The American University in Cairo Prepares for  a HD Future with ATEM


The American University in Cairo is revamping its curriculum as the country prepares for HD broadcasting. Faculty and students in the Kamal Adham Center for Television and Digital Journalism, starting in September will have access to a broadcast grade HD television studio built around Blackmagic Design products, including the ATEM 2 M/E Production Switcher and ATEM 2 M/E Broadcast Panel.

Founded in 1919, the American University in Cairo is a liberal arts institution offering a range of undergraduate and post graduate courses. Its Masters program in Television and Digital Journalism, offered by the Kamal Adham Center, is a comprehensive program that teaches hands on skills in the field of news reporting, from writing and production to camera operation and video editing.

The addition of a second studio means faculty can expose students to new HD workflows, providing them with the knowledge they’ll need for a successful career in broadcast journalism. Products integrated within the new studio were supplied by Wahsh Engineering and the upgrade program is being led by Rania Aboul Wafa, assistant director of operations and engineering services at the Kamal Adham Center for Television and Digital Journalism.


Blackmagic’s ATEM 2 M/E Production Switcher and ATEM 2 M/E Broadcast Panel will be used to switch between multiple camera sources; including a total of six HD-SDI and SD-SDI studio cameras, several external campus cameras and a graphics playout system. Sources will all be monitored via eight Smartview HD rack mounted monitors.


At the heart of the upgrade is a distribution system built around Blackmagic’s OpenGear Converters. Providing conversion and cross conversion from SDI, HDMI, Analog and Audio, it will link the new facility with the universities existing SD television studio.

“Building a new HD production facility was a major priority for our department in 2013, as we are responsible for preparing our students to work in a modern newsroom environment. The world of television is changing and Egypt is gearing up for HD content. In order for our course to remain relevant we had to create an appropriate studio environment for our graduates to learn in,” said Aboul Wafa. “The addition of a broadcast quality mixer and control panel was essential because we want our students to be familiar with the typical layout of a studio switcher and the ergonomics of the ATEM 2 M/E Broadcast Panel from Blackmagic has been developed to do just that.”


“The inclusion of SuperSource was another big plus for the ATEM switcher. Not only does it allow students to do picture in picture, but it also allows them to add layered compositions for multi camera interview segments from both studio facilities and the other campus cameras,” she concludes.

About Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and film restoration software for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability, while the company’s DaVinci Emmy™ award winning color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including stereoscopic 3D and 4K workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore, and Australia.