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เผยแพร่: 30 พฤษภาคม 2556


      Infotainment is a new term which is a combination between a word “information” and “entertainment”. Its actual meaning is a way of communication that one tries to inform content to other people in an entertaining way. The purpose is to draw the users’ attraction and enhance the popularity of the content. The notion is applied in many media including cars, plans and also hotels in order to deliver information (mainly about advertisement) to customers via a monitor in the car, a screen in the plan or a television in the guest room. It supports several applications such as satellite television programs, video on demand, the Internet, map, shopping, games, etc.

      In the article, we are going to describe the architecture of infotainment system in a hotel. The figure 1 shows the structure of the system. It can be categorized into three main parts: input, output, and core network.

                                                                            Figure 1. System architecture
      When we talks about a television, everyone expects to see TV programs; therefore, the first input is television based program e.g. SMATV (Satellite Master Antenna Television). It can support both analog system and digital system. Moreover, there are several applications from servers provided by the hotel. It is mainly about a management system, a billing system, and entertainment. They also provide the customer with the access to the Internet, VoD (Video on Demand), and shopping guide or even Michelin restaurants in the city. Output in this case is definitely Digital STB (Set -top box) in guest rooms.

      The main significant part in the system is core network. It serves as a backbone network building the path from an input to output stations. Here is one example of the TV system in a hotel building. When the signal from several TV stations is received, IRD (Integrated Receiver/Decoder) will decode analog data into digital data, and then sends it to IP streamer which is a device that multiplexes several IP streams and enables to transport multiple programs over a high speed IP network. In addition to traditional TV programs, there are servers serving value added services provided by a hotel such as management server, application server, etc. Furthermore, most customers need to connect to the Internet so as to check email, search for information, browse social network and so on. As a result, the hotel also allows the customers to connect to high speed internet network via ISP (Internet Service Provider). All servers and ISP are connected to a backbone router via optical fibers.  In the case that the building is very huge and copper cable exists, the cost of installing fibers in all area may be very expensive. Thus, Remote DSLAM (Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer) plays a role as an interface connecting between connect the backbone network and the existing network and it helps maintain a good quality of services. It collects data from many users and is able to aggregate between voice and data traffic into one complex composition and acts as a layer two switch in OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model.

      It can be concluded that infotainment is a new trend of communication that tries to entertain people and at the same time they deliver the content to them. The structure of the system is not simple but also not very complicated. All of them are perceived in terms of IP network. Analog data is changed to digital data, multiplexed with other streaming programs and finally transported to end users.



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