Cobalt Digital today announced the ANC-MON ancillary data monitor for end-to-end data transmission workflows. Part of a suite of data-processing products that also includes an insertion and extraction tool and a new solution card for openGear(R) users, the ANC-MON combines the probing capabilities of multiple pieces of test equipment into a single tool that automatically probes various types of ancillary data and alerts broadcast control room operators when data is out of spec. Cobalt Digital will demonstrate the new tool at the 2015 NAB Show, along with its insertion/extraction counterpart, in an openGear frame configuration.
"Data management is one of the biggest pain points for a broadcast engineer, especially when it comes to demonstrating compliance with regulations and ad schedules. We're putting a lot of energy into alleviating that pain for our openGear customers," said Jesse Foster, western sales manager and product manager for Cobalt Digital. "We developed this ancillary data probe based on direct input from our customers, many of whom are heavy openGear users. Using this product, they can save time and money by automatically probing signals 24/7. They only need to break out the expensive test and measurement equipment when an alarm goes off and they need to troubleshoot the system."
The ANC-MON plays a key role in regulatory compliance by continuously and automatically monitoring ancillary data such as SCTE 104 messages, active format description, embedded audio, closed captioning, and program loudness. In this manner, the ANC-MON gives operators confidence that signals are presented accurately and provides engineers and management with proof of compliance with FCC and other regulations, as well as proof of ad insertions. The tool checks the data at multiple points in a facility's workflow and alerts the operator when the data falls out of step with any preset thresholds. The operator can then call upon engineering staff to pinpoint and fix the problem.
The ANC-MON probes can be distributed across all of the facility's signals, eliminating the need to deploy expensive scopes, analyzers, and other test and measurement equipment -- and the human intervention it requires -- until an alarm is generated, thereby reducing both personnel and equipment costs. The probes are designed for use by control room operators, who get a visual indication of any problems when alarm data is overlaid onto the video image on the screen (or screens) in front of them. At the same time, ANC-MON creates a data-centric view for engineers and management, who can use it for troubleshooting or to generate reports that prove compliance and DPI message presence.
The ANC-MON's alarm messages are issued as SNMP traps, which can be integrated into open-standard network management systems for logging and trend analysis. Additionally, the unit natively supports the openGear DashBoard(TM) control and monitoring application as well as an internally generated HTML5 Web-GUI interface, which allows for remote control and monitoring via the Internet.
The ANC-MON comes in two form factors. The 9978-ANC-MON is a card module for the openGear frame system used in high-density rack-mount applications. The ANC-MON is also available in Cobalt's Blue Box Group(TM) BBG-1000 platform, a stand-alone desktop enclosure with front-panel control and integrated Web GUI control. Known as the BBG-1078-ANC-MON, this solution enables easy deployment in the field for customers that don't require high card density.
Cobalt Digital will demonstrate the capabilities of the ANC-MON probe and other openGear-cards and enclosures at the 2015 NAB Show in booth N2722. The ANC-MON tools will be available in Q2.
More information about Cobalt Digital and its products is available at www.cobaltdigital.com.