Growing a news agency from the inside out


Lorna Garrett TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online

Growing a new media outlet in todays highly competitive market requires taking a strong look at the new ways media is being consumed. Many of the most successful recent startups are community focused, often finding a niche market that wants to be engaged in a way they perceive themselves. Al-Araby TV is a London-based news and current affairs satellite channel that has set out to do just that for Arab citizens.

Al-Araby was first launched in January 2015. Although based in London, it operates globally, with journalists in more than 20 countries bringing breaking news stories to its TV and website audiences. The organisation expanded rapidly, resulting in a move from its original home in Stockley Park to a new studio facility in North West London.

As part of its multi-million pound conversion of several existing industrial units into a studio, production facility and headquarters, Al-Araby required state-of-the-art technology throughout the facility. Beyond an open main studio with a galleried landing that allows for multi-shoot capability, they also wanted to apply their technological vision internally. They needed a scalable IPTV solution that would let them deliver 22 news and content channels within their site to 150 PCs and 30 screens located all around the new building.

However, also among the most important elements for Al-Araby was for their own team to be able to manage all of this while keeping technical and operational overhead as low as possible. Our team at Garland worked closely with Al-Araby to help build a cost-effective, end-to-end solution that met all their needs ¦ and more.

Keeping flexibility in content choice

The content for the channels is sourced from satellite and terrestrial DVB feeds and in-house channels. A flexible, high-density, cost-effective DMM DVB head-end from Teracue converts DVB satellite and terrestrial feeds to IP from 16 separate transponders. They can update this choice of channels at any time to add new channels or replace existing ones via a web interface.

An additional six DMM DVB satellite blade enables an SDI output of the most essential channels to be fed directly in to the studio for monitoring as well as adding more IP channel throughput for their IPTV system. Housed in two 4RU racks, with dual redundant power supplies, Al-Alraby has room to expand the DVB services using existing capacity and by adding more blades to the modular system.

Up to 12 in-house channels from both HDMI and SDI sources are converted to H.264 IP transport streams for presentation to the network using Teracue's powerful, compact ENC-400 encoders mounted in a single 1RU chassis with redundant power supplies. We knew this setup would meet Al-Arabys requirements for minimal rack-space and low power consumption.

Keeping bandwidth under control

Distribution is over Al-Arabys internal IP network using multicast transport stream delivery in order to reduce network bandwidth congestion on already heavily used network. To optimise the quality of channels on the Al-Araby network and stick to a strict bandwidth budget, Garland provided the Genova Live transcoding software solution from Keepixo. The solution runs on a blade-based Kontron SymKloud 2RU industrial-grade computing platform harnessing Intels VCA encoding performance.

To distribute the 22 channels of HD content to Al-Araby's 150-member team, we made use of Teracue's X-Player software application. X-player provides an easy- to-install, lightweight player application that runs on PCs. Users can access a channel list and easily select the channels they require. To provide high-quality playout across the entire facility, we also worked with the organisation to link 30 TV screens to Amino Aminet 140 HD H.264 set-top boxes.
Creating a video centrepiece

In keeping with the desire for the latest in technology, Al-Araby asked for an addition that wasnt in the original plans. They wanted a video wall that could show any of these content channels simultaneously, with key channels being in a larger screen format than other channels. High quality and reliability were vital components of any solution, but it also needed to be highly functional and cost effective.

Teracue's iCue GRID platform provided just the answer needed. Powered by a GRID Controller and GRID Processor, 16 HD channels can be presented at the same time to a large video wall within the main studio, showing channels in any combination and any layout. Management of the channel selection and layout is quick and simple through the GRID Controller interface, with seamless change of layout possible, including the ability to schedule changes as the day progresses. Al-Araby can increase their video wall capability from the original two video walls and 16 streams by simply increasing the number of GRID-Processors and GRID Stream licences, which allows them scalability in the future. This result has not only met all the requirements, but has proven to be a beautiful centrepiece for this new facility.

Al-Araby successfully made their first broadcast from the new facility on the 24th of July, says Lyes Meghriche Head of Operations Al-Araby TV. Garland's breadth of products, covering content acquisition, repurposing, distribution and play-out enabled us to work together to provide a total end-to-end solution for Al-Araby.


Tags: iss128 | gpl | garland | al-araby | teracue | x-player | amino | aminet | icue | Lorna Garrett
Contributing Author Lorna Garrett

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Garland at BVE 2017

    Garland at BVE 2017

  • Garland Partners at BVE 2012

    Garland Partners at BVE 2012

  • Garland showcase at BVE 2019

    Garland showcase at BVE 2019

  • 4k and HEVC with Garland at BVE 2018

    4k and HEVC with Garland at BVE 2018

  • Garland Partners at BVE 2016

    Garland Partners at BVE 2016

  • Teracue IQ Grid and Media Excel shown at BVE 2018

    Teracue IQ Grid and Media Excel shown at BVE 2018

  • Teracue ICUE-GRID Video Wall at IBC 2017

    Teracue ICUE-GRID Video Wall at IBC 2017

  • Teracue ICUE-GRID and MC-ROUTE at IBC 2016

    Teracue ICUE-GRID and MC-ROUTE at IBC 2016

  • The Teracue Application Cloud show at IBC 2018 (German version)

    The Teracue Application Cloud show at IBC 2018 (German version)

  • The Teracue Application Cloud show at IBC 2018

    The Teracue Application Cloud show at IBC 2018

  • Teracue MC-TRANS Live Encoder at IBC 2017

    Teracue MC-TRANS Live Encoder at IBC 2017

  • Teracue encoders at IBC 2016

    Teracue encoders at IBC 2016

  • Teracue auf IBC 2016 (Deutsch version)

    Teracue auf IBC 2016 (Deutsch version)


Related Shows
  • KitPlus TV 16th June 2020

    KitPlus TV 16th June 2020


Articles
Connect A Broadcast-Quality Miniature Camera To Your Computer!
Spencer Doran Upgrade any home working or live streaming setup with a broadcast-quality professional webcam
Tags: webcam | marshall | CV503 | USB | ZOOM | Streaming | Spencer Doran
Contributing Author Spencer Doran Click to read
Virtualising your Playout
Alison Pavitt

The buzz around virtualised playout is exponentially growing with increased deployments. But questions remain about the economic, logistical and technical benefits to the end user.

Conversation has shifted and amplified, with the debate around the private/public cloud escalating and new cloud-native solutions entering the market. So, what do you need to consider today if you are thinking about virtualising?

Tags: iss142 | playout | pebble beach | cloud | Alison Pavitt
Contributing Author Alison Pavitt Click to read or download PDF
How to engage students with live projects
Martin Andrews For many employers, how and what we teach at university is sometimes considered to be very mysterious. The responsibility for creating the structure and content within the curriculum is the responsibility of academics. In my experience, the best method for making sure that students and staff are kept up to date with current working practices is to regularly engage with ‘Live’ projects and ‘Real’ clients.
Tags: iss142 | ccitv | university portsmouth | charles haskell | vlogs | Martin Andrews
Contributing Author Martin Andrews Click to read or download PDF
An Argument for the Z Cam
Jake Ratcliffe Z Cam first dipped their toes into the cinema camera market back at NAB 2018 with the release of the E2 and since then they have proven themselves as one of the go-to camera manufacturers for affordable and unique camera solutions. Their family of cinema cameras has since evolved into a set of 6.
Tags: iss142 | cvp | cvpgroup | micro four thirds | e2c | zcam | full frame 6k | tilta | smallrig | 8sinn | zacuto | rvlvr | Jake Ratcliffe
Contributing Author Jake Ratcliffe Click to read or download PDF
Why Routing Control
Mark Davies Routing control sits at the very heart of all advanced control systems. A well-configured system that manages signal routes throughout a facility and groups multi-level actions into a single control surface allows for much richer and focused production. Using one-touch panels, operators could route video, audio and data signals between the various elements of a network, perhaps to route a camera signal to a vision mixer, as well as through other processors, before it arrives at its destination. Users could adopt routing control to trigger an external event, a complete reconfiguration of a multi-router setup, route several sources simultaneously, or make set routes or multiple routes via a single button press.
Tags: iss142 | es broadcast | tsl products | remote production | tallyman | Mark Davies
Contributing Author Mark Davies Click to read or download PDF