x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

ADMC upgrades hardware for EPL kick-off

Abu Dhabi Media Company has made a multimillion-dollar purchase of technology to build the region's largest tapeless production facility in preparation for the launch of its premium television offering this summer.

Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC) has made a multimillion-dollar purchase of technology to build the region's largest tapeless production facility in preparation for the launch of its premium television offering this summer. ADMC, which owns and publishes The National, announced in January that it planned to roll out an encrypted television channel as one of three distribution platforms for the English Premier League (EPL), for which it bought the regional rights last year.

"We are providing the products, solution and services that will put everything together for ADMC to launch the new channels," said Said Bacho, the managing director of Middle East for Harris Corporation, the US company that sold the technology. It includes channel branding systems, master control switchers and graphics management software for its master control and transmission facility in Abu Dhabi. It is a completely digital system, which saves time and money by eliminating the need for dealing with tape, Mr Bacho said.

"The whole installation will be [high definition] and it can be 3D-ready," he added. While ADMC has not yet announced the details of its plans for its new premium encrypted television offering, it has said it planned to offer content in high-definition, or HD. "In June, all our platforms will become HD," said Ahmed al Menhali, the director of broadcast technology at ADMC. "For example, the EPL project will be in HD, along with other sports."

ADMC has long been a client of Harris, which provided the technology for its digital archiving system as well as for some of its TV channels. ADMC's channels include Abu Dhabi Al Oula; Abu Dhabi Al Emarat; Abu Dhabi Al Riyadiya, its sport offering; and its newest addition, National Geographic Channel Abu Dhabi. It also broadcasts an HD channel through e-Vision, Etisalat's internet protocol TV service.

Mr Bacho would not disclose the size of the purchase, but called it "a multimillion-dollar project". "It will be the region's largest tapeless facility," he said. "With that, you are enhancing integration and workflow, so you can save a lot of money and time for engineers and operators." khagey@thenational.ae