Sharjah TV upgrades infrastructure for HD Future

Systems integrator Media Group International (MGI) has completed a major infrastructure project for Sharjah TV, upgrading its Avid storage and redesigning its network infrastructure to enhance operations.

Recently celebrating its 25th anniversary, the UAE-based broadcaster has marked this milestone with a switch to high definition broadcasting and over the next few months will HD coverage of a wide range of cultural events tying in with its home region's current status as Islamic Cultural Capital of the Arab region for 2014.

The Avid upgrade was at the heart of the switch, a requisite act to provide additional storage for current production work and to ensure that Sharjah TV was ready for the new format.

The project—which began at the start of 2014 and tackled in two phases to ensure that there was no downtime and MGI stayed within the specified timeframe and budget—involved upgrading Sharjah TV's Avid Interplay Central system and increasing the broadcaster's storage capacity from 48TB to 768TB. MGI and Avid also redefined and engineered the broadcast workflow to ensure a smooth transition to HD and to provide Sharjah TV with a fully tapeless operation.

Explained head of broadcast IT Aisha Alzareef: "MGI worked closely with us to ensure that this complex series of upgrades happened in a smooth and cohesive manner. We had to implement these changes in a very tight timeframe and were impressed that MGI managed the whole process so effortlessly, without any interruptions to our broadcast schedule. We were also grateful to MGI for ensuring that third party software from companies like Vizrt, FlipFactory and DivaArchive was upgraded in line with these changes."

"Sharjah TV is committed to technological developments and professionalism," added Sharjah Media Corporation director general Khalid Al Medfa revealing the rationale for the upgrade. "This commitment enhances performance and maintains an approach that is consistent with the ambition of Sharjah in its quest to achieve leadership in various fields. There is no doubt that the transition to high definition TV broadcast is an important step for Sharjah TV in providing modern and cutting edge coverage. The move sheds light on our unlimited support that will lead to advancements in the media sector and highlights our leadership in this field."