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Thu 15 Jan 2009 04:00 AM

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Qatar celebrates national day with new channel

The government of Qatar has invested US $3million in building a studio and portable HD studio kit to enable the production of special events for a new channel launched to broadcast its national day celebrations.

The government of Qatar has invested US $3million in building a studio and portable HD studio kit to enable the production of special events for a new channel launched to broadcast its national day celebrations.

To mark its national day on December 18, Qatar launched a new satellite television channel last month. The channel, called Al Doha TV, will broadcast interviews with various public figures and officials talking about their reflections on the country's national day.

To enable the production of these programmes for the new channel, the Qatar National Day Celebrations' organising committee has built a studio near the facilities of government-backed sports channel, Al Kass & Al Dawri.

This has been complemented by a portable studio kit, designed and integrated by based systems integrator, Tek Signals.

"This channel is scheduled to run for two months and is intended to help broadcast several special programmes that have been developed to commemorate this special occasion," says Samer Younes, technical adviser to both the Qatar National Day Celebrations' organising committee as well as Al Kass & Al Dawri.

"The Doha TV project, which cost about US $3 million includes a 400 sq. ms studio built from scratch near the Al Kass and Al Jazeera Sport facilities, as well as the portable HD studio kit. We got the studio built within just two months, which is quite a feat in any part of the world."

The studio is complemented by a portable HD studio kit, which can be moved to different locations, even within buildings if required.Designed as a set of eight portable racks on wheels, the HD mobile kit comprises a five-camera set-up expandable to eight.

"We've provided Thomson Grassvalley's LDK HD 8000 series for this project along with the Kayak GD Vision Mixer, Sony's MSW 2000 VTRs and a 32x32 router from Network Electronics," explains Nasser Mohammed Suleiman - project manager for Tek Signals.

"You have an entire control room within these eight racks including monitors, UMDs and glue products.

"Everything terminates at the panel on the rear of the rack so wherever you go, all you need to do is unplug the cables, and ship the racks. At the destination, all you have to do is take the rack out and replug everything. It's really easy to do if the cables are labelled accurately the first time. Otherwise, it can be a nightmare."

Each rack can be carried separately and the systems integrator has ensured that each rack weighs no more than 50kgs.

A Yamaha DM 1000 with be used for the audio. "We chose this model because it is lightweight and is a rack-mounting mixer. It can support upto 48 audio lines in three layers. Although it is small and compact, it has a lot of features and can be pre-configured for different settings. All of this makes this mixer a useful part of this kit," explains Suleiman.

Once the National Day celebrations are over, there are plans to use the portable kit for the production and broadcast of other events in Doha and outside Qatar.

"The Doha TV channel itself may only run for a short period but the portable kit will continue to be used by Al Kass to cover other events in the country. The permanent studio has also been built close to the facilities of Al Kass so that the channel can use it for its daily production purposes," explains Younes.

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