Sky News Arabia Airs with a Fully Integrated EVS Workflow

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Sky News Arabia, the sister channel of Sky News in the Middle East and North Africa, was officially launched this spring, powered by a fully integrated EVS workflow. The 24-hour Arabic news service broadcast out of Abu Dhabi from a state-of-the-art production facility.

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Sky News Arabia is a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corporation and BSkyB, which also runs Sky News in the UK. The free-to-air rolling news channel is being transmitted in both SD and HD across the region, and is available on multiple platforms including tablets and smartphones.

Content is ingested and recorded natively as DVCPRO HD codec files on EVS’ XS media servers, with 32 recording channels dedicated to the incoming feeds. These feeds are scheduled with the SchedulAll system and then monitored by Miranda’s iControl system. Streamed on an EVS XStoreSAN, feeds are available both in high and low resolution (H.264 TS), allowing all newsroom users to instantly access media on the near-line storage for editing and playout.

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The XStoreSAN is a central storage platform with a capacity to store up to 3,000 hours of DVCPRO HD material at 100 Mbps. Using EVS’ IPLink, craft editors working with Apple Final Cut Pro can search for content stored on the XStoreSAN via the IPDirector database, and edit the selected content directly from the central storage. The edit suites are equipped with an EVS export plug-in which allows craft editors to export completed packages to the central storage, as well as to the XS media servers for playout.

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Journalists and multiplatform production teams at Sky News Arabia use Xedio CleanEdit to prepare news bulletins and reports. The non-linear editor from EVS enables users to make rough-cut edits in low resolution directly on the XStoreSAN. Moreover, Xedio CleanEdit also supports multiple formats and different aspect ratios on the same timeline. As a result, users can swiftly shape content and push it to post-production for advanced editing or to the galleries for playout.

Playout operations are managed with Avid’s iNEWS Newsroom Computer System (NRCS) and EVS’ XS media servers, which provide four redundant playout channels. The integration between iNEWS and EVS’ IPDirector through MOS protocol support and the Active X plug-in, allows content and associated metadata stored on the XStoreSAN to be accessed and added – with a simple drag and drop – to the rundown list. In addition, any running order managed from the iNEWS client interface is automatically kept up to date on the IPDirector. Sky News Arabia also uses an XT3 server with an LSM - Live Slow Motion - remote control panel for fast turnaround review of events and time-slip operations.

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Using EVS’ IP2Archive, a media manager selects media files stored on the XStoreSAN and stores them on LTO tapes for archive. As soon as the file is on tape, the hi-res file is then erased from the central storage. Media on LTO tapes can also be restored on the central storage via the same interface.

“EVS was a reliable partner during the launch of our first news HD project in the UK in 2010. Its technology has helped us speed up and optimise our newsgathering operations, which is why we decided to continue our collaboration for the launch of Sky News Arabia,” said Bevan Gibson, launch technical director.

Sky News Arabia Presenters

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Dominic Baillie, chief technical officer, Sky News Arabia: “EVS provides reliable technology that’s designed for fast turnaround of content which is essential to a breaking news channel like Sky News Arabia. The level of support we have received from EVS through the design, launch and live phases of the channel has been and continues to be high. It is very encouraging to see a key partner pro-actively investing time and resources to fulfil their part in our success.”

About EVS
EVS designs leading broadcast and media production systems for sports, news and TV entertainment. Its innovative Live Slow Motion system revolutionised live broadcasting and its reliable and integrative tapeless solutions are now widely used for non-linear editing and 3D HD productions across the globe.
The company's dedicated systems offer a complete production platform: live slow motion (LSM), super and ultra slow motion, clips creation, fast turnaround editing, production and archive asset management, time delay, multi-camera and multi-feed recording, logging, live graphic analysis, digital transmission, multi-format ingest and play-back, second screen delivery. Main software applications like the IPDirector® or MulticamLSM® are designed to control the industry's most robust and flexible production platform, the XT series server. The world's leading broadcasters, such as NBC, BSkyB, FOX, RTBF, RTL, NHK, CANAL+, ABC, ESPN, TF1, CCTV, PBS, CBS, BBC, ZDF, Channel One, Channel7, RAI, TVE, NEP, MEDIAPRO, EUROMEDIA, BEXEL, ALFACAM and many others use EVS' solutions.
The company is headquartered in Belgium and has offices in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America. Approximately 400 EVS professionals from 20 offices are selling its branded products in over 100 countries, and provide customer support globally.

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