Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dubai Media Inc. makes live TV history using VISLINK’s cellular diversity technology

DUBAI, UAE: Dubai Media Inc. (DMI) has deployed the city wide wireless camera solution during the opening of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building in the Gulf emirate of Dubai.

Dubai Media achieved a technical feat that many in the region would have thought impossible by providing live coverage of this most prestigious event, January 4th 2010, from several locations within a very short space of time by roaming with just one camera and a LINK L1500 transmitter.

The technical solution was made possible because DMI has invested in an advanced RF network for its wireless camera operations enabled by VISLINK’s Cellular Diversity technology to facilitate newsgathering in and around the city centre. It is the first network of this kind in the Arab speaking world.

The city wide wireless camera solution was also installed by VISLINK and comprises a wireless camera system which transmits low power signals to a portable repeater system. This can be rigged on a building, car, boat or helicopter as required. This then re transmits the signal at high power to the diversity receive system at the Dubai World Trade Centre and back to the DMI studios. Dubai Media Incorporated can use any standard professional broadcast camera fitted with the LINK L1500 transmitter operating at 7GHz.

Hassan Chahine, Chief Technical Officer, speaking for Dubai Media, says: “We acquired the system because we could see that it would enable us to capture live events directly from the streets of Dubai without using much effort or resources to set up prior to going live. However, we have been surprised at the power and reliability of the system following the successful deployment during the high profile event. The VISLINK solution enables us to capture live pictures in a short interval of time that would not otherwise be possible.”

Mather Al Ali, Vislink’s General Manager for the Middle East and North Africa says: “Dubai Media is the first broadcaster in the Middle East region to benefit from this technology, their investment makes them true innovators. The equipment that is installed has huge potential all over the Middle East. It can be upgraded to HD in future through a simple onsite software license key.

“The system allows Dubai Media to cover most of the city with a live high quality contribution link through a simple wireless camera. Indeed the wireless camera does not even need to have a line of sight to the fixed receive site. The technology offers unparalleled operational and total cost of ownership benefits to the users which we believe will allow for more live coverage resulting in greater viewer market share.”

The traditional way to set up such a broadcast requires several engineers to operate antennas and dishes and carries the risk of losing the video signal because of human error. In contrast, the VISLINK Cellular Diversity solution is easy to use. The receiver covers an area within a certain radius of the antenna. Within this area a camera operator can move around freely with the camera and the signal will be received at the centre.

The concept uses a feature of COFDM wireless technology that enables digital signals to bounce off the surfaces of tall buildings in the City Centre, and reach the receiver even if there is no direct line of sight.

VISLINK has installed over 40 such networks around the world and Dubai is the first city in the Middle East and North African region to benefit from this transformational newsgathering technology.

DMI is a pioneering media organization focused on innovation, quality and working in line with the strategic objectives of the Government of Dubai. Under its umbrella, DMI comprises a number of print, radio and TV channels including: Dubai TV, Al Bayan newspaper, Sama Dubai, Dubai One, Dubai Sports, Dubai Racing, Noor Dubai Radio & TV, Emarat Al Youm, Emirates Business 24|7, and Masar Printing Press.

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