While the Middle East broadcast industry has endured a slowdown in the past couple of years, broadcasters are making headway in terms of moving towards IP-based systems, according to Anas Hantash director of sales for the MENA region, Imagine Communications.
“For the last two years the market was a little bit slow because of the economy. We can see now it is picking up. All the customers are now asking questions about these technologies, new trends and where they are in terms of virtualisation. Previously their question was ‘what is virtualisation and cloud’ whereas now they are talking about where they are in the cloud,” Hantash told Digital Studio.
He added that with spending picking up slightly, customers increasingly appear to be interested in technology that can reduce their total cost of ownership while also allowing them the ability to move their entire facility to virtualisation and the cloud.
“In the long term somehow for clients it’s an opex model more than capex model and that helps them to grow their business amid the challenges they are facing. We can see the customers are exploring who is the right partner to work with.”
Hantash added that broadcasters in the Middle East have started adopting IP-based technologies more quickly than expected. “The impression a couple of years ago was that this technology will take at least 10 years to be in the Middle East but it has caught on much quicker than expected.”
Interestingly, these changes also mean that broadcasters must modify the set-up of their in-house expertise. “It is a mixture between broadcast engineering and IT; I can see some of the clients now forming broadcast IT department to exchange knowledge. The best idea is to create a department in to adapt such technologies and see how flexible and scalable it is,” he said.