ATN Deploys Middle East's First Omneon MediaGrid

Located in Dubai Studio City, ATN is the home of MTV Arabiya.
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Arab Media Group (AMG) has selected an Omneon MediaGrid active storage system and Omneon Spectrum media servers as the foundation for a tapeless infrastructure for its television broadcasting company, Arabian Television Network (ATN).

Located in Dubai Studio City, ATN is the home of MTV Arabiya. This is the region's first deployment of the MediaGrid, which uses a grid-based architecture to provide active online storage.

"In Dubai, our approach is to implement the newest solutions first," said Maryam al Falasi, general manager of ATN. "Our market is growing at such a pace that we need to not only keep up, but lead."

"The fast processing and real-time scaling of both capacity and bandwidth on the MediaGrid were key factors in our decision to use it at the heart of our workflow," said Afzal Lakdawala, director of broadcast services at AMG. "In addition, the realities of our market mean we expect to enjoy fast growth, so the easy scalability of the Spectrum system was also key. As we have worked with Omneon, we have also appreciated the company's outstanding beginning-to-end service — all the way from workflow definition to installation, training, and support."

The workflow at ATN is being phased in, with full implementation set for April, 2008. At that time, Pro-Bel Morpheus automation will direct migration of media content from ingest on Omneon Spectrum servers to online storage on the MediaGrid where up to 27 TB will be available for editing from 10 seats of Apple Final Cut Pro. Spectrum servers will also provide six channels of SD playout. Transcoding will be performed by Anystream, subtitling by Softel, and graphics incorporation by Chyron. Harris Broadcast Master will execute presentation scheduling, and the archive will be managed by SGL's FlashNet.

ATN transmits programming to about 36 million households — an estimated 200 million viewers — in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, and other countries in the Middle East. It launched 24-hour MTV Arabiya in November 2007 and will launch Nickelodeon Arabiya and other new channels this year.