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OTT MAKING OT T MONITORING & COMPLIANCE MANAGEABLE & ECONOMICAL Gary Learner Chief technology officer at Volicon, a Verizon Digital Media Services company. METHODS SUCH AS THE MANUAL “SPOT CHECK” ARE UNSUSTAINABLE Consumers today regularly use their smartphones, tablets, and other connected devices to view Internet-delivered content. While their widespread embrace of over-the-top (OTT) services via an array of distribution outlets present today’s video program owners and distributors with tremendous opportunity, it also presents new challenges in ensuring not only service quality, but also compliance with FCC regulatory requirements. Given the wealth of OTT viewing options available to consumers, broadcasters must be able to monitor and differentiate their offerings by ensuring exceptional quality of service. Unlike traditional broadcast viewers, today’s OTT media consumers are less inclined to complain about service quality and more likely to move on to another source of content. While addressing this competitive challenge, broadcasters also must address growing concern over the accessibility of video content on all variety of platforms. The FCC has tackled the accessibility issue with ever more comprehensive and specific closed-captioning regulations not only for broadcast content, but also for previously broadcast long-form content - and clips excerpted from it - shown online. The FCC’s most recently published rules governing closed captioning make it clear that broadcasters and video programming distributors must not only pursue best practices with their captioning providers, but also deploy their own monitoring and correction procedures to ensure caption quality and compliance. However, now in the position of generating, managing, and monitoring a massive number of media files created for “anywhere, anytime” consumption, many broadcasters can no longer address closed captioning compliance - maintaining caption accuracy, synchronicity, and completeness - using manual approaches. The time and cost of human intervention rises linearly with the volume of content to be checked, and it then multiplies as content is packaged for different distribution platforms. As a result, the growing volume of content being created and delivered to a growing number of distribution outlets has rendered conventional quality assurance methods such as the manual “spot check” unsustainable. Recognizing the pressing need for cost-effective OTT service-quality and compliance monitoring, Volicon has brought its expertise in developing advanced broadcast monitoring and logging systems to the creation of the company’s Observer OTT solution. Engineered to enable efficient monitoring and troubleshooting of OTT services, this solution eliminates the need for manual checking of numerous viewing devices. With this technology, broadcast facilities can keep an eye on every output - in every version, each with a different bit rate and format - distributed for viewing on computers, tablets, and smartphones. By automating this process and facilitating management through a browser-based interface, this proactive approach makes effective OTT A/V service-quality and compliance monitoring both viable and economical. With an always-on solution for logging (recording) and monitoring the complete lineup of offerings, across all outlets and platforms, broadcasters can capture all renditions of content delivered over IP networks and then verify the streams’ integrity and compliance with the FCC’s closed- 56 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 115 JULY 2016