SwitchTV is a free-to-air channel in Kenya that is available across the region via digital TV, set-top-box, live digital stream and VOD. Located in Nairobi, SwitchTV is a brand-new HD TV station wholly-owned by the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) and targets the 18-35 demographic with broadcasts of news, sports, soaps, movies and local productions.
Broadcast Solutions Hungary (BSH), Ross Video’s Gold Preferred business partner, was awarded the tender by KRCS to design and implement the new station from the ground up, with a mandate to implement the latest technologies and workflows. The project required the creation of the entire broadcast and IT infrastructure, from story creation through live studio production to post-production and playout. Initial discussions with BSH began in March 2018 and the goal was to be on-air with live studio broadcasting by October – a seven-month window.
SwitchTV wanted a studio featuring four sets – three physical and one green screen – with a combination of manual and remotely-operated cameras, as well as a newsroom and post-production system. In addition, office IT infrastructure was also required to support the broadcast operations. To save time and ensure a smoother on-site installation, BSH configured, tested and prebuilt all of the systems in Budapest before sending them to Nairobi.
At the core of the studio sits the Ultrix-FR2, Ross Video’s 12G routing/AV processing platform with integrated MultiViewers. The Ultrix-FR2 can reportedly replace up to two full racks of traditional infrastructure products with one software-upgradeable 2RU unit.
Commenting on the Ultrix, Tibor Samarjai, BSH’s Project Manager, said: “It was very easy to design and build the system with the Ultrix router; by getting rid of several additional components like the external multiviewer and glue products, it made the complete setup compact and yet very powerful.”
In October 2018, the new studio was formally handed over and SwitchTV began live studio broadcasting.