SMPTE ST 2110 system with Imagine IP processors, multiviewers, UHD playout and automation to optimise operational efficiency across the network’s new facility.
Rudaw Media Network has embarked on a transformative journey with a brand-new headquarters complex, and Imagine Communications has provided state-of-the-art production and playout solutions for the facility. The infrastructure will leverage SMPTE ST 2110 IP connectivity, unlocking 4K UHD capabilities for both production and playout. This dynamic and scalable architecture promises enhanced agility and efficiency while delivering substantial operational and cost benefits to the Rudaw network. The new setup is set to become operational in early 2024, marking a significant milestone in Rudaw’s technological advancement.
Headquartered in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdish region, Rudaw Media Network is an independent news network serving English, Kurdish, Arabic, and Turkish audiences. As part of its transformation, the network has relocated its operations to a modern eight-story complex. This hub will accommodate multiple studios and TV channels, harnessing the power of advanced IP infrastructure and 4K UHD playout and master control facilities.
In partnership with systems integrator Wave Media Solutions, Imagine Communications is at the helm of deploying a comprehensive IP playout automation and master control infrastructure. This encompasses an array of functionalities, including multiviewers, UHD conversion processing, network orchestration, and routing control.
Commenting on the development, Hejar Berenji, CTO at Rudaw Media Network, said: “When we launched our channels 10 years ago, we were the first network in Kurdistan and Iraq to broadcast in HD. Today, our move to a greenfield site is the perfect opportunity to maintain that pioneering spirit by migrating to IP and 4K UHD. That is just part of our goal to create a channel and content that is engaging and relevant to our audiences by insisting on the highest professional standards.
“Imagine’s state-of-the-art broadcast technology will, I believe, make a substantial contribution toward our organisation’s mission to impart information and facilitate communication, by empowering journalists and producers to seamlessly translate their visions onto the screen. Through the inauguration of this new facility, we are underscoring our ongoing technological leadership and affirming our commitment to maintaining a leading position within the industry.”
The infrastructure at Rudaw Media Network will utilise Cisco’s fabric for SMPTE ST 2110 IP connectivity. Ensuring a smooth integration of SDI and IP equipment, Rudaw will leverage Imagine’s Selenio Network Processor (SNP) as a compact gateway, boasting 128 configurable SDI/IP ports in a compact 4RU form factor. This function is only one of many critical applications the configurable SNP will support within the new facility.
SNP, a versatile media processing platform, can adapt functionalities instantly via software updates. At Rudaw, multiple SNPs will be deployed throughout the new facility, providing all core functionality from audio/video processing and synchronization to up/down/cross-conversion ― even supporting as many as 40 UHD multiviewer layouts with 180 inputs. With SNP easily field-upgraded as new functionality is developed or business requirements change, Rudaw will look to incorporate the new Master Control Lite (MCL) personality into the next phase of the build, which adds branding, graphics, master control and even dual downstream keying ― all in ST 2110, all in software and all in perfect UHD.
Rudaw’s channel origination workflow will be based on Imagine’s Versio integrated playout platform and ADC automation, facilitating UHD output channels, while the Magellan Control System will streamline management across the ecosystem. Featuring ST 2110 UHD I/Os, advanced graphics and master control capabilities, the Versio playout devices will provide both channel delivery and ingest into a 252TB Imagine IOX high-availability NAS storage solution, forming a seamless, end-to-end content management ecosystem.
Imagine’s operator-centric Magellan Control System will simplify management and operation of the entire workflow, from production and ingest through master control and playout. Essentially the “brain” of the system, Magellan Control provides a single point of management, automation and monitoring across the entire infrastructure ― including the Cisco switches, Vizrt graphics, Tektronix test equipment and other third-party broadcast equipment ― making the whole operation seamless and intuitive. Redundancy across the network ensures that every aspect of the new installation is highly reliable.
Anas Hantash, head of Middle East, South Asia and North Africa at Imagine Communications, stated: “Imagine’s relationship with Rudaw Media Network dates back more than a decade and has continued to strengthen through multiple upgrades and advancements. We are proud that Rudaw trusts Imagine ― both as an innovative technology provider and a transformation partner ―and we look forward to taking the next step in their exciting journey.”
Zaid Wattar, Managing Director of Wave Media Solutions added: “We are delighted to partner with Rudaw on this end-to-end IP project and will work closely with the company’s engineering team and Imagine’s support team to ensure a smooth transition to IP connectivity and 4K UHD.”