IBM provides digital media solution for Rotana TV

Rotana TV has extended its operations to launch a movie channel for Arabic movies to be broadcast in a digital format.

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By  Vijaya Cherian Published  October 21, 2004

Building on its Arabic music production and distribution capabilities, which now accounts for 75% of Arabic music market share worldwide, Rotana TV has extended its operations to launch a movie channel for Arabic movies to be broadcast in a digital format. To manage the launch, distribution and archival of this content, Rotana has selected IBM to provide it with a digital media solution. Rotana needed a comprehensive solution to enable the multiple use of its rapidly expanding media assets, starting with its existing 1200 feature films. New services will initially include one channel, expandable to a multi-channel broadcast centre, based on IBM’s open standards. The solution is designed to provide future services like DVD authoring, e-commerce, SMS services, video on demand services, and sales to other channels. “We have chosen IBM to help us deliver our movie offerings worldwide because of their business insight and open standard technology. IBM will provide Rotana with the availability, dependability and reliability our customers demand,” says Dr Hala Sarhan, regional manager, Rotana TV. The primary asset addressed in the Rotana project is film, which goes back to the start of the Egyptian Film industry in the early years of the century; consequently, the quality of many famous old movies is imperfect and needs restoration. This has been integrated into the design of the system in line with the most stringent guidelines of known restoration techniques. In effect, this ensures that the highest level of detail is extracted from the film and used as the permanent reference, enabling further restoration now and in the future, without being limited to the bounds of current technology. Also, the architecture used has been selected to provide high levels of availability, dependability, and reliability. IBM will be responsible for implementing the initial phase of the channel automation and film preservation archiving project by providing a solution that enables storage, indexing, search, retrieval, management and on-air broadcasting for video media assets. In addition, the vendor will also train Rotana’s local staff to manage, administer and support the system. The scope of the solution implementation for Rotana includes installation and configuration that integrates the capabilities of IBM’s Digital Media Infrastructure systems (servers, storage, LTO Tape library, TSM/HSM, GPFS) and Ardendo video automation software, to automate the process of video capture/ingest, editing, scheduling, indexing, search, retrieve and broadcasting. This is in addition to the Cintel DSX-Digital Film Scanner and Restoration system OLIVER and the Broadcast automation systems based on AVECO and IBIS. “Today’s customers are looking for technology that is easy to use and delivers the required flexibility in an-on demand world,” says Steve Canepa, vice president, IBM Global Media & Entertainment Industry. “We are delighted to work with Rotana to provide it with IBM’s digital media solutions so that they can focus on their core business.”

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