November 15, 2017

Dubai-based broadcaster upgrades playout chain to increase capacity, flexibility and resilience

Imagine Communications, empowering the media and entertainment industry through transformative innovation, has provided playout and storage technology critical to Al Aan TV’s expansion of its current operations. Following the installation, the free-to-air broadcaster, based in Dubai and serving a female-skewed audience with news and entertainment in Arabic, has enhanced its playout chain to provide full redundancy and much greater production and delivery capabilities.

Al Aan, seeking a technology refresh that would further support its already strong social media presence, has been working with Imagine Communications, which assisted the broadcaster with a transition to file-based HD production, since 2014. The most recent engagement provided Al Aan with a state-of-the-art unified delivery platform, while converting the original system to a fully redundant backup chain.

Central to the new Al Aan playout centre is a shared storage network using three Nexio+™ AMP® servers for a total of 18 HD ports. Included in the fiber-connected network is a Nexio® PRX transcoder and media gateway. This allows the system to provide a fully integrated previewing tool, creating proxy files much faster than real time. For live transmission services, Al Aan relies on Versio™ IOX high-performance online storage that is specifically designed for broadcast and production facilities. Imagine’s widely deployed ADC™ automation platform is also a key component of the installation.

“Our services are extremely popular and we are growing rapidly, and that has called for significant investment in new technology and systems,” said Raad Haddadin, head of engineering and support at Al Aan TV. “Imagine Communications has proved to be a valued technology partner, and by working with the company to extend our playout facilities we get the workflow gains we sought, along with the ability to provide a complete backup chain which provides channel redundancy with zero downtime.”

Anas Hantash, director of sales for the MENA region at Imagine Communications, added: “our Dubai-based engineering team provided on-the-ground support to achieve Al Aan’s goals. It also assisted with the implementation, and continues to provide support for the future. This underlines the importance of committing to key markets with a real presence.

“We have watched with excitement as Al Aan has grown, providing a ground-breaking approach to news and consistently popular entertainment, and it is satisfying to continue to support that growth with technology with the capacity to evolve to meet Al Aan’s future requirements for connectivity and social interaction.”

The new systems were implemented in the summer of 2017 and are now on air.

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Imagine Communications empowers the media and entertainment industry through transformative innovation. Broadcasters, networks, video service providers and enterprises around the world rely on our optimized, futureproof, multiscreen video and ad management solutions every day to support their mission-critical operations. Today, nearly half of the world’s video channels traverse our products, and our software solutions drive nearly $50 billion in global ad revenue for our customers. Through continuous innovation we are delivering the most advanced IP, cloud-enabled, software-defined network and workflow solutions in the industry. Visit for more information, and follow us on Twitter @imagine_comms.

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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.