There was a great feeling of pride and joy among Soweto TV and MultiChoice’s representatives when they handed over a high-tech final control centre aimed at improving the productivity of the now 11 year old community television channel.
The cutting-edge, HD powered facility is housed at Soweto TV’s studios on Vilakazi Street. Among showbiz personalities who came to witness this momentous occasion include sisters and colleagues in the arts, Nomsa and Ntsiki Mazwai, actor and kwaito artist, Sphiwe Mtshali and Uzalo’s starlet, Nyalleng Thibedi.
Acting as an essential link between production and broadcast, not only will the newly built facility help Soweto TV meet its mandate of being at the forefront of technological innovation.
Speaking to NOWinSA during the live testing of the equipment, broadcast engineer Lizo Tolom said the upgrade will enable the channel to seamlessly connect their interfaces to form a unified work-flow. “This means a lot to us. It will not only improve our newsroom productivity, but it will eliminate the burden of having to drive all the way to Randburg (Urban Brew Studios) to have the edited programmes ingested and monitored there,” he said.
Serious about improving the lives of the communities it serves, MultiChoice has since partnered with five community television stations (including 1KZN, Cape TV, Tshwane TV and Bay TV) on its DStv platform on various skill development initiatives. Multichoice’s Jackie Rakitla noted: “Our mission as a development driven media institution is not to give hand-outs, but to leave a lasting legacy for our communities and in this regard, the people of Soweto.”
Rakitla further encouraged other professional institutions to open their hearts to women-led initiatives through progressive programmes. “I am glad that this very same facility was designed by a group of an all-female engineering team, which also demonstrates our commitment to inclusion, diversity and celebrating differences in driving change in the workplace. I believe this will take us to the next level and show why we are at the heart of building legacies for future generations.”
Soweto TV’s chairman Meshack Mosiya thanked MultiChoice for being bold enough to recognize the potential of Soweto TV during its infancy. “This is a special place for this channel which began broadcasting from here on July 1, 2007. We have come a long way and we thank MultiChoice for being bold enough to have taken us into their bouquet as early as October 2007 when we were still an unknown entity. We are looking forward to many years of great partnership of creating better content, at a faster pace, and with more efficiency,” Mosiya said.
The latest step in the evolution of broadcast automation!
The donation includes the latest technology, a new Final Control Centre with Cinegy Air PRO – a broadcast automation with video servers for SD and HD play-out for multichannel. From now on, the Soweto TV will no longer use interconnected elements costing money, requiring management and maintenance. This means better quality broadcasting for viewers at home; on job training for local youth and an improved production quality.
The CEO of Soweto TV, Bridget Nkuna said she’s excited about the donation “as it came at the right time when we are celebrating our 11th birthday”. Nkuna added: “Community TV channels fulfil a very important role in communities – we tell the stories of our community and create a sense of belonging. We’re looking forward to continue to play our role in the stories of the people of Soweto.”