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magnify Al-Jazeera Arabic 24/7 temporary control room
Al-Jazeera Arabic 24/7 temporary control room
When Al Jazeera was planning to renovate the studio of its Arabic 24-hour rolling news channel in Qatar, it was vital to ensure that there would be no off-air time during the upgrades. They were also keen to have minimal external technical support during the process, so that operational continuity would not be affected.  
Gearhouse Broadcast, which has worked with Al Jazeera previously on a number of projects, including its Studio 2 upgrade and coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, provided the design, equipment including the rental of a Flyaway portable production system, and crew for a new temporary studio at the broadcaster’s Doha HQ. It also delivered full on-site training for Al Jazeera’s production team.
Once the initial switchover had taken place seamlessly, the next stage of the project was to upgrade the temporary studio to a fully HD operation, again causing no disruption to the output. As part of this, Al Jazeera purchased the Gearhouse Flyaway system, following a successful rental period with the solution. 
The studio is equipped with ten Sony HDC-1500 camera channels, three EVS XT3 production servers, four EVS IPDirector production asset management systems, three Final Cut Pro edit suites and a Snell Sirius router. A Thomson XtenDD35 production switcher was initially installed and then replaced with a Grass Valley Kayenne video production software platform as part of the subsequent HD upgrade. Within the studio, Gearhouse Broadcast built and lit a full cyclorama green-screen studio to allow chroma keying so that the look of Al Jazeera’s regular studio could be recreated cost-effectively, maintaining the broadcaster’s easily recognisable branding.
“The facility that we’ve delivered offers Al Jazeera all of its existing features, meaning there is no compromise on output and no loss to any of its production values” said Eamonn Dowdall, business development director at Gearhouse Broadcast. “This is an extremely flexible design and demonstrates the ingenuity of our Systems Integration team when dealing with challenging projects with tight timeframes such as this.”