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Solving more than just compliance challenges by Leandro Maquinez, Technical Coordinator of Operations and Production for Record Europa Lisbon W hen Leandro Maquinez joined Record Europa Lisbon, a subsidiary of Rede Record de Televisão Europa, the Portuguese-language broadcaster was struggling to meet the demands of compliance monitoring and verification with its existing systems. The server system used by the Lisbon facility to record aired content simply didn’t have the capacity to capture and store 90 days of content for one channel, much less its full lineup of six channels. In his capacity as technical coordinator for operations and production, Maquinez sought out a solution that would provide the robust recording capabilities necessary for the broadcaster to verify its compliance with regulations. He needed a system that would maintain 90 days of storage for each of six channels. Though he already was familiar with Volicon’s Observer digital video monitoring and logging system from earlier work, he looked to the European broadcast supply market to see what other options might meet his requirements. None of those options met the standard set by Volicon. The Observer system installed at Record Europa Lisbon early in 2013 continually and automatically captures, stores, and streams on-air feeds, offering simultaneous users 24/7 access to live and recorded broadcast content from their desktop computers or smart devices. An intuitive, streamlined user interface for both Mac® and PC platforms gives authorized users the ability to access, play, pause, and search recorded content conveniently and with ease. While the Observer system met the primary goal of facilitating compliance monitoring at Record Europa Lisbon, it has supported operations in a variety of other ways, as well. The system helps to assure high quality of service by testing signal integrity and automatically detecting such faults as missing/frozen/black video, low audio levels, and macroblocking. When these faults occur, or when transmission quality falls below preset thresholds, the Volicon system issues alerts (via e-mail and SNMP) to key technical staff members, enabling a rapid response at any time. The system also provides clips that illustrate the fault and give engineers a look at the suspect content and how it was affected. The Observer loudness monitoring module extends compliance monitoring into the loudness realm. With support for all major international loudness standards, the Volicon system supports Record Europa Lisbon in demonstrating diligent compliance with loudness rules and laws. Intuitive overlay controls provide continuous measurements that identify program loudness and loudness range. The system also offers high-visibility audio, video, and measurement data, with accurate access to any given piece of content. Record Europa Lisbon is an international channel, with directors in Africa, the United States, Brazil and Europe, so Observer mobile is valuable in allowing producers to watch broadcast channels even when they are not within the broadcaster’s satellite footprint. Remote access to the centralized Observer server makes live and recorded content available from anywhere, anytime, and this has proved to be among the greatest additional benefits the Volicon system has provided. Together, the rich functions of the Observer system aid Record Europa Lisbon in providing a high-quality on-air product for viewers. In addition to fulfilling its compliance obligations, the broadcaster now can respond to signal issues more quickly and effectively. It also maintains much better visibility on the broadcast product for staff working across the globe. “The Observer offers a full feature set that meets all of our needs,” says Maquinez. “As we continue to work with the system and leverage it even more extensively across our business, we look forward to taking even greater advantage of its robust capabilities.” 52 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 79 JULY 2013 TV-BAY079JUL13.indd 52 09/07/2013 16:51