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Imagine Communications Supplies Playout Platform for Alma TV

MOSCOW—Imagine Communications said it has implemented a compact, scalable playout platform at Alma TV, described as “the biggest cable television operator in Kazakhstan.” The new installation allows Alma TV to add four HD channels.

Alma TV offers more than 120 channels on its cable service, and last year decided to add four in-house channels. They will be available in both SD and HD. The challenge for systems integrator DNK Kazakhstan was that the cable operator’s technical facilities were already very crowded, requiring the system to be implemented in a single rack.

The Imagine Communications Versio integrated playout platform is integral to the installation. DNK specified six Versio units, giving Alma TV four main and two backup channels for maximum redundancy. Content is managed by a Nexio Motion intelligent media movement system, which creates automated processes to move and manage media across multiple devices, including the Versio systems. The system also includes a Platinum™ MX 32 x 32 router with integrated Platinum SX Pro multiviewer for monitoring.

Also incorporated into the turnkey solution is encoding. The Selenio MCP3 platform is providing 10 MPEG-2 and H.264 encoders to generate SD and HD outputs for each channel, including integrated loudness control. Selenio MCP also provides analogue audio support for commentators. Test and measurement equipment includes Videotek devices for signal control and an MSA-100 multi-source transport stream analyzer to monitor the encoded outputs.

“The move to creating and delivering our own channels was a new step for us,” said Alexander Trubin, head of playout for Alma TV. “We needed a packaged solution that would be absolutely reliable, with ironclad and automated redundancy. We challenged our systems integrator DNK to build it all in just a one-rack cabinet. Leveraging its experience implementing Imagine Communications’ solutions into broadcast facilities, DNK was able to meet all of our goals.”

“This is our first playout implementation in Kazakhstan, and the first venture into playout for Alma TV,” said Mathias Eckert, vice president of EMEA for Imagine Communications. “Our core Versio, Platinum and Selenio products have delivered a tightly integrated solution which provides automatic up- and down-conversion as required, along with the high level of redundancy the customer specified. We can accomplish this in a short period of time and in a compacted space to get the broadcaster on the air quickly while saving real estate, power and air conditioning.”

Engineers and operators from Alma TV have received training from Imagine Communications on the new system on-site in Almaty. Bulbul, the new music channel, is already on air. The other three channels will go live by the end of 2016.