How To Set Up & Manage an IPTV System WHITE PAPER

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1 How To Set Up & Manage an IPTV System WHITE PAPER

2 Although every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of this document it may be necessary, without notice, to make amendments or correct omissions. Specifications subject to change without notice. VidiPlay is a registered trademark of ATX in the United States and/or other countries. Products or features contained herein may be covered by one or more U.S. or foreign patents. Other non-atx product and company names in this manual are the property of their respective companies.

3 WHITE PAPER How To Set Up & Manage an IPTV System Corporate offices, schools, broadcast studios, hospitals, hotels and casinos, and stadiums are installing IPTV systems to have more control over their A/V infrastructures and make them easier to manage. Traditionally, if an enterprise customer wanted to watch live or locally produced programs, they would have to have RF cable coax wiring running throughout their building and a cable set-top box at every television. For customers with hundreds of end users, this can add up to significant CAPEX and OPEX. As IP networks have become ubiquitous and consumers are watching more and more video on IP enabled devices, enterprise customers are increasing looking to their A/V integrators to provide them with a complete end-to-end IPTV solution. This paper explores the technologies that facilitate the ingestion, distribution, manipulation, and management of live HD television on private video networks. Introduction IPTV represents a new opportunity for A/V integrators. Today, cable companies still rely on the use of cable set-top boxes to deliver live television to residential customers. In a traditional RF cable coax system, the cable carries hundreds of QAM modulated, CableCARD encrypted and MPEG-2 encoded programs. A cable set-top box demodulates, decrypts and decodes these programs and outputs baseband video to the television. This solution is not ideal for commercial customers for a number of reasons: The customer must run RF cable coax wiring throughout their building. This can easily cost more than $100,000 for a new corporate office. The customer must rent a cable set-top box for every television. This can easily cost more than $15 a month for every cable set-top box. The customer has no way to manage the RF cable coax system. There is no authentication and access control. End users are no longer tethered to their desks. Everyone has a laptop, tablet, or mobile phone with access to the Internet. Many enterprises need their people to have access to the latest news, training videos, group announcements or general information that needs to be distributed to the entire campus. Bringing everyone together in one room to view live events within an organization is no longer convenient or necessary with today s streaming technology. An IPTV system with a live HD feed resolves the above mentioned problems. Customers are already installing Ethernet cables to every location in their building. An IPTV system leverages this investment and gives customers the ability to make changes to their system any time they want. IPTV Technology IPTV, as the name implies, is a system through which television services are delivered using the Internet protocol suite over a packet-switched network. When choosing an IPTV system, it is important to understand what components are needed and how they fit together. Figure 1 shows a high level block diagram of an IPTV system. There is a CATV gateway for ingesting cable television into the IPTV system. There are IP encoders for ingesting the output of satellite receivers or set-top boxes from other service providers such as traditional telcos. There is a transcoder for converting the video to different formats. The output of the transcoder goes into a switch which distributes the content to IP set-back boxes, PCs, and mobile devices. In this system, there is also a middleware server that manages authentication and access control, as well as supporting an Interactive Program Guide. There are also middleware clients running on the IP set-back box and PC. Let us now take a look at each of these components in more detail. VidiPlay How to Set Up & Manage an IPTV System White Paper 1

4 Figure #1: IPTV Ssytem 1. CATV Gateway A CATV gateway is a rack mounted device that replaces up to 60 cable set-top boxes and IP encoders. It uses the same CableCARD technology that the cable set-top box uses to decrypt the cable signal. A CATV gateway requires much less rack space and power than a rack and stack solution. It also eliminates many single points of failure. One important thing to note about the CATV gateway is that it does not change the codec, resolution, or bit rate of the incoming stream. This means that if the input is MPEG-2, then the output will be MPEG-2. If the input is variable bit rate, then the output will be variable bit rate. ATX s UCrypt gateway is the most widely deployed CATV gateway on the market today. It was the winner of the 2014 Commercial Integrator Award in the IP Enabling Devices category. Compared to a rack and stack solution, the UCrypt device is much simpler to install and maintain, and much lower cost. Multiple UCrypt devices can be deployed for even larger channel lineups, and the unit is remotely manageable from a web browser. 2. IP Encoder The traditional way of ingesting live television into an IPTV system is to rack and stack cable set-top boxes/satellite receivers and IP encoders. The same IP encoder can be used to insert locally produced content, say a security camera feed or a high school basketball game. An IP encoder takes a baseband signal, encodes it, and outputs it as an IP multicast stream. There are many things to consider when looking for an IP encoder. Some questions to ask are: Is it an HD or SD encoder? What inputs does it accept? Does it support SDI, HDMI, Component, and Composite inputs? Does it support both MPEG-2 and H.264 encoding? Are the output resolutions and bit rates adjustable? Does it support UDP, multicast, SPTS, IP output? Is the encoder manageable from a centralized video management system? ATX s DigiVu II encoder is one of the few IP encoders on the market that is manageable from a centralized video management system. ATX s video management system is called VMS. What this means is that you can monitor and control multiple units from a single GUI. This greatly reduces the time required to set up and manage the system and is a must-have feature for anybody operating more than a few channels. DigiVu II encoders also come with best in class video quality, selectable 2 VidiPlay How to Set Up & Manage an IPTV System White Paper

5 MPEG-2 or H.264 output, and support for HD-SDI, HDMI, Component, and Composite inputs. 3. Transcoder A transcoder is a device that converts an IP stream from one format to another. MPEG-2 is the format that broadcasters use to distribute their content. Tablets, mobile phones, and bedside terminals cannot decode MPEG-2. Therefore, a transcoder is needed to convert the stream from MPEG-2 to H.264 and also to a resolution and bit rate that the display device can handle. Some things to look for in a transcoder are: Does it support MPEG2-to-H.264, H.264-to-MPEG2, MPEG2-to-MPEG2, and H.264-to-H.264 transcoding? Does it support both linear and multiscreen transcoding? Transcoding one input to multiple outputs? Does it support HTTP Live Streaming? Is the transcoder manageable from a centralized video management system? Does the video management system support advanced redundancy schemas? ATX s VersAtive Pro transcoder is one of the few transcoders on the market that is license-free, allowing customers to easily reconfigure the device without the need to purchase additional licenses. It is also manageable by our centralized video management system (VMS) and can provide system level redundancy and thus, greater reliability. 4. Network Switch The network must support 1) IGMP Snooping and 2) IGMP Querying. Querying needs to be available somewhere on the network and snooping needs to be on the switch connected to the end device. We have worked with and qualified a number of network switches. Some models that we have tested and done deployments with are: Netgear GS752TP Netgear GSM7352S-200 (L3-switch) Allied Telesis AT-8000GS 5. Middleware Solution A big part of an IPTV System is the Middleware - the software that runs on the middleware server, the IP set-back box, the PC and the mobile devices. ATX s VidiPlay middleware features: IP set-back boxes, PC clients and mobile apps Support for an Emergency Alert System Authentication and Access Control An Interactive Program Guide An Emergency Alert System (EAS) has become a must-have feature for corporate offices, healthcare facilities and school campuses. In the event of a senseless act of violence, having another means of getting the word out immediately can mean the difference between life and death. Cable set-top boxes only broadcast national EAS messages sent from the cable plant. VidiPlay with a local EAS generator allows staff to easily generate a local EAS message that overrides the broadcast content in the event of a local emergency. With VidiPlay s authentication and access control, only authorized users have access to the system and the system administrator can control who has access to what content. He can set up individual user and group privileges. He can also remotely reimage, reboot, and tune any IP set-back box in the system. This allows for instance any display to be used as a digital signage device to display maps, building directories, or some other useful content. VidiPlay also supports an Interactive Program Guide (IPG). End users can easily navigate to the channel they want to watch. The service requires subscription to an Electronic Program Guide (EPG) data service which ATX offers on a per box basis. VidiPlay How to Set Up & Manage an IPTV System White Paper 3

6 How To Get Started When you meet a potential customer who is interested in getting an IPTV system, here are six questions to help you get started. Conclusion 1. Who is your service provider? If it is a cable operator like Comcast or Time Warner, then recommend a UCrypt device. If it is a satellite operator or telco, then offer them a DigiVu II device. 2. How many channels from the service provider will be required for the system? This will determine the number of UCrypt and DigiVu II devices that they will need. 3. How many additional locally generated channels will be required? What type of interface will they have? 4. How many and what type of display devices will be served? If the answer includes mobile devices or bedside terminals, then they need a transcoder. 5. Do they see a need to constraint network bandwidth? If the answer is yes, then they need a transcoder. 6. Do they need authentication and access control or an Interactive Program Guide? If the answer is yes, then they need a middleware solution. With ATX s Private Video Network Solution, setting up and managing an IPTV system is SIMPLE! Let our video experts help you to design a system that meets your customer s needs and budget. 4 VidiPlay How to Set Up & Manage an IPTV System White Paper

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