Music Plus deploys new SGI server

Dubai-based music station deploys SGI server to demonstrate its interactive features to other broadcasters in the region.

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By  Vijaya Cherian Published  April 19, 2004

Dubai-based music channel Music Plus, which was launched in February 2004, has deployed an SGI MSB video server at its premises in Dubai Media City. The station, owned by SGI partner Global Business Services, has deployed the solution to demonstrate the company's specialised interactive television (ITV) and playout automation software to other broadcasters in the region. "This server is built on the open architecture philosophy and is, therefore, the most stable system in the market according to us. Moreover, it enables the use of the same SDI video port to both play and record a video," says Patrick Marteau, IT manager, Music Plus. "At the same time, it also serves as a model for other regional broadcasters who might want to see the technical potential of this server. As GBS provides ITV services to clients here, this is a good way for us to demonstrate this solution to TV stations in the region.” The MSB video server is designed for all traditional broadcast applications, including acquisition, editing, play-to-air, commercial insertion, time delay and server-based news editing. It supports all popular broadcast digital formats such as MPEG-2, MXF, IMX/D-10, DVCPRO25/50 and MXF, and also offers unlimited storage capacity. Additionally, the music station has also built its own software ensure that it can meet the specific needs of the station. For instance, Music Plus allows viewers to vote for a song from the chart list by SMS. The song that gets the maximum number of votes then gets played on the station. This software, written inhouse, will gather all the messages, compile them and analyse which song got voted the most, and play it. While most servers are compliant with standard software applications in the market, SGI claims that its open architecture enables people to also build and customise their own software. This is possible because the SGI server has an MVCP protocol, which allows control of the server via the textual TCP/IP based protocol. GBS has used this facility to design a software and now has plans to commercialise this application and customise it according to the requirements of its clients. "Interactive television services are proving an important ancillary source of revenue for broadcasters," comments Marteau. "Formats such as Star Academy, Super Star and other shows with ITV enhanced features are becoming increasingly widespread and profitable. This would make it attractive for a broadcaster to have an automation software that can handle the display of ITV layers synchronised with programme content. We see that there is a need for such software in this market and have, therefore, decided to cater to it.”

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