FANA Broadcasting Corporate, Ethiopia

Who is FANA Broadcasting Corporate
FANA Broadcasting Corporate (FANA B.C.) is the first private broadcaster of Ethiopia. It was founded in 1990 as Radio Fana and started to transmit a Free-to-Air Radio Station which currently possesses high-quality audibility and reaches a World Wide audience. It broadcasts via SW, MW FM and Live Streaming Internet Radio on transmission. FANA TV started broadcasting in Ethiopia on September 2017.

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Project Description 2016-2017
In 2014, FANA launched an international tender split into various LOT to build a complete, modern, High Definition, TV station. Telmaco was selected to participate in the tender as one of the internationally recognized system-integrators, with good references in Ethiopia. After a long-technical evaluation and negotiation period, in June 2015, Telmaco was awarded the project (LOT-2) to design, install, and put in operation:

  • A News and Program Tapeless Production, Playout and Archive System
  • A Graphics System
  • A Master Control Playout System
  • A VideoWall System

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The financial go-ahead for the project implementation was given in June 2016.
The final on-air date was set to be September 2017.

System and Workflow Design
Telmaco designed not only the system connectivity but also the basic workflow operation of the system. The training completed on-site after the commissioning and covered both technical and operational aspects of the overall system.

Overall System Description Our proposal was based on technology of our key partner Avid. The system was designed to support Full - HD operation on xdcam HD resolution. The system included:

  • Shared Storage with Production Asset Management
  • Newsroom Computer System
  • 8-channel Ingest with Scheduling
  • File-Based Ingest and Transcode System
  • Web-Based Clients for Browsing and News Preparation
  • 12 x Video Editing Suites for News, Trailers and Documentaries
  • 8-channel Studio Playout with Studio Automation
  • Master Control Playout with mirrored video server controlled by Automation System
  • Disk-Based Archive System managed by HSM system
  • VideoWall System for 2 Studios (16 70” cubes in total)
  • Live Streaming Encoder and Web/Social Media news production
  • Graphics System for VideoWall and Studio Playbacki

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Shared Storage with Production Asset Management
The core of the system is Avid ISIS7500 central shared storage system with 2 x 128ΤΒ chassis. The networking of the system is based on Cisco Ethernet switches with copper and optical connectivity. Material is managed by the Avid Interplay Production Asset Management System in clustered architecture.

Ingest Automation
The SDI ingest of all materials is managed centrally from the Avid Interplay Capture system. It controls 8 SD/HD channels from 2 x Avid Airspeed 5500 servers. The Interplay Capture operators can schedule all recordings either from Live Satellite and MW Links, or from VTR’s using RS-422 control. In addition, file ingest is achieved from a Telestream Vantage System. Vantage can also transcode and re-wrap files that come from different file formats to ensure compatibility. All ingest materials are automatically transferred to ISIS and update the Interplay PAM database. While ingesting, the Interplay PAM allows the journalists and the editors to have access on the literally a few seconds after ingest has started and even if the ingest continues.

Newsroom and Journalist Browsing
The Newsroom was designed based on Avid iNews newsroom automation system. Avid iNews manages the planning of the News Production of the complete day and can communicate the rundown to the rest of the system. Journalists use the Avid Media Central UX web based software to view, log and edit all of the materials prior to editing. Journalist can start viewing or editing their stories only a few seconds after the start of the ingest.

The finishing of all items is carried out by 12 x Avid Media Composer Editing with NewsCutter Option. The editor can open the iNews NRCS tool and link the video story to be created with the news rundown. He can also view the material prepared by the journalist in Interplay Assist which is instantly available. When finished, the editor can use the “Send to Playout” menu command to send it to the news studio for playout or to the Master Control Playout.

Studio Playout
FANA has 2 Studios in their building and 8 channels of twin Airspeed 5500 servers are available for playout in both studios. The editors can specify to send their finished stories each time to the appropriate Airspeed/Studio and avoid the use of tape. The playout servers are controlled by iNews Command playout automation system. It is fully integrated with the iNews NRCS system and can automatically read the rundown created in iNews. Using Avid’s integrated solution it can automatically detect the story from the Video ID and can color-indicate the user when a story is ready for playout.

Master Control (Continuity) Program Playout
Program Playout is managed by Aveco Astra Automation System. Aveco Astra control a mirrored pair of Grass Valley K2 servers, as well as FANA’s Master Control Mixer, Video Router, Logo Generator and Character Generator. Aveco can receive files from Avid or Telestream Vantage and automatically register them for playout. Aveco Astra is operated in 4 Terminals for Playlist Preparation, Ingest and Program Playout Control.

Digital Archive
All material can be archived to a Disk Archive Corporation (DAC) ALTO system, controlled by SGL Flashnet Archive Management System. The starting capacity was mirrored 150TB archive disk storage. SGL Flashnet integrates with both Avid Interplay Production System and Aveco Astra Automation Systems. So both editors (or journalists) from the Avid Media Composer UI and Master Control operators from Aveco Astra UI can send material to archive or can request material to be restored. SGL Flashnet has its own WEB GUI that allows users to search for material and admin tools.