Amhara Mass Media Agency, Ethiopia

ho is Amhara Mass Media Agency
Amhara Mass Media Agency (AMMA) is the Media Organization of the Amhara Regional State Government in Ethiopia. It operates one free to-air Television Station and one Free-to-air Radio Station. Its broadcasting operation is based in Bahir Dar. The Amhara Mass Media Agency is among the Regional Stakeholders to The Regional Governments’ new National Building Program which has been start in 1991 G.C. This program comprises promotion of development, sustainable peace and Democratization program Amhara Mass Media Agency started broadcasting to air in 2012.


Project Description 2015-2016
In 2015, AMMA launched an international tender to purchase a large production and archive system in order to prepare for a 24-hour continuity. In a separate LOT of the tender it a new Studio Set based on Modern Videowall technology.
In June 2015, Telmaco was awarded the two projects to design, install, and put in operation:

  • A complete tapeless Production, Playout and Digital Archive System
  • A Modern Studio Set based on a Curved VideoWall System

PART # 1: Production, Playout and Archive System


Our proposal was based on technology of our key partner Avid. The system should support HD operation. AMMA is also using file-based SONY camcorders. The system included:

  • Shared Storage with Production Asset Management
  • 8-channel Ingest with Scheduling
  • File-Based Ingest and Transcode System
  • Web-Based Clients for Browsing and NRCS Preparation
  • Video Editing Suites for News, Trailers and Documentaries
  • 8-channel Studio Playout with Studio Automation
  • Master Control Playout with Automation System
  • Digital Archive Tape Library controlled by HSM system

Shared Storage with Production Asset Management
The core of the system was Avid ISIS7500 central shared storage with 4 x 64ΤΒ chassis. The networking of the system is based on Cisco Ethernet switches with copper and optical connectivity. Material is managed by the Avid Interplay Production Asset Management System in clustered architecture.


Ingest Automation
The SDI ingest of all materials is managed centrally from the Avid Interplay Capture system. It controls 8 SD/HD channels from 2 x Avid Airspeed 5500 servers. The Interplay Capture operators can schedule all recordings either from Live Satellite and MW Links, or from VTR’s using RS-422 control. In addition, file ingest is achieved from a Telestream Vantage System. Vantage can also transcode and re-wrap files that come from different file formats to ensure compatibility. All ingest materials are automatically transferred to ISIS and update the Interplay PAM database. While ingesting, the Interplay PAM allows the journalists and the editors to have access on the literally a few seconds after ingest has started and even if the ingest continues.

Newsroom and Journalist Browsing
The Newsroom was designed using iNews newsroom automation. iNews manages the planning of the News Production of the complete day and can communicate the rundown to the rest of the system. Journalists use the Avid Interplay Central web based software to view, log and edit all of the materials prior to editing. Journalist can start viewing or editing their stories only a few seconds after the start of the ingest.

The finishing of all items is carried out by Avid Media Composer Editing with NewsCutter Option. The editor can open the iNews NRCS tool and link the video story to be created with the news rundown. He can also view the material prepared by the journalist in Interplay Assist which is instantly available. When finished, the editor can use the “Send to Playout” menu command to send it to the news studio for playout.

Studio Playout
AMMA has 2 Studios in their building and 8 channels of twin Airspeed 5500 servers are available for playout in both studios. The editors can specify to send their finished stories each time to the appropriate Airspeed/Studio and avoid the use of tape.


The playout servers are controlled by iNews Command playout automation system. It is fully integrated with the iNews NRCS system and can automatically read the rundown created in iNews. Using Avid’s integrated solution it can automatically detect the story from the Video ID and can color-indicate the user when a story is ready for playout.

Master Control (Continuity) Program Playout
Program Playout is managed by Aveco Astra Automation System. Aveco Astra control a mirrored pair of Grass Valley K2 servers, as well as AMMA’s Master Control Mixer, Video Router, Logo Generator and Character Generator. Aveco can receive files from Avid or Telestream Vantage and automatically register them for playout. Aveco Astra is operated in 4 Terminals for Playlist Preparation, Ingest and Program Playout Control.

Digital Archive
All material can be archived to a Spectra Logic T950 Digital Robotic Tape Library, controlled by SGL Flashnet Archive Management System. SGL Flashnet integrates with both Avid Interplay Production System and Aveco Astra Automation Systems. So both editors (or journalists) from the Avid Media Composer UI and Master Control operators from Aveco Astra UI can send material to archive or can request material to be restored. SGL Flashnet has its own WEB GUI that allows users to search for material and admin tools.

Workflow design and training
Telmaco designed not only the system connectivity but also the basic workflow operation of the system. The training completed on-site after the commissioning and covered both technical and operational aspects of the overall system.

PART # 2: New Studio Set based on VideoWall System

Set Design
The Set was Design by an Special Architect/Scenographer with Large Experience from TV Studio Set Design and with knowledge of the use of VideoWall technology to create a flexible for the operators and modern for the viewers look.


The VideoWall is a Curved Size made from 20 x Barco 70” OL-series Projection LED Illiminated Cubes with No Gap Screens. The Cubes are arranges in 10x2. The Screens are Managed by Barco E2 Video Wall Processor Mixer. They are fed with Graphics Played by 5 x 7th Sense Media Servers each sending 1920 x 1080 images to Barco E2. Additional SDI or HDMI sources can be fed to the Barco E2 to make Video Windows inside the Video Wall Screens.