Showtime relocates headquarters to DMC
Showtime is relocating its headquarters and broadcast centre operations from London and Cairo to Dubai Media City. The first phase of the project, which will see the migration of operations from Cairo to Dubai will be completed by June this year.
Showtime is relocating its headquarters and broadcast centre operations from London and Cairo to Dubai Media City. The first phase of the project, which will see the migration of operations from Cairo to Dubai will be completed by June this year. The move will consolidate the network’s broadcast operations which are currently split between a purpose built facility at the MTV/Viacom studios in Hawley Crescent, London, and a complementary uplink centre at 6th October City, Cairo.
“The system has already been pre-built and tested in London … and now it has been dismantled and is on its way to Dubai. In the next couple of weeks, we’ll have the containers here and it will then be re-installed at the DMC network operations centre,” commented Simon Dore, Senior Vice President, Technology & Operations, Showtime.
DMC will provide up-link services for 19 Showtime channels to two transponders on the NileSat 102 satellite, with services to a third transponder being added in the future. The broadcast centre is claimed to be the first turnkey DVB head-end project in the Middle East using satellite technology. The primary broadcast elements include an NVOD playout and satellite system enabling 16-channel delivery over a single multiplex and the capability to introduce a range of interactive entertainment services.
“Our objectives and business benefits from this move were clearly specified. The new system had to be cost effective and provide a more reliable broadcast platform while delivering additional capacity to allow for an expanded bouquet of services,” commented Dore.
The entire solution has been integrated by Sony Professional Services, which has used several vendors’ solutions including Digital Video Broadcast systems from Harmonic, central server and ingest operations hardware from Omneon and playout automation equipment from Pebble Beach Systems. Ingest and playout automation is provided by Pebble Beach Systems which interface to the Omneon servers, the pro-bel router, VTRs and MSA Focus traffic system
“A partnership approach to systems integration is key to success. Sony demonstrated the experience required to coordinate the different products and technologies from a variety of specialist manufacturers,” commented Dore.
The system comprises one main controller, one backup controller and changeover switch, three client stations and one housekeeper with SQL server database. Drivers are included to control three VTRs, 15 ports of an Omneon video server and 12 logo inserters by GPI. Twelve playlists are included for multi-channel playout. The clients are multi-functional and can be used for ingest and playout.
The 50,000 square feet facility will also house the network’s headquarters operations including sales and marketing activities and advanced call centre and online customer service functions.