Case Study

Dunya News



Dunya News is a 24-hour Urdu language news and current affairs television channel headquartered in Lahore, Pakistan.

With a 24/7 output to a demanding and expanding audience, both in Pakistan and online worldwide, it recently upgraded key studio systems to provide increased operational flexibility and a superior visual identity.

Section 2

The Challenge

The Dunya News main studio is a multi-set environment and the broadcaster uses virtual set technology to augment its news output with several magazine programs from the same facility.

Historically, this has led to a range of challenges. Six cameramen were required to cover the studio’s operation in a complex arrangement that was expensive to maintain and prone to human error. A limited number of IR sensors constrained the coverage area for the virtual set component of the studio, and the constant movement of cameras from one position to another was both time-consuming and draining of resources.

As well as wanting to overhaul the studio and provide more efficient operations and a modern look to its output, Dunya News was also looking to add an additional Production Control Room (PCR) as part of a migration to HD. The company had been using PCRs configured for recording work as overflow facilities when the schedule demanded, but this was considered far from ideal and a new facility configured specifically for live work was required.

Section 3

The Solution

The solution provided by Ross Video for Dunya News, with WAVE Media Solutions acting as systems integrator, had two distinct components: robotics for the studio and a new routing solution for the PCR.

The introduction of robotics was a first for the broadcaster and sought to create a workflow where a single operator could sit in the PCR and operate the entire studio via a sequence of presets. This was not only a more efficient use of resources for the company, but resulted in a more modern visual style, with the signature smooth movement of the robotic cameras providing pristine, high-quality coverage of fast-breaking news and magazine programming.

Additionally, the ability to pre-program set movements into the system meant that the IR sensor array for the virtual studio could be discarded as the production team would always know where the cameras would be and where they would be pointing. This enabled the virtual set to be used over a wider area then before.

After a long period of assessing the various solutions on the market, Dunya News chose a Ross Video robotic system consisting of a Furio SE floor mounted camera system with VR600 head alongside three Cambot XY robotic pedestals with a two stage lift. All were to be controlled by Ross’ SmartShell Control, which offers a touchscreen interface with an ergonomic joystick panel that controls all the robotics via a common control system using a centralised Ethernet-based architecture.

The track-mounted Furio dolly allows broadcasters to create multiple dynamic and engaging looks – while also delivering higher quality and repeatability, and lowering operating costs. It has the speed and agility to cover a large area such as Dunya News’ main studio, allowing it to deliver spectacular beauty shots. Also, unlike jibs or other specialty camera systems, it has the capacity to support full-sized cameras and teleprompters, allowing it to serve as the primary production camera.

It is backed up by the three roaming Cambot XY pedestals that mount Dunya News’ existing camera stock. The pedestals have a net payload of 57 Kg and can cope with the majority of today’s studio camera configurations, including ENG/EFP-style cameras and lenses, with full-sized prompters, talent monitors, clocks, and tally lights.

For the new PCR, meanwhile, Dunya News chose an Ultrix Carbonite mid-size hyperconverged production platform, which combines switching and routing functionality within a single frame. This coupled with a Carbonite Black mid-size production switcher and TouchDrive control panel completed the solution. The all-in-one nature of the hyperconverged platform obviated the need for the purchase of separate items for a variety of essential procedures such as signal processing, multi-channel viewing, audio connectivity, switching, and embedding/de-embedding.

Section 4

The Impact

The new equipment was installed at Dunya News in a tight timeframe to minimise disruption to ongoing operations. Happily the attention paid to ensuring ease of use enabled the broadcaster to complete all the training necessary to go live with the systems within a single week.

All the objectives that Dunya News set when it originally embarked on the project have been met. In the studio, the new robotics equipment has brought a fresh ease of operations, as well as a new smoothness to camera moves and a revamped on-air look that keeps up with modern international news trends and is achieved with minimum ongoing resources.

The new Ultrix equipment, meanwhile, has enabled the organisation to create a new PCR dedicated to live work with minimum investment, as well as requiring less rack space and cooling requirements than less converged systems.

The Result

“I will surely recommend Ross Video to broadcasters due to their extraordinary products and level of support,” said Zubair Rasheed, former Head of Technical Operations at Dunya News. “The target was to install robotic camera systems which can provide ease in operations, more stability, and an impressive look. By installing Ross products, I have surely achieved my target.”

“As a result of Ross Video’s exceptional products, solutions, and support, I am extremely satisfied with the outcome of this project.” says Nadir Mustfa, current Head of Technical Operations at Dunya News. “The integration and deployment of Ross was extremely easy and has already improved our operations significantly.”

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