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simultaneous monitoring of up to four SDI feeds. (Figure 2) On the other side of the encoder, the same model affords at-a-glance monitoring of four single-program transport streams as they are fed into the multiplexer. With dual 9-inch displays, the MPEG-4290 allows users to select and view program audio and video, as well as data including the program allocation table (PAT) and program map table (PMT). When a broadcaster runs main (A) and backup (B) multiplexes of its program streams, MPEG Series dual- screen monitors provide a straightforward solution for comparing and analyzing the multiplexed transport streams that are output by the A and B chain. Using the MPEG analysis function, the operator can check for correct table programming by verifying elements such as the PAT. (If such elements are incorrect, a program could wind up being broadcast on the wrong channel.) Monitoring Across Baseband and MPEG Transport Stream On the baseband feeds from playout or a live shoot, one of the fi rst checks is correct signal identifi cation. The MPEG monitor will show the resolution, scan type (interlaced or progressive), and the frame rate of the signal. Operators can check the presence of the correct audio channels by displaying audio bars, which can be adjusted to show any of the common audio level scales. The safe area “cage” allows users to check the content to see how it will display on an overscanned monitor and confi rm that all important content, including text such as phone numbers, will be visible to the viewer. Above all, the most important test is whether the end user can see the picture and hear the audio without any breakup. The MPEG monitors can display content from SD up to 1080p60, which covers almost all broadcasted content. On the audio side, any of the 16 channels can be isolated for listening via built-in speakers or headphone jack. All of these elements can also be monitored on the decoded elementary streams. Moving down the broadcast chain to the compressed domain, operators can use integrated MPEG decoders and analyzers to inspect the components of the transport stream, including the program number, PMT number, and service description along with elementary stream components such as video, audio, and data PIDs. All of the stream components are shown with the bitrate of the component, and this allows the operator to see that there is actual data for the element, rather than just a reference to it in a data table. Delving deeper into the transport stream, the user can look into the PMT tables to inspect all of the stream elements and confi rm that the correct encoding type is being used for audio and video. Any additional audio streams, including extra language tracks, can be selected for playback. Finer detail about the stream is provided by the PSI tables, also available for review. Typically, however, the display of both PMT and PSI tables is complemented by alarms that refl ect transport stream health. Using a subset of the ETR101290 standard, the monitor can inform the user if tables are late or have not arrived at all, if they have arrived but are out of specifi cation, or if they have arrived and are within specifi cation. As signals are being encoded and multiplexed for distribution, the right deployment of monitoring equipment can make it easy to view all parts of the broadcast chain and quickly identify potential faults. Robust monitoring solutions, such as Wohler’s MPEG Series units, address this requirement by allowing users not only to see and hear the video and audio, but also to dive into the MPEG transport stream components, validate all elements created in the broadcast chain, and maintain the integrity and value of the content that passes through their facilities. KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 95 NOVEMBER 2014 | 57 TV-BAY095NOV14.indd 57 06/11/2014 13:05