Video on Demand system for US hospitality sector
Business Overview & Gaps
Our customer acquired this state-of-the-art technology for digital movie rental services. This industry faced a number of issues including technical problems, poor content, bad business models, or a combination of these problems. End-users were expected to buy expensive set top box that still wouldn’t offer them the latest contents provided by the Hollywood studios and the video stores. On top of it, users were expected to pay each time they wanted to watch a movie.
Our customer, upon acquisition of this technology re-looked at the business model and completely modified it to suit the needs of the users. They have made it completely service based without any upfront investments and they are starting with a niche, hospitality industry.
There are about 4.4 million room nights available in the US market, of which about two million lack any sort of in-room entertainment service especially in the small and medium segments of the industry. Despite high occupancy levels, there is virtually no entertainment service present at these hotels, though the customers of these small and medium hotels look for high quality in-room entertainment services. Existing VOD solutions are highly expensive and these hotels cannot afford them. This is the gap that our customer was trying to fill.
Additionally, our customer is also looking at white-labelling this technology to businesses that want to be in this space.
- Re-architecting the core work-flow system and developing a new Subscribers
- Management System (SMS) and Billing System
- Upgrade the head end server infrastructure
- Commission the digital capture and encoding station at the head end infrastructure
- Re-architect their existing EAI system to accommodate hospital IT ecosystem
- Integrate with various Hotel PMS systems
- Make modifications and support the Digital Asset Management (DAM) system
- Provide facility to choose movies from the web site and directly download the content to their Set Top Box
- Integration of Billing, SMS and DAM with two different Conditional Access System (CAS)
- Development of consumer website
- Upgrade OS and database software
This uses innovative technology to get movies onto the screen. It takes a digital version of a film and piggybacks that data onto a conventional television broadcast signal. The player then receives that signal, reassembles the video file, and stores it on its hard drive. When you want to watch a movie, you select it and watch it. The technology architecture followed is adaptive to any broadband compatible network existing in the hotels. This provides the flexibility to implement the service with minimal upfront cost.
Dusane’s Video on demand Solution
Digital Asset Management – Dusane provides support and also made modifications to DAM. This included digital conversion, encoding, encryption, digital rights management, and the metadata about the movie like movie genres, actor names, title, length, access time frames etc.
Conditional Access System – Dusane configured both an expensive industry standard CAS and a proprietary CAS. We also did the integration of these two CAS systems with billing, SMS and DAM
Billing System – Dusane created a new billing system that is appropriate for hospitality industry, where we integrated in-room entertainment service charges with occupancy charges. This has flexibility to provide complete control to the hotel management on how they want to do the billing. Additionally, Dusane also implemented a two-way activity log channel between the Network Operation Centre server and the hotels that captures information related to usage, entitlements and billing
EAI system re-architecture – There are only 23 types of property management systems that are commonly used in North America. Dusane has integrated the digital movie rental service with 10 such property management systems and integration for the remaining systems are work in progress
Web Application – Dusane created a video on demand web application where the user can view the content and immediately download it to their Set Top Box for viewing, instead of just choosing from the pre-defined contents.
Kiosk Application – Dusane developed a kiosk application where a user can download contents on to a USB stick with Digital Rights Management. Plays only a set number of times and only on one player.
Content Distribution – Dusane configured a multicast video on demand system for broadcasting to a set number of Set Top Boxes.
Consumer website – Dusane also developed a consumer web site, which can be accessed by the users for viewing available content, subscriptions, and payments.
Hibernate/Struts web interfaces for DAM, Billing and Consumer site
Development in Java on EJB 3.0 framework
Existing IP like Media Delivery framework allowed the customer better time-to-market while ensuring reliability and efficiency
Dusane has a dedicated team that work on this account and will continue to provide technology support services to the customer
Customer has entered a very difficult territory where the number of failures has outnumbered any successes. Their business model will stand them in good stead and the customer is banking completely on Dusane’s technical expertise towards delivering the goods.