PlayBox Technology has equipped Kujtesa with eight new TV channels for its Cable TV network. Kujtesa has started broadcasting a bouquet of channels for its viewers that consists of six film channels named K Shqip, (K Albanian, an Albanian movie channel), K Film 1 to K Film 5 (covering different genres) and two documentary channels that are due to be launched shortly.
Kujtesa chose PlayBox Technology DVB workflow as the best solution for its requirements using AirBox streamer for playout. “PlayBox Technology offers a range of very suitable products at a price that suits our needs. It allows a simple start-up system, but also expansion when the demands and requirements increase”, says Shpend Bakali, Managing Engineer. He continues, “We like the flexibility and ease of use of the entire system. Also we value the fact that the system is software-centric, thus enabling great flexibility of deployment in generic hardware and easy updating and upgrading.”
All the playout channels include TitleBox interactive CG with graphics and SubtitleBox for subtitling. The 24TB central storage is also provided by PlayBox Technology. The output stream is IP MPEG2.
All playout servers are built in 1RU chassis, with redundant power supplies, using the latest generation dual-Xeon processors with 12GB RAM and system discs and media storage with RAID 1 protection. The operating system is 64-bit Windows 7. Backup is achieved by using PlayBox Technology’s Multi-Backup Manager with the backup playout server managed by the Multi-Backup Manager that monitors the seven main playout channels. In the event of failure in one of the seven master AirBox servers, Multi-Backup Manager will detect the error, start playing from the backup AirBox server and switch the IP matrix to put that server to air.
The channels are distributed over the station’s own DVB-C infrastructure and all AirBox servers, storage servers, etc., are connected to a gigabit LAN in the NOC. All operations are carried out remotely. The transmission is in MPEG2 and the TV station has opted for direct IP unicast streaming that eliminates the need for encoders – thus considerably reducing the cost. The streams are directly fed to the main multiplexers where they are multiplexed to MPTS, scrambled and delivered through the HFC network.
Shpend Bakali comments, “The products meet our expectations and, in some areas, offer even more than needed. There is always room for further development, improvement and fixing. And PlayBox Technology support is always ready to help and fulfil our needs. Also the training was very practical and hands-on.”
As for the future, Shpend Bakali sees possible changes ahead. “Currently the channels are offered in SD 16:9 but in the near future we may upgrade to HD transmission as well. The PlayBox Technology platform allows a smooth transition to HD with a simple license upgrade.”
Kujtesa is a major national telecom and IP-based service provider based in Pristina, Kosovo that was established in 1995 when there was a wide supply gap in computing products and services. Increasing demand for computer use for both businesses and consumers, Kujtesa grew the business from scratch that proved to be intensely creative, stimulating and, consequently, rewarding. Kujtesa biggest achievement was in 2006 when it launched a huge marketing campaign all over Kosovo that established the company as the first broadband provider in the region.