August 31, 2023

SMPTE ST 2110 system with Imagine IP processors, multiviewers, UHD playout and automation to optimize operational efficiency across state-of-the-art new facility

Imagine Communications is providing next-generation production and playout facilities for Rudaw Media Network, as part of the broadcaster’s transition to an all-new, state-of-the-art headquarters complex. The transformative infrastructure will be built using SMPTE ST 2110 IP connectivity, providing 4K UHD capabilities for production and playout in a highly agile and scalable architecture that will offer Rudaw operational and cost efficiencies across the network. The new installation will go live in early 2024.

Headquartered in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish region of Iraq, Rudaw Media Network is a broadcaster dedicated to providing independent information in English, Kurdish, Arabic and Turkish. The network’s transformation roadmap entails migrating its operations to a new, eight-story complex that will house multiple studios and TV channels supported by IP infrastructure and 4K UHD playout and master control facilities. Working with systems integrator WAVE Media Solutions, Imagine is providing the complete IP playout automation and master control infrastructure, including multiviewers, UHD conversion processing, network orchestration and routing control.

“When we launched our channels 10 years ago, we were the first network in Kurdistan and Iraq to broadcast in HD,” says Hejar Berenji, CTO at Rudaw Media Network. “Today, our move to a greenfield site is the perfect opportunity to maintain that pioneering spirit by migrating to IP and 4K UHD. That is just part of our goal to create a channel and content that is engaging and relevant to our audiences by insisting on the highest professional standards.

“Imagine’s state-of-the-art broadcast technology will, I believe, make a substantial contribution toward our organization’s mission to impart information and facilitate communication, by empowering journalists and producers to seamlessly translate their visions onto the screen. Through the inauguration of this world-class, new facility, we are underscoring our ongoing technological leadership and affirming our commitment to maintaining a leading position within the industry.”

The new infrastructure at Rudaw Media Network will use a Cisco fabric for SMPTE ST 2110 IP connectivity. To ensure seamless integration of SDI and IP equipment, Rudaw will use Imagine’s award-winning Selenio™ Network Processor (SNP) as a convenient and compact gateway ― providing 128 configurable SDI/IP ports in just 4RU. This function is only one of many critical applications the uniquely configurable SNP will support within the new facility.

SNP is a highly versatile media processing platform with functionality that can be changed virtually and instantaneously by simply loading the appropriate software. At Rudaw, multiple SNPs will be deployed throughout the new facility, providing all core functionality from audio/video processing and synchronization to up/down/cross-conversion ― even supporting as many as 40 UHD multiviewer layouts with 180 inputs. With SNP easily field-upgraded as new functionality is developed or business requirements change, Rudaw will look to incorporate the new Master Control Lite (MCL) personality into the next phase of the build, which adds branding, graphics, master control and even dual downstream keying ― all in ST 2110, all in software and all in perfect UHD.

Rudaw’s channel origination workflow will be built on Imagine’s industry-proven Versio™ integrated playout platform and widely deployed ADC™ automation, supporting three UHD output channels and a preview channel ― all fully redundant. Featuring ST 2110 UHD I/Os, advanced graphics and master control capabilities, the Versio playout devices will provide both channel delivery and ingest into a 252TB Imagine IOX high-availability NAS storage solution, forming a seamless, end-to-end content management ecosystem.

Imagine’s powerful, operator-centric Magellan™ Control System will simplify management and operation of the entire workflow, from production and ingest through master control and playout. Essentially the “brain” of the system, Magellan Control provides a single point of management, automation and monitoring across the entire infrastructure ― including the Cisco switches, Vizrt graphics, Tektronix test equipment and other third-party broadcast equipment ― making the whole operation seamless and intuitive. Redundancy across the network ensures that every aspect of the new installation is highly reliable.

“Imagine’s relationship with Rudaw Media Network dates back more than a decade and has continued to strengthen through multiple upgrades and advancements,” said Anas Hantash, head of Middle East, South Asia and North Africa at Imagine Communications. “We are proud that Rudaw trusts Imagine ― both as an innovative technology provider and a transformation partner ―and we look forward to taking the next step in their exciting journey.”

Zaid Wattar of WAVE Media Solutions added, “We are delighted to partner with Rudaw on this end-to-end IP project and will work closely with the company’s engineering team and Imagine’s support team to ensure a smooth transition to IP connectivity and 4K UHD.”

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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.