MultiCam’s Lumens PTZ camera in the ARN studio.
The Lumens camera installed by MultiCam at ARN.
The MultiCam control screen at ARN in Dubai.
Aylissa from Dubai 92 breakfast on the MultiCam screen.
MultiCam video with Dubai 92’s Catboy.
ARN operates nine FM radio stations with over 3.8 million weekly listeners across the UAE. Seven of these — Tag 91.1, Dubai 92, Hit 96.7, Al Arabiya 99, City 1016, Dubai Eye 103.8 and Virgin Radio 104.4 — have installed Version 11 of the MultiCam software, along with four Lumens Pan-Tilt-Zoom turret cameras in each studio. Previously, the process of capturing content had been a manual process, involving video equipment operated by staff.
“We found that the MultiCam product was best suited for our workflow,” ARN told Radio World. “It enabled us to make our videos look professional using their artificial intelligence technology and seamless in-studio integration. The product was a complete solution, and did not require any hardware upgrades from our end.”
The MultiCam AI module system is driven by audio detection from studio microphones, with each broadcast position covered by different angles of shots from the PTZ cameras in the studio. The AI module will also communicate with main radio automation software systems to automatically add graphics driven by the playout timeline. This can include RSS feeds of news and information, Twitter content, or music track data. It allows stations to live stream or podcast on major platforms such as YouTube, Dailymotion and Facebook Live, and it also manages FTP uploading.
One particular challenge for the installation at ARN in Dubai Studio City was that each of the stations in the network had different requirements, and individual shows can be structured differently. Some programs have guests coming into the studio, and presenters may also choose to sit or stand during different parts of their show.
To cope with this, MultiCam incorporated a profile system, enabling switching between presets within seconds. The new equipment has allowed ARN stations to produce and share over 7,000 videos online in the past six months.
Reaction to the new system has been positive, with MultiCam now part of the equipment used by presenters on a daily basis. “They see this as a great opportunity to extend the profile of the station on multiple platforms; they use the system as easily as they use our automation system,” the radio network reports. “Listeners also love the output from the studios — it brings the radio to life when celebrities come into our studios and we are able to share the content within minutes.”
ARN’s General Manager, Mahmoud Al Rasheed, added: “A significant investment has gone into this state-of-the-art multicamera setup inside our studios, bringing our content to life and shared instantly on social. In an era where content is viewable on-demand and constantly shared, ARN is geared up for this dynamic space, and it brings us closer to our listeners continuing ARN’s mission to be ‘everywhere.’”
Will Jackson reports on the industry for Radio World from London.