Al Jazeera has also used StudioBot's tracking data to produce AR/VR shows and segments.
As part of a studio upgrade that coincides with its 25th anniversary, Qatari news broadcaster Al Jazeera has installed a StudioBot XL robotic arm from MRMC instead of a manual dolly/crane-based workflow.
The technical team at Al Jazeera, based out of Doha, Qatar, was seeking a solution that can address the issues they were having with a crane’s limited range of motion, and manual operability, which inevitably led to inconsistent shots. Situated within the U-shaped Set-3 of the flagship Studio-5 of Al Jazeera Channel (Arabic), the StudioBot XL brings flexibility to the production, shooting instantaneous, pre-programmed shots via software tools.
Commenting on the benefits of the MRMC technology, Ahmed Marzouq AlFahad, Executive Director of Technology & Network Operations at Al Jazeera, said: “The technology team conducted a thorough alternative analysis comparing industry leaders’ solutions. We are pleased to have taken the step to deploy MRMC products within our new studios, which provide our audience with an innovative and unique experience.”
“MRMC’s StudioBot XL proved to be the perfect solution. MRMC has a rich history in developing camera motion technology that has become the de facto for the film and commercial industries. The StudioBot XL is the first-of-its-kind to be deployed at Al Jazeera. With a large operating envelope that offers superior visual creativity to traditional dolly systems and high payload capacity with the ability to carry full-size teleprompters, the XL allows the team to develop vivid shots that are aired in practically every show. The precisely smooth 9-axis-based movement is described by the Al Jazeera team as breath-taking while being intuitive and useful enough for the operators to adapt seamlessly to the system,” stated Al Jazeera.
One of the key advantages of MRMC’s robotic arm solutions is that they can be operated by a manual user giving complete creative freedom or they can be controlled by a studio automation system, in the case of Al Jazeera it is Mosart.
A press statement from Al Jazeera said: “MRMC’s expertise is reflected in its customer service. From the very first email and phone conversation Al Jazeera had with the sales team, to the live internet demonstrations that followed, the MRMC technical team was always approachable from the early phases of the project installation to go-live. Support requests were never an issue as the technical team was always reachable to help through phone, text, and even WhatsApp.”
The team also leverages StudioBot’s ability to provide tracking data that is used to produce AR/VR shows and segments. The tracking data that is being passed to the GFX systems is accurate enough to produce hassle-free tales, stimulating the crew to use MRMC as an integral part of their everyday operations.
The space is equipped with several video walls and is adjacent to the newsroom. Set-3 allows Al Jazeera to unleash the potential for a much more participatory story-telling production and brings the audience closer to the genuine experience.