After having been at the forefront of many of the biggest events happening in the MENA region, 7 productions has been constantly capturing the market, with their leading 4K and HD broadcast solutions along with live technical event support.
With the ongoing wave of hybrid technology in the industry, the company has been quick to adapt and offer world-class solutions for its prestigious set of distinguished clients, including broadcasters, production companies, event organisers and government entities.
Speaking of the growth in demand for virtual solutions, Lara Ghanem, Regional Director, 7 Productions said, “It was something, we never offered prior to the pandemic, unless a client specifically demanded to go hybrid. Then, yes we would. It was not a demand in the market. During the pandemic and obviously now for the future, we at 7 Productions recognise the need to recognise this direction and move forward in it. We have already been incorporating it, as part of our growth strategy. I would say, it has been a very exciting experience for 7 Productions, because we are a business that takes challenge like these head-on, invest in the right equipment to make things happen. It is definitely the future.”
With the recent rise in gaming events spurring a new trend in the region, production houses have had to adapt and deliver to a wide range of demands. Last Ramadan, 7 Productions provided hybrid solutions for a game show called Incognito, filmed from eight completely different locations at the same time. The presenter attended the event from their home and so did the participants spread across Egypt, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Lebanon. The challenged at hand was to deliver zero latency, in order to ensure seamless coverage and enhanced viewer experience.
The team at 7 Productions successfully organised the event with no delays in production, using advanced satellite transmission and satellite downlink in each individual location. Everyone could see and listen to everybody involved in the show. In addition to that, the 7 Productions OB van located at our base in Dubai was the main hub for the event, receiving signals from all the locations and sending signals to all of them. With the seamless integration of advanced technologies, powered by a team of experienced professionals, Seven managed to secure the excitement, nail-biting adventure and thrill associated with a gaming event.
The experience also proved to be an example of how 7 Productions extended the capability of its existing equipment for sports production and adapted it for a successful online event, thus offering a diverse range of solutions within the industry. In 2007, Seven began customizing the first Outside Broadcast (OB) Truck for local sports productions and has been optimising since then. Today, they have a fleet of OB Trucks, as they specialize in the customization and integration of technology according to the clients’ requirements for each live event.
Sharing insights on the kind of equipment-related changes for hybrid consumption, Lara explains, “In all honesty, for broadcast and live events, the requirements are still the same. Clients still need our OB units, top range cameras and other services. These are still in demand. The only difference now is the event being filmed for hybrid use. That is where we provide platforms to stream online and virtually. Regarding equipment, nothing changes. You need the same equipment, the difference is tech – the software which partner companies provide us to enable successful hybrid events in the region.”
Recently, the production company also organised an in-studio show called Made in Quarantine in Dubai. Each person on the show was filmed from the comfort of their homes and the main control room was set up at Seven’s facility in Dubai. Seven provided their virtual studio and augmented reality solutions, which were fully automated with an auto-tracking system for the cameras and virtual graphics. These graphic systems, cameras and auto-tracking systems are compatible with any virtual studio and AR demands. Seven also offers a chroma studio, as well as advanced 4K media solutions, that can be customized for any live event.
Adapting to the rise in online events, latency remains a key concern for many broadcasters. However, with a host of long-term clients such as MBC Group, IMG, Dubai TV, Abu Dhabi TV, Saudi Broadcasting Channel, PROTV and Creative Edge, the team at Seven has always managed to organise transmissions with no latency, using state-of-the-art equipment and expertise.
As online thrives in the region, be it for gaming, corporates, education, broadcast, or any other industry, Lara believes it is the way forward. “It is the way for people to get globally connected. I see more business happening due to this. The world has become so small because of the option of going online. Anyone, anywhere can be connected. It is the future for sure,” she shares.
No matter how quickly the world adapts to the virtual space, there is always another charm associated with organising a live event in-person. At Seven Productions especially, specialising in mega sports and entertainment events, the offline experience remains incomparable and unbeatable to an online one.
“The advantages of online is that people can be globally connected. Anyone, anywhere can watch an event, and tune in to be up to speed. There is no time difference, nor distance issues. It has made the world a smaller place. However, in my personal opinion, you lose out on that physical human aspect of being at a live event. Using all of your five senses to experience an event is a whole different high. Other people might think differently though. We specialise in large scale sports and entertainment events. I cannot imagine that level of excitement, watching online vs physically being there. Having said that, online and hybrid events are the future, simply because of the pandemic and the changes it has brought for everybody,” Lara comments.