Al Arabiya TV News Modernizes Dubai Facility With Lawo’s VSM Broadcast Control System

Al Arabiya, 24/7 TV news broadcaster for the Arabic-speaking world, recently modernized the fourth floor of their facilities in Dubai Media City. The broadcaster, part of the Saudi media group “Middle East Broadcasting Center” (MBC), is now equipped with production technology, controlled by VSM (Virtual Studio Manager) Broadcast Control System from Lawo.

The renovation also included the interior design of all studios, editorial areas and control rooms on this floor. In the new look, all functional units are grouped together in two mirrored semicircular complexes, characterized by a futuristic design in a full circle. The system integration was carried out by Diversified, who shortly before the project started had taken over the original system integrator TSL Dubai.

Lawo is no stranger to Al Arabiya as it has used Lawo’s VSM technology already in the past years. In this project, the TV broadcaster progresses into a new dimension with a comprehensive VSM system for the control of the entire audio and video infrastructure in the modernized TV news complex. In addition, a small radio studio has been created which hosts a Lawo ruby with 12 faders that is in service since the modernized broadcast facilities went on-air in spring 2020.

“Al Arabiya management put more load on the system engineering when the decision was taken to expand the news production workflow across all studios, in the design phase the engineering team was looking for enhancing the system flexibility and accuracy that ensures our system redundancy and workflow expansion. VSM was the winner that fulfilled the goal; it became the core of the setup”, explains Raed Bacho, MBC’s Senior Broadcast Manager.

Due to the detailed preparations, the project went according to plan. The project was set on track when the Lawo project team met with representatives from Diversified and Al Arabiya in mid-October 2019 for discussing the concept and for the technical kick-off.

Lawo’s project manager, Bernhard Brandner says: “The modernization works and installations, which were started with great commitment in November, were completed on schedule with the final configurations at the end of January 2020.” He continues: “The expertise of the Diversified Team when working on the development of the control system greatly advanced the design and implementation of the overall system. As project manager of our Al-Arabiya project, I could experience all the trades working together hand in hand so that problems could not even manifest themselves. Everything ran smoothly.”

Close to the finalization of the Al Arabiya installations, the Lawo team travelled to Dubai in February 2020 for intensive operator training and project acceptance. After the project was successfully completed at the end of February, Al Arabiya went on air from the modernized premises on March 4th.

“The decision for Lawo was taken on account of the good reputation of the company and brand in the Arab states, based on the quality of the equipment and service,” explains Suhail Ahmed, CEO of Diversified Dubai and Project Manager for the Al Arabiya modernization. “The reliability and flexibility of the Lawo systems were particularly decisive factors. These features made it easy to immediately meet any new requirements expressed by our customer during the run of the project. We were able to implement these largely cost-neutral as VSM already covers every aspect and we as system integrator and our customer Al Arabiya were very satisfied. A major requirement of Al Arabiya was also the ability to seamlessly scale the system, as the customer wants to carry out further modernizations and extensions in the future. With Lawo’s VSM, Al Arabiya has certainly made the right decision.”

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