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IPTV, Television Distribution & Digital Signage for Broadcast, Media & Sports Facilities [Live Training Recording]

Last updated Aug 25, 2022 | Published on Jun 14, 2022 | Podcast, Featured, Webinars

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Learn how Paramount / ViacomCBS Reduces Costs by Keeping an Eye on the Production Floor With IPTV from VidOvation

By using VidOvation IPTV to deliver both live internal studio feeds, DirecTV, and playout of its own content, Paramount / ViacomCBS can monitor quality control during both production and distribution.

In this training session, attendees will learn how to design a successful, impressive, cost-effective IPTV and digital signage system that suits your unique requirements and budget, including:

  • How to stream live video off-site to remote customers and employees working at home
  • What’s needed to successfully implement and support live TV distribution to every device – Smart TVs, set-top boxes, smartphones, tablets, computer desktops, and more
  • Learn how to distribute live television from DirecTV, Dish Network, cable, Over-The-Air TV, internal live feeds, studio feeds, and more
  • Connect your Master Control Routing Switch outputs to the IPTV system for distribution across the enterprise.
  • How to integrate a video-on-demand capability and full, multiplatform content library
  • How to identify red flags and avoid the top costly project mistakes
  • Digital Rights Management (DRM) related legal issues at stake
  • Fully integrated Digital Signage with the VidOvation IPTV system or the integration of virtually any third-party digital signage or media player.

Learn how to design a state-of-the-art Enterprise IPTV and Digital Signage system. Learn to avoid costly mistakes and get support for LIVE TV distribution to the desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablets, smart tv, set-top box, and more. Do not get stuck with one content provider (CATV/SAT) or without an open architecture. Learn how to avoid legal issues for you and your client by having an approved DRM system. Make sure you have a user-friendly Interface. Learn how to fully integrate a video-on-demand capability and add a full library of your customer’s multimedia content. Learn how to distribute your customer’s own internally generated live and pre-recorded content. Learn how to provide and distribute digital signage throughout your customer’s facility.

Many customers are facing new challenges during the continuing global health crisis. Enterprises are faced with many new challenges to serve both employees and customers. Learn how an IPTV and Digital Signage system can serve both the needs of users visiting in-person and the needs of remote users from home. The live video and signage experience can be streamed anywhere in the world via the public internet.

Nickelodeon and Viacom IPTV Case Study

Transcript

Jim Jachetta:

Good morning, everyone. I’m Jim Jachetta, CTO and co-founder of VidOvation. Today. I’m very excited to present a live training session webinar. It’s more than a webinar. When you’re done, you’ll have a good start on how to deploy, design, maintain an enterprise IPTV and digital signage system. Today, we’re concentrating on the broadcast media and sports markets, but our television distribution systems could be used virtually anywhere. We do projects spanning from Viacom, CBS, which is now Paramount. We’ve done several Viacom facilities. We did the Paramount studio facility, two Nickelodeon facilities. We’ve done a bunch of casinos. So anywhere you need to distribute live media, whether that’s DirecTV, cable, outside satellite feeds, internal feeds, feeds from your master control routing switcher that you want to distribute throughout the plant.

IPTV, Television Distribution & Digital Signage for Broadcast, Media & Sports Facilities [Live Training]

Jim Jachetta:

It’s very common that a VP of engineering at a TV station or a sports league, if they want to see what’s going on live in master control, they got to leave their office and go down the master control. So many times they’ll set up a little mini master control in the chief engineers or VP of engineering’s office. But we don’t have to do that. There can be one, two, or several TVs in the executive’s office, and we can bring master control to their office. In a studio environment, we will bring stage feeds. So executives need to see what’s going on on stage. So we’ll bring those feeds to the executive’s desks. And we’ll also discuss during COVID…

Jim Jachetta:

Normally our IPTV systems are on campus. We can go over the LAN, we can go over wifi, but it’s really meant for when you’re at work. During COVID, executives were working from home. So we’ll discuss the techniques we use to securely get those stage feeds, those internal feeds, sometimes highly sensitive feeds… So it’s got to be secure. Get those home dual authenticate, authenticate who is actually watching the video, that it’s not a bad guy or a bad person. So we’ll get into all of this. So maybe your head will hurt a little bit when we’re done, but hopefully you folks will find this information useful in your day to day job. So let’s keep going here.

Jim Jachetta:

So what are the key advantages? So we all want to watch our video on a variety of devices. It’s very common now, even when you’re on vacation, you’re at a hotel or a resort, bring your own device. I want to watch on my own device. So it’s not uncommon on these projects where we have to stream to not only TVs, set-top boxes, but smartphones, tablets, et cetera. So we facilitate all of that. Sometimes we have to transcode to go to different devices, but we’ll get into that.

IPTV Key Advantages

Jim Jachetta:

And then another common application is streaming to the desktop. So usually if it’s an executive suite or office, there’s room for a television on the wall, or there might be televisions in common areas in lobbies, in break rooms, et cetera. So that’s pretty commonplace, streaming to those devices. But streaming to the desktop… So if you’re a media company or a sports league, we did Big Ten Networks, or if it’s a news organization or a financial institution, there’s a business use case to watch TV at your desk, and we’ll bring television up in a browser so you can watch TV at the browser. And we tie into Active Directory, which I will get into more, to authenticate users at their desk. Maybe you don’t want everyone in the org watching ESPN, only the executives get ESPN, unless sports is part of your business workflow.

Jim Jachetta:

So different channel lineups can be sent or authorized for different types of devices. You probably wouldn’t want sensitive content viewable in the lobby, for example. So the televisions in the lobbies, in the public areas, don’t even have access to those channels. Those channels are for the executives or for the internal folks.

Advantages of VidOvation IPTV

Jim Jachetta:

Then it’s very common these days now to, I know in California and New York it’s even law, that any television system has to be tied to life safety systems in the building. So in other words, if there’s televisions, they don’t want people distracted watching TV and not realize there’s a fire or there’s an active shooter alert. So that it’s mandatory that the TVs show emergency alert information. And I’ll go into this in more detail. I’ll take that a step further too. We can tie into the EAS system, the city state and government alert services, to put amber alerts up on the TVs if necessary.

Jim Jachetta:

We do video on demand. In the corporate environment, usually video on demand is the customer’s videos, the corporate videos. They could be training videos. If it’s a hospital, it could be training videos on sanitation and COVID, et cetera. If it’s an enterprise, HR could be pushing the latest sexual harassment training videos. That kind of thing. And we even have analytics where we can check to see who’s watched those videos. So the television department, or the IT department, can give HR a list of who watched the video. “These employees have all watched it. These watched half of it. These didn’t watch it at all.” So then an email can go out, “Hey, these people, to comply they need to watch this video.”

IPTV Key Features

Jim Jachetta:

Then we do Hollywood video on demand. That’s like movies. In the enterprise environment, nobody’s doing pay per view or watching videos, but if you’re doing a hotel or an entertainment facility or hospitality of some sort, we do offer that capability as well. Then we offer what we call PVR or personal video recording, which is essentially DVR, digital recording. And depending upon the application, we might record at the head end, or we might record at the set-top box. So we’ll get more into that. Just want to give you guys an overview of what we’re going to talk about today.

Jim Jachetta:

Then you can’t do a television system without an electronic program guide. So based on your location and your zip code, where we install the system, based on the television content providers, VidOvation, we are a premier DirecTV partner. We love working with DirecTV. We also work with dish network. We also work with cable. The nice thing when I would say 90% of our applications, we will do DirecTV and then maybe we’ll do some over the air TV signals. I have a slide about over the air TV.

IPTV scalability, security and flexibility

Jim Jachetta:

But the reason why we like DirecTV is we’re heavily involved. So if there’s something wrong with… We actually provision your account for you. Then if there’s a tech support problem, a billing problem, authentication problem, someone from our team doesn’t have to tell accounting, “Well, you need to call your cable operator. We’re not authorized to fix that on your cable account.” With DirecTV, we’re authorized. So we’re your advocate. We set everything up, and if something’s not working right, we fix it. So it makes it more of a turnkey process. So we’re your advocate, and if you have a DirecTV account already, you just have to authorize VidOvation as your DirecTV agent, and then we can work on your account and get things going for you.

Jim Jachetta:

The system is very secure. I know these days, security is a big concern for everyone. Not only is it secure from outside attacks, but it’s secure from information leaving the building. And what do I mean by that? All the DirecTV content, all the video content, in most applications is encrypted. It was mandatory in a lot of our projects, these internal feeds, these stage feeds, be encrypted. If it’s a sound stage and you’re bringing feeds from the sound stage to the executive’s office, maybe that’s an episode in a series that will air in a few weeks, if that leaks out, gets recorded, gets bootlegged…

IPTV endpoint viewing options, hospitality smart TV’s, set-top boxes, smartphones, tablets as well as Mac and PC desktops

Jim Jachetta:

I mean, you’ve probably heard it in the news, the grand finale of a top show was ruined because someone on set had a camera or their phone. Take it a step further, we want to make sure the television system is secure so that there’s no breaches. Many of our customers use the system for quality control. So they’re sending out video over the top or to other distributors, cable, DirecTV, et cetera. They can see what their feed looks like by bringing it back in. They can record. So it gives them a centralized management system.

Jim Jachetta:

I mentioned this already. We’re going to talk about how to stream content off campus. One important thing to remember though, when I’m talking about streaming off campus, this is the customer’s content. We are not permitted to stream DirecTV, dish, or cable content off campus. The rule of thumb, the FCC rule of thumb, is the streams cannot cross a public thoroughfare. Now, this is in the enterprise. DirecTV, AT&T, dish, all have streaming capabilities to supplement their satellite. Those are allowed to cross public streets, but the enterprise streams are not allowed to cross public streets.

Amino H200 set-top box for IPTV with Verimatrix Support

Jim Jachetta:

So I think some of the rules that are in place, some of the restrictions, are a little bit dated. And my understanding is the main reason why we’re not allowed to cross public streets is VidOvation then starts to act like a cable operator, and a local cable company pays a franchise fee. They pay for the right to distribute television, and in some cases it’s an exclusive right. So if we’re moving video laterally, we’re competing with a local cable company, and the FCC says that’s not fair. So these rules and restrictions, that’s our area of expertise. So you share with us what you want to do.

Jim Jachetta:

If it’s a college campus, let’s say, and there’s streets in between, if they’re private streets owned by the university, are owned by the media company… Say, it’s ABC in New York City, they want to go to a facility across the street… Well, that’s a public street. We’d have to get special permission to bring the video across the street. Or we just have to put a second satellite dish on the adjacent building. It’s a simple problem and it’s not super expensive. So there’s a way around these types of problems.

Amino H200 IPTV set-top box rear view

Jim Jachetta:

We can do up to 5,000 endpoints. We can even do more. It’s really just a windows limitation. So we’ve done projects with several thousand endpoints. If we hit more than 5,000, we just need a second server, and if you have that many endpoints, you probably want a second server anyway, for redundancy. You don’t want your whole system running off of one server. We can do HD, 4k, SD. We can ingest not every format of IP video. We can’t bring SMPTE 2110 in, that’s too heavy. The televisions, the set-top boxes, your browser, can’t decode a SMPTE 2110. That’s a common question, a SMPTE 2110. But we can do MPEG-1, 2, 4, H.264, H.265. Your common video formats. And if you have video, either in SDI, we can put in coders into the scope of work to bring those into the system. It’s not uncommon.

Jim Jachetta:

So I mentioned Viacom and Big Ten Networks. Other media companies, they’ll designate a couple of outputs on their master control routing switcher, we’ll feed those into some encoders we provide. Say, there’s 10 channels, or there could be 10 feeds simultaneously they might want to bring into the television system. So the SDI comes out, [fits 00:14:17] an encoder, now those feeds are in the television system, the IPTV system.

Jim Jachetta:

Sometimes we do the reverse. In Big Ten Network, they wanted some of the DirecTV video in the switcher. They needed to distribute it inside the facility. They had permission to use some of the content on the air, so they were pulling that into the system. So we can go both ways, and if something needs to be transcoded, encoded, decoded, encrypted, de-encrypted, VidOvation can handle all that for you. Let me see us keep going here.

Jim Jachetta:

So scalability, security, and flexibility. People ask us all the time too… We have a lot of software options. If you want digital signage, it’s a module. If you want the emergency alert capability, it’s a module. The modules by themselves are not super expensive, but if someone’s not ready for signage yet, can always add it later. So it’s very scalable. We try to keep our architecture as open as possible. We use industry standard encryption. I’ll get into that. We use Pro:Idiom and Verimatrix. I’ll get… I have a bad habit of jumping ahead to slide number 30, so I won’t tell you all about encryption right here, but that’s part of our scalability and flexibility.

Jim Jachetta:

We have an open API as part of our middleware, the software that controls an IPTV system, we commonly call that the middleware. That’s the middleware. It’s the operating system that controls everything. It controls the endpoints. It controls the electronic program guide. It just orchestrates everything. Pushes updates to endpoints. If a set-top box needs a firmware update, it’ll push that. And you decide when updates are pushed, midnight, five o’clock in the morning, et cetera. It’ll push changes to the electronic program guide. As the day and hours go by, shows fall off, new shows get added to the EPG, the electronic program guide. So it pushes that, as well as maybe the channel lineup changes.

Jim Jachetta:

Actually, our most common tech support call, it’s not really a problem, but it’s like, “Hey, I need CBS East.” So when Viacom merged with CBS, again, coincidentally they need CBS East, CBS West. They needed CBS content now in their systems, because CBS executives were joining the team, were moving into the building. So that’s our number one tech support call. And we’ll do it all for you. In that case, we’ll go to the DirecTV COM3000 tuner. If we have some spare tuners available, we’ll find a tuner and switch it to CBS East, CBS West. If a tuner isn’t available, we’ll have to decide, “Well, what channel are we not watching?” So the analytics of the system can determine that. Say, “Hey, nobody’s watching the Syfy channel, well now we’re going to make that CBS East, and then we will change the lineup that CBS East will go where Syfy is.”

Jim Jachetta:

But CBS always starts at number two on any lineup, right? It’s always first. I’ve seen that throughout the country, CBS is usually channel two, the top of the lineup, so they don’t want it where the Syfy channel is. So we can virtually move the channels. Just because CBS is channel 3929-1 on DirecTV, we can make a channel two. We can make a channel 64. We call the channels, they’re really virtual channels. It’s just a bunch of streams. We’re just organizing them in a list and giving them channels. So when you’re channel zapping up, down, up down, you’re going through the channel at channel two, channel three, channel four, channel five, et cetera.

Jim Jachetta:

So you buy a system or you design a system with VidOvation today and you’re not ready for 4k, we’re only ready for HD. Well, we’ve done systems where, even recently, we’ll do 4k capability in the conference rooms, and then in the break areas, we’ll do HD. The only negative to that is you have to have both flavors of streams on the network. So you’ll have to have your HBO channel in at HD and 4k. They got to be two streams. The set-top box can’t take a 4k stream and down convert it to HD. It’s just not designed to do that.

Jim Jachetta:

So theoretically, we can have multiple copies. We can even have SD. Some channels, believe it or not on DirecTV, some channels are broadcast only in SD still to this day. So there might only be SD. So we can make those choices when we’re programming our content source, whether it’s satellite, cable, or over the air, whatever that might be.

Jim Jachetta:

Oh, I forgot to mention something. So I talked about endpoints. I mentioned mobile devices, tablets, smart devices. I mentioned set-top boxes. I’ll get into… We like to use Amino and LG set-top boxes and I’ll tell you why, and I’ll tell you why we use one over the other depending upon the application. But I forgot to mention, we use hospitality grade smart TVs. Now a common question we get, a customer will be like, “Hey, I got these really economical TVs. I think they’re prosumer TVs. They’re smart TVs, they’re going to be compatible with the IPTV system.” That’s not the case. It has to be hospitality grade smart TVs. TVs are locked down. So if we’re talking LG TVs, we need LG TVs that support what LG calls webOS. And then if it’s Samsung, we need Tizen support or Hweb support. Sony often uses Android.

Jim Jachetta:

So each of the major television manufacturers has a hospitality line, and most of the TVs, if not all, we’re compatible with. And we were pleasantly surprised. We were brought in to… So you think hospitality TVs, “Jim, this is a broadcast media and sports webinar, why would you mention hospitality TVs?” Well, never say never. Sinclair, Sinclair built a new facility in Santa Monica for the merger of the Tennis Channel, the regional RS, sports networks, which now is the Tennis Channel and Bally Sports, owned and operated by Bally and Sinclair. Sinclair is very forward thinking. It’s one less piece of hardware, if you don’t have a set-top box. They use hospitality grade TVs. They are more expensive, but they usually have a longer warranty, and they’re designed with a longer run time. They got a longer mean time between failures. They’re meant to be left on all the time.

Jim Jachetta:

So in the Sinclair facility, I would say 95% of the televisions, they had already deployed them, and then they brought us in to light them all up. They had hospitality grade, they had the Samsung TVs, so we were able to integrate Tizen TVs into our IPTV television system. Then we use Amino set-top boxes, or the Amino Komi box, or LG boxes. Again, smart phones, tablets… We can go over wifi, but that usually facilitates transcoding the HLS. You guys probably know how HLS works. It’ll adapt a bit rate. It makes several copies of the stream.

Jim Jachetta:

It makes several copies of the stream. High, low, medium resolution or a high, low, medium bit rate and the streams are chopped into segments. So I’m on my cell phone watching on wifi. I move into kind of a wifi dead spot, the HLS will adapt so the video doesn’t drop out. So HLS works really nice over wifi.

Jim Jachetta:

One thing I’ll get into, but I’ll touch on it now is 99% of the time we’re distributing the streams as multicast, as opposed to, unicast. Not that we’re against unicast or we’ll use a mixture, but the bulk of the streams, we like to have them multicast. And the reason for that is if we, take a Viacom facility. We had more than a thousand endpoints. If all those endpoint were unicast at any given point if all a thousand TVs are on, there would be a thousand streams. Unicast is a point to point protocol as you guys know.

Jim Jachetta:

Whereas multicast, the maximum is the maximum number of channels. So a typical installation, the sweet spot is we usually do about 48 channels then maybe a couple of stage feeds, internal feeds. But so we’ll have like 48 to 96 channels of direct TV going to several thousand endpoints, we’d have to have several thousand unicast streams. Well, if we have 48 channels, we only need 48 multicast streams. Your IT department’s going to like 48 streams a lot better than a thousand or 2000 streams.

Jim Jachetta:

But IT departments, if we’re going to do a project, a lot of times the projects come in from operations or if it’s a casino or a hospitality. It’s the marketing department, maybe that outreaches to us. Sometimes it’s the IT department, but we really recommend to avoid problems we really need to get the IT department on board early. Earlier, the better.

Jim Jachetta:

And the fundamental thing we need to ask is, can you multicast your network? Can we turn IGMP on? Because most networks out of the box multicast is disabled. Now we’ve run into some organizations where multicast is just InfoSec IT security won’t allow multicast for whatever reason. And then we’ll just go to a unicast system. We’ll have to set up a media server to stream out those several hundred, several thousand streams, so we might need one or two extra appliances, but we certainly can do it.

Jim Jachetta:

A multicast stream can be malicious if not set up properly, because it spawns, because it replicates itself that’s the beauty of it. There’ll be a stream of ESPN that will, “Oh, Bobby wants to watch it. Sues computer wants it.” It replicates it on all floors of the building, but it’s a single stream.

Jim Jachetta:

Well, you control it with the time to live, the TTL setting, so you limit how many hops the stream can go. So if something does go wrong, something gets corrupted and the stream starts going rogue, it’s ping-ponging around the network when it shouldn’t, the time to live will kill it. So it’ll allow it to go several dozen hops and then it’ll kill it. So there are safeguards to put the IT department at ease.

Jim Jachetta:

So this is one of our popular boxes, the Amino. We like the Amino and the LG box or just the set-top boxes we use in general. A lot of times in computing IPTV systems, the biggest complaint we hear is the reliability of set-top box. A lot of set-top boxes are embedded computers with a spinning hard drive and a spinning fan and a spinning hard drive and a fan has a couple a year life.

Jim Jachetta:

If it’s a harsh environment, we’ve done stadium projects where some of these devices are outdoors. There’s extra humidity being sucked in and out of the device. It may not even last the two or three years. So all of our devices are completely solid state. There’s no hard drive there, there’s no spinning hard drive, there’s no fan. So we install these and they just go, they just run. They’re very reliable.

Jim Jachetta:

So you can see here on the slide, the H200 box we’ll use if we’re using Verimatrix encryption. We’ll use the LG box if we’re using a Pro:Idiom encryption. So why the different choices? Well, it really depends on your topology, your design. So if it’s a more simplistic design and by simplistic, I mean, we never intend to go to mobile devices. We don’t intend to go to the desktop, the tennis channel, ballet sports on every floor in the big bullpen where the cubicles were 30 TVs across one upper edge of each, on each floor in the bullpen, maybe 30 TVs. And then they would be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and then repeat 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. So there were six feeds that people needed to see.

Jim Jachetta:

Now, if somebody at one end of the cubicle farm needed a special channel, they can go into the system and change that channel on TV. There’d be usually a little sticker TV 32, or so floor 2-30. So it’s second floor TV 30. They, “Oh, 2-30. Let me go change that.” So they could change that one TV from a web browser on their phone, using a tool we call the switcher.

Jim Jachetta:

We do a tie into third party AMX, Crestron switching systems. Through our open API, we can tie into those systems, or if you don’t want anything fancy like that, we have a very powerful module we call the switcher. So a computer, a notebook, a tablet, a PC, any browser-based appliance, you go to a certain URL and a web interface comes up. It has a list of all your channels, all your TVs down each side of the screen,

Jim Jachetta:

TVs might be in groups. So you can change channel on an individual TV, change channel on a individual group, so it’s very powerful. So, in a simpler design where we don’t anticipate going to the desktop or so in the case of Sinclair, we used LG because we were keeping the streams in their native Pro:Idiom. Pro:Idiom is the encryption that is default with DirecTV and it’s default with Dish Network and it’s now become default in the cable industry. So we don’t need to turn off encryption, and re-encrypt. It’s just a simpler design. So if you don’t have Pro:Idiom enabled TVs, you don’t have hospitality Pro:Idiom enabled TVs. You would use the LG Pro:Idiom set-top box, the LGS STB-6500.

Jim Jachetta:

Now, if it’s a more complicated design or a design where we’re going to mobile devices, we’re going to the desktop, decrypting Pro:Idiom of the desktop is problematic. You don’t have enough horsepower. Same thing on the phone, so what we will do is DirecTV and Dish, we will get permission from DirecTV and Dish to turn off encryption, because we’re going to authenticate with Verimatrix as our partner that we’re going to re-encrypt everything with Verimatrix or re-encrypt everything with ALS. I’m sorry, AES.

Jim Jachetta:

So, Verimatrix will come into the mix on a more, a multi-platform endpoint kind of configuration. So like at the Paramount Studios lot, people want to watch stage feeds on their phones. Pro:Idiom doesn’t work well, the native streams don’t work well over wifi, so we have to transcode to HLS, encrypted HLS, so we need the video in the clear in order to do that.

Jim Jachetta:

So we’ll help you make those decisions, even if you’re not sure. “Hey, Jim, at some point in the future, maybe we want to stream to the desktop.” Then let’s go with the Verimatrix approach. Let’s go with the Amino set-top box so we’re not boxed in later on. So we’ll help you with those types of decisions.

Jim Jachetta:

So, here’s the protocol, the Tizen OS support for the Samsung TVs, the web OS, the LG web OS. We support that. We support Sony. There’s a myriad of other hospitality brands of TVs.

Jim Jachetta:

So, here’s a typical, we kind of mimic the look and feel and operation to how your television works at home. A similar EPG, that electronic program guide that you would have at home. All of this is HTML5, so it’s customizable. “Hey, Jim, I see you have the channel summary on the left, and then a little moving thumbnail on the right. I want that flipped,” or, “I want the grid at the top.”

Jim Jachetta:

Anything you see on here can be modified. We can change the look, the feel. A lot of times we just copy the color palette fonts look and feel from the customer’s website and mirror that in the television system. You can imagine some of the Nickelodeon facilities we’ve done, it’s more whimsical. They had the orange and greens, and Nickelodeon’s famous for their green slime. Right? For those of you who have kids out there, you know about the green slime on Nickelodeon. So there’s orange with the green slime kind of dripping down. That’s the graphic.

Jim Jachetta:

Whereas Viacom corporate is blue, black, and silver, more serious, more corporate-looking. So we can change that or we’ll change it for you, or we’ll teach your marketing department how to do it. Sometimes a media company is trying to internally promote a new show they’re working on or a new initiative. I know Viacom is a very green company, so they might want graphics that pop up, “Don’t forget to recycle,” that kind of thing.

Jim Jachetta:

So anything, any kind of messaging, either blatantly with signage can be pushed or more subtly as the wrap to the system, the look, the feel, the palette, and even some subtle imagery or text in the background that can be added in.

Jim Jachetta:

So, typically, we do a linear lineup like any other television system, it’s easy to deploy. We do 99% of the heavy lifting, we program everything. Our team will come out. Some systems, the customer wants it all turnkey. So Vidovation, you are going to do every TV. You’re going to do every endpoint.

Jim Jachetta:

Typically, another contractor hangs the TV. Other contractors, if it’s a new installation, they’ll build the network. So you typically, we arrive, the TVs are already hanging on the wall and plugged in, but we can do more than that. We can hang the TVs as well. But most of the time that’s a separate AV contractor. We’re brought in to build the IPTV head in, put the satellite dish on the roof, deploy the set-top boxes or program the TVs.

Jim Jachetta:

So a lot of times we’re a subcontractor, the prime contractor, or in some cases, we’re the prime. We just turnkey the whole thing, so whatever you want to do. And we encourage your team to work alongside us. What better way to train them than to install everything together. Some customers want to do most of the installation themselves, or they have another crew or the prime contractor’s going to do that. We’ll be on site to help, deploy to train your team, your prime contractors team, whatever the cases may be. We will adapt to your needs.

Jim Jachetta:

I think some of this is a little redundant, just some screenshots. You can see the different types of EPGs. So yeah, I talked about this. So, digital rights management, everyone’s like, “Oh, why is direcTV so stringent on encryption? And it’s not coming from them. Many of you folks listening today are content creators, right? As a content creator, you want your content protected. If it gets bootlegged, et cetera, that’s a loss of revenue. So really these laws and these rules come from the studios, come from the content creators and Vidovation nor our customers want to be held liable. So we’re guaranteeing that everything will be encrypted. We’re doing everything we can possible to maintain security.

Jim Jachetta:

DirecTV needs to make sure we’re keeping everything secure, but we’re trained by direcTV, being a premier partner, that’s part of it. They trust us that we’re going to keep everything encrypted. Now we’re not the encryption police. If we’re on site and “Hey, where are those videos going? Are those encrypted?” I see nothing. We are just worried about our system. We’re not going to… That’s not our job.

Jim Jachetta:

If another vendor came in and did something wrong, we might make some suggestions. Now we’re never going to deploy a system that does not comply. That we will not do. So if we’re putting a system in, we’re going to put the appropriate encryption, the appropriate digital rights management in. We’ll help you choose whether it’s Pro:Idiom, Verimatrix, AES, etcetera. We can support virtually any standard of encryption.

Jim Jachetta:

Another acceptable form of encryption is watermarking. It depends on the type of content. Some content, this just allows when something is stolen, it puts fingerprints on it to see where it was stolen from, but it doesn’t prevent the theft. So this is kind of forensic use as opposed to a preventative use. So certain types of content, also direcTV if we transcode content, now it’s not a first generation anymore.

Jim Jachetta:

Granted, we all know you transcode something or re-encode something it’s going to be a little softer. The fidelity may go away, but most people may not even notice. If it’s a second generation, then encryption may not be necessary or watermarking may be enough. Again, these are some of the solutions will help you. Some of the decisions, what we’ll help you make along the process.

Jim Jachetta:

Active directory, dual authentication. So we have an LDAP module that again, I mentioned these software modules can be turned on, and our professional services team will work with your active directory IT team to integrate the systems. And why would active directory integration be needed? Well, it’s needed at the desktop.

Jim Jachetta:

So use me as an example. I’m a mid-level employee. I’m allowed to watch certain media content. I’m a sports analyst. So I’m allowed to watch FS1, ESPN, but they don’t feel it’s appropriate for me to watch shows that are being recorded to be aired later that week, they’re afraid something might leak out. So those stage feeds are not available to me in my lineup.

Jim Jachetta:

And how does the system know that? I logged into my computer with active directory, then the television system knows, “Oh, this is Jim Jachetta. He’s only allowed to watch tier two of television, tier one includes some of those sensitive channels. That’s for executives. So if an executive’s at his desk and he, or she logs in, they know, “Okay, they can see tier one. They can see all the content.”

Jim Jachetta:

If it’s a TV in their office. When we set up that TV, when we activate that TV, we put a room number in there, and then that room number’s assigned to a certain tier, that that can see tier one content, as opposed to tier two, then maybe TVs in public spaces, lobbies, hallways, break areas, maybe that’s tier three, which then has another limitation, maybe even less channels.

Jim Jachetta:

So all this is programmable. TVs, employees, TVs, set-top boxes. Any endpoint can be moved between groups, moved between tiers. All of that is programmable. So many customers love this module. The Paramount Studios we implemented active directory. So some of this is, I don’t want to go on for two hours. I was joking at the top of the call that I have a bad habit of going on for three hours. Some of you may like it, but it is a Workday today. So let me just kind of pick. I think I mentioned most of this.

Jim Jachetta:

Oh, important thing. When we talk about the desktop, we support both Mac and PC. A lot of media companies, right? Your creatives prefer the Mac over PC, so we support both. So that’s a good feature that we have.

Jim Jachetta:

Let’s see, I think I covered a lot of this. Let me jump into this slide. So this was interesting. So end of 2019, I want to say the end of summer, maybe early fall of 2019, we rolled out our television system at the Paramount Studio lot. I don’t know if you’ve been to some of these studios or even Paramount before we came onto the scene. It was almost comical. You would see the trailers for the talent in the driveways, et cetera, in the parking lots, each with the satellite dish, then you would see a dozen satellite dishes across the roof of the sound stage.

Jim Jachetta:

So I’m sure you folks are familiar with how a lot works is, some of the facilities are used by Paramount, but a lot of times it might even be what you would consider a competing network or competing studio rents the sound stage from Paramount, so it’s a mixture.

Jim Jachetta:

Some of the people on campus are Paramount Viacom employees, and some of them are tenants. So employees when they’re on their computer logging in that’s active directory. But if I’m a tenant, I’m on my own island of a network, I’m not connected to the Viacom Paramount corporate network, so active directory doesn’t really apply. So we have to kind of maintain both worlds.

Jim Jachetta:

We maintain a user or an endpoint database of what endpoints can watch what channels. We tie that into active directory, so we’ll have a list of active directory endpoints and a list of end user endpoints. So it’s kind of the merger of kind of like almost a public or tenant viewing versus corporate employee viewing all on the same campus.

Jim Jachetta:

So 2019, we fire up the system very successfully. Dr. Phil is a big tenant on the lot at Paramount and stage feeds distributed on campus. So an exec is watching the stage feed, but then wants to go over to the commissary to grab something for lunch, but wants to keep watching, brings it up on his or her phone, can keep watching. “Okay, looks like they’re shooting.” You know how it is in production, right? Time is money. Depending upon your production, it might be 50 grand to a hundred grand an hour just to have the lights on, the union people have to be on call, the craft services, cetera. They want to see, “Okay, it looks like they’re shooting. I’m going to go eat lunch.” They’re watching. They got it in their earbud.

Jim Jachetta:

“Oh, wait, wait, there’s something wrong. Let me text somebody. Hey, why you guys stopped?” So, continuously they can jump to their phone and keep watching. COVID strikes. Now everything was shut down for a month or two, but April, May of 2020, Hey, Dr. Phil wants to come back online. We got these strict COVID protocols. We want to minimize a number of people in the studio. So a lot of executives stayed home, so we had to rush and implement off lot streaming and we had to do it securely. Now-

Jim Jachetta:

… and we had to do it securely. Now, Paramount Viacom really likes Okta dual authentication, so we integrated with Okta to authenticate. So when someone logged into the portal, in case their username and password was stolen or misplaced, they were dual authenticated with Okta, so then we know, okay, then something would be pushed to the Okta app. Yes, I am Jim Jachetta, I am an executive at Paramount. Boom. Okay. I can watch the stream.

Jim Jachetta:

Now, remember I mentioned DirecTV content can’t be moved off campus across public [streams 00:46:36], so where we were not allowed to move DirecTV or ESPN to the executive’s home, but they can watch that on their own TV so they have access to that through another means. But the stage feeds belong to the studio or, in some cases, they belong to Dr. Phil. So Paramount and VidOvation were charted with the task of getting those Dr. Phil stage feeds securely off campus and home.

Jim Jachetta:

So you can see here, inside we’ve got encoders, IGMP stage feeds, feeding a transcoder, HLS, and you see to the right here clear HLS AES going to mobile devices, and then we hand off to an HLS server on the outside of the firewall, actually in a DMZ. See these two orange lines? The top orange line is the firewall, the bottom orange line, inside those two orange lines, the DMZ.

Jim Jachetta:

Then, we didn’t want to expose our primary server to the outside world, so these two orange devices, servers on the bottom, are mirroring the servers inside so if there is an attack we’re not exposing the inside system, so it added an extra layer of security. And then, Okta dual authentication was wrapped up in this.

Jim Jachetta:

So this was very powerful. And when Viacom, when Paramount called, we’re like, “Well, okay, yeah, we can definitely do this. We’ve done this before. It’s right in our wheelhouse. Well, let me ask, when do you need it?” “Well, we needed it three weeks ago.”

Jim Jachetta:

So it took us a good couple of weeks, maybe a month. We did a lot of testing. We really needed to make sure that it was secure, that the Paramount was like, “We don’t want to rush it,” so we rolled it out slowly, did a lot of testing, but inside of a month we had it up and running and the execs were very happy. They didn’t have to come into the studio, they could watch from home.

Jim Jachetta:

These are some drawings of typical building blocks of a head end. COM3000, DirecTV, and even a QAM to IP gateway device. QAM is essentially an IP stream wrapped in QAM-modulated RF. The payload is IP. DirecTV, the payload is IP, so we don’t really need encoders. The old school approach was, I actually have a slide. Let me… Actually, let’s see, while I’m on that subject. Let’s see. Yeah.

Jim Jachetta:

So the old school approach was like this. You either had a hundred set top boxes, cable boxes, or a hundred satellite receivers. Then below it, just below that, is a row of encoders. This is early IPTV, 5, 10, 15 years ago. If you were in the encoder business, this was great. You could sell the customer a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of encoders. Well, we save you that money. If the content is coming in the building it’s wrapped, it comes off the…

Jim Jachetta:

DirecTV is IP already, why bring it back to base band and then re-encode it? You’re stepping on the video a second time. Of course, that’s going to ruin fidelity. So these five or six eight foot racks, now we can get into about 12 or 14 rack units, so it’s very, very economical in space savings.

Jim Jachetta:

So let me just back up here a little bit. So we can use a variety of encoders for stage feeds. We have certain brands that we like. We’re fans of openGear and Cobalt. One of our prime vendors, AVIWEST, our bonded cellular vendor, got bought by Haivision. We’re learning more about the Haivision. We’ve just been trained on the Haivision product. They got some amazing product.

Jim Jachetta:

Haivision are the inventors of SRT, as most of you probably know, so we can work, again, depending upon the needs. If it’s more of a corporate environment that doesn’t use SDI, for example, we have some low cost encoders with HDMI input to put in the head end.

Jim Jachetta:

So I mentioned DVRing or recording, or time shifting is very important. We’re doing some IPTV head ends overseas, so shows that the prime time is three o’clock in the morning overseas, we need the time shift those shows so they hit prime time locally. So in that case, we’re DVRing everything and delaying it 9, 10, 12 hours, whatever the case may be, to get it to hit prime time.

Jim Jachetta:

You can store in our server. Typically, our server has two terabytes of storage. It’s very common now that our customers don’t want us putting a server in. They want to do everything with VM, virtual servers. So then, the storage becomes the customer’s requirement. The customer will provide the necessary storage for DVRing or personal recording, or we can hit any storage device that’s visible on the network. So if you have a storage array and you have a certain folder on that storage array for IPTV DVR purposes, as long as that folder is visible to us, we can dump our recordings there, and dump them encrypted and securely.

Jim Jachetta:

I mentioned video on demand. We can integrate your own content, Hollywood content, pay-per-view if you need it, but most of the time, you guys are media companies, right? You have an asset library. Some customers have brought all or most of their asset library into the television system so writers, producers.

Jim Jachetta:

I learned this from working with Nickelodeon that in the writer’s room, they’re thinking of a new idea for a show, and they’re like, “We’re working on episode 300 here, but this really sounds familiar. Didn’t we do this same theme in episode 100?” Go to the video on demand, find the recording of episode 100 and watch it. “Hey guys, yep, we are repeating ourselves, we need something new.”

Jim Jachetta:

So having your assets, even your media, sports league, or your Big Ten Network or Tennis Channel, you have games that happened overseas that happened while you were sleeping. You wake up in the morning, you come into work. Now you need to watch those events and then commentate on them, write your article about it or commentate. Write the script for the sports segment later that day.

Jim Jachetta:

So streaming, adaptability, I mentioned all this. MPEG 1, 2, 4. I don’t know. Why do we skip MPEG 3? We went one, two, we skipped three, went to four. H.264, H.265. I think I covered a lot of this.

Jim Jachetta:

Here’s a closer shot of the head end. This is what a typical head end of ours looks like. So let me go from the bottom up. At the bottom, this is some of the RF plumbing that accompanies the DirecTV COM3000. A lot of cases, we put this plumbing on a wall in the back of the data center or the IDF closet. We typically require a three foot by three foot piece of plywood mounted to the wall. It’s typically where phone equipment or fire alarm equipment in a data center is usually mounted to the wall, but you don’t drill right into the concrete, right? You’ve got that cardboard. We’ll want that set up.

Jim Jachetta:

We’ll need a grounding bar, so when the satellite coaxes come into the building we want to make sure those are grounded. We don’t want lightning getting into the rack. So we spell out the requirements that we need in order to deploy. So in this particular case, this rack maybe was in the middle of a data center so we were far from the wall, so we just put it on a shelf. So just put some RF plumbing on a shelf, got some AC power management.

Jim Jachetta:

And then, the light blue box is the COM3000. The COM3000 can do IP out and QAM at the same time. QAM, it can do 138 channel output, IP, it can do slightly less, it can do 120 channels. So this slide that I showed you here, 120 channels would take five or six racks and 120 encoders, and encoders can be anywhere from 1500 to $5,000 from a pro version to a broadcast version. That’s a lot of money.

Jim Jachetta:

So this three rack, this unit right here, these three rack units, replace those six eight-foot racks or five or six eight-foot racks. We can do 120 channels of IP output DirecTV from here, either encrypted in Pro:Idiom or we get Pro:Idiom turned off. It comes out in the clear, and then we encrypt with Pro:Idiom.

Jim Jachetta:

Then stage, I believe this is the Paramount studios head end. We use Cobalt encoders to encode the stage feeds. Actually, there’s some encoders in this chassis and there’s some fiber optic extenders in here, so they used SDI. We used SDI fiber optic extenders from the sound stages to bring the SDI to the head end, and then in the same rack converted it to IP, and then we bring that into the IP system.

Jim Jachetta:

I mentioned Paramount needed desktop, smartphone, computers, set top boxes, et cetera, so we went with Verimatrix encryption. So normally, we only do one server, it’s one or two servers at most. These could have been virtualized. The first server is our IPTV middleware. The second server is our Verimatrix encryption, so that’s why there’s two.

Jim Jachetta:

So the stage feeds are fed into the Verimatrix server, which I believe is the one on the bottom. The clear IP feeds coming out of the COM3000 are fed into Verimatrix as well. So nothing leaves this room unencrypted. The IP streams are encrypted. Then I mentioned the top server. That’s the brain, that’s the IPTV middleware that manages all the endpoints, all the set top boxes.

Jim Jachetta:

And then, the top appliance is typically provided by the customer. This is an uplink switch, so you see all these LAN connections on the left. That’s hooked to all the assets below it, and then the two fiber cords going out to the right, we want our IP streaming traffic, our multicast IP traffic, we want it fed directly to the core switch. So the core switch is in another room or another part of the data center, so that’s where these fibers are going to.

Jim Jachetta:

So you see here, by not having those six racks of set top boxes and encoders, we save anywhere from 50 to $350,000 in encoders. We’re saving on rack space, we’re saving on electricity costs, HAVC costs, you name it. Less moving parts. You see here, there’s three blades in here, there’s room for six. Each blade does 20 channels. There’s 20 DirecTV tuners per blade. It’s amazing, the density.

Jim Jachetta:

And there’s a similar appliance for Dish Network. DirecTV uses a Technicolor box called the COM3000, Dish Network uses, their box is red, a red box called the Smartbox. The Smartbox is a little bigger, the COM3000 is three rack units, the Smartbox, I believe, is four.

Jim Jachetta:

So I covered this. So here’s the workflow or the signal flow from the roof to the COM3000. So we typically put the dish on the roof. We ask that the customer or the landlord of the building the customer is in, they put a roof-penetrating conduit in. VidOvation will never drill through someone’s roof, we don’t want the liability for a leak, so we recommend the customer, whoever puts the conduit in should be whoever has the warranty on the roof, so then if a leak does happen we don’t void the warranty. We say, “Well, you installed the conduit, you have the warranty for the roof. If there’s a leak, you need to repair it.” So that’s what we recommend.

Jim Jachetta:

Most of our customers are media companies already, they have GPS antennas on the roof, other satellite equipment on the roof, radios, telemetry, microwave. There’s usually a conduit for us to use. If not, Paramount is a union facility, they had the union put a nice, big, fat conduit in for us from the data center to the roof of the data center. So we put the satellite dish on the roof of the data center.

Jim Jachetta:

Then we usually bring a minimum of four, DirecTV recommends two spares, so we’ll bring six coaxes in ground down from the roof. We’ll have a grounding bar to stop any lightning. Then we have a polarity locker, an AGC amp, a tap for distribution. And then, we have this SWiM technology of DirecTV. What that does is it makes every transponder, every channel, visible to every tuner.

Jim Jachetta:

I don’t know if you remember, 20 years ago in your home, if you had multiple TVs, if your wife was watching a certain channel downstairs, you couldn’t see a channel upstairs because you were on a different transponder. All that’s done with now. Any tuner can see any channel. The technology has solved all those problems. So we install all of this for you in the data center.

Jim Jachetta:

You can see here, Nickelodeon, in one facility didn’t want the antenna visible from the roof so we tucked it away. What do they call it? It’s like a vanity wall that goes around the HVAC gear, so we were able to mount the dish inside the lip of the wall, and then still get our south-easterly…

Jim Jachetta:

Basically, we’re aiming for Texas or the Caribbean, the satellite dishes are over the Caribbean, so wherever we are in the world, if we’re on the west coast, we’re aiming south-easterly, south-southeast, probably, and then New York, east coast, we’re probably aiming south-southwest, basically aiming towards Texas.

Jim Jachetta:

And then you’re like, What’s that funny antenna above it?” Well, that’s pointed at Mount Wilson. That’s the satellite dish bringing in over-the-air at TV signals. So we have a nice appliance that can bring in eight over-the-air TV signals, and it’s a good idea to bring in some ATSC. There might be some hyper local channels that are not available on DirecTV or Dish.

Jim Jachetta:

We’ve done projects where we’ve brought DirecTV, Dish, cable, and over-the-air. There were certain cable channels that they needed on the network, there were certain channels not available on DirecTV that they needed from Dish. Believe it or not, on the Nickelodeon installation, the Nickelodeon music channel is not available on DirecTV, and they’re like, “Hey, Jim, you need to fix that.” It’s like, “You guys are the content owner, you need to sell that to DirecTV, that’s not my job.” So we had to put a Dish Network receiver in just to get the Nickelodeon music channel for the Nickelodeon music execs at corporate.

Jim Jachetta:

So we can mix all the above together, and then the nice thing about over-the-air, I’m sure most of you know, you want the best-looking picture you go over-the-air. The satellites are very limited in bandwidth so it’s a pretty heavily compressed signal. So it’s funny. I think CBS west, we were getting over-the-air. We were going to KCBS, right? It looked beautiful. Why does KCBS East not look as sharp? Well, that’s coming through DirecTV, it’s got more compression because the satellite has limited bandwidth.

Jim Jachetta:

Same thing with cable. Cable doesn’t have infinite bandwidth. Neither does over-the-air but over-the-air, unless you’re multicasting many, many channels, usually the primary channel on over-the-air is at 19.4 megabits per second, or close to it. And at ATSC, over-the-air TV signal at 19 megs, HD looks real nice. So you might want, if there’s certain channels that you want a little extra quality, that’s a great way to bring it into the system with an over-the-air tuner.

Jim Jachetta:

So that’s the beauty of our system. We can support. There’s systems out there that don’t do Pro:Idiom, that don’t do Verimatrix, so we support all the forms of encryption. Theoretically, we haven’t met a content provider or a form of content we couldn’t bring into a system. We support all your choices of content.

Jim Jachetta:

I mentioned this earlier that in the case of cable TV, we have a QAM to IP appliance that’s four rack units high and can bring in 60 channels. So in the way that the COM3000 tunes 120 channels of DirecTV, this is not quite as dense. It can do up to 60 channels of cable TV. So you feed RF QAM in the back of it and it spits out IP, and it’s compatible with Pro:Idiom, compatible with Verimatrix, it’s compatible with the decryption cards that the cable industry uses.

Jim Jachetta:

So I touched on this. We integrate live, internal, and studio feeds into the system, so even in the corporate environment, hey, I don’t have a studio, it’s not uncommon for the CEO or the senior management to do a town hall session broadcast live to the troops. If they’re at work, it’ll be on the television system, if they’re at home, like today, it could be bridged over the Zoom.

Jim Jachetta:

It’s actually become very common where we bridge the two worlds together. We can take feeds from the IPTV system, convert them to NDI, and Teams, Microsoft Teams, supports NDI. I believe Zoom supports NDI now. So any feed can be brought into a conferencing system as a virtual camera. If we use an SDI to a USB capture device, and as long as the driver for that capture device can emulate a virtual camera, we can bring any video into the Zoom or the conferencing world, so we can integrate with conferencing systems.

Jim Jachetta:

I talked about the emergency alert systems. When there’s a fire, the system knows where the TV is. We can get very granular where the TVs at the end of the east hall have a map to the exit, the TVs at the east end of the hall, it’s a different staircase you’ve got to go down. You see, we can have a little graphic of where to exit the building, so we can get really granular of what to do.

Jim Jachetta:

Active shooter, and put the procedures on the wall, hide in place, barricade the wall, get under your desk, don’t move, don’t breathe. Don’t call for help. The instructions for whatever the emergency might be. Tornado, if you’re in the tornado belt, all that information could be pushed in an emergency to the television system. And an announcement can even be pushed out of the television system.

Jim Jachetta:

I mentioned the switcher. So that’s the web-based system to control everything. You can of course control everything from the back end, but that person usually needs to be a little bit more technical. They could get into trouble, they could break something. We do have different levels of access. We have a designer access level, where that person can only access digital signage things. They can’t break the channel lineup.

Jim Jachetta:

So we do have some safeguards, but if you want end users, or a manager, or even a non-technical person to give them the ability simply to control, we recommend the switcher module, which gives you browser-based control.

Jim Jachetta:

Let me see. Talked about integrating with conferencing. I touched on this digital signage. We can do pretty much all the bells and whistles of any signage system. Sometimes a customer, they’re like, “You know, Jim, I know your signage system is better, more-“

Jim Jachetta:

They’re like, you know, Jim, I know your signage system is better, more powerful, but our team is used to brand X. They’re trained on it. We don’t want to switch. So we make some signage channels. The beauty of getting signage from VidOvation, we can easily merge signage with live TV. So in other words, if you have a TV in the lobby and you want ESPN Live or CNN or Fox News Channel Live, we can do an L bar around it. We can have active zones, we can even have little media clips rolling. So whereas if it’s a separate system, that system may not be able to support live, the integration of live video, but there’s ways around that. So a common thing we’ll do is channel zero is the signage line-up and TVs on the campus floor that are supposed to show signage we’ll remotely tune them to channel zero and lock them on channel zero. No one can change that. So no one will even know that signage player is not part of the VidOvation system.

Jim Jachetta:

What we do is we take the HDMI output of your signage player and put an HDMI in coder behind it, and then bring that in. So the sky is the limit, but we do recommend using our system. I’ll give you another example. A customer had another brand’s signage behind every TV. They had hundreds of these players. Now they want to add television. Oh, well, what do I do with all my players? And I don’t want to throw them all out and again, we still want to use the players. So I said, “Well, how many unique zones of signage do you have at one time? Oh, five or six.” So we went from a hundred players to just six players. We put those six players at the head end, fed them into HDMI encoders, and brought them in as channels. So there we can integrate with existing systems, legacy systems. We’ll adapt to your needs. Ticker overlay. This is like a baby version of signage.

Jim Jachetta:

Maybe you don’t want the whole sinus thing. This could be used for alerts. Tornado warning, fire, any kind of internal, or it could be a little crawl. Don’t forget in the commissary to get your flu shot today or flu shot in the health department today, or today is the blue plate special in the commissary is meatloaf. Whatever it might be. I always talk about food. Sky’s the limit. You see, you make it go across the bottom, the top, you have some control over it. Analytics I mentioned, this would be helpful if you want to know what channels people are watching. Like say, you are limited to the 120 channels, but there’s 200 channels of DirecTV. So you got to pair it down and there’s a constant struggle. What channel? Oh, no, one’s watching The History Channel.

Jim Jachetta:

Great. Let’s put something else in there or in the example where I mentioned HR needs to know if people watch a certain training video, these analytics could come into hand. I kind of touched on this. The whole environment is controlled with style sheets. It’s just like a website. You know, it’s HTML five, everything you can see on the top, it’s a more busy interface of a hotel. There’s guest services, Viacom. It’s just blue, white, and black, very corporate, just one button television. There could be a video-on-demand button. All of this could be changed. If you want this to look a certain way, certain look, and feel it’s a hundred percent compatible. I mentioned this before too, our system can support HS, HD, 4K, or a mixture. You can always add 4K capability later.

Jim Jachetta:

Some customers want to integrate some of the property management security cameras into the system. As long as they’re in peg one, two, or four, they can be brought in, and obviously, you don’t want employees watching this. Maybe some of these cameras are in sensitive areas that employees shouldn’t be watching, but you can distribute these to the VP of security. The VP, anyone in the security department can watch these security feeds in the system. In sporting venues, it’s important that there’s low latency from the camera, the on-campus camera, encoder, and the step-top box. What do I mean by that? So you’re in a VIP suite and you’re watching a baseball game, someone hits a home run. We can get the latency as low as half a second glass to glass. So we can’t get it to zero but half a second’s pretty good.

Jim Jachetta:

So home run, you look up at the TV, a split second later. Now you see the home run again. So you could argue a little bit of latency is good that you can see the home run real quick. A lot of times in VFP suite, you’re kind of elevated looking down at the field, and then slightly up on your eye line are the TVs. So the TVs where some of our competing systems are a second or two behind. That’s a little offputting or it’s very offputting, if they’re out of sync with each other, that will look weird. And then if there’s live speakers, the audio is offputting. So we keep the channels in sync, the TV’s in sync with each other, and minimize the latency.

Jim Jachetta:

We don’t want to do this to your IT guy, your IT department, or guys and gals. We got to bring them into the conversation early, keep them happy. We give you some network planning guides, some, little cheat sheet on IGMP, your internet group multicast protocol. How to set that up. We’ll work with your team. On many installs we need a DNS record add. Why do we need that? So our set-top boxes will look for iptv.vidovation.com as the server. Well, on your corporate network, that URL is meaningless. We need a DNS record, resolving vidovation.iptv.com to the actual physical address of the middleware server. If we’ve had some customers, no, we don’t do DNS records. We just don’t do that or we don’t like that. Well, we then have to code the DNS IP address into every server, which is doable.

Jim Jachetta:

We’ve done it. I’ve been on site with my team where we had a thousand endpoints. We had to key that all in manually and that’s just the way the customer wanted it. That was the rules of the network. So there’s the typical way we do it and then there’s your way we do it. We’ll do it your way. However, you guys want it. So more little cheat sheets on typically for network planning, direct TV streams average eight megs. Your CNN you’re talking head is at four megs, your sports or channels might be 12. We say an average of eight. So we want to make sure you have enough backbone capacity on your network to support the multicast streams. So we help you with that planning. I believe Fallon distributed an ebook we have on our Nickelodeon and Viacom deployments.

Jim Jachetta:

Here’s some pictures now. My wife didn’t believe me. So Viacom is a great place. So I’ve gone on a morning to do some maintenance and certain days of the week in the morning, they put out a breakfast… Again, I’m back to the food, a breakfast spread, egg burritos. Then on special occasions on Fridays, they do a happy hour. So this was the party for the grand opening of the building. This was the new Viacom building on Gower. So what Viacom did, Comedy Central, BET. They had lots of different facilities all around the Hollywood area, the LA area and they did some consolidation. Now they didn’t bring all their studios in, but a lot of their executives are under this new roof on Gower and just for collaboration. So that’s what the building was built for, for corporate governance, for collaboration, everyone under one roof and I’m texting my wife.

Jim Jachetta:

I got invited to the party and I thanked my Viacom buddies for doing that. And you can see top left. That is actually Snoop Dogg, Snoop Dogg DJed the party. The guy in white is one of his entourage and I’m texting my wife. I’m like, “I’m at a party with Snoop Dogg.” She’s like, “There’s no way you’re cool enough to be at a party with Snoop Dogg.” But he’s got a hoodie on. He actually spoke. So he was doing the Martha Stewart Show on one of the Viacom channels, like a cooking show. He’s hysterical. I saw a couple episodes where his food actually beat out Martha Stewart and she’s a professional cook. The family and friends love Snoop Dogg’s chicken better his fried chicken, his grandmother’s recipe than Martha Stewart’s recipe. So go figure. So that was a lot of fun.

Jim Jachetta:

That project was a lot of fun, but you can read more about it in the ebook that Fallon in the handed out. Many of you probably know of VidOvation already. I think of ourselves that we’re a technology integrator, a systems integrator. We provide consulting, design engineering, system integration, project management, warranty, and support. We, in addition, to IPTV and digital signage, we’re very proficient in wireless communications, video, audio data, Intercom. We do a lot with Bonded Cellular with a high vision Abbey West products. We have a new product line from Mobile Viewpoint that has AI-driven camera systems that eliminate the need for camera operators, which is getting a lot of traction right now. Just reach out to us. Here’s some little blurbs on some of the other projects we’ve done. Sinclair, Tennis Channel, Bally. I mentioned Paramount, Nick. All of this will… It takes about a week. We put the recording online, we transcode it. We’ll put the presentation online, the assets we handed out. If you didn’t download them or if you missed it, we’ll put those on the recording website for you guys to log in later. So-

Fallon:

Hey, Jim, you have a few questions. Would you like me to-

Jim Jachetta:

Yes. Yes.

Fallon:

I can read a couple and if you don’t have time to get through them, we can reply to them separately, but one of them was from somebody who asked, how do you audio watermark the content?

Jim Jachetta:

It’s a transcoder. So typically when we’re doing watermarking, we’re transcoding or reencoding, and there’s several ways. It’s either some secret telemetry or codes put in the vertical interval, or there’s something in the corner of the video the pixels are manipulated in certain pattern that’s not visible to the human eye. So there’s various techniques but depending upon their requirement. One of the vendors that does the watermarking is Zv, I’m sure you’ve heard of them. We’re a Zv partner. So it depends on the application. It’s rare that’s needed, but it did come up on a project where it was required to do the watermarking. So it does require a little bit manipulation. We need it after transcode to put the watermark in, and it’s usually not visible, at least not to the naked eye.

Fallon:

Okay. We’ll do one more since you’re running a little bit late here. It’s does your digital signage have any mobile interactive capabilities, like a QR code, et cetera?

Jim Jachetta:

Yeah, actually, I saw that question flash by. We learn a lot of things from our customers and our system is very open. Now since our television system runs in a browser, it will run in a browser on a phone. So there could be… I would think of maybe a museum application, would jump into my mind, could be a QR code. You want to find out more or advertising, you want to find out more of what you’re looking at. Go to the QR code and the QR code could be the URL of the television or the IPTV system, and even a given channel number. So, absolutely. We could totally do that. If you have an application in mind to use that QR code, certainly reach out to me. My contact information is up on the slide right now you can call or email me. I love answering. I think the questions are the most important part, Fallon. Are there any other-

Fallon:

Yeah. Of course. Yeah. Of course. Do you have a case study for hotel application? I guess that’d be a quick answer.

Jim Jachetta:

Yes, we do. We have presentations. We’ve done the Hard Rock Corporation bought the Trump Taj Mahal and the Trump casino in Atlantic City. And it’s beautiful now. The facilities were 20 years old, they needed a renovation. We did the television system for the casino floor. We’ve done many casinos, several Native American-owned casinos, The Point Casino, the Mystic Lake Casino and we’ve done hotel rooms as well. So I can send you some information. I’m sure, Fallon. I believe it’s recorded. We know who asked what questions so we can either myself and my colleague, Rick Anderson, most likely will be the one following up after the show. So we can get you more information if not today, very soon.

Fallon:

All right. You have time for one more?

Jim Jachetta:

Sure.

Fallon:

All right. What have been some of the challenges you have faced with rolling blackouts and how did you resolve it?

Jim Jachetta:

Rolling blackouts, I guess they mean electrical blackouts.

Fallon:

That’s what I’m thinking.

Jim Jachetta:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, yeah. One of our casino customers, they’re in a very rural area. I grew up back East. I grew up on Long Island, so I am very used to blackouts. All the electrical lines are above ground on Long Island. So summertime, in the fall and late summer, we’d have hurricanes. Knock all the power lines down. In the winter ice storms would come through, freeze all the lines and snap the lines. So as a kid, we’ve always had a backup generator in the house because you might lose power for a week at a time. In the middle of winter, you don’t want to freeze to death. So what the casino ended up doing is they had a lot of outages, interruptions. They now put in big backup generators.

Jim Jachetta:

And the problems that we saw were not so much the television system. It was the network. So a switch wouldn’t come back up correctly, or a switch would get hung up. So as far as the endpoints, the TVs, the set-top boxes, those are pretty resilient, those correct themselves. So I would recommend if you have blackouts and you want to keep things running, put battery UPSs on all your switches, keep the network up. Because it’s 99% of the time it’s the network. If you’re using a VM Server, make sure there’s battery and you want it where it’s the type of backup where the system is running on the load all the time. In other words, it’s a little bit more expensive, so in other words, there’s not a glitch. You want it where it’s clean power all the time. Use the more expensive battery backups on all your IT infrastructure on the servers for sure.

Jim Jachetta:

Servers are going to be less forgiving for glitchy or power interruptions. That’s usually when something fails. The set-top boxes, I’m not worried about. I think that would be overkill putting battery back up on a TV or a set-top box and then it’s just one endpoint. If one endpoint doesn’t come up, somebody can go reboot that or if the set-top box is online, but not behaving properly, we can reboot remotely. Whereas infrastructure, the server, that’s a choke point. We’d want to take care of that. So that would be my recommendation in any kind of an install have power conditioning, power backup on… Have good ups on any of the critical elements of your infrastructure.

Fallon:

All right. One more here. For productions that are only on location, what hardware is used to allow executives to watch on their mobile device? I can-

Jim Jachetta:

So, yeah, I think that might bridge into the production world. So if I understand correct and we do have technology for that. So a lot of times we call it remote directing. So if I’m understanding the question correctly, we would use our Bonded Cellular technology. So if it’s a live show, your cameras go live. We do an at-home production, cameras go live they ISO the feeds, home run the feeds back to master control, produce the show from home. But I think this question is maybe it’s a scripted show, they’re recording in camera, but they want execs to see… Exec doesn’t have to be sitting in the video village to watch what’s going on, on-site. They’re at home in their office, or they’re at their home-home.

Jim Jachetta:

So we would put Bonded Cellular technology on or near the camera and a lot of times we just take the viewfinder output of the camera and feed that back to the executives. Then that could be fed into a television system either at home or on campus for distribution. So hopefully that answers the question. I think we would use a Bonded Cellular piece if I’m understanding correctly, to get the camera feeds out of the remote production location. If I misunderstood that, when Rick follows up with you guys and gals on your questions, we can clarify those things. You can reach me, Jim, at vidovation.com or at 949-777-5435. Jim Jachetta, if you Google my name it’ll come up on social media. So thanks everyone for joining. And, oh, I just see my email alerts went into the feed. Oops. I hope that wasn’t sitting there too long. Thanks, everyone. Have a great day and thanks for joining. Thanks, Fallon.

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