News Production & Post

Harris expands MBC installation

26 July 2007

Harris has announced a major upgrade project at MBC, the Pan-Arab, free-to-air, multichannel satellite broadcaster in Dubai, which has seen the company install its Broadcast Master airtime sales and scheduling system and H-Class ADC playout automation system at the company, writes Fergal Ringrose.

The project at the MBC facility, which includes upgrading Broadcast Master to the latest version 8 software, involves a significant expansion of the existing Harris system in place that supports the broadcaster’s tapeless workflow from content intake through programme production and on-air playout.

“We have been using Broadcast Master airtime sales and scheduling system for many years, as it provides a complete, modular, scalable business system that allows us to efficiently and cost-effectively manage our commercial processes from planning to playout,” said Omran Abdullah, operations manager, MBC. “The system provides us with specialist application modules to manage planning, content and material acquisition, presentation, scheduling and library management at our facility. Because our business systems are now completely automated, Broadcast Master has enabled us to realise substantial cost benefits.”

Abdullah continued: “The close integration of the ADC playout automation system with Broadcast Master allows us to maintain data consistencies and improve data movement throughout our digital workflow – from production to playout. The upgrade and expansion have provided us with greater flexibility and efficiencies across all our operations.”

Broadcast Master version 8 offers enhanced features such as auto-schedule of programmes, secondary events, commercial spots and interstitials, as well as support for sponsorships, alternate event periods, programme and interstitial placeholders, programmes-in-programmes, virtual programmes and HD channels. In distributed digital production environments, enhanced integration among Broadcast Master, the playout server and the ADC playout automation application automatically reconciles data sets for improved efficiency and accuracy. The integration of these Harris applications helps prevent instances of ‘dead air’, where a black screen appears in place of the scheduled broadcast.

“MBC has been a champion of our Broadcast Master airtime sales and scheduling system and ADC playout automation system, and this recent expansion has made MBC one of the largest Harris software installations in the region,” said Dave Dougall, vice president of sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa for the Harris Broadcast Communications Division. “We are pleased that the close integration of our two products has enabled us to provide MBC with a truly automated business solution that has provided commercial results.”

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