The Associated Press stays on the pulse with IPTV platform.

The Associated Press (AP) is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. With teams in over one hundred countries, AP tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. AP provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.

In 2016, AP moved its headquarters to 200 Liberty Street, in New York, where its journalists needed access to hundreds of live TV and news channels, 24/7. When establishing itself in its new home, AP decided to look for an effective IPTV solution that could distribute the vast levels of video content required throughout its offices utilising the core IP network that would be installed.

Gianluca D’Aniello, CTO at The Associated Press, explained, “For Associated Press the benefits of using an IPTV platform is, first of all, the cost of deployment which is significantly reduced. In the past, we have had to lay out hundreds of meters of coaxial cable in order to reach every single editor’s desktop and place an individual TV on it.” AP was determined to avoid deploying this style of solution at its headquarters, focusing instead on delivering live TV over an IP network – safely and securely – for its journalists and wider employee base.

For an IPTV solution with a large number of end points, including delivery to numerous desktops, the chosen platform needed to be scalable without impacting the internal network.

After looking at a number of different IPTV solutions, AP chose Uniguest’s Tripleplay platform to deliver its IPTV and digital signage throughout its headquarters. “Tripleplay was attractive for us because it was capable of giving our editors and journalists in the newsroom the ability to watch news content coming from other media outlets but also the content that we were distributing through our MCR (master control room).”

In fact, journalists have the ability to simultaneously stream up to nine live TV channels onto one single desktop through the Tripleplay Media Video Player (MVP) desktop application. This means they have access to live and breaking news from multiple outlets whenever they need it. Furthermore, Uniguest enabled the delivery of digital signage and corporate messaging to displays throughout the office around its facilities and in meeting rooms, all through one single platform solution.

This was an additional layer of functionality that the Tripleplay platform provided, fully integrated and easily managed from one CMS.

A flexible and unique IPTV application

Uniguest’s experience and sizeable footprint in large global corporate organisations meant that it was a reliable fit for AP. The functionality and scalability of its platform offered as a software- based product, meant that it could grow with the client and could accommodate AP when it chose to distribute TV and signage to additional screens in the office and potentially other global branches.

“Through Tripleplay, we currently deliver hundreds of channels coming from our cable provider and from our internal content delivery resource, which includes our own internal TV channels. We can distribute the content over our existing network, to hundreds of desktops and to a large number of screens across the site, and the quality of the service is much superior to other solutions we tested,” said D’Aniello.

The agile, software-based nature of the platform allowed some unique display configurations for AP. As D’Aniello explains, “Our newsroom is designed in a way that didn’t allow TVs to be displayed horizontally so we had them set up in portrait mode with three different live TV feeds distributed onto each TV.”

This specific feature, Multiview, was a unique offering from Uniguest. No other IPTV manufacturer was able to deliver this.

The ability to distribute three separate live streams to one single vertical panel on pillars throughout the newsroom, without having to install separate smaller screens, reduced hardware and cabling costs significantly. Furthermore, these portrait displays are much more aesthetically pleasing to the many people who work in the newsroom.

Uniguest delivered TV and digital signage to 100 set top boxes throughout the office and also used Intel NUCs for the vertical screens to power the Multiview functionality.

Moving forwards together

Uniguest provided an end-to-end video delivery platform for AP, adapting to its unique needs, which including high volume desktop delivery and corporate messaging. D’Aniello summarised, “AP is an interesting beast; we are a global company so we have needs that are not common, but at the same time Uniguest cater to us in a very flexible fashion and they keep us informed about the roadmap and the evolution and innovation of the platform.

“We have a very, very positive relationship with Uniguest. It’s something that began in 2016 and is still ongoing. Right now, we have deployed their solution at the new headquarters in New York, but we are looking forward to doing more business with them and to deliver the same experience to other bureaus across the world in the future.”