April 7, 2013

Turnkey DVB-T2 project sees Harris Broadcast supply headend and transmitters to Sahara Media for the nation’s first free-to-air digital broadcasting

Sahara Media Group, the leading independent media company in Tanzania, has announced its intentions to develop a wide-ranging digital television service across the country. Enabling this service is a DVB-T2 transmission network from Harris Broadcast including multiple DTV transmitters, over-the-air encoding and multiplexing systems, and test and measurement products to analyze signal integrity and compliance. The project also includes Harris Broadcast infrastructure and support equipment.

In Mwanza, Harris Broadcast has installed a complete video headend based around the Selenio™ media convergence platform to reduce complexity and costs, and dramatically increase flexibility and scalability. Selenio will initially perform the compression, multiplexing and conditioning of one national multiplex of 10 services to broadcast free-to-air. The next phase will add two more multiplexes, each combining free-to-air and encrypted services, making a total of over 50 channels. The configuration will also include Selenio XD conversion modules to perform the critically important task of processing all services prior to compression, further enhancing the service offering of Sahara Media Group.

From the headend in Mwanza the transport stream is distributed by microwave to the transmission sites, each equipped with Harris Broadcast Maxiva™ digital television transmitters. The system uses a DVB-T2 Gateway, which enables a direct connection from Selenio to the transmitters with a resulting reduction in system complexity. Initially the network will cover the main cities in the country, including Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Arusha, Mbeya and Dodoma. Later in the year the network will bring extended services to many other parts of the country, and will also include main contribution links back to the Mwanza main headend for regionalized DVB-T2 services.

“The strategy of the Sahara Media Group is to present the best quality television and radio to our audiences,” said Dr. Anthony Diallo, chairman and CEO of Sahara Media Group. “Harris Broadcast was capable of delivering the complete turnkey solution, and with the high performance, reliability and quality we demand.”

Maxiva UAX air-cooled UHF solid state transmitters, installed at four sites in 1kW and 2kW configurations incorporate Harris Broadcast PowerSmart® and Apex M2X™ multimedia exciter technologies, with PowerSmart ensuring that power consumption is among the lowest in class. The high-powered Dar es Salaam transmitter is a 3.4kW Maxiva ULX, which retains all the technical advances of the UAX in a liquid-cooled architecture.

Harris Broadcast Videotek® MSA Series products will enable file-based signal analysis and monitoring of multi-source DVB-T2 services coming off the transmitters, ensuring that the entire signal path is maintained at the best possible quality and bandwidth efficiency.

Additional Harris Broadcast equipment installed includes a Platinum™ router, 6800+™ signal processing modules, and HView™ SX Pro multiviewers integrated within the router, all under the control of the Harris Broadcast Navigator™ management system. The Navigator functionality extends to the transmitter sites to maximize control and operational efficiency across the system.

“Tanzania is the latest in a string of African nations to transition from analog to digital TV services country-wide,” said Harris Morris, CEO, Harris Broadcast. “A viable digital over-the-air service, particularly DVB-T2, needs to focus not only on efficient transmitters but reliable encoding and networking equipment to ensure delivery of multiple high-quality services across very large areas. Tanzania is trusting Harris Broadcast to comprehensively support their national DTV transition with pristine quality and more over-the-air services.”


About Harris Broadcast 
Harris Broadcast is an industry leader in delivering the most advanced, content-rich media experiences available for a wide spectrum of radio, television and private media networks around the globe. With more than 25 leading brands including Versio™, Selenio™ and Maxiva™, the company enables media organizations to tap into one of the broadest, integrated product and solution portfolios in the industry. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, the company is widely recognized for its product quality and reliability, engineering excellence and customer service, and has earned nearly 100 technological firsts and more than 50 awards for technical innovation. For more information, please visit harrisbroadcast.com.

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portatif of Steve Reynolds


Steve Reynolds

Steve Reynolds is President of Imagine Communications, a global leader in multiscreen video and ad management solutions that broadcasters, networks, video service providers and enterprises around the world rely on to support their mission-critical operations.

Steve brings 25 years of technology leadership in the video industry to Imagine Communications. He has served as the CTO at Imagine Communications and Harris Broadcast, Senior Vice President of Premises Technology at Comcast, Senior Vice President of Technology at OpenTV, and CTO at Intellocity USA.

Steve earned a MS in Computer Engineering from Widener University and BS in Computer Science from West Chester University. As the Chairman of the AIMS Alliance and a member of SMPTE and SCTE, he has participated in numerous standards-making bodies in the cable and digital video industries. Steve also holds over 40 patents relating to digital video, content security, interactive television and digital devices.