Design-to-delivery of a Headend-In-The-Sky (HITS) platform

Hinduja Group, India

The Hinduja Group is one of India’s premier diversified and transnational conglomerate. Employing nearly a 100,000 employees, with presence across 38 countries it has multi-billion dollar revenues. The Group’s activities span across three core areas: Investment Banking, International Trading and Global Investments. As part of its Global investments, the Group owns businesses in Automotive, Information Technology, Media, Entertainment & Communications, Banking & Finance Services, Infrastructure Project Development, Oil and Gas, Power, Real Estate, Trading and Healthcare.

The Assignment

CastleMedia was brought in to help them launch their Headend-in-the-Sky (HITS) platform, NXT DIGITAL ( Within a year of launch (August 2016), the platform is already the largest in India, offering viewers more than 500 channels in digital quality in SD & HD. The platform delivers video content to local cable operators across the country over satellite in MPEG4 digital quality; for further distribution to their wired customers.

The scope of CastleMedia’s involvement was across multiple different areas as the “Programme Managers” for this US$ 100mn project.

Business Strategy Development

CastleMedia was involved in developing the business plan and strategy for NXTDigital. Using our experience in setting up DTH and digital cable platforms, the team developed the business plan for delivering and running the business.

Technology Design & Implementation

CastleMedia was responsible for the design and implementation of all aspects of the platform:

  • Teleport and monitoring facilities
  • Security platforms, including conditional access system & proprietary security inbuilt into the STBs and operator headend equipment.
  • Specialized receive equipment for operators (Cable Operator Premise Equipment)
  • STB hardware and software, including middleware porting and development of user interface for NXT DIGITAL.
  • Playout systems to enable NXT DIGITAL to run its own unique channels
  • Design and implementation of mobile and portal-based applications for different users of the platform, including local cable operators who can use them to manage their subscribers whilst in the field.
  • New provisioning/billing platform with highly complex business rules and real-time crediting of multiple parties through user-configured billing plans.
  • Integration of 3rd party call centres for servicing subscribers
  • Design and implementation of business systems, including IT, finance (SAP) and HR platforms.

E2E Programme Management

CastleMedia was responsible for the programme management of the delivery of the entire platform in a record time of 4 months from the “go” date. This included responsibility for building a new broadcast teleport, implementation of all technology and hiring/training of technical staff to run the facilities.

Infrastructure Design & Implementation

CastleMedia was responsible for designing the infrastructure (electricals, UPS, air conditioning, cabling, datacenter etc.) for the teleport facility to ensure 99.99% availability and high availability/full redundancy. The team were also responsible for project managing the build out of the teleport itself and managing the construction contractors engaged by NXT DIGITAL.


Reinforcing their faith in CastleMedia’s capabilities, we have been retained to provide specialist engineers to run and operate the NXT DIGITAL platform across the following departments:

  • IT & mobile/internet application development/ support
  • Channel playout
  • Broadcast teleport management and up-linking
  • Technical support desk

CastleMedia’s engineers manage the field operations for the rollout of the service across the breadth of the country, supporting new installations and providing support in the event of issues.

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