Achieving Cost-Effective Monitoring of Critical AV Feeds


Broadcasters once were able to transmit a signal up on the satellite and worry only about that feed. Now, with the growth and diversification of audio video (A/V) service handoffs, the points at which feeds enter the facility or are sent out to downstream targets such as cable operators, pay-TV services and other service providers, broadcasters have many more feeds to monitor. They also have more factors, such as differing compressing schemes and the presence of interactive elements, to consider and manage as they handle various feeds.
Even as the rising number and complexity of handoffs have made monitoring more challenging, pressure from downstream partners has made it a necessity to monitor the quality of feeds. A growing number of cable operators and other service providers have now equipped themselves to monitor incoming streams, which means that if engineers within the broadcast facility wish to keep finger-pointing to a minimum, they must be able to monitor and demonstrate the integrity of streams leaving the facility.
Because a full-blown system for recording of multiple outgoing feeds traditionally has been considered too costly and complicated a proposition for A/V service handoffs, many broadcasters instead deployed custom placeshifting devices to get a real-time look at those feeds. Indeed, before those feeds became a critical part of the broadcaster’s business model, the costs of recording multiple feeds for quality purposes simply exceeded the benefits.
While placeshifting proved to be a very economical solution for simple visual monitoring and for confirming a current issue or outage, it didn’t give broadcasters the means to capture and review the archived history of a feed. As a result, broadcasters that relied on placeshifting devices had no way to determine if there actually had been a fault — or a chronic recurring issue, for that matter — with an outgoing feed. As the value of those feeds (and associated contracts) has grown, broadcasters’ inability to quickly review, analyze and validate them has become a significant problem. Any query from a downstream operator, whether valid or not, could result in a costly time-consuming process of identifying if, when, where and why a particular fault or error occurred within the broadcast plant.
The increase in regulatory attention to issues such as loudness control brings further ambiguity to the source of faults within a broadcast feed. As viewers complain about audio levels to their providers, who in turn look to the broadcaster, the ability to monitor and maintain a record of loudness at the handoff source becomes even more valuable.
Until recently, broadcasters looking for A/V service handoff monitoring solutions were forced to choose between systems that offered too little functionality or too much and were priced too high for this type of task. Now, however, the Volicon Observer® Scout provides a cost-effective yet powerful alternative ideal for performing quality checks at these handoffs.
Equipped with key functionality taken from Volicon’s award-winning Observer and Observer RPM products, the Observer Scout provides affordable quality-of-experience (QoE)-based content monitoring and records up to three days of SD or HD content. Enabling remote viewing of this recorded video through a Web-based interface, the Observer Scout simplifies troubleshooting not only across the broadcast facility, but also across centralcasting operations that depend on remote monitoring. In addition to facilitating rapid location and examination of specific points within a feed, the Observer Scout allows users to create embedded video clips for email delivery validation to customers and downstream partners.
Additional modular software options that can be added to Observer Scout include - the QoE module; which provides continuous logging of signal faults, thereby providing engineers with the data needed to identify recurring issues within a feed. The Scheduled Recording module, when continuous recording isn’t required, the system’s Scheduled Recording option is ideal for selective recording of specific broadcast channels within designated time periods. And, Volicon’s Elemental Management Services software option gives operators of larger facilities or groups a centralized interface for configuring and managing multiple units.
The Observer Scout is a unique addition to the market, as it is the first monitoring system in its price range to enable 24-7 SD and HD video recording for up to three days, as well as provide content capture and export and support for multiple users via an intuitive Web browser access. As a result, the system can serve as a low-cost, professional-grade replacement for video placeshifting devices, thereby allowing broadcast engineers to reduce the time and cost associated with troubleshooting their A/V service handoffs.

Tags: iss054 | monitoring | test and measurement | slinging | volicon | QoE module | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • JVC monitoring solutions DT-G, DT-E, DT-U, and DT-V range at BVE 2018

    JVC monitoring solutions DT-G, DT-E, DT-U, and DT-V range at BVE 2018

  • IP, 3G-SDI + HDR generation, analysis and monitoring from Phabrix NAB 2017

    IP, 3G-SDI + HDR generation, analysis and monitoring from Phabrix NAB 2017

  • Apantac monitoring over IP at NAB 2016

    Apantac monitoring over IP at NAB 2016

  • Wohler MPEG Monitoring Series at IBC 2014

    Wohler MPEG Monitoring Series at IBC 2014

  • Wohler MPEG Monitoring at BVE 2014

    Wohler MPEG Monitoring at BVE 2014

  • Bridge Technologies QoE Monitoring with Mobile Videowall Display at IBC 2013

    Bridge Technologies QoE Monitoring with Mobile Videowall Display at IBC 2013

  • Leader at IBC2011

    Leader at IBC2011

  • Murraypro at IBC2011

    Murraypro at IBC2011

  • Volicon Products at IBC 2014

    Volicon Products at IBC 2014

  • Volicon at IBC 2014

    Volicon at IBC 2014

  • Volicon on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Volicon on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • The Telos Alliance at IBC 2016

    The Telos Alliance at IBC 2016

  • Wohler at IBC 2016

    Wohler at IBC 2016

  • Phabrix Qx at IBC 2015

    Phabrix Qx at IBC 2015

  • Phabrix TAG and Rx at IBC 2015

    Phabrix TAG and Rx at IBC 2015

  • NUGEN Audio at BVE 2015

    NUGEN Audio at BVE 2015

  • Phabrix RX series at IBC 2014

    Phabrix RX series at IBC 2014

  • Wohler DPP at BVE 2014

    Wohler DPP at BVE 2014

  • Wohler Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Wohler Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Calrec Callisto at IBC 2013

    Calrec Callisto at IBC 2013

  • Bridge Technologies PocketProbe App at NAB 2013

    Bridge Technologies PocketProbe App at NAB 2013

  • Sound Devices at NAB 2013

    Sound Devices at NAB 2013

  • TSL Products at NAB 2013

    TSL Products at NAB 2013

  • TSL Systems at BVE 2013

    TSL Systems at BVE 2013

  • TSL Products at BVE 2013

    TSL Products at BVE 2013

  • Oxygen DCT at BVE North 2012

    Oxygen DCT at BVE North 2012

  • RTW at NAB 2012

    RTW at NAB 2012

  • TSL at NAB 2012

    TSL at NAB 2012

  • Qualis at NAB 2012

    Qualis at NAB 2012

  • Digital Nirvana at NAB 2012

    Digital Nirvana at NAB 2012

  • DK Technology at IBC2011

    DK Technology at IBC2011

  • Phabrix RX2000 at NAB 2013

    Phabrix RX2000 at NAB 2013

  • Phabrix at BVE 2012

    Phabrix at BVE 2012

  • Sencore at IBC2011

    Sencore at IBC2011

  • Hamlet at IBC2011

    Hamlet at IBC2011

  • Tektronix at IBC2011

    Tektronix at IBC2011

  • Phabrix at IBC2011

    Phabrix at IBC2011

  • Volicon at IBC 2016

    Volicon at IBC 2016

  • Volicon Media Intelligence service at IBC 2016

    Volicon Media Intelligence service at IBC 2016

  • Volicon discuss creating content and publishing for online and social platforms

    Volicon discuss creating content and publishing for online and social platforms

  • Volicon Multiviewer at NAB 2016

    Volicon Multiviewer at NAB 2016

  • Volicon at NAB 2016

    Volicon at NAB 2016

  • Volicon at IBC 2015

    Volicon at IBC 2015

  • VOLICON at NAB 2015

    VOLICON at NAB 2015

  • VOLICON Media Intelligence Platform at NAB 2015

    VOLICON Media Intelligence Platform at NAB 2015

  • Volicon at NAB 2014

    Volicon at NAB 2014

  • Volicon at IBC2011

    Volicon at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • Sony monitoring at BVE with Den Lennie

    Sony monitoring at BVE with Den Lennie


Articles
NEP Student Day
KitPlus The world of broadcasting is in constant flux, with undefined boundaries between broadcast, TV, film and interactive media. With a changing consumer demographic now a key influence on the industry, many companies no longer specialise in a single medium, but have had to become adaptable to deliver multiple services through a combination of media.
Tags: iss134 | students | tvfutures | NEP | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read or download PDF
Keeping it remotely real
Reuben Such Everyone wants to do more with less. Always have, although it could be argued that doing more with more is something to aspire to, not many have that luxury. So let’s stick with the prevailing winds of doing more with less, and not just doing more, but doing it remotely, particularly in terms of production. Remote production, in particular, is getting a lot of attention in the field these days, but not so much in terms of the remote operation of fixed studios.
Tags: iss134 | remote control | IPE | IDS | Reuben Such
Contributing Author Reuben Such Click to read or download PDF
Protecting the continuity of transmission
Lorna Garrett Your viewers love you. You consistently bring them their preferred channels 24/7. They’ve come to rely on you for their viewing pleasure. They never miss cheering on their beloved sports teams. They’re the envy of their friends as they watch live concerts of their favourite bands. They gather the family around and catch up on their must-see shows. They don’t have a bad word to say about you.
Tags: iss134 | garland | gpl | streaming | artel | disaster recovery | Lorna Garrett
Contributing Author Lorna Garrett Click to read or download PDF
The Wireless Way to 4k
JP Delport DTC’s AEON group of products have been specifically designed for the 4K market. We encode with the more efficient HEVC algorithm, which means we are taking a 12G signal and compressing it to a bitrate that can be managed over an RF link. So what makes this a leading idea in the 4K revolution?
Tags: iss134 | wireless | 4k | transmission | JP Delport
Contributing Author JP Delport Click to read or download PDF
What content providers need to know about OTT
Hiren Hindocha As OTT (Over-The-Top) technology has gotten more mature and established robust standards over the years, the concept of OTT monitoring is gaining popularity. With customer expectations soaring, it’s vital for OTT providers to deliver superior quality content. To deliver Quality of Experience (QoE) on par with linear TV broadcast, the entire system, starting from ingest to multi-bitrate encoding to delivery to CDN must be monitored continuously.
Tags: iss134 | ott monitoring | qos | logging | compliance | dash | atsc | cloud | Hiren Hindocha
Contributing Author Hiren Hindocha Click to read or download PDF