Endemol Case Study
Exterity solutions help make Endemol new office future-proof
The world’s largest independent TV production company uses Exterity IPTV solution to keep employees informed and adapt to ever changing circumstances.
Endemol is the largest independent television and digital production company in the world; an international organisation that spans several countries. The company recently established new offices in Amsterdam, and was keen to install a cutting edge communications system, able to receive content from multiple sources, deliver information through digital signage and scale to meet the organisation’s unique needs. Exterity was approached to devise a solution that would meet these needs.
“This development shows how IPTV can benefit dynamic, fast moving organisations. The flexibility and scalability of the solution means that Endemol can easily adapt to the constantly changing conditions in its industry.”
Endemol is the largest independent television and digital production company in the world, comprised of over 80 facilities spanning 31 countries. Having established new offices in Amsterdam in June 2010, they were keen to install a cutting-edge communications system.
This system would be required to meet several different needs. The first of these was the ability to receive foreign channels as well as Dutch television, a vital requirement for an international company such as Endemol. Another requirement was the ability to receive live feeds from a broadcast centre in Hilversum and record live streams from the Amsterdam office to be broadcast later.
Endemol also wanted to deliver digital signage across its network, in order to share information such as viewing rates. Lastly, the system had to be able to scale to accommodate a network that constantly shifts in scale depending on the size of the current production. Realising that a flexible IPTV solution was the answer, Endemol turned to Exterity to provide a system that met their specific needs.
The solution Exterity supplied consisted of multiple AvediaStream TVgateways. These TVgateways are capable of streaming SD and HD channels simultaneously, and distributing free to air and encrypted content from DVB-S or DVB-S2 sources. This allows Endemol to stream live TV from a satellite, providing the company with the foreign and Dutch channels it requires.
In addition to this, having several AvediaStream Encoders allows Endemol to stream its own content and record it for later use. Some of the encoders used feature, SDI outputs which allows the company to stream and record content form the broadcast centre in Hilversum in a similar way. Thus Exterity was able to fulfil two more of Endemol’s requirements.
Lastly, around 250 AvediaStream Media Players were installed behind TV screens which are placed in corridors, meeting rooms, canteens and various other locations around the building to ensure that staff could access content at any time. All of this equipment is managed from a central location via AvediaServer, Exterity’s application management platform, allowing Endemol to monitor its content and determine who can access what, as well as perform actions such as turning off all TVs simultaneously from one location. This means the system can be run by just a few people, and because it uses Endemol’s existing network, it can be run by its current IT staff, without the need to hire additional personnel.
Choosing an Exterity solution has yielded several benefits for Endemol. One such benefit is scalability - Endemol can now adjust the scale of its system simply by adding or removing devices from its network allowing the company to efficiently adjust the size of the network for maximum efficiency, expanding it during its larger productions and then scaling it back down.
In addition, because this solution uses the office’s existing infrastructure, specifically the internal IP network (LAN), all of the TV channels are delivered via a single network cable. This reduces the amount of cabling required, allowing Endemol to reduce the cost of installation in terms of both man hours and resources.
User friendliness is another advantage, with Endemol employees able to switch between TV channels in three different ways. For example, employees might choose to select TV channels from a conveniently arranged channel list. Alternatively, they can use the client software on computers and laptops to determine their own screen input. Lastly, of course, there are the media players which people can operate via a remote control.
The solution is also able to accommodate Endemol’s need for digital signage by converting this input into an appropriate TV signal that can be added to the channel list. If desired, these signals can also be transmitted in High Definition (HD).
With this new adaptive, high-performance system Endemol will have all the tools it needs to continue to respond to new developments well into the future.