Content Linking Services
SENTECH is in a unique position to not only offer its DTH platform to its customers, but can offer a complete end-to-end solution. Customers have the option of self-provision or SENTECH can arrange and manage content via a Terrestrial link, satellite feed or SENTECH’s playout system.
Linking from Studio
SENTECH can facilitate and maintain a fibre link from the studio to SENTECH’s uplink facilities in Honeydew. The costing and installation time of this link will depend on the location of your studio.
SENTECH can downlink content from a number of Ku or C Band satellites. SENTECH would require the name of the satellite and transponder details where we can downlink the content from.
Sentech Playout Facilities
SENTECH has built a custom playout system that specifically caters for smaller commercial and community broadcasters. This is perfect for the customer that does not have the budget for an expensive final control software system or for a dedicated fiber or microwave last mile link to connect to SENTECH’s satellite uplink facility. The playout system consists of three main components: content storage, scheduling and playout.
Connecting via the internet, the customer is able to connect to dedicated server infrastructure and upload and manage existing content and schedule when content will be played out. The playout component will connect into the customers dedicated satellite channel and play the scheduled content out seamlessly and at the best possible quality for the medium.
The playout system provides an end-to-end management platform for customers to upload, schedule and playout content.
All interactions with the playout system happen via the internet, allowing the customer to manage their channel from virtually anywhere in the world. .
Content is uploaded to the playout system using a network protocol known as the Secure File Transfer Protocol (or SFTP). This allows the content to be copied over the internet securely and adds an extra layer of protection from any unwanted visitors getting access to the site. SFTP is a very common protocol and SFTP file managers are available for all popular computing platforms.
While files can be uploaded from anywhere via the internet, there are some inherent time limitations for uploading large files. A fast ADSL line has a maximum upload capability of 512kbps, which limits you to just over 200MB of data transfer that can be uploaded in an hour. The typical video file that will be used with the playout system can easily be over 1GB for 1 hour of footage.
Sentech has the option of allowing customers to access a LAN connection at the uplink facility to connect to the Content Storage at high speed (up to 100 mbps). Alternatively, you can ship the media on some form of external storage such as an external HDD and someone from Sentech will upload the files for you.
The playout system will watch for files that are added to the directory and make them available in the scheduler for to be added for scheduled playback.
The content that is uploaded to the content storage area must be in the following format:
The scheduler is a web-based application that allows you to create a schedule of files and playlists that will be played back at certain times of day. Each customer gets their own interface that will allow them to manage their own channels.
Once the customer has logged in to their interface, with their unique login credentials, they will see the following interface.
This web application shows what is currently playing, the schedule list and allows you add, change and delete items in the schedule.
Editing the Schedule
The schedule is a simple, linear time-based system whereby specific content is selected to play at particular time, on a particular day. There are 2 types of content that the scheduler can work with: individual items, and playlists. A playlist is a collection of individual items that makes repeating a particular sequence of items simpler.