Imagine Communications boosts productivity at Al Aan with playout, storage refresh 

Imagine Communications boosts productivity at Al Aan with playout, storage refresh 
November 15, 2017 Meriam Khan

[15 November 2017]

Dubai-based broadcaster upgrades playout chain to increase capacity, flexibility and resilience

Pictured: Anas Hantash, director of sales MENA at Imagine Communications (left) with Raad Haddadin, head of engineering and support at Al Aan TV (right)

Imagine Communications, empowering the media and entertainment industry through transformative innovation, has provided playout and storage technology critical to Al Aan TV’s expansion of its current operations. Following the installation, the free-to-air broadcaster, based in Dubai and serving a female-skewed audience with news and entertainment in Arabic, has enhanced its playout chain to provide full redundancy and much greater production and delivery capabilities.

Al Aan, seeking a technology refresh that would further support its already strong social media presence, has been working with Imagine Communications, which assisted the broadcaster with a transition to file-based HD production, since 2014. The most recent engagement provided Al Aan with a state-of-the-art unified delivery platform, while converting the original system to a fully redundant backup chain.

Central to the new Al Aan playout centre is a shared storage network using three Nexio+ AMP™ servers for a total of 18 HD ports. Included in the fiber-connected network is a Nexio® PRX transcoder and media gateway. This allows the system to provide a fully integrated previewing tool, creating proxy files much faster than real time. For live transmission services, Al Aan relies on Versio™ IOX high-performance online storage that is specifically designed for broadcast and production facilities. Imagine’s widely deployed ADC™ automation platform is also a key component of the installation.

“Our services are extremely popular and we are growing rapidly, and that has called for significant investment in new technology and systems,” said Raad Haddadin, head of engineering and support at Al Aan TV. “Imagine Communications has proved to be a valued technology partner, and by working with the company to extend our playout facilities we get the workflow gains we sought, along with the ability to provide a complete backup chain which provides channel redundancy with zero downtime.”

Anas Hantash, director of sales for the MENA region at Imagine Communications, added: “our Dubai-based engineering team provided on-the-ground support to achieve Al Aan’s goals. It also assisted with the implementation, and continues to provide support for the future. This underlines the importance of committing to key markets with a real presence.

“We have watched with excitement as Al Aan has grown, providing a ground-breaking approach to news and consistently popular entertainment, and it is satisfying to continue to support that growth with technology with the capacity to evolve to meet Al Aan’s future requirements for connectivity and social interaction.”

The new systems were implemented in the summer of 2017 and are now on air.