azamMedia Accelerates Rollout of Content Gathering across Africa with VideoFlow’s Flexible “No Hassles” Technology.
azamTV is using VideoFlow’s DVP to accelerate the extension of its content gathering network to nine neighboring countries with uninterrupted, broadcast quality video over IP links.
“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. With VideoFlow technology, this is no longer a problem because we now know the answers to most technical questions.”
Mr. Balaji L Nagalgave - IT Manager at azamTV
Adding new TV channels to azamTV’s network was challenging due to the thorough survey required to determine existing infrastructures capable of supporting azamTV’s stringent video quality requirements. The large number of variables to explore and the complexity of the transport infrastructure in Africa required investing a substantial amount of time to decide on the most cost effective solution. Furthermore, a solution selected for one site could not be easily replicated due to the mix of available infrastructure technologies. The long surveys to find the right solution and the inability to replicate it everywhere delayed the development of azamTV’s live TV market in Africa.
The success of VideoFlow’s DVP ‘fit and forget’ connecting Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam was developed by azamTV into a ‘cookie cutter’ solution where 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. To ensure the continuity of service, 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.
Mr Jacob Joseph, COO of azam, was highly impressed by the Zanzibar setup and extended his support for further expansion of the project to other channels.
azamTV had accelerated the development of the African live TV market rolling out VideoFlow-protected links to nine neighbouring countries include Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, and Mozambique. All gathered content is sent to France where it is uplinked to a Eutelsat satellite providing azamTV’s multi-channel DTH (Direct To Home) service in Africa.
“VideoFlow’s DVP 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 programs that they watch will be no less than perfect.” Said Balaji L Nagalgave, IT Manager at azamTV.
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. “Closed Garden” networks will normally have better quality than unmanaged networks but even 0.1% of packets 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 DVP ensure that whatever technology is used to transport the video stream — from Internet to satellite and from microwave to leased line, the video stream remains at the high quality broadcasters require to maintain their brand image.
azamTV is part of Azam Media Limited, one of the Bakhresa Group of companies (www.bakhresa.com). Bakhresa Group is one of Tanzania’s leading Industrial Houses with a turnover of $600 million and over 5000 employees. Its business interests extend from food to transportation and from media to real estate. www.azamtv.com