Al Arabiya

Futuristic News Production Studio Environment Sets Broadcaster Apart from the Competition

Al Arabiya is the MENA region’s leading news broadcaster, particularly with respect to innovation and storytelling. Having been on-air since 2003, the studio and its supporting equipment had largely gone unchanged for two decades. So, the decision was made to overhaul the operation into an automated news production studio environment with an open plan arrangement—a futuristic design that would present many challenges but result in a facility entirely worth the effort.

Diversified was engaged early on to consult with the network and subsequently design, build and integrate a complex control room based on production equipment by Lawo, Ross Video and Viz Mosart. The solution had to be designed for automation of all production and content delivery and allow for multi-studio operations from two separate galleries. Additionally, Diversified deployed a wireless audio system providing microphone and IEM coverage across the studio and newsroom floor. And, although Al Arabiya had used Lawo in the past, they took it to the next level with a comprehensive VSM system to control the entire audio and video infrastructure. To support this, Diversified also deployed a massive fiber network that connected all floors of the building and integrated the Viz Mosart engines into the new video walls throughout.

Working closely with each manufacturer to deploy a next-gen system, Diversified overcame several challenges and accomplished many technical ‘firsts’ in the region including the deployment of an Electric Friend robotic rail system. Controlled by a custom Ross solution, the rail system had to be installed within millimeter accuracy after completion of all studio finishes. As a result, the integration is so seamless that the operator simply selects the desired robotic camera(s) and operates them without having to worry about differences in functionality.

Ultimately, within a short five-month timeline and amid a global pandemic—while legacy systems were still live and being integrated into the new—this modernization project was completed on time and on budget with zero downtime or outages. Diversified’s Dubai team successfully helped Al Arabiya launch a contemporary, state-of-the-art news production studio that not only wows its viewers today but also has the capability to scale and expand with them in the future.