Ancillary Data Monitoring in Multiviewers


The broadcast environment has gone through enormous change over the last decade, creating challenges in the management, storage and broadcast of material. Factors contributing to these challenges include the increase in the number of channels with the move to digital, the introduction of various aspect ratio and video standards with the transition to HD, and the necessary evolution from tape to file-based workflows.
In order for broadcasters to manage a significantly increased volume of content and numerous properties, baseband video today must be tagged with information. Aspect ratio (AFD/WSS), program ID, station ID time code are all important indicators that must be captured along with video and audio content in order to correctly broadcast and store content for future use. Alongside this “data about data,” there is other information vital for broadcast such as closed captioning/subtitling, teletext, content rating data (VCHIP), various audio channels (including different language options) and, increasingly common, Dolby E audio data.
Because ancillary data monitoring has become a critical aspect in certain aspects of today’s broadcast workflow, it is essential that monitoring equipment such as multiviewers feature the ability to decode and render this data to produce the exact result the consumer at home will experience.
The different application areas within a broadcast facility have varying requirements for ancillary data monitoring. For example, because production control rooms by their nature are primarily concerned with the content they are shooting, limited metadata analysis is required. Timers, audio levels and camera idents are the primary data sources that need to be monitored.
The master control room is the area where metadata monitoring becomes critical. At this point, before the feed is taken to transmission, it is important that the metadata is properly analyzed to ensure it is present and correct. The cost of missing or corrupt data can be significant — some items such as closed captioning are mandatory and can lead to fines if missing. Other data such as aspect ratio data affect the way the picture is viewed at home; an incorrect setting could lead to important parts of the image going missing. Operators viewing dozens of channels need all the help they can get to help monitor the status of this number of indicators.
A cable headend will concern itself with ensuring none of the data needed for consumer viewing will have been lost during the transmission process. Again, subtitling, teletext and aspect ratio markers are monitored, while basic video and audio monitoring alarms such as loss, black picture and frozen picture are an absolute necessity.
At the heart of every modern control room is a multiviewer, which must be capable of displaying all this necessary information to the operator and raising alerts as needed. The quantity and various functionality of the metadata present a challenge that requires a high level of sophisticated processing.
Ancillary data is typically stored in packets along with the blanking period of video, and both are identified by unique data sequences that distinguish the type and size of information. This data must be stripped from the incoming video and taken to separate processing blocks. In some cases it is necessary only to render the data. For instance, to display the timecode, the data is extracted and burned on to the video; in other cases, such as audio extraction, there is further processing needed to calculate ballistic data or phase information.
This amount of processing is a heavy but necessary overhead. Modern multiviewers have evolved from simple screen splitters to key tools for monitoring video and detecting faults. With the noted increase of channels and ancillary data, the multiviewer must step up to the challenge — flagging missing data, providing flexible notification measures and alarm management tools and, if possible, correcting the fault.
As a result, the IQ of multiviewers has risen significantly over recent years. Where once only core video processing was needed, today, extra technology has been added to process ancillary data, render on-video graphics and manage automated responses. Alongside the multiviewer, management or supervisor software is now also evolving.
Every facility has its own particular requirement for data monitoring; what is important is for the broadcaster to find a solution that monitors to the various types of data, identifies and reports error conditions and allows the user the flexibility to automate their response and notify the correct personnel.
The need for monitoring metadata is obvious: the data that affects the user’s experience must be monitored to ensure it is correct and data is not lost, while the technical information is needed to help identify and manage content. When choosing a multiviewer for a modern control room, the application (production, master control, etc.), the number of channels and the type of data services employed, as well as the quality of management software and response automation available, are all requirements that should be carefully considered.
Ancillary data is a key prerequisite in the current broadcast chain. Ensuring it is correct and present is something that should be at the heart of multiviewer-based monitoring specifications.

Tags: iss032 | harris | multiviewer | data monitoring | aspect ration | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Jonathan Harrison interviews Dedo Weigert with the DEDOLIGHT DLED3

    Jonathan Harrison interviews Dedo Weigert with the DEDOLIGHT DLED3

  • Lighting cameraman Jonathan Harrison shows the Celeb and Tegra at IBC 2013

    Lighting cameraman Jonathan Harrison shows the Celeb and Tegra at IBC 2013

  • Jonathan Harrison at BVE North 2012

    Jonathan Harrison at BVE North 2012

  • Jonathan Harrison at BVE North 2011

    Jonathan Harrison at BVE North 2011

  • Root6 at IBC2011

    Root6 at IBC2011

  • Apantac 4k UHD HDMI/DVI Multiviewer with KVM at IBC 2018

    Apantac 4k UHD HDMI/DVI Multiviewer with KVM at IBC 2018

  • Apantac TX# 64x16 Modular Multiviewer at IBC 2018

    Apantac TX# 64x16 Modular Multiviewer at IBC 2018

  • Apantac Mi Multiviewer Platform at IBC 2017

    Apantac Mi Multiviewer Platform at IBC 2017

  • Apantac Multiviewer and KVM at IBC 2017

    Apantac Multiviewer and KVM at IBC 2017

  • Apantac T Sharp # Multi-Format Multiviewer at IBC 2017

    Apantac T Sharp # Multi-Format Multiviewer at IBC 2017

  • MX32 Multiviewer from Apantac at NAB 2017

    MX32 Multiviewer from Apantac at NAB 2017

  • Mi16 low cost Multiviewer from Apantac at NAB 2017

    Mi16 low cost Multiviewer from Apantac at NAB 2017

  • openGear Mi9 Multiviewer from Apantac at NAB 2017

    openGear Mi9 Multiviewer from Apantac at NAB 2017

  • Apantac Multiviewer at NAB 2016

    Apantac Multiviewer at NAB 2016

  • Volicon Multiviewer at NAB 2016

    Volicon Multiviewer at NAB 2016

  • APANTAC T# Multiviewer at NAB 2015

    APANTAC T# Multiviewer at NAB 2015

  • APANTAC IP and SDI Multiviewer at NAB 2015

    APANTAC IP and SDI Multiviewer at NAB 2015

  • Cinegy: Multiviewer at NAB 2013

    Cinegy: Multiviewer at NAB 2013

  • Apantac Mi-16 at IBC 2016

    Apantac Mi-16 at IBC 2016

  • Apantac T-Sharp at IBC 2016

    Apantac T-Sharp at IBC 2016

  • Dejero at IBC 2015

    Dejero at IBC 2015

  • Grass Valley at BVE 2015

    Grass Valley at BVE 2015

  • Volicon Products at IBC 2014

    Volicon Products at IBC 2014

  • Volicon at IBC 2014

    Volicon at IBC 2014

  • Miranda on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Miranda on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Miranda at NAB 2012

    Miranda at NAB 2012

  • Broadcast Pix at NAB 2012

    Broadcast Pix at NAB 2012

  • Cinegy at NAB 2012

    Cinegy at NAB 2012

  • Datavideo at IBC2011

    Datavideo at IBC2011

  • Hamlet at IBC2011

    Hamlet at IBC2011

  • Oxygen DCT at IBC2011

    Oxygen DCT at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • The Art of Lighting: BVE Day 1

    The Art of Lighting: BVE Day 1


Articles
Taking on a self employed placement year
Joshua Round The idea of being self-employed or freelancing has always been somewhat terrifying for me. There is a level of uncertainty and responsibility that comes with the freedom of being self-employed, the likes of which makes me wonder why I chose to give it a go for my placement year as part of my university course - (BSc) Television and Broadcasting.
Tags: iss133 | placement year | university | student | education | portsmouth | Joshua Round
Contributing Author Joshua Round Click to read or download PDF
Creating Authentic Content That Counts
Frank le Mair We’re deep into the 2010’s and the way in which we consume content has changed forever. Broadcasters and content owners are fighting for eyeballs in a saturated market where consumers are watching their favourite shows on different devices across a number of platforms. To target millennials and younger generations, who generally consume short bursts of video on YouTube and social media - particularly Snapchat, Instagram and now IGTV - media companies are creating more and more authentic stories and are using platforms that are compelling for this demographic. Unlike generations before them, they have totally new video viewing patterns and ideals.
Tags: iss133 | insight tv | monster energy | amazon | millennial | Frank le Mair
Contributing Author Frank le Mair Click to read or download PDF
Perimeter LED screens management
Nicolas Houel Opened in January 2016, Parc Olympique Lyonnais, also known as Groupama Stadium, is the new home of Olympique Lyonnais football club, one of the most popular clubs in France. Since its inauguration, the stadium was a host of UEFA Euro 2016, and was also chosen to stage, among other important events, the 2018 UEFA Europa League Final and football at the 2024 Summer Olympics.
Tags: iss133 | 3dstorm | graphics | groupama stadium | liveexpert | livecg | deltacast | Nicolas Houel
Contributing Author Nicolas Houel Click to read or download PDF
The Pace of Change
Dick Hobbs - new

The youngest human to stand on the moon (so far) was Charles Moss, the lunar module pilot of Apollo 16. Charlie had a wonderful claim: his father witnessed the Wright Brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk, and lived to see his son on the moon.

Does anything capture the speed of technological advance better than that? The whole of the history of powered flight in one lifetime.

Tags: iss133 | state of the nation | st2110 | st2110-10 | Dick Hobbs - new
Contributing Author Dick Hobbs - new Click to read or download PDF
Managing Technological Change
Alan Wheable Continual technological change in the broadcast and media industries can make it difficult to plan for the mid to long term. Typically, broadcasters and media organisation are still implementing the last set of changes to working practices when the next changes come along.
Tags: iss133 | omnitek | ip | waveform | vectorscope | ultra tq | Alan Wheable
Contributing Author Alan Wheable Click to read or download PDF