European Space Agency

BrandTV

Objectives

Satellite Information Services Ltd (SIS) broadcasts over eight thousand horse races, twenty-two thousand greyhound races and three-hundred thousand betting shows (betting shows being real-time betting odds, starting prices, etc) annually via 5 different feeds on 3 different satellites. This service is provided to betting shops in:

  • The UK & Ireland,
  • Mainland Europe,
  • The Caribbean,
  • East Africa & the Middle East,
  • India & Malaysia.

The largest single network is in the UK & Ireland where the SIS service is used in 9,400 betting shops.

The SIS broadcast signal uses a multimedia presentation format, with horse racing and greyhound racing pictures in the top-left 75% of the screen, betting odds to the right of the video, and other information in text format below the video. A typical screen shot is shown below:


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This multimedia screen format is generated at SIS' broadcast hub using professional standard equipment, rendered as a composite video screen, MPEG encoded, and broadcast out to all receivers simultaneously.

 

Although this enables SIS to present a multimedia format for their customers there is just one centrally created multimedia format available. Current expectations of our customers is that slightly different branded versions of the same service should be available to each different customer group. For example, Coral chain betting shops wish to have their own version of the SIS service showing Coral odds to the right of the video and with Coral branding, whilst the Ladbrokes chain of bookmakers wish to have Ladbrokes odds and Ladbrokes branding. Within

Challenges

The key issues to be addressed in the project are:

  • Empowering the customer to work at their own Customer Multimedia Centre and deliver the correct finished product through the SIS hub and remote site infrastructure onto the television screens in the intended fashion. This requires all elements of the end-to-end chain to interwork correctly without human intervention.
  • Developing a close working relationship with the supplier of our BrandTV receiver/player to ensure effective delivery and support of their product range on the scale envisaged.

Benefits

The main benefit of the BrandTV project will be to enable us to offer our customers the ability to create multiple different branded channels built around a central core of content cost effectively and under their own control.


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Features

The system architecture uses a "BrandTV" receiver/player in each of the client sites. This gives us the ability to transmit a "clean" (i.e. non-multimedia) video and audio feed of horse racing and greyhound racing to every betting shop over a single satellite channel as the core content for the creation of multiple branded channels. Each betting shop chain would create their own branded content to be added to the core content, with this branded content being transmitted via a data feed within the same satellite multiplex. The BrandTV receiver/player would add the branded content to the core content under control of the betting shop chain to create the appropriate branded channel at the point of playout in each individual outlet.

 

This approach significantly enhances and extends our existing multimedia system whilst providing a high degree of flexibility for future enhancements. It enables us to elegantly combine the current PowerVu format (to which we are committed because of the superb encryption and conditional access) with local production of the enhanced multimedia content. Initially, we would envisage that this would be done by each betting shop chain to create a single channel for their entire estate of outlets, although in principal every one of our 9,400 UK and Ireland outlets could have their own customised multimedia presentation built around the central content core.

 

The system architecture is shown schematically below:


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Plan

The project started on 9th July 2004 with the Baseline Design Review (BDR) on 22nd September 2004. After the BDR a three-month build period is foreseen with the Pilot Qualification Review taking place at the end of December 2004. A one month period is then foreseen to fit-out the 20 pilot sites leading to System Deployment Acceptance at the end of January 2005. The pilot utilisation will run for six months from 1st February 2005.

Current status

Trial Partner Coral Eurobet advised SIS that they wished to withdraw from the project. Alternative Trial Partners are being sought.

 

 

Status date

Monday, May 18, 2009 - 11:10