Bahrain goes digital

Bahrain TV has installed a new digital studio and kitted out its OB units with DV.

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By  Adam Bennett Published  February 6, 2001

Bahrain TV is gearing up for its digital transformation following the installation of its new production systems. The solutions, which are seen as a major step forward for broadcast in the Middle East form part of Bahrain TV's strategy to become a digital station within three years.

"We have introduced the Digital Betacam platform which will be integrated with the upgrade of the whole station to digital," explained Sami Muhana, Chief Engineer, Bahrain TV. "We are now in the process of selecting a consultant who will work with us on refurbishing our radio and television stations. Within three years we aim to digitalise all of our facilities, including transmission and studio production areas. During the next year we will be issuing tenders for the next phase of the transfer and planning the other phases of the upgrade."

Sony Broadcast and Professional Europe design ed and implement new digital studio, outside broadcast and electronic news gathering production systems. Bahrain TV sees the solution as a way of making more efficient use of production facilities in a way that fits in with its digital strategy.
"The reason we went for the package was so we could improve the quality of production," said Muhana. "Direct interfacing between the systems will now be much better due to the fact that they are digital and as a result this will form the basis of phase one of what will become the digital domain."
The new production system is based around Sony's Digital Betacam format. The system also takes advantage of non-linear editing technology in the form of Sony's Es-3 EditStation, which promises to provide a fast and versatile on-line editing platform.

A new digital studio is currently being installed featuring four Sony BVP-950P digital signal processing cameras, fitted with Canon lenses. It will also be home to 6 Digital Betacam DVW-A500Ps and 6 DVW-250 VTRs in order to record and edit camera feeds and other incoming lines along with feeding material to the ES-3 EditStation.

Betacam equipment was also delivered to field-based news crews and OB production staff ensuring continuity with the studio output. The crews will now be kitted out with Digital Betacam DVW-790WSP and DVW-707P camcorders as well as the portable DVW-250P VTR, which Bahrain TV expects to be able to cope with the country's harsh production conditions.
"The heat and humidity in Bahrain presents some of the harshest production environments in the world and we had to be certain that the equipment would perform reliably," said Muhana.

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