September 15, 2020

Quick delivery of integrated disaster recovery solutions based on software-centric, IP-ready workflows

DUBAI, September 15, 2020 – Imagine Communications has extended its strong relationship with Saudi Broadcasting Authority (SBA) by implementing five playout disaster recovery (DR) sites to ensure the broadcaster’s business continuity in the event of any disruption. Each of the five DR sites uses a condensed version of Imagine Communications’ IP-ready technology that SBA implemented at its main playout center in Riyadh. The main playout center recently went on air with 12 fully redundant HD channels.

“Business continuity is an increasingly important consideration for broadcasters, who want to be assured of delivering to their audiences at all times,” said Hatim Abounassf, vice president for engineering affairs for the Saudi Broadcasting Authority.  “Our plan was demanding, with five disaster recovery sites, so we needed a technology solution that was efficient and scalable and could support synchronization across our whole network, without adding to our workload. Imagine’s technology had all the hooks for synchronization already available, so we could implement our sophisticated fallback plans easily, quickly and seamlessly. Commonality with our main playout center also gives us the advantage of eliminating the need for training for our operators and engineers as they move around.”

Geographically dispersed around the Kingdom, these DR sites use highly resilient, software-centric architecture running on COTS hardware from HPE.  Each site can deliver five premium channels, together with any associated advertising streams, to ensure business continuity.

All five DR sites comprise two Nexio+™ AMP® video servers, each with six bidirectional channels, backed by Versio™ IOX NAS with 75TB of storage to enable quick and easy access to content while preserving operational efficiency. All COTS servers maintain on-air reliability while running under the control of Imagine’s ADC™ playout automation, one of the most widely used, proven and respected systems in the industry.  Nexio® Motion™ asset management software keeps content in perfect synchronization between the playout center and each disaster recovery site. This ensures that, should any disruption occur, failover will be immediate and transparent.

In addition, a Platinum™ router with integrated SX Pro multiviewers handles monitoring and signal delivery, and Selenio 6800+™ infrastructure modules provide additional processing power. The whole architecture is duplicated for redundancy at each individual site to ensure SBA avoids any interruption in their operations.

Anas Hantash, head of Middle East, South Asia and North Africa at Imagine Communications, said, “In the past, adding disaster recovery to playout automation was a major undertaking. Now, with the Imagine software-centric architecture, we could quickly and easily implement SBA’s complex requirements of a 12-channel center with five DR facilities, spread across the country, and each capable of managing five premium channels. Our systems provide completely automated and intelligent synchronization of content, allowing SBA to rely on the five remote sites to take over any or all channels, at any time, transparently to the viewer.”

The new DR infrastructure was implemented at SBA by Imagine Communications in partnership with First Gulf Company and was available from April 2020.
The whole playout infrastructure at Saudi Broadcasting Authority, including the five disaster recovery facilities, won the 2020 Digital Studio Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Workflow” for its integrated playout project delivered by Imagine Communications.

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About Imagine Communications
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 revenue enablement 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 close to a third of global ad revenue. 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.