Newtec Equips ASBU for First HD Olympics

Middle-Eastern and North African members of the award-winning MENOS-ASBU exchange service set to broadcast Olympics in HD

The Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) announced today that it has selected Newtec to upgrade its members’ infrastructure to bring the first fully High Definition (HD) Olympic Games to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

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The infrastructure upgrades will allow the ASBU members to receive the live Olympic multilateral feeds and news channels in HD and will also turnaround the HD signals to provide SD simultaneous broadcast (simulcast). The Olympic content will be injected into the central archive of the ASBU Multimedia Exchange Network over Satellite (MENOS™), allowing members to access the content at a later time and eliminating the need for each member to individually archive all feeds. This will result in significant cost reductions and operational streamlining.

Slaheddine Maaoui, ASBU Director General, said: “The Olympic Games have always been major milestones for us, for the introduction of new platforms, technologies and services. London 2012 will be the first HD Olympics for many of our members, together with comprehensive MENOS simulcast, content archiving and playout."

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MENOS multimedia network was officially launched by ASBU in January 2009. The award-winning platform supports multiple simultaneous managed exchange services for use by broadcasting organisations throughout the MENA region.

"The HD upgrades for the Olympics will benefit the ASBU MENOS users way beyond the games themselves," said Serge Van Herck, CEO of Newtec. "The improvements in satellite efficiency and video compression allow the ASBU and its members to benefit from higher quality HD services without any need for additional satellite bandwidth, keeping the operational costs under control."

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Many of the video and audio services have been developed to meet the exacting needs of the broadcasting industry and now will enable other great sporting events to be enjoyed in best quality throughout the region.

"The Olympics HD upgrade is part of an on-going process of service expansion and improvement, to address the future broadcast transmission needs of our members and regional users," Maaoui added.

About ASBU
The Arab States Broadcasting Union is a professional, non-profit organisation. It groups all the Arab governmental radio and television corporations. Since 1996, membership has been extended to Arab privately owned radio and television channels. ASBU has also been joined by non-Arab, foreign radio and television corporations as Affiliate Members. It holds an outstanding place among international and regional broadcasting unions with which it has strong professional relations.

ASBU always has accorded a major importance to developing and promoting news and programs exchange between its members and strived hard to implement technical frames of leading-edge technologies to support its exchange activities. ASBU has always been very active in negotiating and acquiring TV rights for major sport events on behalf of its members. It also offers a wide range of professional services. ASBU offers its services to a large number of other Arab and international broadcasters.

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About Newtec
Newtec is a global industry leader, shaping the future of satellite communications. Offering state-of-the-art products and scalable, integrated solutions for broadcast, broadband access and backbone and trunking applications, Newtec helps customers achieve greater efficiency, increase performance and expand market reach.

With its passionate commitment to R&D and its strong relationship with the European Space Agency (ESA), Newtec remains in the forefront of technological development, continuing the pioneering contributions that have led to industry standards including DVB, DVB-S2, DVB RCS and iSatTV Cenelec pr EN50478.

Newtec’s worldwide customer base includes the industry’s most prestigious broadcasters, satellite operators, telcos, systems houses and broadcasting unions. Established in 1985 and headquartered in Belgium, Newtec has regional offices as well as additional R&D centres located in Stamford, Conn. (U.S.), Singapore (Singapore), Beijing (China), Dubai (UAE), São Paulo (Brazil), Berlin (Germany) and France.

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