DMI recently upgraded its SD studio to a HD facility with 3G support. BroadcastPro Middle East was given an exclusive tour of the newly-upgraded facility State broadcaster Dubai Media Inc. (DMI) has upgraded one of its Standard Definition (SD) studios (Studio C) to a full-fledged High Definition (HD) facility with complete 3G support. The upgraded […]
DMI recently upgraded its SD studio to a HD facility with 3G support. BroadcastPro Middle East was given an exclusive tour of the newly-upgraded facility
State broadcaster Dubai Media Inc. (DMI) has upgraded one of its Standard Definition (SD) studios (Studio C) to a full-fledged High Definition (HD) facility with complete 3G support. The upgraded studio became operational last month. The multi-million dollar project is part of the broadcasters overall strategy to achieve 3G/HD functionality across DMIs technology department in the next couple of years. The upgrade was completed earlier this summer by Dubai-based systems integrator Qvest Media.
As part of the upgrade, the studio is equipped with Grass Valleys 3G LDK 8000 world cam series along with Snells Kahuna production switcher and Miranda multi-viewers. Although equipped with eight cameras, the facility is wired for ten camera chains and can support a further two if required. The studio recording and playback is also wired to enable expansion to a tapeless solution with integration to DMIs Avid ISIS 7000 central editing system for ease of editing and playback of programmes.
The upgraded facility includes a large working space for each operational area with state-of-the-art audio and video monitoring that can display full HD 1080P signals. The spacious work area was included for operational convenience.
The objective was to install a state-of-the-art full HD TV production facility that will enable all DMI channels to produce high-quality content, explains Omar Alzoubi, chief engineer, Broadcast Systems, Dubai Media Inc.
This is also the start to moving all of DMIs channels from SD to HD in a phased manner. Creating content in HD will help us to realise this objective. We replaced our old SD cameras and gallery equipment with full HD studio equipment that supports 3G specs. The main objective in choosing this equipment was to ensure the best quality possible, to work with ease in a multi-format environment of SD, HD and 3G, and move seamlessly between formats and aspect ratios. This will afford more flexibility for production from this studio as we are beginning our HD migration, where a mixed standard environment is inevitable.
At the same time, we had to ensure that the technology was future proof. As of date, the best broadcast quality is possible and achievable through HD 1080P, 3G broadcast equipment and systems. We have chosen future-proof systems.
All of the hardware for the cameras, vision mixer, router and multi viewer are located in the central apparatus area. This also houses the video, audio and data patch panels, Waveform Rasterizers and high-quality video/audio monitoring kit. The studio floor is equipped with Grass Valleys LDK 8000 cameras while the Snell Kahuna 360 vision mixer, Sonys HDCAM SR VTRs, RCPs, the Miranda multi-viewer, VIZRT solutions and teleprompters are located in the studio gallery. The audio control room is kitted out with an SSL C100 audio mixer.
While the studio will be used to produce HD content that enhances the present quality of recording and transmission, DMI will also now be able to create HD archive material for all of its channels that produce programmes from this studio.
Afzal Lakdawala, who was recently promoted to head of Technology Planning & Projects at DMI says the studio is the first step to achieving our long term goal of producing and preserving our content in HD.
Alongside this project, we are also implementing a tapeless workflow as the output of the studio will be recorded on our central ISIS production server and once recorded, it will become immediately available for further editing on Avid Media Composer. This studio is the first step towards achieving our HD tapeless workflow across the technology department. The remaining studios at DMI will also be converted to HD in a phased manner. Also, the transmission chains for DMI channels will be migrated to HD to ensure we have a complete end-to-end HD workflow from production all the way to transmission.
The entire installation along with the cabling supports 3G. The output of the gallery records directly onto an ISIS storage for tapeless recording. ISIS is connected with eight Avid Media Composers for further editing and hence, the entire workflow from acquisition to editing is tapeless.
The studio supports 3G, HD and SD signals. But looking at our workflow, we are presently working on HD using IMX 50 for HD production but the aim is to ultimately produce 1080P content for which we might shift to a better file format in the near future, explains Lakdawala.
Extensive training was provided so that the existing team could work on the new system.
The only new workflow that required more attention and training was the tapeless recording and further processing of the media. This was undertaken successfully, explains Alzoubi.
DMI under its new CEO for Strategy, Technology and Executive Affairs, Mohammad Saeed Al Shahi has explored an aggressive overall broadcast strategy for the next five years and we hope to see that project materialise in phases.