Imagine Communications Supplies New Playout System to MBC Group

Imagine Communications MBC
(Image credit: Imagine Communications)

DUBAI—Imagine Communications recently worked with MBC Group, a media company serving the Middle East and North Africa, to implement a new playout infrastructure designed to protect revenue streams through multiple, interlocking redundancies and provide expansion opportunities.

The entire Imagine playout solution at MBC Group’s headquarters in Dubai Media City has been implemented in software running on COTS hardware. Imagine’s Versio modular playout system was key for the installation, enabling MBC to add new channels and functionalities without disrupting daily broadcast operations.

With Versio Graphics, MBC can use Adobe After Effects to create and modify sophisticated graphics in real time, including while on air. The touchscreen-based Versio Master Control Surface, meanwhile, provides live control functionality, simplifying and streamlining MBC’s workflow.

The addition of Versio is part of the first phase of MBC’s new playout center, which is now equipped to deliver 11 premium HD channels, with full N+N redundancy and seamless failover. Centralized control of the Versio playout channels, graphics and master control, as well as third-party devices, is handled by Imagine’s ADC automation. There is also the Versio IOX high-performance storage unit that delivers large-scale shared storage.

Imagine’s Nexio+ AMP video servers are used to manage content ingest with content workflows controlled using the Nexio Motion workflow orchestrator, in conjunction with the Versio IOX. The software-defined architecture provides interfaces to external workflows, including traffic and scheduling and data sources for on-air graphics.

The Platinum IP3 router from Imagine is also used to switch SDI source materials and live feeds. Imagine’s Magellan SDN Orchestrator software control system handles signal management and will allow for IP/SDI expansion in future phases.

“Our software approach means MBC can scale the solution almost infinitely, in terms of number of channels, it’s geo-diversity and, where required, additional functionality,” said Anas Hantash, head of Middle East, South Asia and North Africa for Imagine. “All this is a solution that comfortably meets MBC’s CAPEX and OPEX targets, while establishing a strong platform for growth in the future.”

The new playout system went online for MBC in March.