17 Costly Mistakes to Avoid when Building an IPTV & Digital Signage Headend
Webinar Recording, Presentation and Transcript
In this training session, attendees will learn how to design a successful, impressive, cost-effective IPTV and digital signage system that suits a customer’s 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
- 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 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.
Jim Jachetta, CTO at VidOvation, Engineer, Design Consultant, Integrator, Trainer, Teacher, Author & Speaker
With more than 25 years of experience in designing, integrating, and delivering video transmission and distribution systems, Jim Jachetta is the driving force behind VidOvation’s world-class technology that makes the impossible and never been done before a viable solution within your daily business operations. Using modern, easy to support technology, Jim and the talented VidOvation team creatively design, implement, and support wireless, cellular, IPTV, video over IP, and fiber optics installations that meet your organization’s business goals, and at a price point that fits any size, scope, and budget.
Jim Jachetta (00:00:01):
Good morning, everyone. We’re going to get started now, for those of you that don’t know me. I’m Jim Jacquetta CTO and co-founder of Vidovation. We thank you for joining us today. We hope you’re all staying safe and healthy out there. Hope to see you folks sometime soon, either at your facilities, or at a trade show, or an industry event. I’m looking forward to getting back out on the road. Today we’re going to talk about how to design, sell and deploy an enterprise IPTV, and digital signage system. I think it’s appropriate for me to start with what’s our definition of IPTV. Internet protocol television, that’s a pretty wide statement, a pretty wide definition. That could be Netflix or Hulu. We use the word enterprise because it’s inside the corporate environment, we could say corporate IPTV.
Jim Jachetta (00:01:05):
What are we typically doing? We’re distributing. If we’re dealing with a media company, a studio, a TV station. They’ll have their own internal content and media that they need to move around. Even your typical enterprise, a big corporation, a pharma company, they have corporate videos, training videos, the CEO gives a speech. There is an element of your own content, your own internal content that you move around. But then we combine that with external content. And most of the time we will integrate either satellite like DirecTV or DishNet, or CableTV, or over the air television, or all of the above. Many projects we will do internal feeds, studio feeds, over the air, cable, satellite, dish, and DirectTV to get a full wide variety of content, so that’s where we’re coming from.
Jim Jachetta (00:02:15):
And one thing I like to do with the webinars is do a little survey. How many of you folks are actually working with IPTV right now and digital signage? Or do you plan to work with it soon? Have you deployed something yet? Is it something in the pipeline? Or you have no real plans, but you’re just here today for curiosity. Please vote and let us know where you guys are at in your IPTV journey. Here we go, some votes are coming in. All right. Let’s see here. Yeah. Let me see. Oh, no, I hit the wrong button. Let me see here. I’ve done this before. Well, I’ll read it to you in case I lose it. 67% said yes. 33%. No, but plan two, and zero said no and no future plan. Good, you’re in the right place. Yeah. You should see the results now on your screen. It’s weird. I can’t see that. I can’t see what you see, but you should see some results on the screen right now. Let me hide that. Why do IPTV? Is it always necessary? What’s the rule of thumb? As many of you probably know the old school approach is traditionally bulky RF cables. And you can see this picture. I found this picture online.
Jim Jachetta (00:04:02):
I don’t know where that is in the world, but isn’t that great. All that rats nets of CableTV cables on a pole. You can barely see there’s a guy in there. You see, there’s a worker there trying to try to troubleshoot a signal. But you need these bulky RF cables, you need line amplifiers, it’s hard to scale. If you have a very big enterprise, you can only amplify so much. The signal starts getting noisy. And what we have found in the last five or so years, or maybe even a little more, they’re not building buildings anymore with RF cables in the wall, maybe 10, 20 years ago, they would pull network cables, they would pull phone lines, they would pull RF for television, into every suite, into every room. It’s not the case anymore.
Jim Jachetta (00:04:59):
It’s just not being put into the scope of work for buildings. They’re just dropping three, or four, or five LAN connections in a room or in a suite. And that’s it, you hook up your phone, you hook up your computers, then customers are like, all right, but now I want television. How do I bring it in? IPTV in many installations is the only choice. And we do it over the customer’s existing network, which is the great thing. Let me see, I mentioned scalability, so cable, you can only do so many amplifiers as I mentioned, but you’re going to get too much signal to noise, too much noise if you amplify too much. IP is virtually unlimited. The scalability is unlimited. As long as you have network capacity. I mean, of course we will work with you and your customers to make sure your network can handle the payload, but I’ll get into it a little bit more, but we distribute the video as multicast, which alleviates a lot of the overhead or the strain on your network.
Jim Jachetta (00:06:18):
The video only propagates through the network when it’s requested. Whereas if you do it Unicast you need more capacity on your own network. Here’s the old school way of building a head end for IPTV. In this particular picture, you can see vertically, these are satellite receiver boxes. Let’s pretend if this was a cable IPTV head, and they were bringing CableTV in, instead of those satellite boxes, it would be cable set top boxes. They would be all racked up and it takes like four or five rack units to hold about eight of these. And then the gear underneath each group of those is a bunch of encoders.
Jim Jachetta (00:07:13):
You can see in a typical installation, we take four and a half racks, almost five racks, and get it down to about a quarter of a rack, or a third of a rack, about 12, or 14 rack units. We can eliminate all this space. You save space, you save on electricity, you save on HVAC, to cool all of these electronics costs money. I had one integrator said, but we like a big rack like this because we charged for all the cabling, all the connections, we have to build this rack. Well, you want to give your customer a state of the art, or you wanted to design a state of the art system.
Jim Jachetta (00:08:04):
You can put your emphasis on building this little rack, or you can work on other areas for your customer, instead of building this enormous wasteful rack. What are some of the benefits? Why go through all of this trouble? Look at this, my web cam is covering the text. I can’t read it. Eliminate expensive encoders, so aside from the space and the electricity and the HVAC, there’s other caveats that, that a lot of these set top boxes or receivers have HTMI outputs. And often enough, the HTMI has HDCP encryption turned on, so we can’t encode them easily. We need a satellite receiver and a set top box with component analog outputs. They actually don’t make this style of box anymore, you have to buy them refurbished.
Jim Jachetta (00:09:12):
There will be a time when we can’t even get these satellite receivers or these set top boxes. And then from a quality standpoint an engineering standpoint, whether it’s cable or satellite, the signal is already IP, it’s already digital. We bring it back to base band and then re-encode, so we’re stepping on the video twice. And the video by the time it’s been delivered to the head end, or to your home, or to your enterprise, it’s been stepped on multiple times. It was hi-res when it left the studio, but then it goes through a distribution network, it goes over satellite, it goes over fiber, goes through your cable operators network, goes through the satellite network. You really want to go back to base span and re-encode. You’re going to lose fidelity. You’re going to lose quality.
Jim Jachetta (00:10:08):
And if you’re talking a decent pro AV grade encoder, it’s about $1,500, a thousand dollars a channel for a decent encoder. If you want to broadcast encoder, it’s seven or 8,000 bucks. You multiply that by 50 channels, 100 channels, 200 channels. I’m sure there’s someone out there that would love to sell you 200 encoders at $1,500 a piece and build this big, expensive rack for you. But what we’re trying to show you today is a better way of doing it a more cost-effective, space saving, electricity saving, air conditioning saving approach. I have the bad habit of talking about the next slide on the prior slide. The heart of our… Most of our installs, we really like DirectTV. We’re a DirecTV partner, and I’m sure you’ve all been out there. I’m sure there are some cable companies that are good out there, or they’re getting better, but we have found that we get… Vidovation as a DirectTV partner, we get amazing service and support as do our customers. And you call them up, things are rectified instantly, you get someone on the phone.
Jim Jachetta (00:11:44):
The heart of most of our IPTV systems is a box made for DirectTV by Technicolor. I’m sure you have all heard of Technicolor. And the latest generation of satellite receiver appliances, the COM3000 and the COM3000 can do up to 138 DirectTV tuners for QAM output. If we’re doing IP only output it’s 96 tuners. 96 is quite a bit. And of course we can scale it. If somebody wants more than 96 channels in their IPTV, we could put two or three COMM3000 appliances. This is why we’re able to shrink from four or five, eight foot racks down to three racks, frankly. I mean, there’s other accessory hardware to go with it. I’ll get into that, but the brain or the heart of the system is a three rack appliance called the COM3000 and the COM3000 can actually output QAM, and RF QAM, and IP.
Jim Jachetta (00:12:54):
I’ll give you a scenario. A lot of times when we’re doing a university, the administrative wing, the educational buildings, the classrooms, they want a more modern IPTV environment. They want the DVR capability, the video on demand, all the bells and whistles. But in the dorms, they just want live TV, just something quick and dirty. And they’re like, we’ll update the dorms to IP later. We already have RF in the building. So we are able to do a hybrid of both RF QAM, and IP. We can mix and match the environments together. It is possible. And here I give you some numbers. Depending upon the size of your system, by not using those four or five, eight foot racks, you save anywhere from 50 to $350,000. A lot of times when we’re bidding on a project, a customer will be like, I think there’s a couple of zeroes missing from your proposal. I’m like, what’s that? I said. Well, your competitor quoted $400,000 worth of encoders. Why does your system not need that? Well, this is a better way to go. This is a more modern approach to an IPTV head end.
Jim Jachetta (00:14:20):
I can describe a little more to like what we see here in the rack. At the top, it’s not uncommon for us to put a computer of some sort, some customers want their own computer there, with their own enterprise IT or InfoSec approved image on it. Like for Viacom, Nickelodeon, your bigger enterprises, that’s the case. With smaller customers, we just put a computer in there with team viewer, so we can remote and control the system. With larger customers we’re given vendor access to the network and we log into the management PC that the customer puts in. But regardless there’s some sort of a computer in the head end. Then below that you can kind of see there’s an over the air TV tuner, and then the black unit with all the lights on it. That’s the predecessor to the COM3000 called the COMM2000.
Jim Jachetta (00:15:22):
To the naked eye the only difference is the older unit is black and the newer unit is blue, but very similar, so you can see that three are your three rack unit. Then you see some racks below that’s some of the RF plumbing. This particular customer, didn’t want anything mounted on the wall. Typically what we do with the RF gear, the amplifiers, the swim distribution units. We’ll have the customer mount plywood to the wall and we’ll screw the RF plumbing to the back wall. This customer didn’t want anything on their back wall, so we rack mounted it. You see there’s a couple of rack units. Normally we wouldn’t need that space, that stuff would be put on the back wall. Then at the very bottom, we typically put in one or two HP servers, we tend to like HP.
Jim Jachetta (00:16:18):
They have the HP enterprise series, good remote diagnostic tools, capabilities that we like. One or two servers, one server is typically is what we call the middleware, the brain of the whole telecom and system, the middleware software runs on that server combined with any kind of video on demand engine, or DVR, or recording capability. And then the second server is if we’re doing onsite encryption. We like to use Verimatrix encryption, and I have slides on that. I’ll get into that. The reason why we like Verimatrix is because encryption and digital rights management is all that company does. And they’re the only encryption that is universally recognized and accepted. The studios accept it, the content creators. That’s important, the ones that make the rules, satellite and CableTV accept it. Not every system has the ability to integrate Verimatrix.
Jim Jachetta (00:17:30):
That is one of the building blocks of our solution that we fully integrate with Verimatrix. Our second choice on systems that are a little bit more limited. When we go to mobile and the desktop with our IPTV system, we need to go the Verimatrix route. If you don’t need those capabilities, and you want to save a little bit of money we’ll stick with, with Pro:Idiom encryption, but Verimatrix is the most universally accepted. Here again, I mention again saving Rackspace, HVAC costs, and electricity there at the bottom. Instead of the four or five, eight foot racks, we only require 10 to 14 racks depending upon your options, of course. A common question we get… Now some of you folks out there are end users, some of you are integrators. We work with both.
Jim Jachetta (00:18:31):
Now if we’re working with a systems integrator Vidovation typically does not pull cable. We do not install monitors and televisions. The only cabling we may pull is from the roof to the head end for the satellite, and the over the air. In this picture, you can see on the very top is a directional over the air TV antenna. And then we have the DirectTV dish. What you’re seeing there is like the [parapet or 00:19:05] or the wall that they use to block ugly HVAC equipment on a roof, so you can’t see it from the ground or from adjacent buildings. This was I believe at Nickelo…, No, this was a Viacom in Hollywood, so we put the dish kind of below the lip of the parapet so no one could see it. They didn’t want the dish visible, but unfortunately over the air TV, because it’s directional we had the peak that antenna up over the edge.
Jim Jachetta (00:19:32):
And we typically will use… In this case, you see we mounted the dish to the wall. Typically, we use a non penetrating roof mount. We don’t want to drill into anyone’s roof. If there needs to be a conduit penetrating the roof and with a rain hood on it, for us to run our cabling and most customers have some sort of antennas on the roof. If not, you want to get whoever installed the roof needs to puncture or put the hole in it. The reason being if you, or I, or the customer, or even the landlord punches a hole in a roof and there’s a leak, you void the leak warranty on your roof. You want the roof installer or manufacturer to do the roof penetration to code and to do it properly, and make sure they’re going to honor your guarantee. That’s why we like having a non penetrating roof mount it’s just like a slab just sits up on the roof. We’ll turn key this, Vidovation will come in and work with the customer directly. If we’re working with an integrator. Vidovation just acts as a subcontractor to the primary contractor, primary integrator. We come in, we build the head end, we put the satellite dish on the roof, the antennas on the roof. We will help the integrator or the customer and train them how to install the set top boxes, but it’s very easy. When you bring up a set top box for the first time you enter some sort of a designator and I’ll get into this, but see again, I’m spoiling future slides. You enter like a room number, or conference room one, break area three, lobby annex, whatever, some alpha numeric code to identify that location, this way you can manage the boxes. Let me keep going here, so this slide actually shows the older COMM2000. I didn’t have a slide like this with the COM3000, but so just pretend what you’re seeing here is blue, not black, but it’s basically the same setup. It’s virtually identical. You have this three rack unit appliance, the COMM2000 you see each of these blades, you see the RF input on each tuner. The COMM3000 has two RF spigots per tuner. And you can do up to 16 tuners per blade. There’s six blades, so six times 16, that’s how you get 96 tuners. We can do 23 tuners if we’re doing QAM output. You can see on the right here, there’s a… I’m sorry, on the left. There’s a land connection and another RF spigot.
Jim Jachetta (00:22:36):
You can output IP or RF QAM to be able to do IP and QAM at the same time. Then here up at the top, this is some of the RF plumbing, no need to get into all the technical details on that. But basically you have the… They don’t call the dish, the dish, we call that the outdoor unit, the ODU, the outdoor unit or dish. There’s four or six cables that come in, so we need a conduit that can handle six cables. Actually, let me go to the next slide. Yeah. Then we ground it, we want to have earth, so usually behind the rack we want that piece of cardboard, not cardboard, a nice three foot by three foot piece of plywood mounted behind the rack. We need to bring power to this wall and a ground.
Jim Jachetta (00:23:35):
We got to get the electrical department or the electrician involved to bring us a power and a good ground. God forbid the dish or the ODU gets struck by lightning, this grounding bar is what protects all the equipment inside the building. Then we have what’s called a polarity locker that talks to the LDU, I’m sorry, the LNB or the low noise unit, the receiver in the dish. The polarity locker sends power to amplify the signal and then also locks the polarity, and then there’s an amplifier. Then these SWiM devices take the six signals and then help to distribute them to each of the tuner ports on the COM3000. I kind of touched on this, why go to all this trouble? Why go to IPTV? Customers ask us all the time, Oh, I have a CableTV system.
Jim Jachetta (00:24:45):
Is it working? Yeah. Do you want to be able to stream to mobile devices? Do you want to stream to the desktop? Do you need video on demand? Do you need to distribute your own internal content? If you don’t need all these features, maybe you’re not ready for IPTV. But you’ll hear these advanced features, so if you have an existing CableTV system, yes, there are techniques you could use to bring studio feeds into CableTV, but you’re throwing money at older technology. In our opinion, it would be better to make that investment into new technology. CableTV, we can only distribute to displays and TVs. As I said, can’t go to computers, can’t go to mobile, can’t go to tablets.
Jim Jachetta (00:25:45):
IPTV gives us the ability to go to the desktop, to laptops, smartphones, tablets, set top boxes, smart TVs, regular TVs, and any kind of display. We have that flexibility. It’s very common now to just buy a smart TV. It’s not any smart TV, and I’m not talking about a smart TV that you buy at Costco or Best Buy, this has to be a hospitality grade smart TV. And then our IPTV app is in the app store, so you configure the app instead of a set top box. Only problem with that is the hospitality TV’s tend to be a little pricey. They actually cost more than the cost of just having an external set top box.
Jim Jachetta (00:26:36):
And you’ll see, in the coming slides, the set top box is rather small. Typically we hide it between the bracket and the TV when we mount it to the wall or when it gets mounted to the wall. And then a little infrared eye we glue to the bottom of the TV to do the the IR, the control of it. Most of the installs we do it that way, but every application is different if you really don’t want the.
Jim Jachetta (00:27:03):
You know, every application is different. If you really don’t want those set-top boxes, we can go the Smart TV route. You know, a cable TV system management can’t control it very well, or at all.
Jim Jachetta (00:27:19):
It’s very common now to integrate your IPTV with emergency alert. I have slides about that. So if there’s a fire, or an active shooter in the building, you’re not going to see that on TV.
Jim Jachetta (00:27:32):
Now, if it’s an AMBER Alert that’s being broadcast, that may come through the television, the over-the-air or the cable TV signal, but we can’t guarantee that. If somebody’s tuned to an internal feed, you need a mechanism that we have… I have slides that will get into that. So that’s another important thing.
Jim Jachetta (00:27:58):
Landlords and corporations can be held liable if they don’t have evacuation warnings for their employees. This just adds another layer of communication with your employees, or with your customers, if it’s a store, if it’s retail.
Jim Jachetta (00:28:20):
Communication is key. And I think as a culture, we don’t read stuff anymore. We’re all in the habit now, when you want to learn something, you go to YouTube to watch a video on how to do it.
Jim Jachetta (00:28:34):
I’ll get a new toy, a new gadget. I don’t read the manual anymore. I go find the video on how to use it. So it is the tendency now, the trend, that we want to consume our information in video form at work and at home.
Jim Jachetta (00:28:56):
So, we can put televisions anywhere. Offices, break rooms, lobbies. We’ll integrate with video walls. Corporate content can be pushed. Don’t forget digital signage. We can’t easily integrate digital signage in an old school cable TV system. So we really need this type of system if we’re going to modernize our system, modernize our communication.
Jim Jachetta (00:29:27):
This is a very cool appliance. Many customers will notice, “Wow, Jim, wow. Why is the over-the-air television so much better looking than the cable or satellite or DirecTV?”
Jim Jachetta (00:29:43):
Not to disparage cable or satellite. Cable and satellite, they’re restricted in bandwidth. The satellite providers, they’re trying to jam as many signals as they can through each transponder, so the video is compressed. And in some cases, heavily compressed.
Jim Jachetta (00:30:01):
In the case of DirecTV, they do statistical multiplexing where, your talking head on CNN or Fox News Channel is pretty low bit rate, because there’s not a lot of movement. If you watch the crawl at the bottom, you’ll see some staggering in the crawl as it moves. But no one really cares. They’ll dedicate more bandwidth to your sports channels. Cable, I’m not sure if they manipulate the bandwidth or it’s more fixed.
Jim Jachetta (00:30:36):
But the over-the-air television signals are always going to look the best. Now with ATSC 3.0, when that comes out, I’m not sure if it’s going to have more… It might actually have more bandwidth. But with the current ATSC over-the-air television, the video can be up to 19.4 megabits per second, which just looks amazing compared to, as low as four megabits per second on cable or satellite.
Jim Jachetta (00:31:07):
So in many cases, you may want to integrate this in. Sometimes there’s a local over-the-air TV station that’s not on cable. Or, if we’re going with satellite and want to skip using cable, the over-the-air is a great way to bring the local content in, and then you use DirecTV to bring in your ESPN and your higher profile channels that way. It’s very common that we put an over-the-air ATSC TV receiver in the headend.
Jim Jachetta (00:31:40):
And, I mentioned at the top of the webinar that typically customers… We’re typically replacing an old cable TV system. Obviously, if you have a cable TV system and your customer wants the NFL Sunday Ticket, or some foreign channel that’s not available on cable, you can’t order it. You can’t get it. You’re stuck.
Jim Jachetta (00:32:08):
If you engage with VidOvation and we initially put DirecTV in, we can always come back and add cable. We can come back and add Dish. There were several installations where… With Nickelodeon, believe it or not, Nickelodeon Music Channel was not available on DirecTV. We actually had to put a second dish on the roof and a single receiver just to bring in Nickelodeon Music into the system. So in that install, we had a combination of DirecTV and Dish.
Jim Jachetta (00:32:43):
There have been installations where we have all three. Some jurisdictions have more than one cable operator choice. I think it’s been cleared up, but I’m not sure. Here in the LA area, I’m not sure if it’s been cleared, or if it’s still a problem. It’s hard to get a Dodgers game. The Dodgers signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Time Warner Cable. And then if you’re a Cox Cable customer, or DirecTV or Dish, most of the Dodgers games are blocked out.
Jim Jachetta (00:33:19):
So weird things like that where you need cable, it’s the only way to get a certain channel. You can mix and match. I kind of touched on this already. Here you can see, here’s a more up-to-date picture of the COM3000. So you see how on the COM2000, there was only one RF spigot. This has two, and we can do up to 16 channels per blade RF or 96 tuners per blade for IP.
Jim Jachetta (00:33:53):
And you can see some of the RF plumbing. Again, this particular install we put some of the RF in the rack instead of on the back wall.
Jim Jachetta (00:34:03):
So what are the benefits here? Instead of going back to baseband and then re-encoding, the COM3000 takes the signal off the satellite dish. It’s already IP. We can output QAM RF, or we can output multicast IP.
Jim Jachetta (00:34:27):
What is the difference between unicast and multicast? Unicast would be every TV when they tuned to a channel… So say you have 1,000 TVs in your enterprise. You’d have to have 1,000 unicast streams coming from your head and go into each TV.
Jim Jachetta (00:34:44):
But many of those TVs are going to be watching the same channel. It’s not uncommon that all the TVs in the break area are tuned to one channel. All the TVs in conference rooms are tuned to another channel. Individual offices may have different channels, but they’re all working from the same pool of channels.
Jim Jachetta (00:35:04):
If we do a fully loaded, COM3000 IP output, we could have 96 channels. So the maximum number of streams on the network with multicast would be 96, because multicast, we can do one to many. The stream is shared. A single stream is available for all TVs.
Jim Jachetta (00:35:27):
Now if we have 1,000 TVs in a unicast environment. We’d have to have 1,000 streams at all times on the network. Which do you think your IT department would prefer? 96 multicast IP streams, or 1,000 unicast streams on the network?
Jim Jachetta (00:35:50):
When we’re doing an IPTV deployment, it’s always a good to get buy-in early from IT. I like to have the IT guys in on the call. If not our second or third call, early on.
Jim Jachetta (00:36:07):
Because most networks out-of-the-box are not multicast enabled, so IT will have to go into all the switches and turn on multicast, turn on internet group multicast protocol, IGMP. So we’re not going to throw this in without working very closely with IT.
Jim Jachetta (00:36:32):
Then I mentioned the COM3000, and 2000, by default spits out IP content with Pro:Idiom encryption. We can get DirecTV and Technicolor to turn off Pro:Idiom encryption, if we show them documentation and proof that we’re implementing Verimatrix.
Jim Jachetta (00:36:54):
And like I mentioned, if we’re doing kind of a simpler system, just internal TV, we’re just putting DirecTV on monitors. Maybe some digital signage, but we never intend to go to computers, desktop, mobile. Maybe a hotel.
Jim Jachetta (00:37:14):
But that might change. Now it’s like, bring your own device. When I’m in my hotel room, I still want to watch TV on my phone. I don’t want to watch it on the wall.
Jim Jachetta (00:37:23):
I would still rather watch the larger TV on the wall. We do have the ability to take what’s on your phone and throw it up on the wall. That people want to do.
Jim Jachetta (00:37:38):
But, just generic TV and maybe some signage, and you have no intention of streaming to mobile or desktop or computers. We could save some costs staying with a Pro:Idiom environment. If we want to distribute your own internal content, and we want to go to mobile and we want to go to tablets and PCs, we typically integrate with Verimatrix.
Jim Jachetta (00:38:07):
Also, I have seen service level agreements from Comcast and the local cable operator where they say, “We will provide in-the-clear cable TV content, IP cable TV content, as long as you guarantee encryption with Verimatrix.” I have not seen the word encryption with Pro:Idiom.
Jim Jachetta (00:38:31):
Again, it comes back to the universality of the industry-accepted forms of encryption. So my first choice, VidOvation’s first recommendation, is always Verimatrix to really future-proof ourselves.
Jim Jachetta (00:38:48):
So, the COM3000 is used to give us 96 tuners for satellite. How do we bring cable TV in, in bulk? Sometimes the cable operator will provide an appliance that has the IP video coming out of it. They put the appliance in. In other cases, VidOvation puts the appliance in, and then we work with a [inaudible 00:39:18] cable operator with the decryption cards to get the IP coming in.
Jim Jachetta (00:39:24):
Most cases, the cable TV, the RF QAM, whether it comes on a co-ax or a fiber… If it’s fiber, it’s really QAM RF over fiber. But, it’s fundamentally a QAM signal, whether it’s optical or RF.
Jim Jachetta (00:39:44):
Nine times out of 10 it’s encrypted. So we need to… Either the cable operator will put a box in what we call an RF QAM to IP Gateway to decrypt the feeds and to give us the feeds either in Pro:Idiom or Verimatrix. Or they’ll give us the feeds in the clear. Or VidOvation puts the box in.
Jim Jachetta (00:40:08):
This QAM to IP appliance, it’s three rack units high. We can even… You see how there’s blades here? We can even install a blade in this appliance that will eliminate the need for our HP server. It’s basically a Windows server on a blade. We use that as our middleware server. So we save a little bit of cost, but we also save precious rack space. We can save one rack unit.
Jim Jachetta (00:40:41):
So this box will take the cable operator’s signal and convert it to IP. And again, we’ve done installs where we have these two boxes side by side, the QAM to IP Gateway box for cable, and then the COM3000 for satellite. And we bring in 60 channels of cable and 96 channels of DirecTV. Then the over-the-air tuner, a one rack unit does eight channels. So you bring eight channels of over-the-air.
Jim Jachetta (00:41:12):
That would be more than enough channels, enough variety. Get all the local sports teams, all the local news channels, all the over-the-air. Sometimes customers like the hyper-local TV stations for traffic. Employees, they’re going to leave work at six o’clock. They pop on the local local news and see, “Oh, there’s an accident on the 5. Let me take the 405 instead.” So they want to watch the news before they take off.
Jim Jachetta (00:41:42):
Or maybe news is your business. If you’re a financial institution, you want to watch financial news networks. If you’re a traditional news network, you’re monitoring the AP wire. All news bureaus monitor their competition. Fox is watching CNN. CNN is watching Fox. In the news game, it’s who breaks the story first is the winner. They’re constantly checking that out.
Jim Jachetta (00:42:12):
So, I mentioned this. Another reason to do IPTV is integrating internal studio feeds. With Viacom and the Nickelodeon properties, we’ve done two installs. Nickelodeon corporate, and then Nickelodeon’s live action studio. We’ve done Viacom, their parent company’s Hollywood facility.
Jim Jachetta (00:42:44):
There are studios in all of these buildings. And I don’t know, any of you that are familiar with Hollywood, while a show is being produced… My kids have been extras on some shows here in Hollywood when they were younger. And if you’re on set, they either take your cell phone away, or they put a piece of red tape over your camera.
Jim Jachetta (00:43:06):
It’s a very serious business. They don’t want any footage leaking out of the production that might spoil a TV show or a movie weeks or months before release or air date.
Jim Jachetta (00:43:19):
So if internal studio feeds are on the network for executives to monitor… The studios are downstairs, executive wants to see, are they in production. They’re watching in their office, and they’re like, “Why is everyone sitting down on break for the last two hours? I’m paying $100,000 an hour for people to sit in the studio doing nothing.” So they keep an eye on that.
Jim Jachetta (00:43:46):
If you’re a more traditional corporation, maybe it’s just simply, the CEO once a month, once a quarter, wants to make a speech live to the troops. Just need to put an encoder in the CEO’s office with a camera, and then push that live camera to the IPTV system for distribution.
Jim Jachetta (00:44:08):
Many customers will use our integrated digital signage. Some customers want to use another signage system. Not because it’s better, but just because their operationals and their marketing people are familiar with it.
Jim Jachetta (00:44:23):
Like we did the Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City. The Trump Taj Mahal and the Trump Casino in Atlantic City were purchased by the Hard Rock a few years ago. And blew out the whole facility. The facility is beautiful. I have some slides to show you later.
Jim Jachetta (00:44:44):
But Four Winds Digital Signage was brand of choice for them. And their signage, it was more of like a video jukebox. Being a music themed facility, a lot of their TV channels are music channels.
Jim Jachetta (00:45:02):
They would use the BrightSign as a media player. So one media player had a country music playlist, one had pop, one had rock. So they’d be on different channels throughout the facility. Oddly enough, these media players would hang up and get stuck. And we would get a call, “Oh, the IPTV systems broken,” or, “The video’s frozen.” I’m like, “Check the media player.”
Jim Jachetta (00:45:27):
And I keep reminding them every time there’s an issue, it’s like, ” Guys, if you used our signage system, we could put those same playlists in there.” But they’re like, “Well, but then we’d have to train marketing. And I don’t want to have to do that.” And we train customers every day.
Jim Jachetta (00:45:42):
I guess my point is, so there’s one tech support call we strongly encourage you to use our IPTV with our integrated signage. But if you have a preferred signage system, we just assign it to a channel on the system. So we can work with external media players of any kind.
Jim Jachetta (00:46:11):
You know, sometimes marketing just has a computer with a PowerPoint. That’s in a circle. Like an informational channel. Or maybe like the HR channel. Someone’s got a computer with HDMI output, running a PowerPoint in a loop. We stick an inexpensive encoder, make that a channel. So that’s the HR signage channel.
Jim Jachetta (00:46:34):
This is one of the most important things when deploying IPTV. VidOvation, we’re not the police. If we go into a customer’s facility and we see something that is not quite compliant, we may point it out, but we are not police. We just look the other way.
Jim Jachetta (00:46:56):
But if we’re going to deploy something and VidOvation’s name is going to be on it, we are going to do it 100% to code. We are going to do it to be 100% compliant. And digital rights management is a big deal, believe it or not.
Jim Jachetta (00:47:12):
One of the common questions we get is, “I want to build an IPTV headend in New York, bring in DirecTV, bring in cable, and I want to push it to all my satellite offices globally.”
Jim Jachetta (00:47:22):
Well, the distribution agreement with the studios, FCC regulations, you’re not allowed to do that. DirecTV and Dish Network, satellite content is not allowed to cross a public thoroughfare.
Jim Jachetta (00:47:41):
If you are Cisco and you have an enormous campus, or a big enterprise like that… One of the social media companies is looking on our system. So they have a big campus. As long as there’s no public streets dividing the buildings, we can distribute content.
Jim Jachetta (00:47:57):
Now your own content, your own internal view, can cross public streets. But if you have campus, A and B, and there’s a street between them, a public street between them, DirecTV can’t cross.
Jim Jachetta (00:48:12):
We’ve done work with some state police entities, and we’ve got waivers and exceptions from DirecTV in those cases. All rules, in some cases there’s exceptions to it. But this all ties into digital rights.
Jim Jachetta (00:48:29):
So DirecTV, Dish, and cable, when they give you a television signal, their biggest fear is that signal gets bootlegged. That it gets copied. Let’s just say for argument’s sake, somebody makes an illegal copy of the Superbowl.
Jim Jachetta (00:48:51):
Well, first, if the NFL finds out about it, the NFL lawyers are going to be all over you. They’re going to be all over DirecTV. Particularly when dealing with the studios, you know the big hack that happened at Sony. Everyone is in fear of being hacked, being held liable for content that is allowed to leak out.
Jim Jachetta (00:49:18):
Again, this comes back to why we use Verimatrix digital rights management, or DRM. It’s industry-accepted. Verimatrix, all they do 24/7, 365 days a year, is encryption, security and digital rights management. So we’ve partnered with them. We’ve fully integrated the encryption engine and decryption engine into our middleware, as well as our set-top boxes.
Jim Jachetta (00:49:52):
This is a really important slide here. We want to make sure that we distribute our television compliant with the FCC, with the Department of Justice, with the studios, etc. We don’t want to mess around.
Jim Jachetta (00:50:11):
So integrated video-on-demand. If we’re dealing with a hotel, the video-on-demand may be more of like Hollywood video-on-demand. That would be an entertainment video-on-demand. And we have systems where we can push Hollywood content to the headend for viewers to pay for and watch.
Jim Jachetta (00:50:34):
Most of our customers are enterprise. And in the enterprise, when we’re talking about video-on-demand, this is more like studio recordings, your own internal TV shows. If you’re news media, you might be recording the competition. News entities.
Jim Jachetta (00:50:55):
Sports leagues, if you’re going to be analyzing some of the college football games over the weekend on Monday, you can’t watch all of them over the weekend. You may want to record them all at work so you can watch them.
Jim Jachetta (00:51:09):
So recorded content. Our IPTV system can connect to any kind of a media asset that’s on your network. If there’s storage visible on the network, we can ingest and index that content into the IPTV, the video-on-demand library.
Jim Jachetta (00:51:34):
So personal and headend video recording. There’s two ways we can do DVR, or what we call personal video recording, or PVR. One technique is recording at the set-top box. We either put a set-top box in that has some storage, it’s a little bit more expensive. Or we can use a generic set-top box and we put a USB thumb drive in there.
Jim Jachetta (00:52:02):
And it will record content, but it will be encrypted. So if somebody steals the thumb drive, they’re not walking around with that copy of the Superbowl to get anybody arrested. It will be encrypted. It will only play in that set-top box when it’s plugged in and authorized.
Jim Jachetta (00:52:20):
Another common approach is, if you want to have the 30 second back button, especially if you’re watching sports. On the weekend, I’ll watch baseball, hockey, football, whatever. I’ll be working with it on in the background. And then you hear… The crack of the bat. “Oh, I missed the home run.” You either wait for the replay, or you want to back up and watch the replay.
Jim Jachetta (00:52:48):
So if you want to do time shifting, we would do recording in the headend. If you need time shifting and you feel most of your employees or customers would want to do personal recording, we just do it in the headend. We put a couple of terabytes of storage in the middleware server, and we just record content right there.
Jim Jachetta (00:53:13):
And the beautiful thing about it too, is that you’ve got a hundred employees recording the Superbowl, we don’t make a hundred recordings. We make one recording and we put a tag that Becky, John, Sue, all want a copy of that. We don’t clog up hard drive space recording the same content 100 or 1,000 times. We just make one copy that everyone shares.
Jim Jachetta (00:53:37):
But this all happens behind the scene. To the user, he just sees in his recording folder on his set-top box, the Superbowl is there. He doesn’t really care what’s going on behind the scenes. So you, get that idea.
Jim Jachetta (00:53:55):
Some customers… Some of your video conferencing hardware can be expensive. And if you-
Jim Jachetta (00:54:03):
Can be expensive. And if you have auditoriums or annex rooms that just need to watch the conference. So, say the executives are doing a presentation. So the chief in London speaks for a few minutes. The CEO speaks, but then you have a wider audience of people that are watching and listening instead of having the expensive conferencing gear hooked to every TV. To you guys, yeah I’m sure you can realize it’s academic. We take one conferencing systems video output, put an encoder, and now put the conferencing out across it, so we can hit, instead of the conference room TVs, now we can hit 10,000 TVs across the network. Obviously, those TVs can’t interact with it, but they can at least watch the conference. So, we’ve done that kind of a scaling of the existing conferencing system.
Jim Jachetta (00:55:05):
So, I touched on this. You know, the Integrating Digital Signage. We have an internal digital signage system. Everything VidOvation offers is licensed and sold in modules. So if you purchase just a basic television system from us, and you’re not ready for signage, we can add signage, basically remote controlled. We would just activate that module. We would send you a quote, you would pay for that option and it’s not super expensive. We turn it on and then we’d give you some training on how to operate the signage module. Of course, we have manuals and documentation, but once you’re familiar with the system, it’s not super complicated. But I think customers in the beginning are a little overwhelmed because there’s a lot of features. So I think after our first… we offer up to four hours of training with the system, but nine times out of 10 after an hour, Oh, now I get it.
Jim Jachetta (00:56:14):
It’s basically finding stuff. Okay. Here’s the signage module. Here’s the set-top box management module, and we record the training. So we customize the training to you, the customer, and we give you a copy of that recording. So how you use the system or how the system is deployed, the training is specific to you, but you can see here. I mentioned integrating third party signage system. What we would do is just, like channel zero, we would make the signage channel, and we would just put an HDMI encoder on the output of your signage player. And usually we would put the signage players in the head end, and that works really well. Only limitation when you use a third party signage system, you can’t integrate signage with live TV. If you want an L-bar of signage over ESPN or over your live TV, you can only do that with our internally, internal signage system.
Jim Jachetta (00:57:21):
So again, it really makes sense. Now there’s no reason why we couldn’t use a combination of both. So Hard Rock wanted these media players for their music videos, any point in the future, they change their mind and be like, “you know, look, we’d like to do an L-bar over the live video”. They wouldn’t be able to do that with the [inaudible 00:57:39] right now, we would just sell them a license. They’d add that L-bar in, and then all the live TV, they could push, who just won the Keno and, go to this restaurant for today’s lobster night or something like that. Again, the signage can be used to help pay for the system. You can sell the advertising space if you’re a landlord, if you’re a sporting venue, advertisers will pay dearly for signage and commercial insertions into the video feed.
Jim Jachetta (00:58:19):
What’s great about this is, if it’s a corporate enterprise, signage is great to keep the troops informed, breaking news. Again, signage is an extension of these emergency alert capabilities, which I’ll get to. Everything is zone based. We could decide, all TVs need to go to evacuate, emergency or only the TV’s in the lobby should get L-bar A. TVs in the break area should get L-bar B and all of this can be programmed and scheduled ahead of time. And of course, we will train you on all of this. We will help you set up the system initially and build all this out. With proper planning ahead, we offer our typical support on this. We have an email support system, so if you’re having trouble building a signage slides someone from our team will help you.
Jim Jachetta (00:59:23):
So scalability, security, and flexibility. So I mean, vendors, we all throw these buzzwords out and you might be tired of hearing it, but we, VidOvation, in everything that we do, we try to keep our systems, the workflow, the infrastructure as open sourced as possible. Yes, there’s always going to be exceptions to that rule. I mean, we’re implementing Verimatrix. Now you’re not going to be able to bring a set-top box into the environment that doesn’t support Verimatrix. So in some regards, it’s a closed system. But it’s scalable. If you decide you want video on demand at a future date, we can add that in. You decide that you want the DVR capability, we can add that in. You decide later on, you want the signage.
Jim Jachetta (01:00:18):
The only limitation is a Windows limitation. One IPTV Middleware Server can manage 5,000 endpoints. So we have a facility that has more than 5,000, simple solution, we just put a second IPTV Middleware Server and now we can do another 5,000. So there’s a scalable, incremental addition to the system at any time. Say we initially put eight over the air TV signals. We can add another box to give you an eight more if you want to add more over the air.
Jim Jachetta (01:00:59):
So I think I have a slide… Yeah, security. Okay. So this is your IT guy. IT folks, I hope… most of them are paid very well and they deserve it. I think nine times out of 10 they’re overworked. Most of the enterprises I’ve seen, these IT guys are our heroes, but they’re doing the work of five people. And IT folks, the last thing they want is something new on the network. It’s something new that could possibly break the network. So we really do need buy in from IT, from the security department, from InfoSec, to avoid trouble on the network. Their knee jerk reaction is, “no, I don’t want video on the network”. So we really do need buy in early. If you’re doing internal planning meetings about considering, frankly anything, any additions to your network, but particularly IPTV. We really need a good backbone, you know.
Jim Jachetta (01:02:10):
I mentioned Multicast. Multicast you need a good backbone because the channel if there’s 96 channels, they sit in the backbone of the network. So if you have like a one gig backbone, that might start to interfere with enterprise, internet, email, phones, you want a big enough backbone. What, Nickelodeon and Viacom did because their headquarters, both the Nickelodeon headquarters and the Viacom Hollywood headquarters, were new buildings, they put two different banks of switches on each floor. So the core switch, I think, red was regular, corporate network traffic blue. The blue network was the IPTV. So they put everything, not only on its own V-land but also physically on a separate network. If we’re upgrading a system or upgrading an existing network that might not be in the budget, they have two physical separate networks, but with V-lands.
Jim Jachetta (01:03:15):
And if we have a big enough backbone to the network, we can reliably make it work. And we haven’t had a problem yet. Knock on wood in the better part of 10 years. We’ve been deploying these systems for over 10 years. So let’s get them involved early. They got to understand that at minimum they’re going to have to enable a Multicast and they’re going to have to enable internet group Multicast protocol, IGMP. That did not get too technical on you but that’s the IGMP is the mechanism that is used when, if you turn on a set-top box and say, “I want to watch channel 37, ESPN”, that switch goes to it switch says, A, I need ESPN. And it propagates it back to the core switch till it finds that feed. Now, if somebody in the cubicle is watching ESPN, it goes to the first switch, “Oh, the ESPN is already here. Let me spawn another copy of that”.
Jim Jachetta (01:04:17):
And that’s not to go all the way back to the core switch, but when no one’s watched TV, say first thing in the morning, the Multicast streams timeout and stop propagating if no one’s watching. But so the first person that comes in, in the morning wants ESPN, the request propagates to the core, “Hey, I want ESPN”. Then it allows me to come down. Then other copies spawn off of that as others requests that same channel. So IT has to be involved to make sure the multicast streams propagate through the network. We got to make sure IGMP is enabled across the enterprise. We also integrate with active directory and LDAP. So your IT guys are going to be very interested in that. And my understanding, I’m not an active directory expert, but what we’ve learned is that not every implementation of active, active directory or LDAP is the same. So we have to do a little bit of customization to match our authentication system with your active directory, but we’ve always been able to sort it out. Here’s a little cheat sheet for IT of what to look for. IGMP snooping…
Jim Jachetta (01:11:09):
So IT department’s going to want to know what kind of load this system is going to put on the network. What if we have 50 channels or 250 channels, the average we usually go with is about eight megabits per second. So, but if we’re a Sports Enterprise and we’re bringing in a lot of sports content, satellite cable usually gives more bandwidth to sports. So we might want to use this upper limit of 15 megs. I’ve seen on direct TV and cable, channels as low as four megs, and I’ve seen channels as high as 15 megs, megabits per second.
Jim Jachetta (01:11:56):
This is why it’s important to have a planning meeting with the IT department. Oh, somebody is saying it cut out on slide 23. So let me go back. Yeah, so a part of network planning, the IT department… IPTV… some customers, it’s very rare, but we have one customer where Multicast protocol was banned on their network, probably for security reasons. A Multicast stream can be used. A rogue Multicast stream can be used as a form of attack to bring a network down. So I think that’s what might make IT guys a little bit nervous. But if we do this proper planning, we identify the IP address of the source of the Multicast stream. We identify and document the streams. If a stream should appear, that is not on the approved list, the Cisco switch will stop it. Cisco switches seem to be a little bit restrictive. It’s what they’re designed to do.
Jim Jachetta (01:13:14):
Many of our technicians are Cisco certified, so they can work with your Cisco engineers to smooth out any of these bumps. But we need internet group Multicast protocol enabled layer two. Then there’s some snooping timers. Basically, the IGMP is used to give the Multicast stream or give the switch instructions how to propagate or how-to, we call it spawning or spanning, how to get the Multicast to span between appliances, span between switches. So this is all stuff that we need to work out with the IT department. We need to get them comfortable. Then I talked about the bandwidth of video and planning for that. We want to make sure we have enough bandwidth in the backbone of the IPTV system.
Jim Jachetta (01:14:14):
What is that? That’s the core switch. A core switch, an old switch would be like 10 gigabits per second. Many of them now are 20, 40, a 100 gigabits per second. Feeding, like at Viacom and Nickelodeon. The core switch was down in the data center and then there was an edge switch on each floor. On a new installation, we try to make the network as flat as possible. What does that mean? It means that there’s only… the TV connects or the set-top box connects to the edge switch, the edge switch to the core. So from the IPTV head end, there’s one, two, three hops. Headend to core, core to edge, edge to TV. So that’s one, two… one, two, three hops. So flat, flat.
Jim Jachetta (01:15:09):
If we have too many switches cascaded, you could unintentionally create bottlenecks. You could have a cascaded network that then goes to a wing of your building where there’s 50 cubicles. And the worst-case scenario is all 50 of those people watch 50 different channels at the same time. Now, the IGMP will request 50 channels come through that bottleneck. So again, that’s why we want the network as flat as possible to avoid any potential bottlenecks.
Jim Jachetta (01:15:50):
So I mentioned, well, I mentioned before the audio cut out, the LDAP authentication. I touched on this before that everything’s module based. We have our module that we call the ELDAP module, that will integrate with active directory. You really only need this if I’m watching on my computer or I’m watching on an appliance that’s connected to the corporate network. So it kind of makes sense. Why not marry my video or IPTV privileges to my corporate network privileges. So I’m a senior exec. I’m in a certain active directory group, executive group. All executives can see the studio feeds or the stage feeds. Then Johnny is a mid-level employee. All he really needs to do is watch news channels. So he gets CNN and Fox news channel, but he doesn’t get ESPN because he’s not allowed to watch ESPN at work.
Jim Jachetta (01:16:54):
Only executives can watch ESPN at work. I’ve been in meetings where executives will argue that they need ESPN and I’m like, “this company is not owned by Disney. So what’s the business case for watching ESPN”. It doesn’t matter. They’re working an 80 hour week. They want ESPN in their office. So you can control who can see what in the IPTV system separately, or using active directory, or a combination of both. Maybe some IT departments, no, let’s keep it simple. Let’s keep both worlds separate. We’ll manage the TV access rule separately from active directory. I don’t want to muddy things up. Others like Paramount Studios were integrating both worlds together to keep it simple. So Customizable Interface. Fundamentally whether you’re on an iPhone, in a smart TV, in a set-top box, or on your computer, it is a browser-based environment. In the set-top box, it’s all based on HTML five. And typically, media companies like Nickelodeon, Viacom, they gave us strict guidelines of how the interface was to look, the colors, the logos. We’ll train you and your people how to change these skins, the user interface. The important thing is you don’t want to put a 10 Meg image in there. Otherwise, when you hit the menu button, it’ll take a minute for the image to load. You want a very thin, 100 K image that loads quickly, which is very doable. But all of this is customizable. You can use cascading style sheets. You can do a lot of this work yourself, but typically where buttons are, the programming of the screen. Viacom, there’s no video on demand, there’s no DVR. There’s just the TV button. You just click that.
Jim Jachetta (01:18:58):
Then you can see up top here, it’s a hotel, there’s more choices. Guest services, movies, help, messaging, picking a language. There’s more options and we can customize the system to your needs. We can integrate with property management systems, security cameras, you know, low-level employees don’t need to see security cameras, but certainly the security department, security personnel need to see all TVs and maybe the senior execs, you want them to be able to see security cameras as well. So we can integrate that in very easily, as long as it’s a compatible format, MPEG one, two, four, H dot 260, four H dot 260, five… we can bring those feeds into the system.
Jim Jachetta (01:19:48):
A lot of these older cable TV systems are limited to HD, they’re not 4K ready. So that’s another reason to implement IPTV, to get a 4K experience, to get a digital experience. Integrating even on the enterprise, customers are like, well, we have a cafeteria or a cafe in the lobby. We want to give people the ability to order food through the system. Some cases, it’s just very simply displaying a menu and then dial extension to order your food just kind of old school. You give your credit card over the phone, but you’ve got the menu on there, or some cases, it’s like a webpage that’s been built out. We can even provide set-top boxes with a keyboard and you can order your food that way. So we can integrate… theoretically we can integrate our IPTV and signage system to any system that has a documented API. So theoretically we can integrate any kind of front office, back office, software you might have. Whether you’re a hotel, a studio, a ballpark.
Jim Jachetta (01:21:03):
…hotel, a studio, a ballpark, a convention center, we can integrate theoretically with just about any system. The latency of your IPTV system, it really only matters when you’re in a sporting venue or when you have maybe a large bullpen where TVs with the same content are in your eye line. So you could imagine that you walk into a bullpen or an open area. There’s a TV to your right and to your left, and they’re slightly out of sync with each other. And then if there’s speakers, if the audio is out of sync, it could actually be quite painful to listen to.
Jim Jachetta (01:21:44):
So particularly in sports, near a concession stand, you go to get your hot dog, every time I go to a ball game, the only time a home run ever gets hit is when I’m going to get a hot dog or going to the bathroom. So you’ve got those TVs in the bathroom, you’ve got TVs on the hotdog line, but you could see if these were out of sync with each other, it would be awkward. The audio lip sync would be awkward. But a lot of times when you’re in like a VIP suite, the ball game, the basketball game, baseball, football is in front of you, and in your seat is the eye line of the TV. And if there’s like a three second delay, that’s going to be very awkward. So we can get the latency down to about a half a second, and having all the TVs in sync, which in some applications is important.
Jim Jachetta (01:22:37):
This has become, I think, more important over the last decade with so many shootings, and defunding of the police, active shooters on campus. 20 years ago, that’s never going to happen. So now this is important. Now, over the air television, we’ll push Amber Alerts or emergency alerts over the broadcast, so you might see that overlay on the external feed coming in, but if I’m watching something on video on demand, or I’m watching the studio feed and I’m not watching the live NBC or CBS or ABC channel, I may miss that hurricane evacuation warning. So we can put an emergency alert server in the head end that’s tied to the emergency alert network, so that all channels see it.
Jim Jachetta (01:23:40):
And we even have the ability to turn TVs that are off on so people can see the alert, you know, evacuate, hurricane, fire alarm. We can tie into the security systems. If there’s a button that security presses for active shooter, if there’s a button they press for fire, a button they press for lockdown, that telemetry can be tied into the system and different messages can be pushed to different zones. If it’s a hallway TV, the system could be set up to be sophisticated enough to tell people where the emergency staircase is on their floor, and you see, there’s a little map. So all the TVs on the sixth floor have one map, all the TVs on the fifth floor, because the stairwell’s in a slightly different spot or there’s a different configuration. So people know where to go. Then I get out in the hall, and I’m in a panic. I forget. Do I go left or right? I see a monitor in the hallway. Oh yeah, I’ve got to go down over there. So you can see where you get very sophisticated with different types of messages in different zones.
Jim Jachetta (01:24:55):
A ticker overlay, say there’s an alert you want to send that’s maybe less of an emergency. The ticker overlay module would be a rudimentary way of doing signage. You can have little crawls that go, as opposed to full band, like a full [inaudible 01:25:17] or full digital signage. So many customers use this. You can, again, control the zone, control which TVs, you can put it on a timer, that I want this message to go out every day at eight o’clock once. I want this message to go out every day on the hour, every hour, on weekdays, that kind of thing. If the building’s going to close up and be locked down, a museum, the museum’s closing in 15 minutes, put that up on all the TVs. And then all of these functions can be controlled with your browser, a computer that’s connected to the network. Even the browser on an iPhone or a tablet can be used to control all of these functions.
Jim Jachetta (01:26:02):
Analytics can be important. So analytics in a hotel, a resort, or a casino can be very important. Theoretically, any data point that is tracked by the head end can be analyzed and put into a spreadsheet, put into a graph. What’s the least channel watched, most channel watched? So believe it or not, one of the biggest tech support calls we get is we need more channels. You think 96, 200 channels. If we put 200 channels in, there’s somebody that needs more. If we put 96 channels, they need more. So if a channel, you see, we can do a report, what’s the least viewed channel the last 30 days? If we see no one’s watching the History Channel and everyone wants ESPNU, we remove the History Channel and add ESPNU. So we can see these statistics. Another important thing too, is that we could push HR training. Here in California in the new year, for big and small enterprises, sexual harassment training is going to be mandatory by the state. And you’re going to need to roll out training. And you need verification that your employees took the training. So you could push a video, on demand video about sexual harassment, and HR could be given a report of the employees that watched it all or didn’t watch it. And then those people that didn’t watch it could be pushed the video again. They could even be pushed a little crawl, and the crawl could be set to not disappear until they watch that damn video. So every night I turn the TV on, watch your HR training, go to your HR training folder. So all kinds of cool stuff can be done to engage with your customers, engage with your employees, be compliant and training, et cetera. I’m sure many of our customers will invent new and creative ways to use some of these features.
Jim Jachetta (01:28:17):
We have a function called The Switcher. Now, our IPTV system will integrate with AMX and Crestron control systems. We have a controller module. But if you’re not already using AMX or Crestron for other purposes, and you just want a simple way to control the IPTV system, we have a module called The Switcher, and you can control every end point, smart TV or set top box, change channels individually, change channels on groups. We can have preset profiles. So we do a lot of work with casinos. So casinos tend to have four TVs on a column. So it could be like column one, two, three, four is the type of TV. So we could set a profile for column number one, column number two, column three, column four, and have a certain channel lineup or a sequence of channels, a sequence of signage.
Jim Jachetta (01:29:25):
And all of that can be scheduled. At midnight, every TV can be programmed to go back to some informational channel. And then as employees come in, they can change channels. The TVs in the lobbies and in the break areas could be locked down, where nobody can change the channels. Even if they take the remote out of their suite and try to change it, you want that TV in the hallway locked to a certain informational channel, certain signage content, and you don’t want anybody to be able to mess with it. And again, all of this can be controlled via your browser. So here’s some of the advantage. I think we’re going on the better part of 90 minutes here. I think I’ve got a few slides left. I thank you folks for hanging in. If you have to leave, we’re recording this, and thank you for letting me know the audio cut out. So here’s some of the advantages. I’ll just go through this quick. So why IPTV? So we can stream live to virtually all of your devices. If you’re happy connecting cable only to your older TVs, maybe this is not right for you, but if you want to go to your computer desktop, that’s PC or Mac, you want to go to a sophisticated 4K ready set top box, you want to go to smart TVs, mobile phones, tablets. You want to integrate signage. You need emergency alert. You want video on demand. You want a video on demand library. You want personal recorder, DVR, and you want analytics. You want that ticker. Maybe IPTV is right for you.
Jim Jachetta (01:31:13):
It’s one of the few systems, if not only systems out there, that integrates with the broadly accepted Verimatrix digital rights management and encryption. The system can be used to keep your employees and your guests and your customers safe, with evacuation information, safety information. If you’re a sporting venue, it can improve the fan experience. I don’t have the picture, but I have a slide of a guy sleeping in the stands with a newspaper over his face, because he’s bored at the game. So this is a great way to keep your fan. You know, sporting venues make money off of people buying beer and hotdogs. So if you’re afraid to leave your seat, or you don’t want to wait for the hotdog guy to come back to your section, you don’t have to worry about getting up to go get a hot dog, because there’s TVs out there. You won’t miss the game.
Jim Jachetta (01:32:09):
Our systems are easily deployed, but we’re very hands on. VidOvation prides itself on amazing customer service. Me and my team are always onsite during deployment, helping to build the head end from the ground up, putting the satellite dish on the roof. And we can, a lot of times the cable operator is charging rental fees on all this, all the cable boxes. You will own this system. This system is yours. So some of those recurring hardware costs go away.
Jim Jachetta (01:32:46):
We can integrate with the electronic program guide. That’s very important. So we push the electronic program guide, so we know what channels are, whether it’s DirecTV, Dish, or the local cable or over the air, all of the above, we get the local TV Guide for your zip code, for your location. Integrating with security, scheduling of live recording, DVRing, some customers use it as an archiving device to record assets.
Jim Jachetta (01:33:23):
On the bigger systems, we can do a centralized control system that will go nationwide to control an IPTV system that goes national or global. So we can have a consolidated control system. I mentioned the synchronicity of the TVs. This was the Mystic Lake Casino in Minnesota. Don’t you love this ceiling? It looked like there was lava on the ceiling. It was the coolest thing, kind of like these mirrors with red lights behind them. And it really looked like molten lava was flowing in the ceiling. But what I’m trying to depict here is that if you have TVs in your eye line that are out of sync, it can kind of ruin the experience. We can do mosaic views, video walls. We can feed video walls, do digital signage, graphical overlays.
Jim Jachetta (01:34:21):
I think I kind of discussed some of this, but here’s the typical overlay of a network, IP gateway, some encoders. Basically, some of this, it shows separate boxes. They’re actually all combined. What you’re seeing here is the modules inside of one box is what this is trying to depict.
Jim Jachetta (01:34:47):
We can stream. Now we’re finding that it’s very important with customers to stream off campus, to customers’ employees. So Paramount in particular has executives, employees, tenants that want to work from home, and we’re implementing mechanisms to stream their own content from the enterprise, leave the enterprise, go through the public internet, and allow them to watch it at home. Now, obviously we can’t move DirecTV content from campus to home, but Paramount’s own content, we certainly can move that. So we have that ability. We’re implementing some of those capabilities right now, because of COVID lockdown.
Jim Jachetta (01:35:34):
Here’s what a typical set top box looks like. This is a set top box that supports Verimatrix decryption. Here’s a rear view, HTMI, land connection, a couple of USB ports. We can put the remote infrared eye in one of these USB ports. Here’s our Pro:idiom decryption box, a set top box that supports the Pro:idiom decryption. LG box has got multiple HTMI outs. Applications, corporate communications, compatible with all of the display devices on campus, TVs, displays, PCs. It allows for training, broadcasting of information, training the employees, keeping your employees informed, keeping them safe, send emergency alerts. Oh, here’s the guy sleeping at the sports venue. So for sporting and live venues, keep your fans engaged. Don’t let this cost you ticket revenue or food and beverage revenue. Let your fans get up and go order some food, get on line and get a beer, get a hotdog. And again, with that low latency and having things in perfect sync.
Jim Jachetta (01:36:57):
For hospitality and entertainment, it’s all about the guest experience. I think when you’re traveling, usually you’re not glued to the TV in your room. Hopefully if we’re traveling for work, we’re out working all day, or if you’re on vacation, you’re out seeing the sites. But you want at minimum a similar experience that you get at home on the TV in your hotel room. And you want to maximize your rev par, your revenue per available room, increase occupancy, better guest satisfaction. I do like the automatic checkout from your TV, where you just say, “I’m checking out, and I’m running late to get to the airport.” And they email me my folio receipt. I don’t have to go downstairs and wait on line to checkout. And we integrate those capabilities into our IPTV system.
Jim Jachetta (01:37:54):
So these systems will integrate with most property management systems. If you have something unique, a unique property management system that we haven’t worked with before, as long as there’s an open API, theoretically, our IPTV system should be able to talk to your back of office systems.
Jim Jachetta (01:38:15):
Healthcare, you need to keep people calm and in their beds while they’re healing in the hospital. So the television system, the entertainment while you’re confined to bed, can be very important. This can help increase the revenue per available bed. I know most hospitals charge for the TV. It’s not free. You’ve got to pay something crazy like $10 a day for the TV. I guess when you’re a captive audience like that, you’ll pay. We’ve worked with some hospitals where we push rehabilitative content. So if somebody is post op from a heart attack, there could be a sequence of videos and content either in written form or video form, or both, that the patient is encouraged to read or watch. They can even be given health tips, recipes, foods not to eat, et cetera. The sky’s the limit. Any kind of therapeutic content can be pushed.
Jim Jachetta (01:39:26):
It can also be used to train the staff, in the staff area or at the nurses station, little tidbits. You know, nurses working, but if there’s any downtime, little reminders, wash your hands to prevent the spread of viruses. Little warnings that pop up can be helpful in the workflow and operations of a hospital, little reminders.
Jim Jachetta (01:39:57):
Government and military, obviously government is going to be very, and military is going to be very concerned about security. Believe it or not, casinos may have a higher level of security than some government and military installation, or it’s on par. The casino industry, they’re very paranoid about another Oceans 11 or 13 attack. And they’re very paranoid about access to the network. But security. Military is also very conscious of synchronization. So if they’re distributing some video, some test that they did from different angles and videos out of sync with each other, that could pose a problem.
Jim Jachetta (01:40:45):
So the sky’s really the limit. Any kind of media distribution, live or prerecorded video, is ideal for this type of system. We work with many colleges in higher education, lower education and higher educational institutions, in the classroom, distance learning in the dorm. Again, signage could play a role. Again, educational lectures. Many of our customers will record lectures, so if a student is sick or misses a lecture, or has a scheduling conflict, they can go back to their dorm, log into the class that they missed, and watch in the television portal something that they missed.
Jim Jachetta (01:41:37):
So VidOvation, who are we? VidOvation is a provider of video, audio, and data transmission and distribution systems. We service broadcast, network, sports leagues, enterprise IT. We’re turnkey. We start by helping you. We consult with you. We ask you a lot of questions about your workflow. We work with you to design and engineer a system that meets your needs. We do a large part of the system integration, the head end, the satellite dish, project management. If we’re working with subcontractors, VidOvation will manage all elements of the installation. And then the most important part, we stand behind the work that we do with a world-class warranty and support.
Jim Jachetta (01:42:29):
You can see some of the customers we’ve worked with, Viacom, Paramount, Mystic Lake, Nickelodeon, the NHL, NFL, A&E are just some of the customers we’ve worked with. VidOvation did the in-net goal cam system for the NHL. We had a seven year contract with them. It was the first reliable in-net camera system. We make the Live PD show possible on A&E. It’s now on hiatus. But now we are working with the sister show Live Rescue. We’ve deployed with Nickelodeon, Mystic Lake Casino.
Jim Jachetta (01:43:12):
So you can find out more about VidOvation online. You can drop me an email anytime. My email is [email protected] That’s my direct email. You can find me on social media. It doesn’t look like we have any questions. Sorry, folks, about the audio issue. I’m glad we caught it on time. Dave, my colleague Dave, actually called me. I’m like, why is Dave calling me in the middle of a webinar? But so thank you, Dave. Thank you, folks. I hope I was able to backtrack and cover what was missed. We will have the slides, the video, and the transcript available probably by Friday afternoon, at minimum before Monday morning. So if you missed anything or if you want to go back, you can reach out to my colleague, David Robinson, in biz development. Feel free to reach out to me.
Jim Jachetta (01:44:19):
So thank you all for tuning in today. I hope all of you and all your families stay safe and healthy. And we hope to see you out there on the road at some point. It’s such a shame. NAB Vegas now is being pushed to October. So I’m hoping the world goes back to normal at some point, and we can all see each other. Thank you so much. Stay safe. Take care. Bye-bye.