Citizen TV was the recipient of both the prestigious Communications Authority KUZA Award and the Culture Africa Style Award in 2021, and has been witnessing rapid expansion since its relaunch in 2006. It elected to build a new facility in Nairobi, but faced challenges in budget and access to a reliable supply of products.
“We looked for technologies and partners that would enable us reach millions of viewers across Kenya,” said Moses Waweru, Chief Engineer at Citizen TV. “We chose a 4k-ready system from FOR-A using the FOR-A HVS-490 production switcher as the hub of production and a multiformat MFR-3232 router, as well as ClassX Mini on-air graphics.”
Despite the compact nature of the products, the system’s engineering and operational benefits translated into a very short installation and commissioning time. The HVS-490 makes it possible to preview output from an AUX bus when applying transitions (cut, mix, or wipe) or keying, making sure that a production is ready for almost any request.
The HVS-490 comes with several MELites (FOR-A’s interchangeable mix effects) to expand the capabilities of the AUX transitions. Any ME can be assigned to multiple on stage monitors for independent background transitions and graphics transitions, all from the same control panel. FOR-A FLEXaKEY keyers are also designed for flexible reassignment, operating separately from standard keyers of the full M/E buses. Keying of up to four different FLEXaKEYs in any AUX bus produces impressive, unconventional looking performances.
Included with the purchase of the switcher, ClassX Mini is live titling CG software supporting NDI sources for live picture-in-picture and DVE effects, with a real-time graphics engine. Users can add content on unlimited layers with 14 different integrated plugins. Project resources, templates and fonts for an entire project can also be compressed into a small single file for import to other workstations.
This investment by Citizen TV was a part of large contract with systems integrator StreamPort Media based in the United Arab Emirates, which included studio camera systems and lighting. “Over the course of the last six months we acted as a consultant to identify Citizen TV’s requirements and tailored a system comprising studio cameras, production system graphics, lighting and transmission," said Muhammad Mudassir of StreamPort Media.
Khalid Sweidan, senior sales manager of FOR-A in the Middle East said, “Through detailed discussions with the StreamPort Media and Citizen TV teams, we understood the client’s priorities and objectives, and especially their emphasis on future scalability to 4K Ultra HD.”
FOR-A, StreamPort Media and Citizen TV worked to meet strict project deadlines to get the studio on-air in a record time, with the first productions on 29 November 2021. The studio is now the home of popular discussion programme ‘Mbak Ndalo and Thapki’.
”It has been a great pleasure to work with the StreamPort Media and Citizen TV teams in Kenya,” said Khalid Sweidan. “This key reference clearly demonstrates a commitment to grow the African market with focused partners like StreamPort Media, who have successfully completed several installations in Africa over the last two years.” www.for-a.com