VideoFlow assists azamTV rollout
TANZANIA: azamTV has tackled its broadcast quality issues with the use of VideoFlow's Digital Video Protection. The success the broadcaster has seen from this project means it has been able to accelerate rollout plans around Africa.
The root cause of the quality issues was the unreliable behaviour of the microwave radio links connecting Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam. ‘That link was a major headache - I literally had to swap cables around and reconfigure manually if there was a disruption in the service,’ explained Balaji L Nagalgave, IT manager at azamTV. ‘With VideoFlow's technology, the link is working perfectly and I don't have to do anything as the VideoFlow technology does all the adjustments automatically to maintain the high quality video stream. I am now a very happy IT manager as I can sleep better at night!’
A further advantage of the solution deployed for azamTV is that the solution implemented between Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam is easily replicated. This means that azamTV has been able to accelerate its plans to extend its content gathering network. The first phase included adding eight new TV channels from Uganda to azamTV's NOC at Dar es Salaam over fibre. Each connection is comprised of two fibres, each connected to a different ISP to provide a reliable network capable of uninterrupted, high quality, live broadcast 24/7.
‘One of the biggest challenges of adding a new TV channel to the azamTV network used to be determining what kind of links were available for the video stream and how reliable they were,’ added Mr Nagalgave. ‘With VideoFlow technology, this is no longer a problem because we now know the answers to most technical questions. This speeds up the deployment of new connections considerably and makes my life much easier. I know that, whatever kind of link, VideoFlow will make it work perfectly and reliably. This is very important as azam has built its success and brand on delivering quality broadcasts and viewers expect that the quality of their favourite programmes that they watch will be no less than perfect.’
Jacob Joseph, COO of azam, was also reportedly impressed by the Zanzibar setup and extended his support for further expansion of the project to other channels. As a result, azamTV is currently rolling out VideoFlow-protected links to additional nine neighbouring countries including Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, and Mozambique.
‘The perception that fibres are error free might be misleading, in particular when using long-haul fibre connections such as in the case of azamTV,’ said Eran Shalev, VideoFlow's VP marketing. ‘Closed Garden networks will normally have better quality than unmanaged networks but even a 0.1 per cent packet loss can degrade the viewer's quality of experience to an unacceptable level. The quality of the connection is measured by the weakest link in the chain and Africa has a wide variety of legacy technologies and is also adding new ones creating a complex mixture of content delivery systems of variable quality. As proven by azamTV, VideoFlow technology can ensure that whatever technology is used to transport the video stream - from internet to satellite and from microwave to leased line, packets will never be lost and that the video stream remains at the high quality broadcasters require to maintain their brand image.’