Eliminate Pain Points Deploying IPTV and Digital Signage
Good morning, everyone. My name is Jim Jachetta, for those of you that don’t know me. I’m the EVP of engineering and CTO of VidOvation.
Today we’re going to be discussing how to eliminate or avoid some of the pain points when you’re deploying an IPTV and digital signage system. There’s quite a few got yous or mistakes or features that are really needed to deploy a system properly and legally and I’ll get into some of these pitfalls and hopefully, you guys will have some takeaways to help you avoid these issues or pain points.
So, why IPTV? Typically, in the typical installation, we’re replacing the older more traditional cable TV or RF coaxial distribution system. We’re getting rid of all those bulky cables, line amplifiers, just the old school approach to distributing televisions. New constructions, new buildings, the architects and designers are just not specifying old RF cable in the buildings and new installs. The buildings will be loaded with CAT6 or CAT7 or LAN cabling and no RF cabling for television, so we really have to go IPTV or distributing television on the network is really the only choice.
Let me ask you guys a question. I have a quick poll here. Are many of you guys many of you folks out there are already using IPTV or digital signage of some sort? I’d just like to know the statistics just kind of see where you guys are at. Looks like a lot of you are using some sort of digital signage, but it looks like you either don’t have a system, or you’re … I hope not, I see guys are voting. Okay, great. Let me show you guys the results. Let me see here, I think I got to close it and then share. You guys can see the statistics. It looks like the majority of you guys are using signage. Some of you are using a combined system and a good 40% of you don’t have a system. So, certainly, reach out to us after the session if you’d like to update your system or deploy a new system.
Let me see here, I got to, here we go. On the wrong screen. Give me one second, there we go, sorry about that. So, why switch RF or coax? As I mentioned we’re going to distribute on the corporate network.
Sometimes that scares the IT department, so if we’re going to deploy an IPTV or digital signage system, we’re going to want to get buy-in from the IT department as early as possible. Get their buy-in because you know how IT guys … The best form of security is a denial of access, so to prevent video from misbehaving on the network well don’t allow any video on the network. You really need to get the IT folks on board, probably going to want to set up a separate VLAN to separate the video traffic from the regular data traffic on the network, but it gives us scalability. That’s if you want to add more endpoints or expand to a new building it’s very easy that the system the, IPTV and signage system grows as your network grows, so it’s a very easy expansion scalability.
You see here, this is what a typical IPTV head in looks like, it’s nice and compact. It’s in about 14 rack units. Not everyone does IPTV in the most efficient manner. Some of the vendors out there on the market, they want to sell you a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of encoders. Let’s just say you’re doing a 48 channel system, they want to sell you 48 encoders. You’d have to use 48 individual satellite receivers or cable set top boxes. This picture here shows you an eight-foot rack and probably another four feet of Rackspace. These are all RF, these are all RF, let me get my pointer, over here the satellite receiver boxes they’re not really meant to be rack mounted. So there’s these [clergy 00:05:47] rack mount kits to put them in the rack and then below them are very expensive encoders.
VidOvations logic when we’re deploying our VidOvations TV system, the rule of thumb we follow is the content, whether it’s coming from satellite or cable, it’s already in digital form. It’s already in an IP stream. It’s either H.264 or a newer systems, it’s HEVC. So some of the competing systems will take the content back to base span video and then spit it out of a receiver, or a set top box and then re-encode it. So, a typical, a lower grade encoder starts at about $1500 dollars a channel for a decent encoder, and a broadcast encoder is probably about $7000 per channel. If you’re doing 48, 50, 100 channels, you can see how the cost of encoders can escalate, and you can need an enormous amount of Rackspace.
In the 48 channel example, you know you need about 70 rack units to do the old school approach to IPTV. With VidOvation we now have new systems that can do 138 channels of television in three rack units. We can also do and save the customer anywhere from 50 to $350000. So, sometimes when we’re presenting numbers to a customer for a project, they think there’s a typo. They’re like why are $400000 worth of encoders missing from your proposal. Well, granted I’d love to sell $400000 worth of encoders but the customer doesn’t need to buy the encoders. So, by using a COM2000 or a COM3000 from Technicolor, we can do 138 channels of DirecTV in a 3RU appliance.
So, how is this all accomplished? This sounds complicated. One of the things we do is VidOvation is a direct TV partner. We partner with DirecTV. We can also work with Dish Network or your local cable company. Most of our customers like DirecTV, mostly because they’re the best at sports. If you’re building a facility or if you want a television system, and you really want the best sports coverage, the best sports packages, DirecTV is the way to go. Dish is a little stronger in some international programming, so you might want Dish. Then we integrate all the time local cable. We can even do over the air signals, but I have slides about that, I’ll get into that.
Here’s the magic behind our system, or the starting point, or the center of our IPTV system when it comes to the live television content, is an appliance made by Technicolor, and it’s called a COM3000. It basically takes up to 138 satellite receiver tuners and crams them into three rack units, which is amazing. In that earlier slide, the old school approach would be to take 138 of these, now that would even take … I don’t even have the math here, but that would probably take let’s see quadruple what you see here.
There’ll be 138 of these individual satellite receivers that you would need to mount in the rack. So, we squeeze about three or four 12 foot racks of gear into this 3RU little appliance here, and it’s made by Technicolor for DirecTV, everyone I’m sure you guys know the Technicolor brand. They touch numerous aspects of the cinema and television space that we all work in. So, it’s a great, amazing appliance made by technical it for DirecTV.
We’ll put this appliance in, put a satellite dish on the roof, and you have 138 channels of HD and 4k content available to you. Here’s the dish on the roof. One caveat when putting a dish on the roof, some customers, most installations there already is some sort of a roof penetration, a conduit going through the roof.
It’s not advisable for the tenant or VidOvation to drill through a roof. we would want to get the whoever holds the warranty on the roof. Whoever put the roof in, whoever has the warranty, we would have to contract them to put a conduit through the roof because then if there’s a leak, we wouldn’t want to do anything that voids the warranty, and it’s not super expensive. We will just have to have the Roof Contractor come out and put that conduit in for us.
Some customers call us up every day, and they’ll be like, “I have a cable TV system, I heard IPTV is the new greatest and latest thing, I want to learn more about it, I’m not sure if I need it.” Problem with cable TV is you’re limited. If you want to add Video on Demand it’s not that easy, or if you want to integrate your own internal content that can be a challenge.
Particularly IPTV makes sense if you want to stream to alternate devices. With IPTV you can stream to the desktop, we can stream to PCs and Macs so let’s just say people in your enterprise need to watch TV as part of their job. You’re a media company, a financial institution, so you need to watch financial news all day, or we’re working with some first responders, police, fire rescue, they need to know what’s happening in the news locally, any natural disasters locally, statewide and even globally. If there’s some sort of widespread terrorist attack government agencies, state agencies need to be informed. Television is a means of informing your staff, your employees, your workers.
So, and people want to receive the signals on multiple devices. On the computer, on the desktop, on a laptop, on a smartphone, a tablet. Then of course, an old school set top box. We have a line of set top boxes and then even smart TVs. We work with numerous Samsung and LG, they’re more of digital signage, or a hospitality type of display, not a consumer Smart TV, that won’t work. So just about any kind of endpoint, any kind of display we can get the signal to deliver the signal to.
The TVs can be put anywhere. It’s lobbies, break rooms, hallways, sporting events. We’ve all been there, whenever you go to the … At least this happens to me. Whenever I go to a bowl game, a home run is always hit when I get up to go to the bathroom or go get a hot dog. So, having TVs, so you don’t miss any of the game near the concessions or even in the bathrooms is commonplace now, so you don’t miss anything, you don’t miss any of the action.
I mentioned we can integrate DirecTV dish cable. We can also integrate over the air television signals. Believe it or not, I don’t think over the air free TV is going away anytime soon. They’ll always be television delivered. If your line of sight to your local TV transmitter you’ll be able to get those signals for free and a lot of times those signals are the highest quality.
ATSC or over the air television can be as high as 19 megabits, 19.4 megabits per second after multiplexing, multicasting several TV channels. In theory, the channel, the bandwidth could be the bit rate could be up to 19.4 megabits per second. I’ll give you an example if you could get your local PBS channel over the air, the picture is going to look amazing, you’re going to have really good quality. This is another piece of the puzzle we can integrate over the air into the offering.
I have the bad habit of jumping ahead. I’m beating a dead horse here, but so you don’t limit yourself to one choice. DirecTV, Dish, cable, satellite, over the air. If there’s something unique in your area, some content that we need to add we can bring it in. We had one customer they primarily want to DirecTv so we put in a COM2000 at the time DirecTV and Technicolor migrated, they’ve end of life of COM2000, so now we’re working with the COM3000.
On this slide, you can see here, 138 tuners. I had a typo on an earlier slide but this slide is accurate, so the COM3000 now does 138 channels. Had one customer where we were working with Nickelodeon and for whatever reason, the Nickelodeon music channel was not available on DirecTV. Guess they didn’t have a deal with DirecTV. We put in a single Dish Network receiver and an inexpensive encoder.
There are circumstances where we may want to put some encoders in. Every application is different. If you’re only going to do a handful of channels, maybe you’re going to do five or six channels. Maybe in that kind of a scenario, the COM3000 might be overkill. So, it might be worth putting in five or six individual satellite receivers or individual cable set top boxes and five or six encoders. There are always exceptions to the rule.
One big caveat, and I’ll go into this a little bit more. The studios that the content creators have all banded together and have required every distribution partner whether it’s cable, Dish, DirecTV, et cetera.
They required that they keep the video encrypted and secure. Both the satellite providers DirecTV and Dish use a form of encryption called Pro:Idiom. Samsung is also part of the consortium, so a lot of Samsung displays support the Pro:Idiom encryption and decryption standard.
VidOvation not very many providers out there of IPTV support Pro:Idiom and Verimatrix. The two, actually there’s three kind of industry standards when it comes to encryption, and three standards that are approved by DirecTV for example. The first is Pro:Idiom. DirecTV uses Pro:Idiom so that when they go over the satellite, so of course they support their own standard. So, the Pro:Idiom is supported. They also support Verimatrix and all of this falls under what we call Digital Rights Management, in other words do you have the right to view or distribute this content, this video content, or we call it DRM for short. So, we support Pro: Idiom, Verimatrix and then Cisco has a form of encryption called Stadium Vision and that’s also approved by DirecTv and the studios.
VidOvation supports the two most popular forms of encryption, the Pro:Idiom and Verimatrix. A lot of our competitors are forced to do the approach of selling you the encoders because that’s their only recourse. So, they have to use individual satellite receivers, and they have to sell you a couple of hundred thousand dollars of encoders because that’s the only way they can legally distribute video.
Let me explain. What the studio’s don’t want is a first generation copy of the television stream being replicated. They’re worried about bootlegging, or piracy, or copyright infringement. If we decode the
DirecTV or the cable signal back to base band and re-encode it, now it’s a second generation so then the studios and DirecTV and Dish say that’s okay because now it’s no longer first generation.
There’s two negatives to that scenario. Number one, you spend a couple of hundred thousand on encoders and number two your video quality suffers. We all know that encoding a video a second time is going to degrade the quality of that video. Of course we all want to save money, a couple hundred thousand dollars savings is a win and then also maintaining higher fidelity, better video quality. That’s all a win-win. So, these are some of the caveats, the pitfalls that you need to watch out for.
In the way we use the COM3000 to bring in 138 channels of DirecTV, we have what we call a Cable TV RF QAM to IP gateway appliance. What does that mean? In the way the COM3000 has 138 satellite receivers, this
QAM to IP gateway has 60 cable TV tuners in three rack units. It’s not quite as high a density as the COM3000, but 60 channels is pretty good. We did an installation recently where it was a casino, the Hard Rock Casino and they wanted to bring in, DirecTv content, a lot of the sports content, but they also wanted certain feeds from Philadelphia, from New York, et cetera, or from Philadelphia from Comcast, and so they wanted to bring Comcast into the building.
The alternative would be to have 60 Comcast set top boxes and 60 encoders by using this QAM the IP gateway we condense all of that into three rack units and then we don’t need a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of encoders to re encode the cable content. Just like the COM3000, this appliance supports a Pro:Idiom, Verimatrix and it integrates with the VidOvation TV or the VidOvation enterprise IPTV and signage system.
Some of our competitors will make flipping comments like, “Oh well we’ll throw Verimatrix in, we’ll throw in Pro:Idiom. You don’t just throw it in, it’s got to be integrated. You have to integrate the decryption
engine for Pro:Idiom and/or Verimatrix into your set top box. The media player on your computer to go to the desktop. The engine that runs on your computer has to have the decryption capability of Verimatrix and Pro:Idiom. So, your system really needs to be built from the ground up to support these different forms of digital rights management or DRM. You just don’t throw that in, it’s not just some trivial add on et cetera.
Most of our customers are media companies of some sort. I’ll give you some examples. We’ve done a lot of work with Viacom and Nickelodeon. They have studios, so they want to bring, executives want to bring studio feeds into the television system into the IPTV system. Basically what we’ll do, in their master control we’ll put a couple of encoders on a couple of the outputs of their router, and they can dial up any internal video feed, any studio feed on the router and pipe it into the IPTV system. So, we have these multiple optional channels, these studio feeds, and they can pick and choose what they want to broadcast on those channels. In film, in cinema and television production, secrecy is usually a big deal.
My wife has gotten some of my two kids to be extras. They’ve gotten some minor parts in Hollywood for different TV shows. Anyone on set, they either have to put their phone away, or they’ll confiscate the phone, or you got to put tape over the lens because they don’t want any leaks. Someone will film something happening on the set, or some actor will go into some tirade and somebody caught it on their iPhone or their Android and they want to prevent a leak. So, our system gives the studio’s the ability that these studio feeds only the authorized executives can see. They may not want the entire staff to see what’s going on, on set because they could divulge that to the public before the show actually airs.
Other customers, casinos, they might want to bring in some digital signage channels. We have a digital signage option as part of our system, but if you have a digital signage player or brand that you’re already using, we won’t force you to use our digital signage platform. We can bring it in, we would just assign it to a certain channel. So, we can bring in like with the Hard Rock they had a lot of media players, so being music themed establishment they had dozens of media players playing music videos. Music content, so we just assign those, we attached, we put, we took the HDMI outputs of those media players, fed them into an HDMI encoder and then broadcast those on designated or dedicated channels for the music videos of the media content. Whatever your situation is, you know, if you have other systems that you prefer to use, we can integrate that.
I think one important thing is our system is very, very open. We have a documented API if we need to integrate with another system, a booking system if it’s a hotel et cetera. We’re an open architecture.
Here I don’t mean to scare people, VidOvation is not the anti piracy police, but if we come into your facility, and we see something that may not be compliant, that’s not our job, it’s none of our business, but we will not put a system in that is not compliant. DirecTv High Definition, first generation DirecTV and 4k first generation DirecTV cannot be distributed on the network in the clear, it has to be encrypted. VidOvation, this is one of our strong suits. We’re very close partner with DirecTV and we are typical I would say 80% of our deployments use the Verimatrix DRM that gives us the most versatility. Then the other 20% of our deployments will use the native Pro:Idiom and that comes from DirecTV and very few, if any of our competitors can facilitate both Pro:Idiom and Verimatrix.
I’ll give you an example. Like, why is Video on Demand content? This is more your content, not so much, “Hey, I want to watch movies at work.” Now, granted, if this was a hotel or hospitality, Video on Demand would be more like that, where you rent a movie to watch it in your hotel room. For the enterprise, the Video on Demand, it’s more your internal assets. Take Viacom, for example. They have a huge asset management library, and they want to integrate that into the system.
So, they gave a scenario, the writers are in the writers room, and they’re trying to write a script for the next episode of some sitcom they’re working on. They’re like, “You know, hey, this idea, we have right now sounds very familiar for something we did in season one, I want to make sure we’re not copying. Let’s go look for that.” They’ll go into the library, they can go find season one and verify. A lot of our customers because they’re media companies, they want to record the live TV and then play it back later for quality control, or if the FCC comes to them and says, “Hey, your closed captioning failed, you know at ten o’clock on such and such channel.” If they’re recording the channels, they can prove compliance to government agencies. So, having content in the system … Think of the larger enterprise there could be HR compliance videos in there if there’s some new sexual harassment training, HR training of some sort, and you need all the employees to watch these videos.
The IPTV administrators can actually give HR a list of people that actually played and watched the whole video. If some people didn’t play it, or they played half of it, and shut it off, in the analytics, we can tell HR will get a memo and say, “You know, hey, these hundred employees did not finish or watch the video, and they need to do so for compliance reasons.” Then you can put the analytics into the HR file, so you can prove to government agencies that yes, in fact, all of our employees have watched all the compliance videos, et cetera. That can be very helpful.
There’s two forms of recording, so I kind of touched on it. One where it might be for compliance purposes, as I mentioned, and if we were doing things for compliance, we might want to record in the head end. If recording is very important to you, it just might be easier, and it’s more scalable we put a bunch of storage in the head end and when something that we can record every single channel, or we can decide we want to record these Viacom channels for compliance purposes, and so we don’t run out of hard disk space. We say we want to keep it 30 days.
If some FCC regulations stipulate that if there’s some finable event or FCC is auditing you about some content violation, et cetera, or an advertiser, “Hey, our commercial didn’t run, our commercial was chopped.” Recording these channels for compliance purposes can be very important to you and then there’s the recording for personal use. Some enterprises take the approach, well, if our employees are working 80 hours a week, we’re going to give them some entertainment channels. We’re going to let them watch ESPN or so if someone wants to watch the Sunday football game on Monday, or at work, they could set it up to record over the weekend, and we can do personal a recording or time shift recording. If we don’t do it in the head end and maybe only a handful of employees want DVR capability. We can do it in the set top box and not deploy a full head end based DVR capability.
Common thing in the enterprise is piping in, we can integrate teleconferencing into the system. A lot of times the conferencing is just on a different input on the television in the conference room. Our set top box will be on HDMI one, and the conferencing would be an HDMI two, but we have some customers where they want to integrate different feeds, or we have customers that need more continuous conductivity like a media company where they might have 24/7 connections between their New York and LA studios and those channels could be dialed up to have a real time conversation through the IPTV system directly. So we’ve facilitated that for some customers.
Then I touched on this before. If you a have a signage system that you prefer, or brand that you like to use, we can integrate that. We have our own very high powered digital signage capability built into the system. We can do like L-bars, we can have different zones, virtually unlimited number of zones. Usually one of the zones is live television. You want, the TV maybe in the upper right corner and then different zones of information.
We can bring in RSS feeds, pull different news stories, XML feeds can be pulled in and different displays, maybe digital signage is probably not appropriate on the display in an executives office. He doesn’t want commercials in his office, just wants to watch TV, but the TV’s in the break area might have HR related information. “Hey, we have a special entree in the commissary today or HR notices that kind of thing, or very importantly, I have a slide … Again, I’m jumping ahead but there’s a slide about emergency alerts, public safety, alerts for a fire, active shooter alerts, et cetera. Those are very important things to integrate into our system to keep your employees safe.
As I mentioned before, with an RF based system or some of our competitor’s systems, they’re more closed. They’re not an open architecture, so we try to keep our system as open as possible for future scalability. Our system is also very secure.
We have for you IT folks out there, we have an LDAP module which ties into Active Directory. What does that mean? When someone logs into their computer and they open up the media player, the media player knows, okay this is Jim Jachetta’s computer, he has executive access, he can see the studio feeds, he can see security feeds, etc. He has access to the full channel lineup. Now, my admin maybe doesn’t have as much access as I do, they log into their computer, the system knows their Active Directory credentials, so they only see a limited channel lineup, or a more limited channel lineup, so the IT department will love that. That everything bundles in or seamlessly integrates with the network security network policies.
At the end of the day it’s the IT guys that keeps our world running, that’s why these guys and girls get paid the big bucks. We can’t live without them. VidOvation is very hands on with your IT team. We encourage them to be involved in the process early on. We have to make sure that the network is multicast enabled that IGMP internet group multicast protocol is turned on. What does that mean? For you people that don’t know the difference between a multicast and a unicast. A unicast video stream is a stream from point A to point B. Only one person can, or one there’s a single source and a single destination. For example, on TV number one, if it was a unicast session only TV number one can see that stream. That stream can’t be shared across multiple TVs.
When we do multicast, it’s a different type of stream. That same stream can be shared with 1000 endpoints or thousands of endpoints. What does that translate to? If 1000 people in the organization were watching ESPN at the same time, and we were set up in a unicast environment, they would have to be 1000 streams of ESPN going on the network to the different displays. If we do a multicast stream of ESPN, there’s a single stream, and we all watch the same stream. So, all 1000 people watch that same stream. Multicast is actually preferred method of distribution.
We have one customer, for security reasons they just will not allow multicast on their network. It’s a one of the large social media networks, and we had to set up a media server to serve out all the channels individually. When a TV tunes to a certain channel, a stream is sent to each display, but their network is big enough and robust enough to handle all those simultaneous sessions. So, we can do a unicast system if we have to, but multicast is preferred.
Again, I won’t read everything to you guys on this slide, but this is something we would … This will be part of the discussion we would have with your IT department. To discuss how to set up the internet group multicast protocol. A misbehaving multicast stream would be a great way to attack a network, and the IT guys are very conscious of this. So, everything needs to be very well documented, very well controlled to make sure a rogue multicast stream is not let loose on the network that could cause some damage, but our IT team will work very closely with you and your customers IT team to make sure everything is done properly and secure and that the network is safe and that there’s no problems.
Yeah, again here’s some of the requirements. I’ll share this … Actually, this deck is shared in the handouts, so I think somewhere on the screen there should be a link something labeled handouts. You guys can download this PowerPoint deck as well as a catalog on IPTV, so I won’t read these all to you, but these are some of the things we would discuss with your IT department.
Yeah, I already see again I jumped the gun I did a spoiler on this slide. This is the slide about the LDAP module and integrating with Active Directory which your IT guys are going to love. Again, it’s optional. The IPTV and digital signage system can sit on its own, on its own VLAN separate from your corporate network. Some organizations prefer that, you know what? I just want it on its own VLAN or sometimes even physically put it on a separate network physically. So, you have the choice, you don’t have to go this route, but if you want a more integrated, managed approach, we can do that.
The system is fully customizable. We can … Everything is based on html5. Typically what we do is we mimic the elements, the colors, the graphics, usually on the customers website is a place to start. Working with Nickelodeon, Viacom being a media company, there was no guessing. They gave, they told us exactly how it was going to look, and they gave us the logos, and the color specifications et cetera.
What customers like is they can modify, this whole backdrop can be modified. Here’s an example of a hospitality, a hotel near, I had a picture of a nearby mountain in the background. Viacom wanted a more corporate look. Nickelodeon of course has the orange, the orange goop on their background, more whimsical than the corporate interface, but all this can be customized. Think of it like a web page we can pretty much change or modify anything you want.
I touched on this before, we can integrate the security feeds. You probably don’t want your everyday employees tying into the security system, but you may want executives to have access to this and certainly security personnel. You may not want your security people watching ESPN because that might be a distraction, so you might want to block that are not give them access to that, but you maybe they need to watch the news they need to you know if there’s some event, some police activity locally. They may need to watch local news channels or local TV to see if there’s anything breaking news nearby for employee safety, public safety but certainly have the security feeds integrated into the system.
Then, another thing customers ask us every day like, “Oh, what do we, we’re not ready for 4k yet but we will be down the road.” We could put set top boxes in today that support 4k or we can mix and match. Maybe every display doesn’t need to be 4k in the enterprise, so DirecTV is not 100% 4k yet, they’ll have sporadic broadcasts and 4k. Cable probably has more 4k coming through, so we can mix and match, and we can migrate to 4k. In the case of mix and match we would need to have two different streams on the network. We need a 4k stream, and an HD stream for displays that are the two different formats. If you do want that multiple formats of content we’d just have more streams or more flavors of those streams on the channels available to you.
We’ve done quite a few sports stadiums, live events stadiums, and one of the most common food services at Convention Center stadiums is Aramark. They’re like one of the major national even global food service providers, and we’ve integrated our API with the Aramark API. So that, I’ll give you an example. VIP is in the executive suites at a baseball stadium, football, basketball, et cetera. Hockey, they can order food right from the TV. So we can do things where it’s just simple where we’ll just push a web page, so a menu will just scroll, and they got to dial a phone to order, or we can even do it where they can press on things and order things in a more automated approach.
So, we can do things that are kind of simplistic to all kinds of custom modification, custom features using the API. One pitfall with stadiums is a lot of times you might have a field of view of the field as well as the televised video on the internal TV channel. I’ll give you an example. You’re in the VIP suite, and you’re watching the ball game is right in front of you. You see the baseball field, there’s a hit, you hear the crack of the bat. It’s awkward if the TVs are like three seconds behind the action on the field. So a minimizing latency we can get the latency down to a couple of hundred milliseconds, tens of seconds to minimize that latency so that there’s not an awkward, so the television system doesn’t seem like it’s lagging several seconds behind the live action that’s also in front of you.
Now, granted you may want to see that crack of a bat and see the replay, so you could be DVR-ing the game on the screen above you and then hit the back button and see that shot all over again. But, if you’re dialed into the internal feed, they’re probably going to do an instant replay on the in house feed anyway where you wouldn’t need to do it yourself.
As you can see in these photos another awkward thing is, so here’s the concession stand and there’s several TVs. If these TVs are not in sync with each other, that looks very awkward. That you have TVs with different crack of the bat, crack of the bat. That’s an awkward customer complaint if the TVs are not in sync, and we solve all that.
To summarize, the key advantage is, when does IPTV makes sense? If you’re happy with your cable system, and your cable boxes, and you don’t need, if you don’t need to stream to computers to set top boxes, smart TVs, phones, and tablets, maybe what you have is good enough. If you also need to integrate digital signage, or you want to use our digital signage module that’s going to be more difficult to do with a cable system. Adding emergency alerts to keep people informed of active shooters, fire danger, earthquakes, fires, et cetera. Integrating your own live content, your own video on demand content is easy add on and then having recording or PVR.
Now, all these features I mentioned, you don’t have to order them from day one, the system is scalable. We have many customers, they’ll buy a basic system as a starter, and then customers will be like, “You know, we really want to start recording stuff, or we’re getting a lot of requests for video on demand. We can add these systems later. We can add capabilities later. The system is upgradeable, it’s scalable.
The other thing to watch out for is doing proper digital rights management, particularly Viacom and Nickelodeon. They read some of the legal language that comes from some of the studios and being a content creator themselves they’re like, “You know, we want to design the system properly from the ground up. We love that VidOvation is using Verimatrix DRM. We don’t want to cut any corners. We don’t want to diminish signal quality and of course we don’t want to spend a couple hundred thousand dollars on unnecessary encoders.”
The system will keep your employees safe and informed. If you’re an entertainment center, a sports arena, we’ll keep your fans engaged, so they don’t fall asleep. An IP system, IPTV system is easier to deploy and maintain. Your IT department can even be in a different location, and the system can be managed remotely. It’s very scalable, low cost of ownership, extremely flexible and customizable.
Electronic program guide, so how do I know what’s on at what time? We have a fully integrated EPG or Electronic Program Guide. Again, I covered all this stuff, but broadcast scheduling, we can schedule when we want to record things. You could even have an HR video set to play at 8:00 am every Monday, so there’s some … You can do a scheduling of different broadcast, kind of an automated inside or internal television system that new guides would run.
Yeah, so I covered all this. I don’t want to keep you guys too long. Let me see I’ve been going about an hour. Let me keep going. If some of you guys drop off I understand it’s thank God it’s Friday, but I appreciate you guys coming and joining us. If you guys got to drop off I understand. I’ll keep going. I got a few more slides.
This is what the system looks like. You have satellite or over the air cable coming in. There might be your tuners or your gateway appliances. The video needs to be encrypted to be compliant. You have some recording appliances to time shift to DVR. Usually all of this is, these are modules. This is all like one appliance. This whole areas is an appliance. This is an appliance, but it’s just a contrarian way of looking at the system.
Yeah, this gets into some of the details. A common question we get asked is how many endpoints, what’s the limitation on the endpoints? It’s not really a limitation of our system, it’s more of a Windows limitation. We use Windows Server 2012 and that currently has a limit of 5000 endpoints or 5000 endpoints session. If you need more than 5000 we would just have a second middleware server that would slave off of each other to give you that capability.
You guys can look at some of the data sheets to get, or the catalog to get some of these specifications. I’ll kind of go through this pretty quickly. One of the set top boxes, our preferred vendor of choices company by the name of Amino. I mentioned companies like Cisco they have IPTV system and one of the complaints we hear is that set top box is really just a small computer, and it has a spinning hard drive and a fan. Some of these environments are relatively hostile like there’s snow and freezing rain in the winter. There’s moisture, there’s harsh environment, so a computer with a spinning hard drive in a fan is not really ideal for these harsh environments.
Then also, in my engineering experience something with moving parts has a life expectancy, a fan, a spinning fan, 2, 3, 4 years, maybe at most, that fans going to need to be replaced, the bearings are going to wear out. One of the biggest complaints we see is that the Cisco or these other set top boxes are very expensive, and they fail a lot.
The Amino has no moving parts, it’s all hardware based. It’s just, one circuit board, there’s no fan. There’s no spinning hard drive, and it’s extremely resilient, extremely reliable. I mean, we have customers that have been using an amino for the better part of 10 years without a failure. They just go, they just work and what we like about it as a vendor is it’s highly programmable. So, we put the firmware on the platform to do the Verimatrix decryption, to do the Pro:Idiom decryption. We put our software on it, so it’s a very robust target.
The software that comes with it out of the box from Amino is very rudimentary, but it’s a great platform. It’s a Windows, I’m sorry, it’s a browser based platform. So everything you see on the screen is a form of html5. That’s what, that’s its power. That’s what makes it flexible and perfect for IPTV.
I’m going to touch on some applications. I’ll wrap this up soon guys in a few minutes here. For Viacom, this was kind of a mixed use. It was for the business and enterprise but also for media. They wanted the system to go to TVs, displays, PCs, tablets. They didn’t, they’re not using any smart TVs, so we went with Samsung, a more generic commercial TVs, and we just hid the set top box behind the display or behind the TV. Then we used like a little infrared eye to get the infrared to control the set top box, and we glue it to the bottom edge of the TV, so you can remote control the set top box and the TV from a distance.
At a sporting venue, we want to avoid this guy who’s sleeping here. What he’s got the newspaper over his head he’s not engaged with the game, so we want to keep your fans engaged. We want to put every sporting venue has their internal house feed. You’ve got the kissing cam coming up and different antics between innings, the seventh inning stretch et cetera or when there’s a home run or a touchdown, et cetera. You want to catch all that action.
Hospitality and casinos and hotels and resorts. There’s integrating with the back end, the billing systems. We’ve done a lot of work with casinos. I mentioned the Hard Rock casino. The Hard Rock bought the Trump Taj Mahal and the Trump Casino in Atlantic City. They turned it into an amazing beautiful facility. They gutted the whole, they gutted both properties, combined them into one huge Hard Rock property, and we did several hundred displays on the casino floor, and integrated DirecTV and Comcast Cable into it, and these digital, these music media player channels as well into the system.
Health care or hospitals. One of the big problems in healthcare is insurance companies will actually charge a hospital or will deduct money they receive if a patient is readmitted in 30 days. The logic is the hospital or the doctors didn’t do their job properly the first time, so if someone is readmitted within 30 days that costs the hospital money, they get less money from the insurance company. A television system with video on demand, we’ve done projects where you push educational videos to the patient before they leave. “Mr. Smith, this is what you’re going to have to do post op, here’s the med you’re going to need to take. Here’s the … This is how the wound gets cleaned, et cetera.” To avoid that 30 day bounce back, so things like that.
We can even facilitate systems where they get these videos on their phone and even when they’re at home for 30 days, they can still access the library or videos from the hospital, on their phone, on the system to prevent that 30 day bounce back. So, pretty much the sky’s the limit. I’m sure you guys will have unique workflows, unique needs. We can support virtually any application. We love customizing the system.
I mentioned having synchronous video. We’ve done some military type applications where keeping video synchronous, time stamping et cetera is very important for security et cetera. Keeping … We’re working with a couple of state police agencies on deploying a statewide IPTV and information, to keep all the different state police departments, HQ and all the different barracks around the state informed. Conferencing is a big part of that, but if there is a natural disaster or a police event or a terrorist attack et cetera, instantly every … The police in the field as well as at command can be kept informed and abreast of what’s happening.
Colleges and universities, higher education, television systems. There’s two aspects of it, one could be for the dorms for entertainment purposes for the students, but the more important side is on the E-learning on the educational side. That television and recordings of lectures. Say that a student has a conflict, or they can’t make it through a certain lecture the 8:00 am lecture, or they were out late the night before, teachers can make lectures available on the video on demand system, so the student can rewatch a lecture later on at their own time or distance learning.
Universities now have online versions of their education programming et cetera, so they can watch from home or from a remote distance.
What is VidOvation? VidOvation we specialize in moving live television. We specialize in the transmission, contribution and distribution of live television. We do this over, today’s discussion was mostly IP networks, we’ll do it over IP networks, we can do it wirelessly. We can go over cellular, or bonded cellular. We can go over fiber.
We’d love to hear from you about any type of project you’re working on. VidOvation is very consultative in our process. We’ll consult with you, we’ll help you design a system that meets your business goals and that will be within your budget. We’re constantly aware that not every customer has the same level of budget, so we’ll design a system that fits your workflow and fits your budget.
That kind of wraps things up. Here’s some of the stuff we’ve been doing lately. I mentioned Nickelodeon and Viacom. We’ve done a lot of work in the past with the NHL, we do this crazy cop show called Live PD on A&E. We have two new shows coming out.
Well, actually, I think one show has been announced. It’s a first responder show that’s coming out, so they’re going to be following around the fire department, more of a rescue. The fire department, the ambulance, the EMT’s et cetera, and these crazy shows really put our technology to the test. A lot of the technology we use was meant for news, for doing a simple stand up on the courthouse steps.
VidOvation and our partners like, Abby West we’ve been able to broadcast live from police cars going 130 miles an hour down the freeway in a high speed chase. We’ve also worked with one of the largest Native American owned casinos in North America, The Mystic Lake Casino and Hotel in Minnesota. So, we’d love to help you with your applications.
Here’s some contact information for you guys. I don’t see any questions, but feel free to reach out to me. Here’s my direct email Jimj@vidovation.com is my direct email. You can connect with me on social media. I’m sure many of you guys are coming out to NAB in a few weeks, so we’ll be in booth C-2305 in the upper part of Central Hall by the front door. Very close to the lobby, so we’d love to see you folks there to continue the discussion for any enterprise IPTV and digital signage projects you guys might be working on.
Be sure to download the handouts. I don’t know if you guys see that on the side here. I think you just click on it and you can download it. Unless you folks have any questions, I’ll let you get back to your Friday and thank you so much for joining today and have a great weekend and don’t hesitate to reach out to VidOvation. Thank you so much. Bye.