Encoda Systems (formally Drake Automation Ltd)
The major consideration with all our broadcast work was the requirement for extremely robust software, something that we continue to implement in all our work. We often found ourselves requiring to produce innovative solutions to 'features' in the operating systems that we were deploying on.
Listed below are a few of the applications we supplied:
A universal, broadcast industry hardware monitoring and control application, fully multi-threaded with five nines uptime. Based on the previous collection of skills, knowledge and understanding of the clients industry and requirements.
A primary server application allowing multiple clients to monitor and automate broadcast hardware with ability to detect and appended in run time additional hardware drivers. The hardware drivers, including their interfaces, were based within dll files. Automatically spread and balanced monitoring and control across groups of hardware using multi threading, allowing full use of all available equipment where possible. Implemented complete SNMP driver at bit level, with many other protocols handled included various serial and TCP/IP connections
Service Path Analyzer – (part of 4 interconnected applications)
Control interface for allowing selection and viewing of either complete transmission paths through down links to broadcast systems onto large wall mounted multi screen panels, or viewing multiply services within transport streams, for quick problem resolution. Remotely analyzed, monitored and controlled routing within the Harmonic NMX and Jupiter VM3000 systems. Interfaced and controlled, Kalideo's - hardware for multiple screen display on large plasma displays, UMD's - under monitor displays for rolling system status or information, QUARTZ panels – arrays of lit control switches, various IPD's (basically QAM and RF tuners for selecting services out of transport streams), various STC's - set top computers (eg Customers Sky Box's)
Broadcast Alarms Manager
The purpose of this application was the guaranteed capture and storage of all alarms from a set of hardware and the production of operator alerts, via Email and SMS, for specific errors or broken thresholds. This was used within parts of the European cable network and at SKY Sports. Included auto redundancy based on paired PC's. Required very fast real time filtering of broadcast system messages, which in turn required custom display components and heavily optimized multi threaded database. Report generation and log file browsing was built to handle massive event storms, without interruption of usage.