Qatar’s Al Araby TV moves its headquarters from London to Qatar and builds its infrastructure over IP by relying on Telestream

Al Araby is a general public television that operates the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The owner of the TV is a media investment company Fadaat Media. This Qatari company also owns the pan-Arab daily Al Araby al-Jadeed (“The New Arab”).

In 2021, Al Araby’s shareholder committee, in consultation with its board of directors and executive management, decided to move the station’s headquarters to a new building. They decided to relocate broadcaster’s headquarters from London to Lusail City, Qatar.

The new broadcaster center in Lusail City is based on an IP infrastructure, predominantly 25Gb with some 40Gb used in high volume areas. Around 10% of the system still relies on SDI routing. For example, feeds from several of the 35 cities Al Araby. A planned second phase of the relocation project is set to convert these feeds to IP as well.

“We are building one of the largest scale IP installations in the Middle East,” says Araby Director of Broadcast Operations & Creative Services Ali Husseini. “Perhaps in Europe and the United States this type of installation is more commonly implemented, but in the Middle East it is still limited. So it really gives us confidence to have a partner like Telestream in ou infrastructure – and we’ve expanded the use of their solutions to timing, monitoring, video file handling, video archive and content management.”

They needed PTP timing, so the broadcaster deployed Telestream SPG8000 Sync Pulse Generators and ECO8000 automatic changeover devices to serve as the Grandmaster and follower timing generators in both their studio and SDI areas.

Telestream PRISM waveform monitors are used in every technical area, edit suite, Master Control Room (MCR) and in Transmission at Al Araby. “IP is still new, and it can be complicated,” he says. “We needed waveform monitors that support both IP and SDI, and that are flexible enough to be used in different locations. PRISM was 100% compliant with our requirements for operational and technical areas: accuracy, reported data, and the flexibility of the profiles.”

Content management is a core element of the Al Araby system. There is an existing content archive in London, and this will be migrated to a new on-premise storage system in Doha. They have trusted in Telestream DIVA for this migration. In the second phase of the relocation project Husseini and his team will tackle the integration of cloud-based services with existing workflows. “We will look at DIVA to migrate existing archives to some kind of cloud storage: both the new local on-premise archive in Doha, which will be migrated from London to Doha, and then also from Doha as a secondary copy for long-term preservation into the cloud.”

Al Araby has also deployed a centralized Telestream Vantage Media Processing platform —three nodes running on Telestream Lightspeed G8 servers—. Vantage services provide media capture, transcoding, media metadata processing, media analysis and content assembly.

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