Family-owned telephone company in rural Illinois, Grafton Technologies had no experience in the television business. Yet they knew that in order to stay competitive against the big triple-play providers—and offer their customers the breadth of services they were expecting—, the company would have to take the plunge into the world of IPTV.
“We feel that it is vital to stay on the leading edge of technology to keep our customers happy. After introducing Internet access over DSL in 1996, delivering IPTV felt like a natural progression for us. But we had no knowledge in this area. Thankfully the Inca team was there to lead the way,” says Kevin Hamilton, VP, Grafton Technologies.
Initially, Grafton relied on content provider Avail Media (now Vubiquity Inc.) for all of their content and local encoding. As Grafton grew, they migrated away from Avail Media and transitioned to Inca equipment to receive content directly and process it for delivery across their DSL and FTTH networks.
Today, Grafton uses Inca’s off-air receivers, ASI to IP bridge receivers, and IPTV transcoders, all monitored by the Inca All Seeing Eye (ASE), status monitoring and mosaic platform. The Inca gear demultiplexes, processes, and outputs content feeds as groomed IP streams. Inca’s MPEG-4 IPTV transcoders optimize the format, resolution, and bit rate of the streams to deliver a high-quality picture to Grafton’s customers.
“Inca covers our needs from beginning to end. We’ve got the equipment that brings in raw content and converts it to IP. We’ve got the gear that takes that IP content and delivers it to our customers in a high-quality fashion. Inca’s strength is definitely the superior quality of their end-to-end provisioning,” says Kevin.
Despite starting with no tv experience, Grafton found the Inca equipment very intuitive and easy to configure. The headend was up and running quickly, with no headaches.
“As the person ultimately responsible for the quality of our video service, it was important the system worked seamlessly from day one, and the support was exceptional.” says Kevin.
The Inca All Seeing Eye (ASE) provides Grafton with a centralized, web-based monitoring solution for all of their equipment and makes it easy for them to oversee their network from the raw content stage to IP to customer delivery, in real time.
“With no prior video experience, Inca provided us with a cost effective, user-friendly solution to bring in raw content and convert it to IP, and then take IP content and deliver it to our customers in the highest quality format,” says Kevin.
Inca has a highly consultative relationship with their clients, working side-by-side with them to build a solution tailored to their specific market, infrastructure, and objectives. As they dipped their toe in the world of IP video delivery, Grafton benefited from Inca’s deep expertise and experience.
“Working with Inca greatly reduced my learning curve. Their knowledge and familiarity with the deployment of IP video, and with the business as a whole, greatly reduced the time I needed to understand the overall picture of how I was going to make the system work. That was huge,” says Kevin.
While researching IPTV solutions, Grafton benchmarked the Inca gear against multiple hardware vendors. Inca’s price, performance, and the quality of the end product delivered to the customer were superior or equal to any competitor. Although price per stream was a key factor in choosing Inca, reliable performance and quality of the customer experience were more influential.
“The overall quality of the whole solution—from end to end—is exceptional. Not only is it an easy system to work with, it delivers an excellent product to my customer. To me, it’s the best of both worlds. I recommend Inca at every opportunity I can,” says Kevin.