Spectrum delivers IP-TV on an Angolan oil ring


Spectrum, a South African digital media company and supplier of IP-TV software recently installed IPTV-VOD System, with set-top boxes on screens in 80 rooms on an oil rig housing around 400 workers off the coast of Angola. The IPTV offers a selection of up to 20 channels. The central server for the IP-TV is located on the rig, so content management is handled directly, while the auto-tracking satellite installed by Spectrum on the rig continuously tracks the Satellite signal.

“The system allows a digital television service to be delivered over a broadband connection or network infrastructure using Internet Protocol and related standards - the technology used for computer networks - instead of through traditional broadcast and cable formats,” explains Colleen Henry of Spectrum

Locally, Spectrum has just completed the installation of IPTV in over 300 rooms at a leading Sandton hotel, revolutionising the hospitality industry’s in room entertainment. The IPTV currently includes 20 channels and three radio channels; however, the use of Ethernet cabling allows future digital technological aspects to play the role of a personal concierge in each room.

Guests will be able to enjoy a personalised welcome message or information about the weather and local amenities upon arrival in their room, complete with a detailed programme of events in the area and contact numbers for tours, etc. Guests can catch up on the latest news or financials, select the channels they want to watch or experience selecting their favourite videos as if from a DVD store. They can play, fast forward or stop the video at any time and resume watching within a 24 hour period, just like a home DVD player.

Despite the impressive technology supporting this innovation, for the end user IP-TV simply involves installing a set-top box programmed with software – similar to a satellite TV decoder - at each screen as well as fibre or Ethernet (copper) cabling, which forms part of a digital computer network, instead of a multitude of co-axial cables, such as those behind standard TVs. This allows signals to be sent to the screens from a central server.