Zenterio

 

Background

Zenterio was a developer of an operating system for interactive television based in Linköping, Sweden. The company was offering connected devices, OS, and UI, enabling television operators to design and deliver interactive services, including music, social activity, and Internet television across a variety of devices.
Cooperation between RT-RK and Zenterio began in November 2013 with a small project involving five engineers who worked on a proof of concept for using an FFMpeg based software component for HLS streaming within the Set-Top Box (STB). After the successful start, the number of involved engineers was gradually increasing in the next 5 years reaching fifty-five engineers at its peak, located on three different sites: Novi Sad, Banjaluka, and Belgrade.

The first four engineers in the cooperation with Zenterio

Team growth

The first teams were formed in Novi Sad and Belgrade and were involved in operations of the Media and Browser & Integration group. The fruitful cooperation resulted in a continuous growth of the engineering team, which in 2015 reached the number of 20.

Early 2016, a group of 8 engineers from Banja Luka joined the Zenterio teams in Belgrade and Novi Sad. They started their engagement on the Kaon STB planned for the Russian market, and soon moved onto development of STBs for the German market. This group was engaged in two areas of development – media playback and browser/backend integration (Huawei backend integration). After acquiring a solid domain knowledge, the team expanded quickly and at its zenith reached the figure of 30 engineers engaged on the Zenterio projects.

Over time, the scope of work of the newly formed teams expanded on QA, UX, and development of a STB use and status monitoring module.

Progress in major domains

There were four major work areas in which RT-RK people were involved: Media, Security & CA, Browser & Integration and UX. In these groups, called Guilds, our engineers worked in teams stationed on our sites or as part of multinational cross-site teams.

Media Guild tasks

  • Development and maintenance of an FFMpeg based multimedia processing module responsible for downloading of a specified input stream, resolving its input format, and packetizing it into elementary audio, video and subtitle packets delivered via IPC protocol to the Media Player module of the STB. Supported formats included both segmented streams (HLS, HSS and DASH) and non-segmented streams (TS, AVI, MP4, MKV, etc.).
  • Implementing playback support for the Linux based STB running WPE WebKit browser by using Gstreamer
  • Implementing support for SMPTE-TT and DVB subtitle formats

Security & CA Guild

Security & CA team participated in the implementation and maintenance of:

  • Fundamental system functionality (network functions, file system, real-time clock, etc.)
  • Conditional access for satellite receiver
  • PlayReady and Widevine DRM technologies within the STB software

Browser & Integration Guild

This department performed the integration of the Huawei backend, adapting its functionality to the requirements of the end client, as well as maintaining the processes that communicated with the backend and their communication with the other parts of the system. Their duty was also to add and maintain the functionality provided by the application that integrated the backend functionality into the browser which existed on the platform.

Backend integration

These teams were responsible for establishing and maintaining of the connection between the STB and Backend server and facilitating all communication. Everything from fetching programme lists, to scheduling recordings, to allocating sufficient bandwidth for proper functioning of the STB and all its features, was the responsibility of the teams that were part of B&I.

Embedded Browsers

This team was tasked with creating a custom lightweight browser able to run web OTT applications on the STB. The browser was based on WPE port of a WebKit engine. In addition, the Google’s Cobalt browser was integrated to allow YouTube app to run smoothly.

User Experience

The team for developing aesthetic and optimized native application for digital television, to provide high-quality user experience. For the feature testing purposes, a web-based test portal was created and maintained.
To increase the overall user experience, our team was working on collecting statistic data and generating various reports. That included the data stream, system errors, and process crash reports.

Customer Support

Members of all teams were actively providing support to the end-client in Germany. We worked on the development of 3 STBs (three price/feature classes) for the German market, as well as the development of STBs for the Mexican, Hungarian, and Croatian markets while maintaining legacy projects for the Greek market.

Major achievements

  • Interactive TV knowledge boosting: adaptive streaming, CA/DRM, browser/backend integration, UX
  • Integration of the Amazon Prime Video streaming in STB software
  • Participation in YouTube and Amazon Prime certification process
  • Agile way of working
  • Worldwide on-site customer support

Onto previous NSDC

 

Onto next NSDC