upon a Time in Mumbai... Again in Oman. Directed by Milan Luthria, the film stars some of the biggest industry names such as Akshay Kumar, above, a statement said.
FIELD RECORDER, MONITOR & PLAYBACK+PLAYOUT DEVICE
10-BIT HD/SD-SDI SMART PRODUCTION WEAPON
DUAL-BATTERY CONVERTERS The world’s smallest 3G Converters
Convert uninterrupted anywhere
Continuous Power* EXPANDABLE EXPAN P DABLE WITH PAN
ADD HD/SD-SDI IN/OUT
RECORD > MONITOR+PLAYBACK > EDIT-READY Tel: +971 4 453 4571 Fax: +971 4 453 4572 Sales@DBSuae.com www.DBSuae.com
14 / NOVEMBER 2012
NEWS IN QUOTES
“Technology is a powerful enabler of change, and it has transformed the broadcast industry into a very different sector. The rules are changing, with tumbling costs giving new players the means to participate in the industry, which in turn presents challenges for established businesses.
IABM director general, Peter White
“The world has not yet fully tapped the power of the media as a force for good. In fact, I think ‘media’ is too passive a word to capture the dynamic role it can play. The media is a voice. And if it raises its voice – to show how bad things can get and how good they can be – it can become the conscience of the world.”
“[The Middle East] is a small market but if you look at the demographics it has extraordinary potential. This market over time has potential, it has some challenges in that it doesn’t have an established TV market, the ad market is a little opaque. It is Bill Gates address- harder to get things es the Abu going here but there is Dhabi clearly opportunity.” Media Summit
Robert Bakish, CEO, Viacom International
Amazing living video Video quality that’s so real, it comes alive
The passion to innovate, the strength to lead There is a moment when video goes beyond the moving image. It comes to life. It takes the complete focus of Harmonic, completely focused on video, to get there. Our mission is to deliver amazing video experiences. Beautiful video, enthralling audio, everywhere. Complete focus, complete solutions, partnership to success, no compromises. Harmonic, the worldwide leader in video delivery infrastructure. Learn more at harmonicinc.com
©2012 Harmonic Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
18 / NOVEMBER 2012
Broadcast Systems The Regionâ€™s Leading Systems Integrator
Beyond distributing broadcast equipment, First Gulf Company is a major force in the broadcast systems sector in the region with the most significant achievements in HD TV Production and Post-Production facilities and studios.
FGCâ€™s capabilities cover the design, implementation, integration and support of the most sophisticated systems. Additionally, FGC provides turnkey solutions in all systems including high-capacity Media Asset Management and Digital Archiving Systems.
www.fgcltd.com P.O.Box 25560, Riyadh 11476, Saudi Arabia Tel: +966 1 219 0888 Fax: +966 1 219 1888 Email: email@example.com
CRISIS FOR ARAB FILM? Abu Dhabi panel issues dire warnings for Middle Eastern film makers
Convergence of issues could cause local cinema production to collapse, say panelists he Arab Film Maker Panel at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival has issued a warning to the Arab film making community. The panel featured big local names such as Yousry Nasrallah, the Egyptian director whose film After the Battle played in competition during the Cannes Film Festival, British-Yemeni director Bader Bin Hirsi, whose A New Day In Old Sana’a was the first local feature to be shot in Yemen, and Iraqi director Mohamed Al-Daradji, who had the misfortune of being captured and detained by both Al Qaeda insurgents and US occupiers while attempting to shoot his first feature in Iraq in 2003. Such instability is, unsurprisingly, one of the key reasons why some of the panelists were not entirely optimistic about the local industry’s future. Indeed, Nasrallah claimed that in Egypt, once the regional powerhouse, film making has all but died since Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow. Syrian production too has understandably slowed down, and its own troubles have spilled over and affected the economy and political situation in neighbours, and fellow production big-hitters, Jordan and Lebanon. While Nasrallah was clearly not filled with nostalgia for the overthrown regime, it’s under-
Egyptian film maker Yousry Nasrallah
20 / NOVEMBER 2012
standable that in the turmoil and the power vacuum that has followed, funding for film making has perhaps not been at the top of the new would-be government’s agendas as they struggle to bring order and prosperity back to their countries – particularly Egypt where unemployment has risen by 3.4 per cent to 12.4 percent since the revolution, and new plans will see cafes and restaurants close at 10pm as the government attempts to wean the population off expensive subsides that currently make up 20 per cent of the national budget. Other panelists agreed, with many noting that political or social pressures had forced them to either stop making films or move abroad to find work. Ben Hirsi was perhaps the most specific here, claim-
Number of feature films produced in Cairo in 1997
Number of feature films produced in Cairo in 2007
Feature released so far by Abu Dhabi-based Image Nation
Film festivals scheduled to take place in Arab region during 2012
ing that opponents in Yemen had spread rumours about him shooting inappropriate scenes in mosques in an attempt to shut down work on his films. He had hoped, he said, to begin work on a new feature in Yemen in January 2013, but had so far been unable to get any production insurance due to the political situation. Successive years of political turmoil have also left much of the region without the infrastructure for successful film making. Iraqi Al Daradji, for example, noted: ““We don’t have the infrastructure that exists in Morocco, Egypt or the Gulf states. We have to lay the foundations for filmmaking in Iraq. Only then will we have an Iraqi cinema that exists in 20 years’ time.” However, according to Nasrallah a second, more avoidable problem is compounding the problem: “We are witnessing a crisis that could lead to a breakdown. It’s a perfect storm,” he claimed. “Saudi broadcasters such as Rotana and ART have a monopoly on buying Arab movie rights and they have thousands stockpiled. They don’t need to buy any more.” There would be a distinct irony if the region’s largest broadcasters of Arab cinema led directly to its demise, but at least they, as well as the emerging film industries in the Gulf States, have the power to do something about this. We just hope they will.
CHRIS NEWBOULD HOW DID YOU RATE IT? TV RATINGS COME TO UAE AT LAST ctober saw the launch of the UAE’s first TV audience ratings, courteousy of the Emirates Media Measurement Company, as reported elsewhere in this issue. It’s great that we finally have this kind of a system in place, and it must be especially pleasing for advertisers, who have previously had to base forecasts on a combination of guess work, broadcasters’ own audience research, and assumptions based on a show’s, or network’s, popularity in other markets. This isn’t an entirely unreliable method. A channel like the Cartoon Network, for example, is incredibly popular globally, so it’s a fair assumption that by taking many of the same shows, in some cases giving them a local rerub and blending them with locally-produced content, Cartoon Network Arabic is probably a pretty safe bet with kids in the region. Likewise, when MBC’s own research shows that half of all TVs in the region are tuned to one of its channels at any time, there’s no reason to disbelieve it. It would be nice to hear it from an objective source, though, regardless of how independent those making the studies may claim to be. Well, now it’s happened, and one of
22 / NOVEMBER 2012
the first things we’ve learnt is that the MBC Group really is as ubiquitous as it claims. Half of the top 10 shows across all households surveyed were on MBCchannels, including the entire top three. The figures were even more resounding when the audience was broken down into Emirati and other Arab households, so a big pat on the back to all concerned there! There were some surprises in store too among the figures. Some very well-hyped shows were conspicuous by their absence for a start, perhaps most notably Dubai One’s The Entrepreneur. In the run up to the series’ launch, you could barely move in Dubai without passing a billboard or feature on the show, or overhearing a conversation between would-be contestants in a Media City cafe. The hype did not convert into viewers though - when the figures came out it was nowhere to be seen. Another key point for advertisers is surely the fact that among South Asian viewers, quite simply everything is different. The top 10 here features an entirely different list, not only of shows but of channels too. While MBC’s international channels MBC2 and MBC Action sneak into the lower reaches of the 20 most popular channels among this demographic, the top 10 features none of the same channels as among Arab viewers
- Sony TV and Asianet rule the roost among this sizeable viewer group. The demographic breakdowns led to another question for me. Currently EMMC offer breakdowns into Emirati/ other Arab expat/South Asian viewer groups. Two notable absences seem to be the Southeast Asian and Western demographics. With as many as 450,000 Filipinos believed to live in the UAE and around 250,000 UK citizens - and that’s before even taking into account the population from other Southeast Asian or Western countries, this seems something of an oversight. Indeed, some of the region’s most expensive TV properties are of a distinctly Western flavour. Abu Dhabi Sports paid an estimated $360M for its current English Premier League TV rights, for example. At those sort of prices you’d think somenone might like to know who’s watching, but by omitting this group from the ratings a large portion of the potential audience is ignored. EMMC’s Chris O’Hearn has conceded that it’s early days for the system, and that changes will be ongoing, so these are some of the questions we hope to put him in a future issue.
Chris Newbould is editor of Digital Studio magazine at ITP Business Publishing.
Stunning Shows. More Viewers.
Live video production has evolved dramatically into a new generation of programming. Content once delivered to a single channel are now intended for multiple-viewings, on-demand, online, and via social media platforms. Whether you’re just getting started in web streaming, or producing a large, multi-camera event, there’s a TriCaster that’s perfect for your production. NewTek TriCaster™ range is designed to empower you to create more exciting shows with more custom effects and publish more channels than ever before - with ease and affordability.
NewTek Authorized Partner Tel.: +971 4 439 2383 | Fax.: +971 4 368 8042 firstname.lastname@example.org | www.mediacastsys.com
STEVE BURGESS TRENDS IN SPORT OUTSIDE BROADCAST VANS s we near the end of 2012 we can look back on a remarkable year for sport. Its biggest challenge, though, is its unpredictable nature, which means we have to find ever more innovative ways to ensure we capture the action. That, in turn, keeps companies like ours, on our toes. One of the ways in which broadcasters ensure they have captured all the action is by adding more cameras. Some of these are special purpose cameras, but they all need controlling as well as routing through the truck to the switcher and server. Some special purpose cameras may be managed in dedicated vehicles with just the outputs sent to the main truck, but this adds to the complexity of the communication. In the past it has been a problem to get suitable special purpose and point of view cameras for broadcast use. However, advances in miniaturisation have brought more high quality HD cameras in tiny packages, allowing us to offer much more inventive ways to get that critical shot. Of course, the next challenge will be to build a 3D stump-cam or snooker pocket-cam! With stereoscopic 3D each camera position needs two sets of camera electronics, not to mention extra time and care in alignment. To make the operation
24 / NOVEMBER 2012
economic the temptation is to create both 2D and 3D outputs from the same truck, sharing cameras where practical. With careful placement, broadcasters are finding that with 3D some sports can actually be covered with fewer cameras than before. All this means that OB units need to support a very large number of cameras, need a very large production switcher and plenty of space. This drove the industry in the direction of double and triple expanding articulated trailers, and these tend to be regarded as the flagships of any OB fleet. Interestingly, the trend we have seen recently is for slightly smaller, fixed axle vehicles. A good example of this is the UK horse racing television provider RaceTech, for which we built a series of trucks as they migrated to HD. They have a fairly standardised plan of seven wired and three wireless cameras. Their trucks are built with expansion in mind, so they can go up to 10 wired cameras when required, and while they do not have a huge number of inputs they produce three independent outputs. The key to achieving this is good design. That, I believe, is the most critical part of designing a good outside broadcast vehicle for sport: put the crew where you need them to be to make good television, then build the rest of the system around them.
The centrepiece is going to be the main production switcher. Facing the production switcher will be the main monitor wall. Multiviewer technology has done a lot to make this more manageable and the IT industry offers high quality, affordable screens, too. Around this focal point you need to decide what other functionality you require, and where the operators should logically be in relation to the director. Can monitors be shared? Who needs to be in whose eyeline? Who needs direct, face-to-face communication? Ensuring the air conditioning can cope with the number of bodies in the truck is critical and, because managing replays is very much achieved by operators shouting when they think they have something good, so is the insulation. The fundamental requirements of sports television are simple: make sure you cover the action, and when something interesting happens let the audience see it from different angles to help them understand it. The successful truck designer will understand that good design comes from making sure the people are comfortably placed to achieve this, with good communications, good monitoring and good air conditioning. Steve Burgess, technical director, KIT digital, Broadcast Systems Integration.
Lifting the Curtain: World Class Goes Digital.
Sennheiser Middle East Ofﬁce # 345, Bldg. 6E/B Dubai Airport Free Zone P.O. Box 371004 Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4299 4004 Email: email@example.com
As a reliable and innovative companion for broadcasters and theatres for many decades, we know what worldclass sound engineers expect from our ﬁrst digital multichannel system for highest demands. This is it, and it’s in a class all by itself: DIGITAL 9000 offers uncompressed digital audio transmission, safe from intermodulation, with a stunning cable-like purity of sound and dynamics and control functions, that
make the system setup fail-safe. The highly intuitive user interface provides complete overview even in stressful live situations. A pinnacle of innovation, this is the best-in-class digital wireless system available and a future-proof investment. We’re lifting the curtain. You’ll get to know it. DIGITAL 9000 – The Wireless Masterpiece. www.sennheiser.ae
VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR?
Not according to Dubai-based Arabian Radio Network it didn’t!
stablished in March 2001, the Arabian Radio Network (ARN) claims to be the region’s largest radio network. ARN displays a balance between community values and commercial growth and boasts an impressively large and loyal audience base not just from the Emirates but also from the entire Gulf Region. ARN caters to all Dubai’s major demographic segments: Arab (Al Arabiya 99 FM, Al Khaleejiya 100.9FM), Western (Dubai 92FM, Dubai Eye 103.8FM and Virgin Radio 104.4FM), Asian (City 101.6FM, Hit 96.7FM) and Radio Shoma 93.4FM (Persian). ARN addresses the interests of various cosmopolitan communities and cultures through genre-specific programming. ARN currently boasts 8 Radio stations under its umbrella with a vision that extends globally. As technology in the radio broadcasting world has marched on, so too has ARN’s studio and transmission set up, with presenters increasingly expected to take on roles as producers, editors and social media marketers, while the network has also embraced the rapidly advanced world of digital media with streaming apps, Facebook pages and listener activity all fully utilised to help grow and maintain its audience share.
26 / NOVEMBER 2012
The ARN team get a room with a view.
Keeping an eye on the levels.
WHEN IT REALLY MATTERS ...
Tools of the trade.
www.riedel.net Another day, another DJ at ARN HQ.
NOVEMBER 2012 / 27
The DMI team in the new look studio.
CASE STUDY / DMI
CTO Saleh Lootah: “The hardest part is over.”
BREAKING NEWS... DMI recently upgraded its main Dubai news centre, and Digital Studio was there to check out the results
28 / NOVEMBER 2012
The RED lines up to take in the action at More café.
CASE STUDY / DMI
agle-eyed viewers, and readers, may have noticed it’s been a busy few months for DMI recently. Between rebranding channels, upgrading websites and the small matter of launching seven new channels to broadcast the excitement from this summer’s London Olympics, you’d be forgiven for thinking they’d had plenty to keep them busy. Not content with these matters, however, the channel has over the last few months been engaged in Phase One of upgrading its Dubai Media City News Centre – home to news and sport broadcasting across its bouquet of channels, and Digital Studio was pleased to sample the end result. As evidenced by our pictures, the finished product is an impressive production space, but as Mohamed Al Shahi, DMI’s CEO of strategy, technology and executive affairs explains, the upgrade has been a lot more in depth than creating a good-looking new facility: “Our News Centre was established in 2004,” he explains. “It was seven years old already, and it was initially built to produce just one 10pm news bulletin each day. When we made the decision to upgrade, the centre was turning over seven daily news bulletins and three weekly shows about politics and news, so it was ready for an upgrade, both in terms of appearance and technology.” It’s perhaps not surprising to find that the existing centre was close to, if not past, its maximum capacity, and Al Shahi adds that the upgrade forms a larger part of DMI’s medium-to-longterm strategy too: “The news centre upgrade is all part of our larger strategy to enhance the infrastructure of DMI. We want to be fully HD and tapeless by 2014. The news centre and Studio C, at our Makhtoum Bridge HQ were the first to upgrade, and thanks to that we now have better infrastructure for the next few years and a new look for the news. “Both the infrastructure and content of our channels will improve thanks
to the changes. We’re already ready to launch two new channels from the news centre, and it’s credit to the staff that they’ve so quickly adapted to the new technology. Already we’re putting out eight daily bulletins and a further five weekly programmes.” Chief technology officer Saleh Lootah is equally keen to praise the staff at DMI for their rapid education in using the new systems: “The whole world is moving towards HD and tapeless workflows, and we needed to develop our infrastructure and keep up with the latest advances in technology to make sure we always offer the viewer the best. “The new technology wasn’t in itself a challenge, but the big challenge was to change mentalities – we’d been working with the old system for a long time, but I think staff quickly realised how much better the new tapeless system could be.” Afzal Lakdawala, head of technology planning and projects, is clear as to where some of these advantages lie: “The increased number of ingest channels means there are no delays getting news
“THE NEWS CENTRE UPGRADE IS PART OF OUR STRATEGY TO ENHANCE THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF DMI. WE WANT TO BE FULLY HD AND TAPELESS BY 2014.” Mohamed Al Shahi, DMI
NOVEMBER 2012 / 29
CASE STUDY / DMI
CTO Saleh Lootah: “The hardest part is over.” The new studio is an impressive space.
KIT LIST Avid upgrade main components:
Unity ISIS 7000 (128 mirrored TB storage, end-to-end filebased workflow – all online) 10x Newscutter Nitrix DX 2x Newscutter S/W only 4x Airspeed Multi Stream (Ingest) 4x Airspeed Multi Stream (Playout) 10x Access Client 5x Assist Client 35x Instinct Client 164x iNews Client 5x Interplay Capture Client 2x iCommand
Vizrt main components: 2x Viz Graphics Hub 2x Viz World 15x Viz Engine (On Air) 2x Viz Engine (Preview) 5x Viz Content Pilot Clients 1x Viz Anchor for iPad
30 / NOVEMBER 2012
into the system,” he says. “Users can more efficiently locate and manage the content they need, and all the content is available online, so the speed of moving it between locations is greatly improved with no additional ingest - content can simply be moved across the network. The Avid system is connected with the digital archive which means we can archive the media on the digital format on LTO5 drives rather than storing them on analogue tapes. Similarly, archived media can be restored from the archive back to the Avid system for future use – we now have a complete file-based system from ingest to archive.” Lootah continues: “Beyond that, it was a huge challenge to keep the old system online and operating while we not only installed and integrated the new system, but also trained staff and carried out the improvements to the studios and sets too, all while still on air. However, it’s all gone smoothly, the staff have been great and I
think the hardest part is over now.” Al Shahi agrees that the successful effort to build up the new system while simultaneously broadcasting from the same spot is one of the things he is most proud of about the project, as well as the amount of work that was carried out in-house: “These are the things I’m most proud of,” he explains. “The design for the new studios was all carried out in-house by DMI, the sets were built by local companies and the integration was carried out by locally-based Salam Media Cast. While all that went on we didn’t stop the centre – seven daily news and three weekly shows all were coming out as we upgraded. We worked 24-hoursa-day when needed, built one set, then filmed on that while we moved onto the next, and I’m really proud of the success.” Of course, this was only Phase One, focusing on decor, technical infrastructure and archiving. Beyond the shiny new sets, the news centre has gained a new Avid
CEO Moham things.
CASE STUDY / DMI
Newsroom System, new graphics set up from Vizrt, digital archiving, a brand new (enormous) video wall from Prysm and both touch screen functionality and new media interactivity. The second phase has received approval and is set to begin imminently. Phase Two will see all the cameras on the studio floor replaced alongside their ENG counterparts, plus updates to both the galleries and MCR. Lootah adds: “We’d initially planned to carry out both phases together, but it just didn’t make sense practically – we were already dealing with two systems which was probably enough.
We have approvals for Phase Two now, we’ve spoken with integrators and will start shortly on cameras, galleries and MCR – it will be complete overhaul of everything from internal upgrades to brand new monitors which will use less energy and generate less heat than previously. Some of the new equipment we’re using can save 70 per cent of energy over its predecessors” New greener technology, of course, will not only help to reduce DMI’s energy bills, but will also keep it in line with Dubai Government’s own efforts
REAL-TIME NETWORKS FOR VIDEO, AUDIO, DATA AND COMMUNICATIONS
med Al Shahi (right) explains
NOVEMBER 2012 / 31
CASE STUDY / DMI
to become a greener city, hopes head of infrastructure and facilities Mike Hancock: “We’ve converted all the set lighting and studio lighting and are now using a higher per centage of cool lights,” he says. “We still have some tungsten in there – we did some tests and we simply don’t feel that LED studio lighting is mature enough yet to go 100 per cent, so we’re holding back on converting our one and two K tungsten studio lights. All the inbuilt lighting is LED now too. There’s a drive across government buildings to increase ambient temperature levels. Obviously we have some issues here where we can’t increase temperature for technical reason, but we’re certainly making steps to limit energy consumption – we have better redundancy in the new set up, and other little details you don’t see, like new acoustic fabric on the walls that helps retain ambient temperature as well as offering soundproofing.” With Phase One complete and Phase two about to get underway, you could forgive the DMI team for taking a break. Far from it, however – Al Shahi is keen to emphasise that these latest upgrades represent only the next stage in DMI’s plans: “This is the medium-term plan. Long term we intend to build a new fully-integrated HQ in Dubai Studio City. The designs for
this were approved in August, and it will ultimately be the main centre of DMI’s infrastructure for the next 30 years. “We’re also launching audience measurement studies to see how people respond to our content and how they feel we can improve it. We will continue to offer staff plenty of training too – sending them to our broadcast partners around the world. We have 1,500 employees on the broadcast side, and more than double
that across DMI which also encompasses print, radio and digital media. This all links into Dubai’s 2015 Strategy to improve its infrastructure and skills base, and we hope to help make Studio City a real hub and foment a rich media culture moving forward. “Of course, by doing this, we should increase our own revenues too, in line with our own ultimate aim to continue growing audience’s, revenues and footprint in the region for DMI itself.”
AFZAL LAKDAWALA, HEAD OF TECHNOLOGY, PLANNING AND PROJECTS, DMI, HIGHLIGHTS THE MAIN ADVANTAGES OF THE NEW AVID AND VIZRT UPGRADES:
Avid • Increased number of Ingest channels means no delays getting news into the system. Double previous capacity • Ultimate picture quality thanks to fully HD-capable system • Increased redundancy means less chance of system failure • Increased storage means more content can be held online • Improved system management with Avid Interplay. Users can more efficiently locate and manage content • All content now available online, so speed of moving content between locations is greatly improved with no additional ingest. Content can simply be moved across the network • The Avid system is connected with the digital archive which means we can archive the media on the digital format on LTO5 drives rather than storing them on analogue tapes. Similarly, archived media can be restored from the archive back to the Avid system for future use • Complete file-based system from ingest to archive • Latest technology means a future-proof investment coupled with ongoing support from both manufacturer and systems integrators
Vizrt • Latest generation technology provides the best levels of integration • Viz World 3D Maps integrated into our newsroom workflow (previously maps had to be generated by a designer offline) • Viz Anchor – control graphics direct from the studio floor using an iPad • Integration with the Vizrt video platform directly from the newsroom allowing multiplatform distribution • Integration with Vizrt system management software to monitor the health of the system • Avid Command Integration
MBC head of technology Afzal Lakdawala.
32 / NOVEMBER 2012
• Support for the latest and most powerful hardware • Process up to four live video inputs simultaneously • Interactivity built in to all Vizrt engines • Control graphics interactively using touch screen • Centralised redundant graphic management system with failover • Content stored in a secure, managed environment can be shared between all connected Vizrt engines
EVS equipment is central to keeping Sky News Arabia on air.
34 / NOVEMBER 2012
CASE STUDY / SKY NEWS ARABIA AND EVS
CASE STUDY/ SKY NEWS ARABIA AND EVS
THE SKY’S THE LIMIT We hear from EVS about how its workflow solutions are keeping Sky News Arabia on air at every stage of the playout process.
t is now six months since Sky News Arabia officially launched across the Middle East and North Africa on May 6th. To commemorate the occasion, we caught up with EVS’s Sebastien Verlaine to hear how EVS systems are used throughout the channel’s workflow, and what the future holds for the partnership. With new installations, the biggest challenge is often getting the newsroom to adopt and rely on the new workflow. Introducing the new EVS system at Sky News Arabia required training for engineers and journalists to help them settle into the new environment, and the EVS team offered constant guidance on every aspect of the workflow, making sure everyone understood the key steps of the production process. This level of support was maintained throughout the build up to the channel’s launch, with an EVS workflow specialist onsite four days a week to make sure all questions and requests were answered quickly. Verlaine adds: “EVS equipment is installed throughout the Sky News Arabia workflow. XS servers are used for ingest, controlled by the IP director content management suite, and from there
content is transferred to an XStore SAN central storage unit. “We then have 140 Xedio edit stations for journalists to work on – these don’t offer editing as advanced as post production editing stations but they’re designed for fast turnaround to shape content and get it on air as soon as possible. We also have fully integrated post production with Final Cut Pro for more in depth post work, and from here there are plug ins that allow direct access to the material on the storage servers, so it can be edited on the storage and sent straight for playout. “Additionally, the newsroom in Abu Dhabi is connected to Sky’s London newsroom and others around the region. Integration with Avid iNews allows for
KIT LIST 8x 4 channel XS servers 1x 6 channel XT3 server with LSM control 12x XTAccess workstations 140x Xedio CleanEdit workstations 16x FCP editing stations 210 TB SStore SAN central storage Front Porch DIVA IP Director
NOVEMBER 2012 / 35
CASE STUDY / SKY NEWS ARABIA AND EVS
Live on air.
Behind the scenes. Sky’s Abu Dhabi HQ.
“CURRENTLY WE’RE USING IP2 WITH FRONT PORCH DIVA TO STORE CONTENT ONTO LTO, BUT WE ANTICIPATE THAT SKY NEWS ARABIA WILL INSTALL THE NEW SOLUTION WHEN IT’S COMPLETED.” Sebastien Verlaine, EVS
roll outs and a dynamic link between rundowns and content on IP Director’s database, so if updates are made on the rundown they automatically update on the database too.” Verlaine adds that the Sky Arabia newsroom is also using the IP2 archive system, a new add on to IP Director that allows direct transfer and storage of material onto LTO, or back onto the XS servers, as needed by the user, and that EVS is currently working on a new global solution that will take LTO tapes and either restore them for production or move them onto other platforms such as Blu Ray or online. “We’re currently working on the implementation for this – it’s quite
36 / NOVEMBER 2012
a modular solution so we don’t have an exact date yet. Currently we’re using IP2 with Front Porch DIVA to store content onto LTO, but we anticipate that Sky News Arabia will install the new solution when it’s completed.” The Sky installation represents a major coup for EVS in the region, where it is perhaps best known as a sports broadcasting specialist, although this is something that Verlaine believes is slowly changing: “Previously it’s fair to say we’ve always been best known for sports, but want the world to know that we’re being used by Sky News Australia and Arabia, Channel One in Russia and RTL in Belgium for news broadcasting.
Visualize the power of social media
With Social TV, Vizrt brings a solution that not only captures social media content, but also allows presenters to tell a story in visually compelling ways. With editorial, visualization and automation tools, Vizrt is revolutionizing the way broadcasters incorporate social media.
Visit vizrt.com to learn how the Social TV solution can help you visualize viewer content
CASE STUDY / SKY NEWS ARABIA AND EVS
EVS’ SKY NEWS ARABIA WORKFLOW IN A NUTSHELL INGEST Content from ENG, press files or VTR is streamed via 12 XTAccess workstations from the XS servers to the XStore SAN central storage server. This enables 32 real time streams to be simultaneously sent to central storage, with the files immediately available for users on the SAN set up. An additional XT3server in the playout gallery is used for ultra-fast ingest and playout for breaking news. The XT# is connected to XNet2, EVS’ high bandwidth media sharing network, allowing the XT3 operator to instantly access all 32 ingest ports for instant On Air playout.
MEDIA STORAGE The vast number of files recorded and imported at a news channel all need to be stored and archived. Three types of storage are used at Sky News Arabia: - The XS playout server has 50 hours online capacity. Files stored on this
server are the ones needed for the immediate news bulletin and are cleansed
All baseband or file-based videos are instantly available for editing in the newsroom. 140 Xedia CleanEdit stations make material available within 10
regularly. - The scalable EVS SAN central storage server stores ingested files for editing and backups of files for playout. The
seconds for editing by journalists, while 16 FCP stations are also available for advanced editing, including 3D effects and multi-layer editing.
SAN’s capacity is around 3,000 hours of HD at 100 Mbps. Once used, material is archived or deleted to make space for the new ingest
PLAYOUT Gallery playout is via an XS server controlled by an IPDirector and controlled by an IPDirector and connected to AVID
- The deep archive is via a DIVA tape library from Front Porch Digital. EVS’ IP2Archive solution allows operators to store media files on LTO tapes and restore the files on the central storage at a
iNews with a further XS server used as a backup. iNews is the AVID newsroom
later date when the material is needed.
system where all the news bulletin rundown decisions are made by the editorial team. iNews also runs on the Xedio CleanEdit workstations to allow journalists to add finished edits directly into the rundown. For breaking news, playout can be done directly. Since the XT3 is connected to XNet2, it can access any of the 32 ingest ports to play content to air using the XT3 time slip function. A playlist can be created with the breaking news element, which is played in loop to let the director decide when he wants the elements on air.
38 / NOVEMBER 2012
“Our technology was indeed originally developed for live sports production when users needed something reactive and dynamic in a demanding environment, with a certain degree of reliability and robustness essential. In many ways though, this is precisely the environment in a live newsroom too. The unique thing about our solutions has always been that with EVS, ingest is instant and access to media is immediate, and that’s exactly what news producers need.” Verlaine concludes: “Bevan Gibson, who took charge of the build at SNA, has worked with EVS in the past for sports production, and he was one of the first to pick up on how EVS’ products could be used for news too when he was first working at BSkyB. “Of course there are differences – there’s more third party integration with news than sport as a rule as content tends to come from a wider variety of different sources so there’s a more complex workflow there, and we need that ability to transfer different media quickly and make it available for journalists, but in terms of needing speed, reliability and delivery for multiple platforms, the two are really remarkably similar.”
From storage servers to editing, EVS is on the case.
Professional monitoring that fits in your pocket T-TAPâ„˘ puts your project on the big screen - anywhere. Sure, itâ€™s a file-based world out there and youâ€™re editing on your laptop. Awesome! But why crowd around a computer screen when you can view your project on a proper monitor? AJAâ€™s T-TAP utilizes the power of Thunderboltâ„˘ to put high-quality 10-bit video and audio output in a portable form factor. A single Thunderboltâ„˘ cable provides both the data and power connections for no-hassle setup so you can output SD, HD and even 2K to monitors or projectors simultaneously, for a truly epic screening.
Quality and Flexibility
Get the flexibility of broadcast quality 10-bit SD, HD and 2K video and 8-channel embedded audio output simultaneously to SDI and HDMI monitors with Deep Color and 3D support.
T T-TAP uses AJAâ€™s KONA technology, ensuring ccompatibility with a wide range of software aapplications for editing, graphics and output.
Power and Simplicity Keep it simple with a single Thunderboltâ„˘ cable that powers the T-TAP as well as providing 10Gb/s data for the capacity to move high-quality images out to a monitor, projector - or both.
Find out more information at www.aja.com
B e c a u s e
m a t t e r s .
FEATURE / MBC MASR
TALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN Newly-launched MBC Egyptian channel, MBC MASR, is set to mix local chat with the best of international imports.
The stars and the fireworks all came out for the channelâ€™s official launch event.
40 / NOVEMBER 2012
FEATURE / MBC MASR
BC Group’s 12th and newest channel, MBC MASR, is due to go on air on the evening of November 9th, and the broadcaster celebrated the auspiscious occasion with a glitzy launch event at Cairo’s Salaheddine Citadel of Cairo late last month. The channel will offer a local focus for MBC’s huge Egyptian audience, and to reflect this the launch was attended by officials including Egyptian minister of information Salah Abdelmaqsoud, and the official spokesperson of the Egyptian presidency Dr. Yasir Ali as well as a host of prominent cultural figures, artistic personalities, celebrities & stars. While guests at the event were treated to an augmented reality hologram show reflecting the grandeur of a classical Egyptian tarab and songs from local celebrities including Ragheb Alameh, Saber Al Robaei and Arab Idol Season One winner Carmen Suleiman, back at MBC the finishing touches were being placed on the channels The relationship between Egypt & MBC dates back to 1991 when MBC1 was first launched. The Egyptian TV archive was one of the main pillars for the programming grid during the initial stage of the channel launch. Over two decades, this collaboration developed in terms of human and technical resources, artistic direction, and production requirements, and Egypt has remained a key source of both newly-produced and archive material for the broadcast group. Al Arabiya already has its own Egyptian studios, and the new channel is set to lead to further regular production in Egypt with a number of home-produced shows scheduled on MBC MASR. The launch has also led to the construction of new studios and infrastructure to facilitate creation of the new in-house content, which will include daily talk shows and comedy output. The initial MBC MASR channel grid will include a full range of programmes, series, and movies, with a focus on a daily political talk show presented by Mona Al Shazly; a comedy night with Egyptian comedian Hani Ramzy; a talk show focusing on contemporary Egyptian women’s issues, and a daily
NOVEMBER 2012 / 41
FEATURE / MBC MASR
sports show in addition to global favourites like WWE, live episodes of The Voice in its Arabic version and the second season of Arab Idol. The channel is also set to broadcast a host of among many other educational and religious shows, plus international movies, shows and series on the channel. Among some of the most eagerly anticipated imported content is the Arabic adaptation of Monte Cristo, the longawaited second series of Turkish favourite Fatma, several documentaries and family entertainment shows. Mazen Hayek, MBC Group’s spokesman said: “It’s only natural for MBC Group to be effectively present in Egypt today, via MBC MASR, and that the channels belonging to the group reach Arab hearts & minds, from the Atlantic to the Gulf”. Hayek was also keen to focus on the channel‘s potential to help develop the media landscape in Egypt, to provide added value to Egyptian viewers. He added: “We are keen to further progress the Egyptian media scene and raise the standards of local entertainment content to international standards, through more investments, outstanding production value, and promoting Egyptian content to foreign markets, while also exchanging experiences, best practices and sharpening skills “We have many promising projects, the good will to cooperate with all, and keenness to highlight media faces, find new opportunities, while making available the vast experience of MBC that was gained
42 / NOVEMBER 2012
over the years.” MBC Masr will compete with the five major private sector players that have emerged in modern Egypt. “We think competition is healthy for the market,” Hayek said. “When we announced MASR we saw an immediate reaction from key players in the private sector wanting to improve their offerings and produce more.” The launch of MASR represents a shift in emphasis for MBC, which has previously expanded its portfolio of services by launching genre-based channels. “We moved from launching genre channels to targeted channels by geography,” said Hayek. He added that MBC does not “exclude the possibility of launching other local channels” but is focusing on the Egyptian launch for now. Hayek said MBC’s launch a year ago of its portfolio of HD channels, using receivers supplied by Technosat, has progressed well. While the broadcaster’s MBC Drama channel is a pay TV offering that airs on OSN’s platform, offering first runs of premium drama series, this is seen as an exception. “We are a free-to-air satcaster. We pride ourselves on being able to provide the same premium quality content as pay TV,” he said. While shying away from any serious move into pay TV, MBC is trying to diversify its sources of revenue, 85-90 per cent of which currently comes from advertising, by expanding things such as product placement, SMS and interactive revenues as well as output deals with third parties. Hayek concluded: “The viewer is always the boss for MBC, in all countries & loca-
tions, situations & times, and advertising partners are the backbone for the entertainment & media industry in and out of Egypt, coupled with an independent media management and editorial policy. Our aim is to serve the interest of the Egyptian viewer, first and foremost, ultimately contributing to the revival of the national economy, the recovery and growth of the commercial advertising scene, while improving the purchasing power, and strengthening consumer confidence in the future. “ Medhat Hassan, media manager at MBC MASR, added: “The channel will not be specialized or geared towards a specific genre, but rather comprehensive and targeting the entire Egyptian family, the young & the old, via a diverse programming schedule, to include social programs, political talk shows, cultural and sports shows, among others, while highlighting the issues that matter most to the Egyptian citizen, regardless of age, background or social class. “This will thereby comply with a multitude of programming that is ‘edutaining’ via a wide variety of shows, programs, series and dramas.” Hayek also revealed tantalisingly that MBC will also invest in “two big new shows” based on international formats for 2013, complementing its existing talent show line-up, as well as further investing in local Arabic series, Turkish soaps and other content popular across the region.
TECHNOLOGY / MULTIVIEWERS
RETHINKING CHANNEL IN A BOX Andrew Warman says the latest developments in automated playout are making it an increasingly attractive option.
Andrew Warman relaxes with his Nexio. 44 / NOVEMBER 2012
TECHNOLOGY / MULTIVIEWERS
utomated playout of television channels has been with us for more than 20 years now. The traditional model uses a central network of computers to control broadcast-specific devices like switchers, servers and graphics. For many applications this is still the way it is done, and around the world the major playout centres have this architecture. More recently an alternative has emerged, generally known as the channel in a box. Once commodity computers reached a level of processing power at which they could reliably deliver broadcast quality video, a number of vendors sprang up to offer systems. Most, although not all, use Windows PCs with a video I\O board and some storage. It is now a competitive market. The thinking behind the channel in a box concept is two-fold. First, the capital cost is significantly reduced, making it particularly attractive to start-up and niche channels which may not expect
The process in a nutshell.
large revenues. Second, it comes pre-integrated, meaning a channel can be launched very quickly, simplifying the amount of integration needed to get on the air. There are challenges, though. Even if the target market is for lower revenue channels, those broadcasters want to deliver a quality product. They expect good value, including high-quality graphic branding. The benefit of low cost and simple installation makes channel in a box attractive for use by premium channels, or for disaster recovery sites. If reliability and quality are there, this approach is a viable option in some operations. Should the worst happen, being able to maintain the channelâ€™s look and feel is a great incentive to use these solutions. Harris, therefore, identified a need for a channel in a box solution that was fully integrated and had a low hardware cost, but also offered uncompromised performance and a great deal of flexibility. The result is Versio, which launched at IBC2012. What distinguishes Versio from existing channel in a box offerings is that its design is founded on proven Harris technology, which is widely recognised to meet the real
end to end workflow needs of the playout industry. This is in contrast with systems which take a PC processor board and commodity video card, and created ground up software to deliver a solution. Harris has market leading products in playout automation (ADC and D-Series), video servers/storage (NEXIO) and branding graphics (Inscriber). The Versio approach to channel in a box brings these three together in a single device. This means reliable and predictable performance, along with familiarity for users who do not have to learn new user interfaces, create new workflows and define new emergency procedures. In hardware terms, the 1U box contains two separate disk systems: one based on SSD drive technology partitioned to boot the system and store graphics for fast access, and one for storage capacity for video playout. This means that pressure on one part of the system does not have an impact on overall performance, and the integrity of the content playout is never threatened. Rather than use a generic I/O card, Versio uses the same I/O board technology as the NEXIO server platform. This ensures proven reliability, and allows it to offer two internal video channels for automated mix effects, with additional support for a simultaneous baseband record channel if required. In addition, a live input enables Versio to go live to air if required. Versio provides support for a broad range of codecs, allowing it to play content either from on board storage, or streamed from a NEXIO serverâ€™s SAN. Similarly, the dedicated graphics disk and GPU run a tailored version of Harris branding software. It renders graphic sequences on the fly such as 2D and 3D graphics, score boards, lower thirds, rolls and crawls, and can accept data from RSS feeds, databases and other sources to generate tickers. The GPU also supports DVE capabilities if required, for squeezebacks and other dynamic effects. Basing the automation element on proven Harris technology has a number of benefits. First and foremost, Versio supports ADC and D-Series automation, the most widely used automation systems in
NOVEMBER 2012 / 45
TECHNOLOGY / MULTIVIEWERS
True 3G - SDI
Rotary Switch Technology
75ohm 75 ohm VIDEO PATCHBAYS Return Loss S11(dB) 0
SMPTE424M -10 -20 -30 -40 -50
Isolation S11(dB) 0 -20 -40 -60 -80 -100
And the multichannel angle.
the industry. This means many customers already know how to use Versio. Secondly, Harris has been in playout automation longer than virtually any other vendor, so the products are robust and tailored to the real needs of users. In Versio it can control external devices as well as the resources in the box Third, it means that Versio can be used either standalone using integral automation or as part of a larger automated network. In fact there are four configurations for the Versio platform to maximise the flexibility. As well as internal or external automation, it can draw its content either from the internal disk drive or from a storage area network. San-connected servers stream directly to the output without the need to cache any content to a local disk. And fourth, it brings with it the connectivity to other Harris systems, including the potential to link to Invenio Motion asset management and live updates to and from traffic and billing using the BXF protocol. Together, they mean that broadcasters will be able to make late changes and sell advertising space right up to air time. Versio is designed to be flexible. At the base level it can be used as any other channel in a box system: as a self-contained unit, managed from a computer over a network, but with the advantages of proven, broadcast-grade hardware and applications inside.
Versio can be networked together to create a cost-effective and energyefficient playout centre, or to quickly establish a disaster recovery centre which can be trusted to run in parallel and be ready to switched online in an instant should it be needed. Hardware resilience schemes can be implemented. Additional protection of playout does not need to be one to one redundancy whenN+1 redundancy may be sufficient. Most interestingly, Versio channels can be added to existing playout centres based on traditional architectures. The Versio channels can share resources, streaming content direct from the SAN, for example, and drawing on exactly the same graphics templates and data sources as the rest of the channels. The hooks are ready in place to talk to the automation network and the traffic and scheduling systems. This allows new channels to be added very quickly which is a huge benefit. Indeed, because the hardware cost is relatively low, major playout operators may well consider having a couple of Versio units in the machine room and wired up, only paying the licence fee when they go on air. It is still the case that to add new channels to a traditional playout architecture is a significant project usually measured in months. To add Versio channels takes days or, if the hardware is already in place, hours. Working together, a broadcaster and playout specialist can market test a new channel almost as soon as the idea is formed. Channel in a box systems are unlikely ever to fully replace every playout system in the world, but the Versio architecture gives broadcasters the freedom to explore workflows and offerings, allowing real hands-on trials full production channel roll outs while retaining the complete flexibility to evolve as the channel grows.
www.canare.co.jp The box in all its glory.
46 / NOVEMBER 2012
58(W) Ă—225 (H) mm
COMMUNITY ALL THE LATEST FROM THE REGIONAL PRODUCTION AND BROADCAST COMMUNITY
ADVANCED MEDIA GETS BUSY HOST OF OCTOBER EVENTS FROM AM
MORE TABOOS BREAK AT AFLAM CONTROVERSIAL FILM SCREENED
Abu Dhabi’s Aflam Film Club continued on its mission to bring the best of Arab cinema to audiences last month with Amr Salama’s Asmaa, the controversial tale of an HIV+ woman’s struggle to find treatment for a benign infection in the face of a medical community that refuses to treat her due to the nature of her illness.
DTFF OFFERS 29 PREMIERS 30 COUNTRIES REPRESENTED
Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF), the annual cultural event of the Doha Film Institute (DFI), will showcase 21 films in the Contemporary World Cinema section and 12 Special Screenings at its fourth edition to be held from November 17 - 24, 2012. With representation from 30 countries, this year DTFF programme will feature 29 MENA premieres.
Advanced Media has had its programme of community events back in full swing in October, leaving the summer and Ramadan lulls well and truly behind. The team kicked off the month by bringing respected cinematographer Stefan Czech (below) back to the AM Studio in Al Quoz for the second instalment of his ‘Filming with DSLR’ workshop. This time around, Czech ran the event over two days, one for beginners and another for intermediate DSLR film makers. Next up, Advanced Media supported a second screening for the successful films from last year’s 48-Hour Film Competition. The second look at the films which made it to Cannes presented an opportunity for networking with film makers and professionals as well as a reminder of the films themselves. Advanced Media also carried on its partnership with Sony, bringing the NEX-EA50 to its studio and giving local professionals the opportunity to find out about the cameras both hands on, and face-to-face with the developers.
TROPFEST WINNER ANNOUNCED MOHAMED HUSSEN ANWAR’S UNDAMAGEABLE WAS AWARDED FIRST PRIZE BY A JUDGING PANEL OF SIX CELEBRITIES FROM AROUND THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA, INCLUDING EMIRATI ANIMATOR AND CHAIRMAN OF LAMMTARA, MOHAMMED SAEED HARIB. ANWAR COMMENTED: “IT IS AN HONOR THAT THE JURY CHOSE ‘UNDAMAGEABLE’ WHEN THE COMPETITION WAS SO TOUGH. IT IS GREAT TO BE RECOGNIZED FOR MY WORK. I’M REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO MY TRIP TO LOS ANGELES AND I NOW FEEL VERY EXCITED ABOUT MY FUTURE IN FILM MAKING. I WOULD LIKE EVERYONE TO WATCH ‘UNDAMAGEABLE’ ON YOUTUBE AND GIVE ME THEIR FEEDBACK.”
NOVEMBER 2012 / 47
COMMUNITY Bill Gates spreads the wo
EVENTS 1 NOV AXYS/Duran Audio Madrid training event Attendees willl learn how to design systems using the AXYS DDA modelling software and re-create this design in a real life demonstration. The event will also focus Target Arrays (for touring and installed sound) and the AXYS Beam Shaping Subwoofers. WORKSHOP LATEST
AT THE SUMMIT This year’s Abu Dhabi Media summit featured a typically low key line up of speakers. Leaders from across the global media industry converged on Abu Dhabi last month for the annual Abu Dhabi Media Summit. High profile speakers and panelists included Microsoft founder and chair of the Gates Foundation Bill Gates, CEO of Viacom International Bob Bakish, Jim Wuthrich, president of Warner Bros Home Entertainment and Shane Smith, CEO of the Vice Media Group. Key moments included keynote speaker Bill Gates noting that access to TV still remains cheaper than to good quality high speed internet connection, but adding that looking forwards decision makers would need to increasingly devote time, energy and investment to their digital media operations. He added: ““I think it’s a little too early to put all your money on the interactive side unless you are just trying to go after high end audience.” Gates also made a philanthropic request to the region – appropriate for a man who gave up his high powered corporate role to run a charity - asking that as developing Gulf economies become richer and more successful, they avoid repeating the mistakes of the West:
48 / NOVEMBER 2012
““For too long, we in the West worked almost exclusively to develop and apply technology to meet the needs of the rich world, only for those who could pay,” he said. “As you grow into a world hub for research, I hope you constantly search for ways to apply technology to help people who can’t pay.” ORGANISER’S VIEW “The continued evolution and strengthening of the [Abu Dhabi Media]Summit mirrors the continued development of Abu Dhabi and the UAE as an important hub for the media industry. As in previous years, the 2012 Summit will create unique opportunities for insights for all who attend. The 2012 event will also see an even greater emphasis on home-grown talent through a series of master classes and workshops.” KHALDOON KHALIFA AL MUBARAK, ABU DHABI MEDIA SUMMIT CHAIRMAN
2-4 NOV Abu Dhabi Grand prix Line up alongside the cream of the region’s, and the world’s, production and broadcast industries for the racing as well as the after race entertainment. www.yasmarinacircuit.com
17-24 NOV Doha Tribeca Film Festival The regional festival circuit is in full swing now, and Doha carries on the theme before Abu Dhabi has had chance to become a distant memory! Highlights of this year’s event include the MENA premier of director Mira Nair’s highly praised “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” www.dohafilminstitute.com
27-28 NOV The Big Entertainment Show Listen and interact with and to over 50 speakers in the newly unified show that covers what used to be Character Dubai, MyContent and the Dubai World Game expo. www.bigentertainment.ae
FRONT PORCH DIGITAL
Front Porch has appointed Andy Hurt as VP, product management. “With the introduction of the LYNX platform, Front Porch’s largest R&D investment in more than a decade, it’s a very exciting time to be joining the leadership team,” said Hurt. “I’m looking forward to helping establish Front Porch Digital as the gold standard for cloudbased solutions.”
Grass Valley’s T.J. Scott has been elected to join the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) Board of Governors as Governor representing the global standardization organization’s Southern US Region. This position provides Scott with the opportunity to interact with fellow members on SMPTE initiatives and get involved in guiding activities.
Intigral has appointed Dr. Ismaeel Makdisi as acting CEO. Makdisi replaces Karim Daoud, who served as CEO for three years. Makdisi’s appointment was announced by Intigral’s board as part of the company’s new growth strategy, which will focus on its expansion into international markets, the building of new capabilities and the creation of new technologies.
Riedel Communications is aiming to expand business in the cruise ship sector with the appointment of Rik Hoerée to spearhead sales efforts for the entire Riedel range including intercom, fibre and audio solutions. “I’m looking forward to developing new business opportunities for Riedel here in this market. I’m already familiar with the product portfolio for a long time,” said Hoerée.
NOVEMBER 2012 / 49
MEDIASYS HOSTS CGI/ VFX COMMUNITY
MediaSys held a major event last month to showcase its products to the local CG/VFX community. The event, held at Gloria Hotel in Media City, attracted 75 industry professionals including broadcasters, video editors and graphic artists. The event included presentations and demonstrations from MediaSys partners such as The Foundry, Chaos Group, Autodesk and more promoting and demonstrating their products and the services they offer and hoping to catch the attention of both existing customers and newer clientswho may wish to use their products. A number of MediaSys customers including animation house Real Image, Pixel Hunters and Al Jazeera also presented their work at the event. Many of these customers were also kind enough to answer technical questions and share industry experiences with attendees. Another highlight of the event
Chyron’s Paul Glasgow.
50 / NOVEMBER 2012
was the launch of CG Arabia, an online community of digital artists which MediaSys has been planning for some time. This forum facilitates sharing of news, product launches and trends in the industry. Also within the forum are discussion rooms where artists can share thoughts and ideas as well as demonstrate their work for critics. Finally, Bejoy George, MD of MediaSys, spoke to guests about MediaSys’ commitment to the CG and VFX community and the event concluded with a lucky dip and the winners going home with an iPad, NVIDIA Quadro graphics card and a V-ray licence. George concluded: “The event was superb. We think it was a really successful and useful event for the whole CGI and VFX community. We were also excited to launch the first ever online forum for the community in the region, as well as speak about and demonstrate a number of new products.”
CHYRON/ MEDIACAST DEAL
SMC AND HOLOVIS TEAM UP
CHYRON COMES TO TRICASTER
NEW IMMERSIVE 3D
Chyron has appointed MediaCast as its newest distributor in the Middle East. MediaCast is now authorized to distribute the new Chyron HD/SD 2D and 3D character and graphics generator to NewTek TriCaster live production systems. “There is an excellent synergy between Chyron and MediaCast. We are excited to associate to meet the market requirements of a high quality and cost effective CG to combine with NewTek TriCaster family of products,” said Chyron VP Paul Glasgow
Salam Media Cast (SMC) has signed a distribution agreement with HoloVis International Ltd (HoloVis), a company providing transformational sensory experiences in a diverse range of markets including Corporate, Oil & Gas, Research, Automotive, Military, Entertainment & Theme Parks. HoloVis specialises in advanced 2D & 3D immersive systems including virtual reality CAVEs and Walls, large scale immersive Theatres and Domes and next-gen Motion Base/Platform Technology and Simulators.
The MediaSys event concluded with a prize raffle.
HoloVis: It’s not real.
AROUND THE GCC
QATAR Qatar-based systems integrator Salam Media Cast has reported a successful Infocomm at Dubai’s World Trade Centre in October. Hosny M Rafaat, business development manager, Salam Media Cast in Doha, Qatar, explained how he had used the show to Salam’s advantage: “A lot of my customers have been asking me about the latest digital wireless microphone system. So I arranged to meet with my clients here at the show, to take a look, feel and try out the products, and at the same time discuss how we could integrate this as a solution for their business needs.”
DUBAI Studio Network Solutions (SNS) has named MediaCast as its new distributor for the Middle East. Peyman Dadpanah, business director of MediaCast, says: “We are delighted to have this collaboration with SNS and officially represent the brand in the Middle East. SNS is a leader in shared storage solutions and will complement the range of products and services that MediaCast already offers. The advantage that SNS brings with its high quality products combined with innovative storage solutions will attract major market share in the region which we believe we can capitalize on.”
OMAN/UAE Avid has appointed Venuetech as a new distributor for its live sound products in the UAE and Oman. “Venuetech is committed to provide high-quality audio technology for any level of project. With this partnership we are able to provide the live sound market with a higher level of consultation, and design, as well as offering comprehensive servicing. Venuetech has an enthusiastic team and I am confident we will continue building on our existing client base and adding more users who will benefit from our VENUE live sound console family,” says Avid’s Mathieu Rouxel.
GCC NMK, distributor of Shure microphones and audio electronics in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman has recently obtained Axient certification for the region. As part of a regional distributor certification program hosted in Dubai by Shure EMEA, distributors from South Africa, Turkey and Russia participated in a two-day programme which covered the new Axient Wireless System from Shure. NMK then took the opportunity to immediately introduce Axient to the UAE market by holding very first Axient Preview Event in the ME for customers from across the country.
NOVEMBER 2012 / 51
A RUN DOWN OF THE LATEST UPGRADES AND INSTALLATIONS IN THE REGION
NEW OB VAN FOR QATAR TV LOCATION QATAR TECHNOLOGY 7X GRASS VALLEY LDK 8000 CA MERAS, 1X GV LDK 8300 SUPER SLOMO CA M, 1X GV WIRELESS TRANSMISSION CA M, GV K AYAK AND MUCH MORE.
TURKEY GOES FULLY OLED LOCATION TURKEY TECHNOLOGY 40 X SONY TRIM ASTER EL OLED MONITORS (34X 17” AND 6X 25” PVM-2541 MONITORS), PLUS A RANGE OF SONY HD CA MERAS AND VISION MIXERS.
REVAMP FOR BAHRAIN TV
LOCATION BAHRAIN TECHNOLOGY AURIONPRO TO EQUIP/INSTALL CONTROL ROOMS, CA MERAS, MIXERS AND GRAPHIC SYSTEMS.
52 / NOVEMBER 2012
Qatar TV made a little bit of history last month when it took delivery of the 555th OB van manufactured by BTS broadcast technology solutions in its factory at Weiterstadt, Germany. BTS claims to be the world’s oldest continuously operating systems integration specialist having restarted production in 1951 after a break during World War 2, and had displayed the new van to visitors at IBC before it made the journey to Qatar.
Turkey’s Ozkan Productions has equipped eight of its outside broadcasting vehicles with the latest Sony technology. Ozkan has upgraded its vans to include a number of Sony’s HD cameras and video mixers. In its newest van, the company has also installed a total of 40 Sony TRIMASTER EL OLED monitors. This is the first time in Europe an outside broadcast vehicle has been equipped solely with OLED monitors.
Bahrain’s state TV production facilities are to benefit from an upgrade worth at least two million US dollars. The Bahraini Information Affairs Authority (IAA) has signed an agreement with IT and communication technology provider AurionPRO Solutions to develop media work and promote quality TV programmes for Bahrain TV. The main studio will be upgraded at a cost of around two million USD, and work will be completed in Q1 of 2013.
NEW AUDIO PANELS FOR SAE
LOCATION DUBAI TECHNOLOGY PRIM ACOUSTIC LONDON 12 KIT
SAUDI MOCI CHOOSES VITEC
LOCATION SAUDI ARABIA TECHNOLOGY EQUIPMENT FROM VITEC BRANDS INCLUDING LITEPANELS, SACHTLER AND VINTEN
ALGERIAN GAMESHOW LIGHTENS UP
LOCATION ALGERIA TECHNOLOGY 20 X PR XS 1200 SPOT, 10 X PR XS 1200 WASH AND EIGHT PR XLED 590 MOVING LED HEADS
SKY GRAPHICS ARE ASTUCE
LOCATION ABU DHABI, UAE TECHNOLOGY ASTUCEMEDIA DATA PL ATFORM SUITE
Melody House has supplied Dubai’s SAE a complete Primacoustic London 12 Kit for its production studio. The London 12 contains Broadway panels that tackle primary reflections, flutter echo, standing waves and excessive bass. Broadway is a range of high performance, fabric-covered acoustic panels for use where superior acoustic performance is desired and safety is of concern. The panels have up to six times greater density than typical foam panels.
Vitec Videocom is supplying a range of equipment to the new state-of-the-art studios of the Saudi Ministry of Information and Culture. The $7M+ deal is part of a contract awarded to First Gulf Company to create a new TV and radio exchange network for the government’s media transformation programme. First Gulf is to design, supply and install two of MOCI’s studios with a full HD broadcast solution and has selected several Vitec Videocom products.
Lighting effects from PR lighting are being used heavily on the latest series of Algerian TV game show Takdar Tarbah (You Can Win). Neosun Algerie, PR Lighting’s Algerian distributors, delivered 38 projectors to meet the set design of Thierry Rollin, who is also responsible for the lighting design of many TV game shows for the TF1 French channel. The PR lighting FX were used to create three different ambient colours according to the different stages of the game.
Sky News Arabia has taken on the very first installation of Astucemedia’s new Data Platform Suite – Modular, Realtime Graphics Workflow Solution. The project involved the creation of on-air graphics and templates as well as real time data integration for Sky News Arabia. The suite provides a seamless bridge between realtime data feeds from Storm for Weather, GSM for sports, Thomson Reuters for business, and Twitter with Sky’s Vizrt live graphics workflow.
NOVEMBER 2012 / 53
SELL IT TO ME
ATLONAT LAST – SWITCHER SHIPS Atlona is now shipping its new AT-H2H-44M 4x4 HDMI matrix switcher. A comprehensive signal routing switch supporting high-speed HDMI and uncompressed digital multichannel audio switching and distribution across four zones, the AT-H2H44M boasts unique features including advanced EDID management, S/PDIF audio loop outs, multiple control interfaces, in-field upgradable firmware, and Audio Return Channel (ARC). The AT-H2H-44M’s advanced EDID manage-
ment feature ensures compatibility across multiple display types, sends communication between sources and displays, and automatically provides a compatible EDID at start up. The unit also features a customisable EDID learning function. www.atlona.com
NEW DIVA IN TOWN CHRISTIE DIGITAL G-SERIES “Christie is ahead of the curve in offering the affordable, yet feature-packed Christie G Series. The market has been asking for a product like this and we think our customers
DIVAdirector V5.1 is Front Porch Digital’s newest update to its DIVAdirector media asset management (MAM) system. It is a permission-based Web application that enables complete access to file-based content stored
are going to love the
new G series. With
Leader Instruments’ LV5307 compact multi-format 7-inch monitor/rasterizer is an affordable option for cross-conversion of 3G-SDI, HD-SDI and SD-SDI to HDMI and vice versa. The HDMI output can be used as a rasterizer delivering screen content to an external monitor. The price of the LV5307 is under US$2,000. The Leader LV5307 provides picture monitoring of analogue, SDI and HDMI inputs. Connectivity capabilities include SDI in/out, Y/Pb/Pr analog component in, left/right analogue audio in, PC audio in/
the inclusion of display port inputs, brightness tracking and optional wireless connectivity, these new models are ideal for boardrooms, conference rooms, auditoriums, venues, government, houses of worship and higher education spaces. Additional benefits are the optional dual processor warp module for blending and warping images, color matching and an optional stacking system” GEORGE TSINTZOURAS, SENIOR DIRECTOR, CHRISTIE DIGITAL
54 / NOVEMBER 2012
by DIVArchive content storage management (CSM) systems. DIVAdirector V5.1 contains new features that make it even easier for any media organization with DIVArchive to manage its digital files, especially if that organization is using Front Porch Digital’s new LYNX platform for moving, archiving, and publishing video to the cloud. With cloud operations starting to dominate the industry, DIVAdirector 5.1 addresses LYNX-specific workflows and requirements. www.fpdigital.com
out , HDMI in/out, RS-485 in/out, de-embedded audio out, plus a four-pin XLR power input, all located at the rear of the instrument. www.leaderamerica.com
NUGEN HELPS WITH 5.1 NUGEN Audio has demonstrated a prototype of a plug-in that offers upmixing/downmixing between stereo and 5.1 surround. The plug-in uses the ISOSTEM technology, which is believed to be the only upmix engine that is fully compatible with stereo. ISOSTEM delivers a surround stem that downmixes exactly to the original stereo, and, if required, constrains the dialog in the center channel. The availability of the crossmix technology in a plug-in will give studios a convenient and powerful mixing tool to complement the ISOSTEM real-time
conversion hardware. “These plug-ins give a mix that works perfectly in both stereo and 5.1 at the set-top box, ” said Jon Schorah, creative director of NUGEN Audio. www.nugenaudio.com
ANTON/BAUER’S LITTLE BIT OF MAGIC Anton/Bauer has announced its QRC-BMD Gold Mount for the new Blackmagic Design EF and MFT Cinema Cameras. Anton/Bauer’s latest introduction further highlights the company’s dedication to providing innovative portable power solutions for the latest products, as soon as they become available on the market. “Anton/Bauer’s QRC-BMD essentially gives Blackmagic Cinema Camera users a ‘swappable’ power solution to ensure the camera is continuously powered and ready for filming at all times,” says Paul Dudeck, Anton/Bauer vice president of sales.
MY BEST KIT
PETROL DECA DOCTOR BAG
FLOVEL AND FOR-A GO HD FLOVEL Company Japan, in partnership with FOR-A Corporation, has introduced its new FZ-B1 high-sensitivity HD camera . FOR-A is the exclusive distributor of FLOVEL brand cameras in the U.S., Europe, Middle East, Africa, and sections of Asia. The new camera will be available through FOR-A’s worldwide sales offices from November. As the latest addition to FLOVEL’s extensive line of high-end HD specialty cameras, the new FZ-B1 has at its core a 2/3-inch CMOS 1.3 megapixel color image sensor. “This new HD camera employs state of the art
”I consciously chose the Deca Dr Bag by Petrol Bags because the form is the same
imaging technology. No other camera on the market offers such high-quality HD color video reproduction at such low-light levels as mere moonlight,” said Susumu Hotta, general manager at FLOVEL Company.
as that of a doctor’s
all of the equipment
MARTIN LINES UP ON THE GRID Martin Professional’s new LED video module, the VC-Grid 25, is now shipping from the company’s Danish factory to Martin partners and end users worldwide. The VC-Grid 25 is a true LED video panel in a compact and lightweight form (200 x 200 mm) that enables more creative integration of LED video into stage designs, interiors, film and TV sets and custom-shaped LED video screens. Driven by Martin’s award-winning P3 System Controller Family, the VC-Grid 25 is fully calibrated to the same standards as Martin’s EC and LC Plus Series LED video screens. www.martin.com
bag. With a turn of the hand, the large opening on the top makes
visible, and you have immediate access to each piece. Just like a doctor during emergency treatment of a patient. “This certainty makes my work easier before I even arrive, and I can devote my undivided attention to the organisation of the
SOUND DEVICES RACKS UP Sound Devices, experts in portable audio and video products for field production, showcased its new PIX 260i Production Audio/Video Recorder at AES 2012 recently. Based on Sound Devices’ field-proven PIX 240i recorder, the rack-mounted PIX 260i is a file-based audio/video deck that seamlessly replaces tapebased video decks in production and post-production environments, while offering 32-tracks of audio record/playback. “We are excited to showcase PIX 260i at AES. Its
set. On location, this is nearly impossible as the schedule is usually very tight.”
impressive 32-tracks of audio record and playback is a great feature for many audio professionals,” says Jon Tatooles, managing director at Sound Devices. “Our entire line of PIX recorders provides users with an all-in-one audio and video product.” www.sounddevices.com
MARK MOREVE, LIGHTING CAMERAMAN, BBC/SKY
NOVEMBER 2012 / 55
WORLD FIRST MADI AUDIO MONITOR FOR 4HM A new ‘World First’ MADI Audio and Status Monitor with format conversion is the latest addition to 4HM’s expanding range of MADI products. It is called the MADI-MON and is a comprehensively featured 2U monitoring device with the additional
benefit of including integral MADI to AES format conversion as standard. The MADI-MON was designed for the broadcast and production environment. The device enables auditioning of embedded channels without external routers or audio consoles. MADI-MON is the first device to provide studio engineers with the tools to interrogate the MADI stream to view the status of embedded channels. www.4hmbroadcast.com
GV IGNITE WINS PLAUDITS The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) has honoured the Grass Valley Ignite automated production system with a 2012 Technical & Engineering Emmy Award for pioneering the development of event driven control room automation systems for production of live television shows. The Ignite system, based on technology originally called the PVTV NEWS system, revolutionised television news production by allowing a single operator to run an entire newscast. The first live public broadcast using the PVTV NEWS produc-
BUYER’S GUIDE 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 specific requirements 3. PRICE VERSUS... Is price the most important factor?
tion automation system was produced by News 12 The Bronx, in 1998. After acquisition by Grass Valley in 2004, the Ignite system added an integrated Grass Valley switcher and robotic cameras. www.grassvalley.com
NETIA MANAGES CONTENT NETIA has showcased the latest version of its Content Management System (CMS), which allows users to manage all processes within the global production environment — from editing to post and distribution — via simple, easy-tomanage workflows and task automation, accessed through one unique and straightforward interface. With the NETIA CMS, users can connect all of their partners and vendors within a single production ecosystem.
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? 6. SUSTAINABILITY Does this product need to be ‘green’? 7. STANDARDS Does the product need to conform to any specific standards?
8. SHIPPING Will the product make it to production on time, or is there an order backlog?
TSL GETS DOLBY-READY TSL has announced the PAM2 MK2, one of the first audio monitoring solutions to feature Dolby’s CAT1100 module, a new platform for comprehensive decoding and monitoring of Dolby audio formats that are used throughout the HD broadcast chain (Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital and Dolby E). The new module will enable the PAM2 MK2 to perform Dolby E decoding and external speaker monitoring, as well as Dolby Digital Plus with surround descriptive audio and stream mixing, which will evolve to 7.1 as broadcasters adopt the full cinematic experience.
56 / NOVEMBER 2012
The CAT1100 card brings to the PAM2 MK2 also allows Dialogue Intelligence Loudness Measurement, simultaneous Multichannel and Stereo outputs and selectable error concealment. www.tsl.co.uk
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?
PROUD TO HAVE BEEN A PART OF LONDON 2012 PIONEER OF HD PRODUCTIONS OUR FLEET IS READY FOR YOUR EVENT: booking@liveHD.ae
MOMENTS OF PASSION www.LIVEHD.ae