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PackeTV® Views Whitepaper

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Fast, simple IPTV channel management for schools. PackeTV® Views is a fully configurable online IPTV controller that allows you to manage multiple IPTV account types and roles to simply content access, maintenance, and publishing. It runs directly in your browser and maps IPTV media sources using a fully qualified Uniform Resource Identifier (URI). PackeTV® Views was developed to make channel guide creation much simpler and significantly more user-friendly. Through the use of cloud-based services, any organization can deliver high-quality channel guides to all viewers, both within and outside the organization. Any type of video can be displayed, either on-demand or real-time, as long as the viewer’s device has suitable media player software installed (such as QuickTime, VLC, Adobe Flash plug-in, etc.).
The overall system architecture is deceptively simple, because all of the functions are provided by way of Software as a Service (SaaS) systems hosted by VSI in the cloud. From a practical standpoint, what this means is that the only hardware requirement for users is a working Internet connection. The PackeTV® Views system can be accessed through standard firewalls, and is secured through user login accounts and passwords. Video streams can only be played by devices that have physical network access to the video servers, providing additional security. Unauthorized users who are outside of the network scope of the video source will not be able to view the content.
PackeTV® Views features intuitive controls that can be easily operated by both technical and non-technical personnel. Operators simply open the URL with the channel lineup, build a content feed customized for the intended audience, and instantly push the media to viewers

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PackeTV® Views Whitepaper

  1. 1.                           _______________________________________________________________________     PackeTV®    Views   Fast,  Simple  Setup  for  IPTV  Channels   White  Paper  Created  by  Visionary  Solutions,  Inc.   October,  2013     http://www.vsicam.com     _______________________________________________________________________                                                               http://www.linkedin.com/company/visionary-­‐solutions-­‐inc. http://www.facebook.com/vsiptv http://www.twitter.com/vsiptv       http://www.youtube.com/vsiptv                  
  2. 2. Fast,  Simple  Setup  for  IPTV  Channels   Executive  Summary   One  of  the  biggest  challenges  facing  IPTV  system  providers  is  managing  how  viewers  select  the   channels  and  content  that  they  want  to  see.  Keeping  track  of  multiple  live  and  pre-­‐recorded  assets  and   providing  an  easy-­‐to-­‐use  portal  for  users  can  be  time-­‐consuming  at  best,  particularly  given  the   complexity  of  many  commercially  available  middleware  packages.  An  ideal  channel  guide  system  would   allow  producers  of  video  content  (including  end  users)  to  easily  create  a  listing  in  the  overall  channel   guide  without  requiring  complicated  database  manipulation.  With  the  development  of  newer  tools   based  on  software-­‐as-­‐a-­‐service  cloud  concepts,  deployment  costs  can  be  reduced  while  at  the  same   time  making  these  “middleware”  systems  easier  to  deploy  and  manage.     Simpler  is  better  for  many  system  operators,  including  school  systems,  commercial  enterprises,  local   governments,  healthcare  facilities,  and  universities.  PackeTV®    Views  from  Visionary  Solutions  Inc.  (VSI)   offers  an  efficient,  organized  and  cost-­‐effective  way  for  administrators  and  end  users  to  efficiently   publish  and  view  all  types  of  video  content.  Once  a  channel  framework  is  in  place,  local  administrators   can  update  the  channel  listing  guide  without  intervention  from  the  overall  system  manager.       Multiple  program  listing  views  are  supported,  allowing  different  channels  guides  to  be  displayed   based  on  each  viewer’s  permission  level.  With  this  functionality,  a  professional  channel  guide  can  be   deployed  cost  effectively  for  virtually  any  organization,  even  one  with  limited  experience  in  digital     media  programming.       Introduction   Video  distribution  systems  are  the  ideal  portal  for  providing  access  to  content,  and  one  of  the  keys   for  successful  digital  content  distribution  is  making  it  easy  for  viewers  to  find  what  they  want  to  watch.   Channel  guides  are  a  popular  means  for  providing  information  to  viewers.  User-­‐friendly  icons  and  short   text  descriptions  of  the  available  channels  and  programs  provide  an  easy  mechanism  for  viewers  to  play   content  with  a  simple  click  of  a  remote  or  a  mouse.  Over  the  years,  many  types  of  channel  guides  have   been  deployed,  and  they  have  been  implemented  on  custom  IPTV  networks  using  a  wide  range  of   technologies.  Until  recently,  implementing  a  channel  guide  required  custom  programming,  expensive   servers,  and  software  packages  known  as  “middleware”  that  provide  services  to  handle  transactions   between  viewers’  devices  and  video  servers.     In  legacy  installations,  complex,  expensive  middleware  is  used  to  control  the  channel  guide  and  to   manage  viewer  permissions.  For  large  video  service  providers  (such  as  CATV  systems  and  IPTV  carriers),   these  systems  can  be  prudent,  because  they  are  needed  to  promote  channels  and  programs  to  entice   viewers,  as  well  as  to  control  the  revenue  flows  for  subscription  channels  and  pay-­‐per  view  events.   However,  for  many  smaller  (and  particularly  private-­‐network  based)  IPTV  providers,  these  features     are  not  only  unused  but  also  make  it  more  difficult  to  manage  video  channels  and  assets  efficiently.          
  3. 3. Fast,  Simple  Setup  for  IPTV  Channels   Key  Channel  Guide  Requirements   Creating  the  optimal  channel  guide  for  an  IPTV  network  is  as  much  a  matter  of  design  as  it  is  of   technology,  but  certain  attributes  apply  in  nearly  all  cases,  including:     Ease  of  Use  –  At  its  heart,  a  channel  guide  has  one  purpose:  to  provide  viewers  with  a  simple,   attractive  way  to  find  and  watch  their  desired  content.  Viewers  should  be  able  to  scroll  through     the  available  offerings  and  select  a  specific  video  program  using     a  standard  keyboard,  mouse  and  web  browser.  The  overall  user   experience  can  be  enhanced  through  the  use  of  graphics,     featuring  appropriate  icons  for  each  content  item.   ®   Ease  of  use  requirements  also  extend  to  the  functions  of  enterprise   administrators,  who  are  responsible  for  creating  the  channel  guides   that  are  accessed  by  viewers.  Ideally,  when  new  content  is  created,   these  people  should  have  an  easy,  intuitive  system  for  creating  new   entries  in  the  channel    guide  along  with  the  associated  data  and  icons   that  are  visible  to  users.     Platform  agnostic  –  Video  delivery  systems  are  often  built  up  over   time  in  organizations,  as  user  needs  evolve  and  budgets  permit.   Several  different  technologies  from  multiple  vendors  may  be   employed  to  deliver  on-­‐demand  video  files  and  real-­‐time  or  live  video   programs.  Channel  guides  should  be  compatible  with  all  of  the   deployed  technologies,  providing  users  with  a  single,  common  access   point  for  all  varieties  of  content.  With  a  unified  guide,  users  can  avoid   the  headaches  of  using  multiple  portals  to  play  content  residing   across  incompatible  systems.     Centralized  Administration  –  Keeping  the  information  in  a  channel  guide  up  to  date  is  easier  when   multiple  parties  are  able  to  add  channels  and  content,  but  chaos  can  result  without  an  established  rule   and  protocol  chain.  A  best-­‐in-­‐class  IPTV  channel  management  system  will  have  provisions  for  setting  up   permissions  for  various  levels  of  users  and  the  ability  to  create  templates  that  can  be  shared  across   multiple  users.  The  system  should  also  allow  any  issues  that  arise  to  be  immediately  corrected  by  an   onsite  administrator,  who  is  supported  by  a  technology  vendor  with  a  responsive  customer  support   team.     Supports  User-­‐Generated  Content  –  In  many  commercial  IPTV  systems,  content  is  generated  by  a   central  group  that  manages  the  programming  that  will  be  offered  to  viewers  and  tightly  controls  the   channel  guide  that  will  be  presented  to  users.  This  is  unfortunate,  because  users  often  have  the  ability   to  create  content  themselves  (using  low  cost  digital  cameras  and  PC-­‐based  editing  tools)  and  also  can   find  content  from  a  variety  of  online  sources  that  they  would  like  to  share  with  other  viewers.  If  a   channel  guide  system  is  simple  enough,  users  can  create  and  curate  content  of  their  own  choosing  to  be   shared  with  others.  Network  administrators  should  also  be  able  to  establish  approval  rules  to  ensure   that  content  is  reviewed  and  acceptable  before  pushing  it  out  to  a  wider  audience.     “PackeTV   Views  will   revolutionize   the  IPTV   market  as  the   ideal,  low-­‐cost,   web-­‐based   IPTV  channel   guide   solution.”      
  4. 4. Fast,  Simple  Setup  for  IPTV  Channels   Reduced  Expense/Complexity  –  Many  traditional  middleware  packages  currently  used  to  create   channel  guides  are  expensive,  require  dedicated  hardware  servers,  and  are  complex  to  program  and   support.  While  these  packages  are  useful  for  IPTV  service  providers  with  hundreds  of  thousands  of   paying  customers,  they  can  be  overkill  for  organizations  that  may  have  fewer  channels  of  content  that   are  shared  by  dozens  or  hundreds  of  viewers.  A  good  solution  will  provide  the  essential  functions  that   an  individual  organization  requires  without  the  expense  and  complexity  of  an  over-­‐complicated  system.       Applications   Organizations  of  many  types  can  benefit  from  a  channel  guide  management  tool  to  support  their   video  delivery  systems,  and  increase  viewership  by  providing  an  easy-­‐to-­‐use  method  for  content   selection  and  access.     Educational  organizations  of  all  types  will  increasingly  be  using  video  delivery  to  enhance  their   courses,  for  both  live  instruction  and  pre-­‐recorded  courseware.  Primary  and  secondary  school  systems   (K-­‐12)  need  to  create  age-­‐appropriate  channel  guides  for  a  range  of  students.  Colleges  and  universities   can  index  a  wide  range  of  content  to  supplement  curriculum  in  any  academic  discipline,  while  also   providing  a  mechanism  for  students  to  share  content  they  have  created  or  located.     Business  and  non-­‐profit  enterprises  can  use  video  for  a  variety  of  purposes,  including  training,   conferences,  and  employee  communications.  Organizations  that  have  multiple  locations  can  distribute   video  programming  cost  effectively  over  corporate  networks  to  employee  desktops,  allowing  viewers  to   see  live  events  occurring  at  different  facilities.  This  content  can  also  be  recorded  and  time-­‐shifted  to   support  multiple  time  zones.  Making  all  of  this  content  available  to  the  correct  viewers  can  be  simplified   with  an  on-­‐line  channel  guide,  particularly  if  it  can  be  quickly  modified  to  present  new  content  as  soon   as  it  becomes  available.     Government  video  applications  span  the  range  from  pre-­‐recorded  training  and  constituent   communications  to  live  coverage  of  legislative  sessions  and  natural  disasters.  In  many  cases,  the  content   is  created  or  gathered  in  multiple  departments,  and  shared  across  a  secure  network.  Coordinating  all  of   these  resources  can  be  difficult.  A  channel  guide  management  tool  can  be  an  effective  solution.     Health  care  facilities  often  have  responsibilities  for  providing  video  services  to  both  staff  members   and  patients.  Continuing  medical  education  can  often  be  supported  by  high-­‐quality  video  content.   Patients  can  be  provided  information  about  procedures  that  they  are  about  to  undergo  and  information   about  post-­‐discharge  care.  With  simple-­‐to-­‐use  program  guides  that  are  tailored  to  provide  content  to   their  specific  needs,  both  employees  and  patients  will  benefit.              
  5. 5. Fast,  Simple  Setup  for  IPTV  Channels   PackeTV®  Views   As  a  leader  in  IPTV  and  related  video  technologies,  VSI  has  supplied  equipment  and  software  to   support  a  huge  variety  of  video  delivery  applications.  One  longstanding  obstacle  to  deploying  cost   effective,  IPTV  systems  has  been  the  expense  and  complexity  of  deploying  traditional  middleware   solutions  to  provide  channel  guides.  Typically,  these  systems  require  dedicated  servers,  tight  coupling  to   a  homogeneous  set  of  video  source  devices,  specialized  interface  or  player  software  loaded  on  each   user’s  device,  and  significant  efforts  to  install  and  customize  for  a  particular  organization.     PackeTV®    Views  was  developed  to  make  channel  guide  creation  much  simpler  and  significantly   more  user-­‐friendly.  Through  the  use  of  cloud-­‐based  services,  any  organization  can  deliver  high-­‐quality   channel  guides  to  all  viewers,  both  within  and  outside  the  organization.  Any  type  of  video  can  be   displayed,  either  on-­‐demand  or  real-­‐time,  as  long  as  the  viewer’s  device  has  suitable  media  player   software  installed  (such  as  QuickTime,  VLC,  Adobe  Flash  plug-­‐in,  etc.).     The  overall  system  architecture  is  deceptively  simple,  because  all  of  the  functions  are  provided  by   way  of  Software  as  a  Service  (SaaS)  systems  hosted  by  VSI  in  the  cloud.  From  a  practical  standpoint,   what  this  means  is  that  the  only  hardware  requirement  for  users  is  a  working  Internet  connection.  The   PackeTV®    Views  system  can  be  accessed  through  standard  firewalls,  and  is  secured  through  user  login   accounts  and  passwords.  Video  streams  can  only  be  played  by  devices  that  have  physical  network  access   to  the  video  servers,  providing  additional  security.  Unauthorized  users  who  are  outside  of  the  network   scope  of  the  video  source  will  not  be  able  to  view  the  content.     PackeTV®    Views  features  intuitive  controls  that  can  be  easily  operated  by  both  technical  and  non-­‐ technical  personnel.  Operators  simply  open  the  URL  with  the  channel  lineup,  build  a  content  feed   customized  for  the  intended  audience,  and  instantly  push  the  media  to  viewers.     Each  user  has  an  individual  login  and  password  that  must  be  entered  before  using  the  channel  guide.   This  process  identifies  the  user  so  that  the  permissions  can  be  controlled  to  provide  a  customized  list  of   content  offerings  (a  user’s  “View”)  that  is  specific  to  one  individual  or  a  whole  group  or  viewers.  Each   “View”  contains  a  collection  of  icons,  each  one  corresponding  to  a  single  channel  or  VoD  program.  To   watch  the  content,  a  user  simply  clicks  on  the  desired  icon  using  a  standard  browser,  causing  their   device  to  begin  downloading  the  video  from  the  correct  network  server  and  open  a  media  player   window  on  the  user’s  device.     Certain  users,  who  have  been  given  Enterprise  Administrator  privileges,  can  create  entries  in  the   channel  guide  that  can  be  published  to  other  users.  Each  entry  consists  of  an  icon  with  a  user  selectable   image  and  a  URL  that  points  to  the  video  content’s  source.  Users  can  choose  from  a  library  of   predefined  icon  images  or  they  can  upload  a  picture  of  their  own  choosing.  Templates  can  be  produced   to  simplify  providing  common  formats  to  multiple  users.  Also,  Enterprise  Administrators  can  create   “Views”  that  allow  anonymous  sign-­‐ons  for  public  users.                
  6. 6. Fast,  Simple  Setup  for  IPTV  Channels   PackeTV®    Views  provides  a  solid  technical  platform  to  support  simple  or  sophisticated  channel   guides,  allowing  organizations  to  create  a  user  experience  that  will  encourage  viewers  to  actively  use  the   system.  By  eliminating  unneeded  functions  and  delivering  services  from  a  centralized,  cloud-­‐based   server,  VSI  can  provide  a  sophisticated  product  at  an  attractive  cost  for  any  video  delivery  system.       Conclusion   Almost  any  private  video  network  can  benefit  from  giving  users  an  easy  way  to  access  content  by   means  of  a  professional-­‐quality  channel  guide.  Through  the  use  of  remotely  server  capacity,   PackeTV®    Views  delivers  a  sophisticated,  user-­‐friendly  product  that  is  simple  to  use  and  cost-­‐effective   to  install  and  maintain.  PackeTV®    Views  will  revolutionize  the  IPTV  market  as  the  ideal,  low-­‐cost,  web-­‐ based  IPTV  channel  guide  solution.     For  more  information  about  PackeTV®    Views  or  to  get  a  product  demonstration,  please  contact   Visionary  Solutions  Inc.  ph:  805.845.8900  ext.  181,  email:  sales@vsicam.com,  web:  www.vsicam.com             _____________________________________________________________________________________       VISIONARY  SOLUTIONS   INNOVATIVE  NETWORK  VIDEO  SOLUTIONS     _____________________________________________________________________________________