MBC Group completes migration to Marina

Playout of all 23 MBC Group channels are now through the Marina automation solution from Pebble Beach Systems

MBC Group, a free-to-air (FTA) satellite broadcasting company based in Dubai, has completed the process of migrating playout of its 23 channels to Pebble Beach Systems’ Marina automation solution.

As a user of Pebble Beach Systems’ Neptune playout automation solution for several years, MBC Group decided to migrate to Marina, which offered a single unified operator interface, regardless of the underlying technology being controlled. The migration was completed in late 2017.

Nick Barratt, senior manager – broadcast, MBC Group, added: “Unifying under the common user experience of an open system, with an extensive and evolving library of API integrations, allows us to take advantage of the technology changes currently happening in the broadcast world, regardless of manufacturer.

“We aim to make it totally immaterial to the operator not only what systems underpin the channel they are working on, where they are, and also if those systems are physical or virtual.”

Both companies worked together throughout the migration process, starting with a six-week parallel run before the first two channels — Al Arabiya and Al Hadath — were transferred to Marina control. Barratt added that the parallel run period highlighted issues, resulting in a “complete non-event” during the switch-over.

When upgrading from Neptune to Marina, MBC Group enjoyed several advantages, including no loss of information when its existing Neptune database is migrated to the new platform, and both systems were able to run in parallel so that the process can be done gradually to suit MBC Group’s timescale.

Samir Isbaih, regional manager for the Middle East and South Asia, Pebble Beach Systems, concluded: “In this region, where Neptune is the dominant automation solution, we pride ourselves in offering a flexible migration strategy to Marina, which causes little or no disruption to the end-user’s operations.”


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