MTA International used Quicklink to bring more remote guests than ever into their broadcast coverage of Jalsa Salana UK, in high quality HD video via all devices from around the world.

Quicklink MTAInternational Jalsa1

MTA International (Muslim Television Ahmadiyya), a nonprofit satellite television network, was established in 1994 and launched as the world’s first Islamic TV channel to broadcast globally. MTA operates nine 24-hour channels for different regions around the world, broadcasts on terrestrial TV as well as satellite television.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a fairly modern form of the faith focussed on increasing religious knowledge and a promoting peace in society. It is established globally with branches in over 200 countries and tens of millions of members. Jalsa Salana UK is their annual formal gathering, held in Hampshire, England, for which MTA International takes sole responsibility for broadcast coverage, sharing its message to over 210 countries and territories. It enables the dispersed global Ahmadiyya community to join the proceedings at Jalsa Salana UK, alongside over 6,000 volunteers who ensure a successful event every year. 

Extending the Reach

A wider reach was, in fact, MTA International’s initial and primary requirement during Jalsa Salana UK 2023 – the ability to involve as many Ahmadiyya communities as possible around the world. Their goal was to increase the number of communities involved to over 100, as well as overcoming various challenges encountered during their coverage in 2022. The MTA team had utilised Skype TX as a remote guest system to incorporate 60 communities across three days. However, the workflow was not entirely successful, and insufficient Skype transceivers were available.

With operations based inside an OB truck provided by NEP UK, the first challenge had been the limited rack space. They needed to be able to support a higher density of remote connections to accommodate the growing number of Ahmadiyya communities. They also wanted to allow communities in remote areas to connect without substantial resources or equipment, using virtually any device – including mobile phones, possibly on very poor networks.

Quicklink MTAInternational Jalsa3

The final, most critical challenge for MTA was the ability to control and manage this growing number of guests through a system with features that are essentially fit-for-purpose. Many of the communities involved had only basic technical knowledge and often needed help from the small team of operators to join the proceedings – a substantial challenge in itself.

OB Van and Online Workflows

Based on these requirements, MTA International adopted Quicklink Studio (ST55) as their remote guest system, preparing to reach the goal of 100 communities from 80 countries into Jalsa Salana UK 2023's broadcasts. Using a web browser, Quicklink Studio software gathered guest contributions from participants within a group conference environment, and controlled and managed all guest features including camera, microphone, speakers selection, resolution and audio.

Operations were based inside three of NEP Group’s OB trucks, which included one named Sargasso that was dedicated to MTA’s production and the Quicklink Control Room. Within the server racks in Sargasso, four Quicklink ST208s – low latency HD bi-directional live encoder/decoders – were installed, delivering 32 Quicklink Studio channels.

The web-based Quicklink Manager was then available for all operators within the Control Room to introduce, control and manage each of the 100 communities. This 24/7 service is used to manage links and contributors from one central portal, from any global location, using a secure Chrome web browser.

The Talkshow Room within the Quicklink Manager was used as the preferred workflow for Jalsa Salana UK. One channel was used to supply the program, and a further 22 channels were used as 22 HD-SDI outputs from each of the nominated communities, feeding into a Grass Valley Kahuna production vision mixer. All guests could view the program return and were promoted one at a time to communicate with the program. Meanwhile the other guests could view the program and the guest who is speaking.

Quicklink MTAInternational Jalsa2

Last, a Waiting Room was set up where the remaining 75 communities could watch the program through a single assigned Quicklink Studio channel. This feature made sure all participants remained fully engaged with the production at all times.


The Control Room operators used the Quicklink Manager interface online to deploy invitations to each of the communities via their preferred medium – email, SMS or WhatsApp. With the Assisted Invite feature, each of the communities was automatically taken through a step-by-step workflow to help approve camera/microphone access and device configuration. This procedure also runs through a 10 second test to check network status, giving recommended actions to improve their connection quality if required, and meant that much of the on-boarding work could be achieved automatically, leaving the operators on-site free for fine-tuning.

Once communities began joining the Quicklink Manager interface, operators within the Control Room were able to control different settings of each of the communities remotely. This was particularly advantageous with the smaller communities who were the most affected by the lack of technical expertise. Operators within the Control Room could change devices for them quite easily and use the talkback facility to direct and position the shots.

For overlaying graphics as each of the communities was introduced, Singular's cloud-based live graphics was used, helping the millions of viewers worldwide to quickly establish the local time and location of each of the Ahmadiyya communities on a map.

Quicklink MTAInternational Jalsa5

To add further depth to the program, MTA International used vMix to create alternative layouts for tiling multiple outputs as a single output. Using the Ingest URL feature within Quicklink Manager, MTA could use vMix’s Web Browser Input to integrate Quicklink Studio (ST55) callers into vMix without requiring extra hardware. This gave the conference Director more tiling options to enhance the scope of the presentations with 2-person, 4-person and 22-person layouts.

Community-wide Involvement

Throughout the three-day gathering, Quicklink Studio (ST55) effectively supported over 100 remote contributions from 80 countries worldwide. Fundamentally, Quicklink enabled MTA International to accomplish a key ambition of the leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community – to ensure everyone is involved with the proceedings, creating a truly international Jalsa.

The use of Quicklink's software during Jalsa Salana UK meant MTA International had a set of professional tools for introducing large numbers of remote guests, in high quality audio and HD video, into their broadcast coverage, while the guests were able to join using any desktop, laptop or mobile device, from anywhere in the world. Meanwhile, for non-technical guests, operators could control device settings remotely and help with talkback.

MTA International are planning to continue using Quicklink Studio and are preparing to increase the number of communities further for Jalsa Salana UK 2024.