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Al Arabiya hands control to Lawo

Al Arabiya hands control to Lawo

Al Arabiya hands control to Lawo


The new fourth floor Al Arabiya studio in Dubai Media City has been equipped with a Virtual Studio Manager (VSM) Broadcast Control System from German manufacturer Lawo. The broadcaster is no stranger to Lawo’s technology, having already used VSM in previous years. In the newly modernised studio, the VSM solution is being used to provide control of the entire audiovisual infrastructure. In addition, a small radio studio has been created as part of the same project which hosts a 12-fader Lawo ruby console. The studio is part of the Saudi-owned Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC).

“When the decision was taken to expand the news production workflow across all studios, the Al Arabiya management placed a heavy weight on the system engineering,” explained MBC’s senior broadcast manager, Raed Bacho. “In the design phase, the engineering team was looking for enhanced system flexibility and accuracy that would ensure system redundancy and workflow expansion. VSM was the winner that fulfilled the goal; it became the core of the setup.”

The project kicked off in October 2019, when the Lawo project team met with representatives from systems integrator Diversified and Al Arabiya to discuss the studio’s concept and technical requirements. Lawo's project manager, Bernhard Brandner, is very pleased with how everything subsequently went. “The modernisation works and installations, which were started with great commitment in November, were completed on schedule with the final configurations at the end of January 2020. The expertise of the Diversified team when working on the development of the control system greatly advanced the design and implementation of the overall solution.”

Close to the finalisation of the project in February 2020, the Lawo team travelled to Dubai for intensive operator training and project acceptance. The broadcaster went live on air from the modernised premises on 4 March.

“The decision for Lawo was taken on account of the good reputation of the company and brand in the Arab states, based on the quality of the equipment and service,” explained Suhail Ahmed, CEO of Diversified Dubai and project manager for the Al Arabiya modernisation. “The reliability and flexibility of the Lawo systems were particularly decisive factors. These features made it easy to immediately meet any new requirements expressed by our customer during the run of the project. We were able to implement these largely cost-neutral as VSM already covers every aspect and we as the systems integrator and our customer, Al Arabiya, were very satisfied. A major requirement of Al Arabiya was also the ability to seamlessly scale the system, as the customer wants to carry out further modernisations and extensions in the future. With Lawo's VSM, Al Arabiya has certainly made the right decision.”

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