As part of the largest implementation of TVU Networks’ gear in Egypt, the Cairo-based Arab News Agency (ANA) purchased more than 55 new and upgraded IP video equipment such as TVU One mobile IP transmitters and TVU Transceivers for its newsgathering operations. ANA will use TVU Networks equipment exclusively for all its cellular uplink and video delivery needs, including IP streaming.
ANA is a premier media production provider in the Middle East with a reputation for high-end technical innovation. The company provides media services, including newsgathering and distribution, to broadcasters in the Middle East and North Africa. TVU Networks’ equipment reseller in the Middle East, Broadcast & Studio Solutions (BSS), coordinated the sale.
“As a service provider, we need to provide our clients with the latest technology and cost efficiencies,” said Ahmed Sonbol, Deputy General Manager, ANA. “It’s our business to stay on top of the best-performing, most cost-effective technology for our customers. And when you’re shooting and transmitting breaking news 24/7 for those clients, the speed and reliability of your equipment is critical. With that in mind, we knew we needed TVU.”
ANA conducted a thorough competitive evaluation before switching from its previous cellular uplink providers to exclusively TVU Networks. According to Sonbol, one big benefit in TVU’s favor was the cost-savings of TVU Grid, TVU’s IP video switching, routing and distribution solution. With TVU Grid-enabled transceivers, ANA will reduce costs over its previous SNG set up, which required an on-site engineer, technician, camera crew, large amounts of equipment and the procurement of satellite time. With TVU Grid, a broadcaster can take a live video transmission from one location and share it with any number of Grid enabled stations in the world. TVU’s Transceivers power TVU Grid.
“With the abilities of our new TVU Grid, we can distribute signals cost effectively, which gives us a real competitive advantage,” said Sonbol. “With our previous system, we had to book time and send a crew, which is expensive. Now, if I have a press conference we’re covering for example, I just need one person with a TVU One unit at the site, send the signal to our TVU Grid, and we distribute it. And we can share that transmission with other clients.”
The TVU One mobile transmitters will be used in the field, delivering video content mainly for ANA’s breaking news and sports coverage. Sonbol points to the units’ HEVC-compatibility as another reason for their selection: “We’ll be upgrading our TVU One’s to HEVC when Egypt completes its network switchover from 3G to 4G. When the 4G switchover is complete, this will be fantastic for us.”
Sonbol also cited the ease of updating with TVU. When the time comes to upgrade ANA’s TVU equipment, it can all be done remotely as software updates compared to other vendors’ hardware-only updates.
Sonbol also points to the stability and quality inherent in TVU’s patented Inverse StatMux Plus (IS+) technology. Thanks to the IS+ transmission algorithm, TVU transmitters can simultaneously aggregate any combination of bandwidth mediums including cellular 3G/4G LTE, WiFi, Ethernet, Ka-band and Ku-band satellite, microwave, microwave mesh and BGAN and transmit HD quality video with half-second latency. “We’ve tested the IS+ with a low bandwidth signal,” said Sonbol. “It never cut out. The stability and picture quality are amazing. For us, with the largest number of cellular mobile uplinks units in Egypt, this is of utmost importance.”
The lightweight and compact size of the TVU One transmitters were another plus. “They’re much lighter and smaller than the uplink units we’ve been using for the past four years. Just one camera operator with TVU gear and a camera, and you’re all set.”
With TVU Grid, a broadcaster can take a live video transmission from one location and share it with any number of Grid enabled stations in the world. TVU Grid enables stations to take any video source, whether it be a SDI feed, IP video camera, Internet video, or a TVU transmitter and distribute the live video stream to any number of other Grid enabled locations with sub-second latency. TVU Grid’s simple to use interface gives users control over the switching and routing of video streams from anywhere on a network of Grid enabled locations.
The TVU Transceivers can accept multiple video streams from any IP-based video source as well as any TVU Networks video transmitter. TVU Transceivers offer an optional feature that allow users to take a live TVU transmission and output it to a third-party website or CDN. The live video is encoded into an IP format and can be sent to up to six different remote locations. Integration with Facebook Live can be added to TVU Transceivers for live video streaming to the network.
The TVU One live mobile IP transmitter with integrated HEVC compression replaced DMC’s existing TVU mobile units. Featuring TVU’s patented Inverse Statmux Plus (IS+) transmission algorithm, TVU One can deliver HD quality video with half-second latency at 3Mbps. It can transmit simultaneously over multiple mediums, including cellular, microwave, satellite, BGAN, WiFi and Ethernet.