Al Jazeera deploys transcode platform at UK HQ

Broadcaster deploys Telestream solution in London premises
Al Jazeera London in located in The Shard.
Al Jazeera London in located in The Shard.

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Al Jazeera Media Network has deployed a Telestream Vantage transcode platform at its London news gathering, current affairs programming and live news output facility.

The system, which was installed by systems integration specialist, Danmon Systems, is a radical file-based technology upgrade.

Al Jazeera Media Networks broadcasts to over 220 million households in 100 countries, making smooth workflow essential. Its London news production centre, designed around super-fast file-based workflows, will provide a blueprint for every Al Jazeera Media Network facility worldwide, the company said.

Danmon Systems worked with Al Jazeera’s in-house specialists to create a fully redundant file-based workflow. It integrates Telestream’s Vantage Transcode Pro Connect, Analysis and Avid Advanced options running on GPU accelerated Telestream Lightspeed Servers, alongside an Avid news system and Arvato VPMS media asset management (MAM) system.

The Telestream Vantage transcode farm is used to ingest media into the news production workflow: its super-fast operation allows Avid editors to start editing while still ingesting news feeds such as Reuters and AP. Both media and associated metadata are ingested, transcoded and delivered to Avid Interplay PAM via Web Services, enabling staff to edit stories very quickly, referencing valuable metadata and growing H264 proxy and hi-res media files far quicker than before.

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“The workflow at the London facility is completely new and re-writes the rule book in terms of design, operation, speed and efficiency,” said Søren Bruun, operations manager at Danmon Systems Group.

“Vantage’s ability to very rapidly ingest media into the Avid system enables Al Jazeera staff to start editing stories and get them to air in the shortest time possible. Vantage’s ability to present a growing media file to the Avid newsroom system is a key component in achieving this.”

Danmon Systems started installing the news production and output system in the last quarter of 2014 and the system went live in February this year.

Al Jazeera Media Network reports that the workflow is operating beyond expectations and is providing major operating efficiencies. “In choosing our new platform for our worldwide upgrade to a modern file-based solution, Telestream was the obvious choice to provide our primary transcoding solution, using their proven Vantage solution on their innovative Lightspeed infrastructure,” said Feras Al Suliti, director of network operations at Al Jazeera Media Network.

“The tight integration between Vantage and our other vendors has proven invaluable, and now we have our solution working well in Europe, we look forward to bringing further innovations into our operation, and increased efficiencies as we continue to roll this platform out to our other sites.”

 

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