Belgium-based Newtec is to upgrade the Middle East and North African programming and exchange service (MENOS) to HDTV in order to make this year’s London Olympic Games the ‘first’ HDTV major sports event to be carried by the MENOS infrastructure.
The news, announced at NAB in Las Vegas, allows ASBU members to receive the live Olympic multilateral feeds and news channels in HD and also turnaround the HD signals to provide SD simultaneous broadcast (simulcast). The Olympic content will be injected into the central archive of the ASBU Multimedia Exchange Network over Satellite (MENOS), allowing members to access the content at a later time and eliminating the need for each member to individually archive all feeds. This will result in significant cost reductions and operational streamlining.
Slaheddine Maaoui, ASBU Director General, said: “The Olympic Games have always been major milestones for us, for the introduction of new platforms, technologies and services. London 2012 will be the first HD Olympics for many of our members, together with comprehensive MENOS simulcast, content archiving and playout.”
MENOS multimedia network was officially launched by ASBU in January 2009. The award-winning platform supports multiple simultaneous managed exchange services for use by broadcasting organisations throughout the MENA region.
“The HD upgrades for the Olympics will benefit the ASBU MENOS users way beyond the games themselves,” said Serge Van Herck, CEO of Newtec. “The improvements in satellite efficiency and video compression allow the ASBU and its members to benefit from higher quality HD services without any need for additional satellite bandwidth, keeping the operational costs under control.”