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Gencom facilitates TM to emerge as a leading Asian IPTV Provider

THE PROJECT

Working with its Malaysian partner, Dagang Teknik, Gencom Technology (Gencom) was selected as Project Designer and Systems Integrator to supply a specifically engineered IPTV system to Malaysian residents through Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM).

In 2008, TM signed an agreement with the Malaysian Government to develop a high-speed broadband network within a 10-year framework.

In early 2010, TM announced its IPTV rollout, which was bundled as part of its triple-play offering via its high-speed broadband service, UniFi. TM’s IPTV service already includes 22 channels, Video-on-Demand (VOD) and other interactive services.

Gencom’s role  for the project is to supply the serial digital video infrastructure and to integrate this into a master control room, a 55-rack equipment room, a scheduled play-out suite, a 50-workstation compliance room and five NLE workstations. The timeframe for Phase One Build is February - July 2010.

The scale, time and technology constraints of the project were just some of the factors that Gencom had to consider and transform into positive results.

THE BRIEF

TM’s overall brief is to provide Malaysians with high-speed Internet, quality voice and high definition IPTV within a ten year time frame. TM’s initial commitment was to provide an infrastructure to cover at least 1.3 million households by year 2012.

TM’s current customer base of 4.3 million fixed line customers and 1.6 million broadband users as well as new UniFi customers, will benefit from this commitment.

The brief required Gencom to integrate their system design and technology solutions for the project with other product manufacturers and solution providers. Features of the project included integrating live compliance editing and monitoring and IPTV encoding.

THE CHALLENGE

The core challenge for Gencom was working proactively with the various solution providers to design and build the new infrastructure to supply nation-wide television through an IPTV solution.

One of the major project challenges was working to a tight deadline, with a mix of international professionals and engineers from different organizations. “This was so to a greater extent than usual on the TM project…Gencom’s support and leadership was invaluable”, said Dagang Teknik’s Onsite Project Coordinator and Consultant Ramesh Ganapathy.

Other challenges were sourcing the materials and products and adapting the technology to suit the location provided whilst still allowing for future expansion over the ten year program.

A final challenge in Phase One was creating a pilot run and migrating this around the constraints of a working station to its final output arrangement.

THE SOLUTION

TM chose an IPTV solution as the simplest and most logical platform that would allow for rapid expansion from 22 to 30 and finally 50 channels.

The site for a new playout centre was selected in Cyberjaya, south of Kuala Lumpur, a specialist communications systems location.

In a project of this size and complexity, specialist suppliers were brought in and coordinated by Gencom to produce a seamless integration of the required technologies that would work on launch day and continue to work efficiently and effectively over the long term.

Gencom chose some key products to ensure the most efficient operational workflow was achieved.

Pixel Power, BrandMaster™ and LogoVision™ systems provide the master control switching and branding functions with integrated graphics and easily programmed operation.

Infrastructure products including glue and routing as well as multi-viewer systems provided by Harris Technology. The Harris Centrio™ system monitors incoming signal, live compliance and outgoing confidence and all of this is controlled via Harris’ integrated control system.

Other suppliers included Plura Broadcast for monitors, Tandberg, Axon, Snell, SSL, and Apple Final Cut Pro for Craft Editing.

THE RESULTS

Gencom’s strengths in planning, design, engineering, team expertise and project management skills translated into on-time results for TM in relation to both product and delivery.

Every element of the project was custom-designed for TM.  “To integrate the system successfully, there simply isn’t another way to do it than to make a commitment to supervise every little detail”, said David Valois, Gencom Project Manager, “Gencom was proud to get the project on-air, on-time, on-budget”. This was assisted by Martin Wilkinson, a Gencom IT Consultant who worked remotely on the project from Auckland.

TM was delighted that the first phase of the program came in slightly ahead of schedule in July 2010.

Phase One has supplied IPTV to the Klang Valley, south of Kuala Lumpur, several areas in the north and south of Malaysia, and work continues to expand to 50 channels in 2011.

Mr Ray Sanders, Gencom’s CEO said “This was a satisfying project for Gencom to be involved in, not only in terms of size, delivery and partnership in a new market through the IPTV solution but by delivering TV in a way that allows TM to offer their customers a complete package of services, including TV. Together with Dagang Teknik, this has enabled us to help position TM as a leading player in broadband and television delivery in the Asia-Pacific region.”

 

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