Channel Lineup Pro, the newest product in Zanaware Technologies Inc.’s line-up, helps video service providers “track and troubleshoot the increasingly complex headends at the center of their networks, resulting in more reliable service delivery and lower operational expenses,” the company says.

Here’s the reasoning behind Zanaware’s new product development: “With an increasing number of channel lineups to deliver, a greater number of channels per lineup and more headend equipment in use, headend engineers have to track up to 150,000 program configurations, equipment settings and other vital ‘data points’ in case of equipment failure, channel realignments and other issues that could impact service delivery.” 

Adds Jason Remisoski, Zanaware’s director of engineering, “For more than 50 years, cable operators have relied on spreadsheets – first hard copy and then software-based – to keep track of all the important configurations, settings and other critical information necessary to keep their headends working smoothly… which is why we created Channel Lineup Pro to dramatically simplify, automate and streamline the task of headend data management to improve service reliability and reduce operational expenses.”

Relying solely on spreadsheets and manually checking each headend device is simply not good enough, company literature says: “This approach can cause many issues, such as multiple outdated versions of each spreadsheet stored on multiple computers, lost data when equipment fails and precious lost time in troubleshooting when channels go down as headend engineers struggle to follow the path of any given channel.”

Channel Lineup Pro is a centralized, 1 RU, chassis-based, non-intrusive solution for tracking, storing and accessing multiple lineups, channels and devices.  With its built-in inventory capabilities, it’s ability to track primary and redundant hardware paths for each channel and one-click access to the GUls of each headend device, Zanaware says the device “makes data access quick and simple.” 

The feature set includes:

  • Tracking of 20+ cable, SDV or IPTV-based channel lineups
  • Ability to add 20+ users with per-user Admin, Write and Read capabilities
  • Each lineup table contains such parameters as local channel names, tuned channels, virtual channel info, HD/SD status, multiple DPI layers, subscriber counts and more
  • Single-screen graphical display of all channel associated devices from the first source (satellite receiver, off-air, etc.) to the final source (QAM, analog modulators, etc.) in a single click on a per-channel layout
  • Tracking also includes dual network configurations, chassis redundancy, ad servers, VoD service groups and more with all global and channel specific settings a click away
  • All data can be exported into Excel in multiple ways, including simple lineup view, detailed export and more
  • All devices can be managed as inventory with such flags as Active, Warehouse, Out of Order and RMA with key data fields for such information as RMA numbers and notes
  • Instant cloning of existing channel lineups to make multiple ad zone headends easy to configure in software
  • Spectrum view reports match all channels with a FCC channel map for quick views of all channels in relation to open 6-megahertz channel slots

The company also provides installation and onsite assistance during the deployment; a Zanaware engineer will work with customers’ headend technicians to transfer data directly from device GUls when documentation does not exist.

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