Imagine Communications Powers IP Contribution and Distribution Networks for Omantel Broadcast Services

Imagine Communications has completed a major upgrade for Omantel, the national and leading telecoms company of Oman.

These latest enhancements significantly boost the performance and resiliency of Omantel state-of-the-art contribution and distribution networks, which rely heavily on the Selenio™ Media Convergence Platform (MCP) from Imagine Communications.

Omantel was the launch customer for the Selenio MCP, which enables media companies to combine baseband digital audio and video and compressed and uncompressed IP media signals into common workflows. Omantel leverages the power and flexibility of the Selenio MCP to operate a highly agile network linking 55 sites over dedicated fibre providing high-quality HD contribution and distribution services to studios and transmission centres across the country. The same platform also supports backhaul operations for remote productions, including sports and national events.

The new project upgrades Omantel’s operations from outdated transmission technology to Synchronous Optical Networking (SONET) and Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) through the addition of networking modules to the Selenio MCP, which supports both digital video and long-distance connectivity over fibre in the same 3RU chassis. The result is mission-critical, real-time video transport based on open standards over both media and telecoms networks.

The Selenio MCP solution’s support for baseband and IP protocols enables Omantel to use a single device for both SDI and MPEG-2 transport streams on the broadcaster side, significantly reducing operational complexity. Signals are encoded or transcoded as needed for cost-optimizing the Omantel fibre network, while helping to ensure resilience through redundant paths.

In addition to feeding all terrestrial transmitters in Oman, the telco’s network provides contribution circuits for live broadcasts, such as sports and major public events, to the broadcasting centre. This makes for an extremely reliable solution while reducing operational costs typical of traditional links vehicles from remote areas. Where live coverage is required from a location outside of Omantel’s extensive coverage area, Imagine Communications has provided portable kits to extend the network.

“Our goal in designing this network was to meet the quality and reliability requirements of our clients in a very cost-effective way, using open telecoms standards,” said Said Abdullah Al Ajmi, vice president of operations at Omantel. “Imagine Communications was our preferred partner as they possess the broadcast technology, the interfaces to telecoms standards, the vision to create the network we sought and the local support to work with us to deliver excellence consistently. The core platform has performed exactly as we had hoped, and we continue to work with Imagine to extend the capabilities to meet our clients’ demands.”

Anas Hantash, director of sales for MENA at Imagine Communications, added: “With this groundbreaking deployment, Omantel is seizing the opportunity that real-time IP connectivity offers, and they are building out a network that takes advantage of the latest in telecoms techniques to deliver very high standards of resilience and consistency. Our Selenio MCP provides the perfect bridge between SDI and IP, as well as telecom and broadcast, ensuring that Omantel’s broadcast customers get the quality and reliability they demand.

“We continue to work closely with Omantel,” Hantash added. “This year’s project to upgrade the network modules is just one way we are striving together to achieve ever better standards of performance.”

The upgrade was carried out in the third quarter of 2017.

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VITEC’s Award-Winning Video Wall Capability for EZ TV on Display at InfoComm 2018

At InfoComm 2018, VITEC, a worldwide leader in advanced video encoding and streaming technologies, will showcase the new, award-winning video wall capability for EZ TV, the company’s market-leading and broadcast-grade IPTV and digital signage platform, as well as its expanded HEVC ecosystem.

In booth N1928 at the Las Vegas Convention Center June 6–8, VITEC will demonstrate how the video wall solution is designed to simplify deployment and management of projects involving IPTV, digital signage, and video wall content, while delivering a breathtaking visual experience.

The new EZ TV video wall processors are 100-percent hardware-based, feature low-latency native playback of IPTV streams up to 4K, and support interactive content, video, and imagery transformations. More than 50 displays on up to four unique walls can be managed from a single processor, including nonstandard layouts and resolutions of TVs and LED walls. A truly future-proof and comprehensive platform, EZ TV supports both H.264 and H.265 (HEVC) formats in resolutions all the way up to 4K, together with AES encryption for secure content delivery.

“We’re looking forward to this year’s show,” said Mark D’Addio, senior vice president of sales and marketing at VITEC. “Our video wall capability for the EZ TV Platform offers IPTV and signage services that make it the system of choice for many organizations that are building new facilities or upgrading existing venues. With the expansion of our HEVC offering, VITEC now provides a full ecosystem of encoding and decoding solutions that fit a wider range of applications and requirements. Our goal is to empower our customers with a versatile and robust streaming system that can help them leverage the phenomenal bandwidth savings of advanced HEVC compression.”

Also on display at InfoComm 2018 will be the all-new MGW Diamond Encoder and VITEC Playout Server as part of the company’s state-of-the-art HEVC video distribution solutions. The MGW Diamond is a power-efficient, portable quad-channel HEVC and H.264 HD/SD encoder with the smallest footprint in its class.

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It is ideal for multichannel broadcast applications with stringent size, weight, and power requirements, with the ability to capture up to four 3G/HD/SD-SDI or composite inputs and output up to eight streams simultaneously. The Playout Server manages, captures, and previews IPTV-protected streams transmitted from any location and distributes them within a target network, whether for rebroadcast, video-on-demand, or any other application.

It enables high-quality, low-bandwidth, and reliable contribution over the internet, eliminating expensive and rigid fiber or satellite transmission infrastructure and dramatically reducing operating expenses.

VITEC will also display its point-to-point/point-to-multipoint HEVC streaming offering, featuring the award-winning MGW Ace hardware-based HEVC encode/decode solution. Using VITEC’s second-generation 4:2:2 10-bit HEVC codec (Gen2), the compact, powerful streaming appliance features unmatched video quality and highly efficient bandwidth compression. The built-in advanced stream protection guarantees reliable video distribution over any network, including the internet.

In addition, VITEC will showcase its powerful, multisite streaming solution for houses of worship, now integrated with Renewed Vision’s™ ProVideoServer™ video playout and ingest server. This integration allows churches to easily record one or more high-quality encoded streams from the main campus, complete with embedded time code and multichannel audio, and play back those streams at the satellite campus at any time.

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