Streaming from Set Top Box

The Client
Chrome Data Analytics and Media
Android App Development
Needed some correction
It was nice weekend. Then it happened.

First let me give you a brief about ChromeDM. Chrome Data Analytics and Media is a well known name in the field of Media Analytics. They are the only company providing advertiser and many others with analytics about viewership and much more in the field of television distribution.

One of our business development executive was making a regular follow-up call and they asked can you help us with some issues they are facing in one of there android app which is running on a custom device.

Team Terasol went to ChromeDM premises and looked at the issue. So we spent weekend and was able to help them out. That's it.

A week later they asked us to take over the project and this embark and long term relationship with ChromeDM and Terasol.
The Work
The idea of the application was to run on a custom android device and fetch live feed from television set top box and send it to streaming server.

Along with this following also needs to be incorporated:
i. Image capture in certain time interval
ii. Playing the streaming on mobile devices and websites.
iii. Enable and disable streaming on demand
iv. Send remote control code to set top box
The Challenge
This one was difficult. There have been multiple times when the project seems difficult to accomplish.
Some major challenges were:

i. Converting the streaming from set top box through video card converter into streaming format.

ii. Making streaming to run for at least 4 hours continuously.

iii. Preventing the memory and caching issues in order to prevent device blockage and overloading.

iv. Allowing data to be sent on minimal format to be able to work on lower bandwidth as well.

v. Capturing screen grabs and performing streaming at same time.
The Approach

  • This project is entirely based on some rigorous testing. Entire setup was arranged and implemented at Terasol premises.
  • First approach was to enable seamless streaming services and taking the streaming data to streaming server including both video and audio.
  • After this the next step was to make android box stable and run it for longer duration.
  • This involve adding some out of box approach so that box cache can be cleared timely and also allowing OS to process information with least resources.
  • Another approach was to allowing a cool down period for box during which box process the lineup sequence in which series of images are uploaded to a FTP server.
Just like image recognition this is a project where reaching to a complete point is not possible. But applying various resolution and technique enable us to deliver a near to perfect application.

The Results

The application was deployed over more than 1000+ boxes with some boxes in very remote locations. ChromeDM team was quite happy with the end result which they have been trying to achieve more than a year have got in just a span of four months.

Dedication played an important role in this. Sometimes when you are out of solutions you got to use what you have got to reach to destination. For instance, there are only couple of libraries available for streaming out of the box used. This led to creation of custom libraries and optimization of available libraries.

As our beloved Tony Stark said “sometimes you gotta run before you can walk". This was not our first experience with custom devices but it was surely not experienced one.

Feel free to check the product
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