Monitoring SDI video content within an installation is and has always been straight forwards. If you have a monitor, and you can see the image correctly, all is well. This is not necessarily the case for metadata and especially not for audio.
Real-time content monitoring is a mission-critical operation for broadcasters, telecom, and satellite operators. Traditionally, service providers have used monitoring systems based on specialized hardware with a dedicated, fixed interface designed to monitor a specific number of video feeds. Yet, bespoke hardware solutions require a substantial amount of manpower, have a higher cost of ownership than software, and are inflexible.
It's actually a more difficult question than you think. When I ask the majority of engineers this question, I will get a technical answer. It will be something like "to be sure we meet the specification" or "to be sure we don't put bad signals on air" or "so that I don't get fired for getting loudness wrong"
The purpose of color correction is to fix any problems with exposure and color, ensuring the final image looks right. Color grading is used to set the mood by adjusting the colors of the video imagery to achieve a certain look or feel.
Audio monitoring has come a long way since its humble beginnings of a box with a speaker, a volume control and an analogue input. Today's high-end audio monitoring units boast an impressive array of I/O such as SDI, MADI, AES-3 and Analogue while offering a large amount of functionality such as accurate metering, loudness measurement, Dolby decoding, metadata analysis and video confidence monitoring. There is however a huge storm brewing in the world of broadcast in the form of video and audio over IP, which will turn everything upside down.
The world of broadcast audio is on the verge of a major revolution. Numerous 3D Immersive formats are under development and will find their way into the mainstream of broadcast production and distribution in the near future. Unlike the world of relatively constrained channel based coding as we are accustomed to (most commonly Left / Right for Stereo and Left / Centre / Right / Surround Left / Surround Right + LFE or Low Frequency Effects for surround), these new codecs will support more channels and/or object based audio coding. For the end consumer, there will be two major benefits from this new approach, a greater sense of involvement or immersion, and a degree of personalisation.
In the past, audio processing and monitoring required the purchasing of multiple, specialized hardware to support each function in the air chain. But now, thanks to the increase in the speed of Ethernet connectivity, and IT-based processing power, many of these same processes can be condensed and supported over IP. Audio in particular is making a move to the IP realm with the recent AES67 standard bringing interoperability between manufacturers. Even with this standardization, Audio over IP (AoIP) is still not being used to its maximum potential in the broadcast space.
A man is rushed to hospital with a suspected heart attack. The priorities of the medical team that treats him are clear: keep the patient alive, contain the damage to the heart as far as possible, stabilise the situation until the patient is out of danger. They work under the pressure of these immediate priorities, and with little or no information about the patients medical history to date.
There are basically two different approaches to capturing the Eye Diagram from an SDI signal. These are real-time capture (employed by Real Time oscilloscopes) and signal subsampling (employed by Sampling oscilloscopes such as the Omnitek Ultra 4k Tool Box). All broadcast T&M equipment will use one of these approaches to create the Eye Diagram using a variety of proprietary techniques.
The technology supporting the media industry is evolving at a furious pace, making system flexibility a critical characteristic of any new equipment or infrastructure investment. Broadcasters and other media companies must adapt quickly if they are to benefit from changing content creation, management, and delivery models, but they can't afford to purchase solutions that meet only immediate requirements, and not necessarily those of the future.
Image quality is a central concern for users of any video product, so monitoring should be one of the foremost considerations for cinematographers and videographers. Along similar lines, the ability of consumer televisions and a range of personal devices to display increasingly better imagery has led to higher expectations of quality.
Monitoring equipment is often the last element considered in a broadcast system build, and getting its deployment just right is not always a top priority. However, most operations managers and broadcast engineers readily acknowledge the critical role that effective monitoring plays in making their jobs easier. This is especially true today, with broadcast networks growing ever more complex and relying on technologies that were not originally intended for the broadcast environment.
OmniTeks latest waveform analysis software focussed on assessing the degradation in video and audio quality and timing suffered by images as they are transmitted or stored. What approach has OmniTek taken to measuring these effects?
Delivering a high quality of service (QoS) is critical in the broadcast world, as it greatly impacts viewer satisfaction and a broadcasters revenue streams. However, the television environment is becoming increasingly more complex, as stations transition to digital and add next-generation OTT or hybrid TV services that require maintaining compliance with industry standards.
The task of maintaining loudness-compliant, high-quality delivery for broadcast audio is no longer a question of simply using ones ears. Audio channels produced for todays fast-paced productions come in embedded SDI workflow with streaming signals containing a mix of mono, stereo, surround, Dolby encoded and descriptive audio, as well as alternative mixes and multiple language tracks. Maintaining a quality audio track using this disparate mix of audio elements is one part of the QA equation facing broadcasters.
One of the many demands broadcasters face today is establishing effective multiformat signal management and confidence monitoring, which have become critically required capabilities, and there are several reasons behind this.
The end of last year saw Teradek step up the game even more in the HD wireless monitoring world, with its announcement of The Bolt, a wireless HD-SDI monitoring system. The first thing that struck many on its launch was the size of both the transmitter and the receiver.
With respect to monitoring, particularly for multiplatform content delivery, how can our facility straddle the divide between baseband and file-based signals? The media industry as a whole is moving toward multiplatform content delivery.
The very first analytical electronic instrument, developed in the late 1890s, was the oscilloscope. This used a cathode ray tube (CRT) to paint a graph of voltage on the Y axis versus time on the X axis. Once television became a practical reality in the 1930s, the same instrument was applied to the video output from the camera and became the very useful waveform monitor.
One of the major challenges facing broadcasters and content producers today is quality control. In the traditional model QC was performed by skilled viewers in real time, watching the content on a good monitor alongside a waveform monitor and audio meters to ensure the technical parameters were optimised.
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.
In shooting 3D you naturally have two cameras and two lenses: albeit, there are some weird and wonderful single lens/single sensor contraptions out there. This usually means there are any number of ways each camera lens combination could be producing images with minor are major signal level differences. If these level differences are not dealt with on-set or in post-production, they could lead the visually objectionable artefacts in 3D portrayal.
The new R&S®DVMS1 and R&S®DVMS4 DTV monitoring systems keep track of the quality of digital TV signals they detect all relevant errors at the RF and transport stream levels. They provide parallel monitoring of up to four signals and carry out in-depth signal analysis. These capabilities combine with an ultra-compact size of just one height unit and an attractive price, which makes the systems unique on the market.
Because the quality and bandwidth-efficiency advantages of digital over analog methods have made digital transport preferred, the world continues its migration to an all-digital approach to delivering video signals from the studio through distribution networks to the end-viewer. As with any new technology, adopting and integrating digital video delivery brings new and diverse challenges challenges that may affect video quality and delivery reliability in unexpected (and undesired) ways.
For broadcasters and content origination facilities, a single issue with content or within the transmission chain can have an impact on millions of viewers. In some cases this can even lead to large financial penalties and affect commercial contracts. To guarantee uptime, minimize disruption of broadcast services, and keep revenue streams flowing, operators need to maximize the speed with which they can identify and resolve programming errors.
Video monitors have always been a critical component in any broadcasting operation but they have evolved significantly as the industry-wide migration from analog broadcast to digital SD and HD has placed new demands on the monitoring function.
ATG Broadcast recently completed a major SD to HD upgrade for Arqiva broadcast transmission centre at Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire. The expanded system enables Arqiva to process and transmit four fully-operational 1080i HD channels as well as six new SD channels. It includes the installation and equipping of a server-based ingest suite, playout assembly facilities and four presentation desks.
OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode. OLEDs are relatively simple in structure, made up of an electrically active organic material sandwiched between an anode (a electron-releasing electrode) and a cathode (an electron-receiving electrode).................
A number of years ago Hamlet gave itself the impossible task of developing the worlds first 3G, HD and SD capable, video and audio measurement and monitoring instrument that would provide, particularly location users, a wealth of functionality and be held and operated in one hand.
In Parts 1-3 we introduced IPTV as an emerging broadcast technology, and discussed some of the technical challenges involved in successful delivery of IPTV services. We saw how the complexity of IPTV networks and the trade-offs in technology types can provide further challenges in delivering high QoS and QoE in IPTV delivery.
In this part we will begin to explore how to test IPTV systems
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.
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