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Broadcaster Amhara TV Brings HD to Ethiopia

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.— Ethiopian government-owned Amhara TV has selected Grass Valley to provide several solutions to build Ethiopia’s first HD terrestrial TV broadcast station. Grass Valley solutions will be used to outfit two HD studios and a master control room.

Amhara TV will be available both terrestrially and via the Nilesat free-to-air satellite service.

“This project with Grass Valley holds real importance for Ethiopia because it will offer our 50 million television viewers their first ever HD experience. With this in mind, it was crucial for us to select a partner we could trust and that could offer us the best HD solutions,” said Leykun Mekonnen, vice general manager and media technology head at Amhara TV.

Amhara TV selected six HD LDK 3000+ cameras for their flexibility and high picture quality, and a Kayak HD video production switcher for its advanced HD capabilities. The master control room will be based around a Grass Valley Maestro SD/HD branding and master control system for multichannel control. At the heart of the HD infrastructure will be a Concerto Series routing switcher with Prelude router control. A GeckoFlex Signal Processing System will provide the necessary modular platform for signal control, complete with an integrated browser-based control system.

While the majority of Ethiopia's television viewers use standard definition televisions, they will be able to benefit from the oversampling of HD-to-SD down conversion for improved picture quality over SD-originated programming.

“Africa is a key area of growth for Grass Valley, and it’s exciting to see our solutions being used by customers like Amhara TV to deliver new and better quality services to viewers in the region,” said Said Bacho, regional vice president of EMEA at Grass Valley.

With the assistance of local partners, Grass Valley is providing Amhara TV full systems integration service, training, project management, and ongoing consultation to ensure a successful implementation.