MBC modernizes with WinMedia software
- 07 December, 2023
FRA: During the summer of 2023, the WinMedia company team (Benjamin, Christophe, Adrien, Maxime, Philippe, Coumarène) installed its broadcast software and its WinCam visual radio system at Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation (MBC). As they had been acquainted with the benefits of WinMedia software, MBC chose the company's proposal after an international call for tenders. The installations mainly focused on MBC's headquarters in Moka and the broadcaster’s station in Rodrigues, the smallest island in the Mascareignes archipelago, a few hundred kilometers east of Mauritius. MBC thus shifted to modernity within a few weeks.
MBC’s radio stations in Moka and Rodrigues
Since 2011, MBC RADIO has been operating from its current premises in Moka, with a staff of 150, including around 30 radio technicians (in particular for recordings, routing and technical assistance)
who work in the control room and in the MCR (Master control room). MBC operates 2 AM channels
(Radio Maurice in French and Creole, and Radio Mauritius in Hindustani and regional language) and
3 FM channels (Kool FM in English, French and Creole, Best FM, a Bollywood music channel, and
Taal FM in Hindustani and regional language). MBC broadcasts in French, English, Hindi and Creole.
The infrastructure at the Moka site comprises 4 open-space studios and 3 studios including both a
control room and a guest set. In Rodrigues, MBC operates an FM channel with 2 radio studios:
an on-air studio and a back-up studio also used as a recording studio.
The MBC project with WinMedia
WinMedia responded in parallel with the Eurocom company to MBC's call for tenders. The WinMedia solution was chosen by MBC's technical and financial managers. WinMedia's sales teams have been in contact with them for more than 10 years, so as to fully understand their needs, present them with the latest innovations and stay in tune with their expectations, thanks in particular to regular visits from
CEO Stéphane Tésorière.
"This enabled us to be up to speed when the call for tenders came in," says Benjamin Gianelli, Project Manager for WinMedia, who managed the project. "They knew the potential of our products, which incited them to modernize; we had a real advantage because they knew how they could use them."
The project involved both renewing the broadcast park and equipping the studios. We therefore proposed a joint WinMedia/WinCam solution in response to the invitation to tender. "When we learned that we had been selected with Eurocom, we then worked hand in hand: Eurocom managed its part, which was audio over IP, consoles, microphones, refurbishment and work in the studios; we carried out the IT and the network part. We are used to working with Eurocom, especially since WinMedia software and solutions
are designed to work with DHD consoles."
WinMedia's on-site intervention
"With our team, we were the first on the spot in Moka and immediately installed a complete new network to current standards, with shielded Category 6 cables and optical fiber for interconnecting the main studios," explains Christophe Le Kouidec, WinMedia's Technical Director. "Once the network was set up, we organized a server room in which we installed our main server and our backup server, which host the entire radio database and all the media files, i.e. all the sounds played on air. The whole system is networked to all the studios. Each of the 9 studios in Moka has a broadcaster, i.e. the WinMedia broadcast software ensuring each station on-air. At the same time, we equipped the studios with 4K cameras with our WinCam automatic video production management software for visual radio. Which, via the connection to WinMedia, enables automatic production based on the speakers on set, as well as real-time publication on social networks, the preparation and recording of video podcasts".
WinMedia software, a modernization lever
On the whole, WinMedia installed 4 cameras per studio. Then 13 broadcast software were installed, including 2 in Rodrigues. On each site there is a main server and a backup server with data transfer between the two sites: a point-to-point link between Moka and Rodrigues enables MBC teams to exchange data directly into the WinMedia system: for example, advertising campaign files, new music, news, files for newspapers. "This is precisely where we have brought modernity to MBC: before, the teams used to transfer files using airlifted hard disks. We've also added modernity with filmed video: the cameras equipping the studios are connected to the WinMedia software and to the consoles for audio detection, which wasn't the case at all before! Thus, the system is able to detect the persons speaking and connect them on the air without any technician! The MBC teams would already like to add more cameras to their studios," says Christophe Rossi, Technician and Trainer at WinMedia.
WinMedia teams in Mauritius
Adrien Mejane, Technician and WinCam Specialist Trainer, specifies: "There were around ten of us on site for the WinMedia part. We had two full-time trainers from La Réunion and Mayotte and a third one from France, then three installers, and finally all the people who helped set up the network". "We were never all there at the same time: we took turns depending on the two sites to be equipped and the different stages of the installation: works, commissioning, support, training. We also relied on local partners (Arnaud and his team) for the labor on the network side."
An impressive work site
"It was a very big work site, we had to optimize the schedule and the availability of human resources to be on time, especially during a busy period like this summer", explains Benjamin.
Installation began on July 4 and was completed in early September.
"It was really a project that kept the team busy for two months. In the four years I have been with WinMedia, we have completed at most one project per year of such a scale, with sixty user workstations,
a hundred screens, that is several tons of material!"
Prior to the two-month on-site installation, there was all the upstream preparation to drive the network part, over a period of two to three months. "For the delivery of the material, we agreed with Eurocom, who managed the transport part, collecting our material prepared in our warehouses and loading it with its own equipment in a large common container which was then shipped to Mauritius."
A solution that appealed to MBC
The MBC teams have appreciated the possibilities offered by the solution implemented, and are already considering extending the system with additional cameras. This can be easily achieved at a lower cost,
as WinMedia is a modular solution, and the existing system is already ready to accommodate new cameras. After-sales service is mainly provided remotely: "They have access to our support and can contact us at any time".
WinMedia, with its broadcast and visual radio solutions designed for national broadcasters such as MBC, opens them the way to modernity, without revolutionizing their on-air habits. The management of this impressive project demonstrated WinMedia's expertise in optimizing the operations of large international broadcasters with tailored, modular solutions.