Comprehensive Monitoring for Distribution Networks

Ensuring that media content is delivered intact to viewers has become much more challenging over the past few decades, as new distribution technologies and partners have been welcomed enthusiastically by end users. Not only do government regulations on loudness and captioning need to be observed, but also the potential impacts of signal quality on viewer engagement level and audience measurements can have a critical impact on a broadcaster’s bottom line. Ideally, all aspects of every media stream type must be monitored
continuously on every channel and across every viewer device type.


As broadcasters work to leverage their media assets on social and digital media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter,
they face a great deal of competition. In today’s crowded media marketplace, the timeliness and quality of content on these
platforms often can be key competitive differentiators. This paper will begin by examining the challenges associated with establishing
an accelerated content generation work flow targeting social and digital media platforms.


With the ability to deliver timely, relevant programming via over-the-top (OTT) services, broadcasters can boost not only their revenues, but also brand recognition and loyalty. Although quality programming is essential, today’ s highly competitive marketplace makes it equally or more important that broadcasters can generate OTT content quickly and efficiently. This paper will examine technology that enables and streamlines this content-repurposing workflow for live programing, making it easy, quick, and economical to create content for delivery to social and digital media platforms, as well as the content management systems and online video platforms (CMS/OVP) that support VOD/OTT services.

The Process and Pitfalls of Monitoring Closed Captions

Ensuring the quality of every aspect of video programming that is delivered to viewers has long been a priority for leading broadcasters. Each aspect of the outbound signal, including video, multiple audio tracks, captions and associated metadata can be verified using modern automated tools. Due to new laws and FCC regulations, more attention needs to be given to certain aspects of the delivered signal, including caption accuracy, synchronicity, completeness, and placement on the screen.


With the continued consolidation of broadcast operations, centralization of staff, and ever-increasing pressure to improve efficiency, broadcasters need affordable, reliable, and flexible solutions for remote monitoring. The ability to perform quality checks proactively at audio/video (A/V) service handoffs is key in ensuring the highest quality of experience (QoE) for customers. This presentation will examine the latest generation of compact low-cost remote monitoring solutions, and the expanded range of functions they offer to broadcast operations of all sizes.

Cost-Effective Monitoring With Enterprise-Grade Place-Shifting and

Because video operators are large, geographically diverse, and deliver complex services, the ability of the operator to check their QoE and view their service across their footprint is critical. Place-shifting is such a useful capability within operations that consumer-grade appliances, up until recently the only devices to offer this functionality, — have been deployed widely by networks and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs). What was intended to serve as a consumer device for consumer placeshifting streaming became an important part of their operations, for better and worse.b

Guide to Audio Loudness

The rules regulating commercialaudio levels (the socalled “CALM Act”) went into effect six months ago. But as we all know, when Washington passes a law that’s not always the end of the issue. Such is the case with loudness. Broadcasters and cable operators knew the rules were coming for several years and throughout 2012, researched, purchased and installed the necessary technology to comply with the law, which requires the industry to process commercial audio levels according to the ATSC’s A/85 Recommended Practice. Some broadcasters and cable operators, however, were granted waivers based on financial hardship—waivers that can be renewed on an annual basis if the FCC sees fit.

Opportunities and Challenges to TV Anytime, Anywhere

“TV anytime, anywhere” is the new standard in a changing landscape of content distribution and accessibility. The days have passed in which one had to sit in front of a television to consume media content, and now there is both a demand for delivery of content when and where it is wanted, as well as a supply side capable of meeting that demand. On the one hand, this new state of affairs gives content creator and distributors new outlets for distribution and added opportunity for revenue-generation. On the other hand, the complexity of new delivery infrastructures presents a new set of challenges and new issues that broadcasters and other content providers must address.

Monitoring the Whole MPEG Transport Stream

With baseband usage on the decline, Broadcasters and networks increasingly are recording the native ASI and IP MPEG transport stream and generating low-res proxies for viewing and subsequent troubleshooting. This whitepaper examines continuous MPEG transport stream monitoring and its benefits in supporting compliance logging and air checks, allowing operators to increase logging channel density, and facilitating the inspection and export of transport stream efficiently over a WAN enterprise.

What Is Loudness?

Loudness is a perceptual quantity that can be understood as the degree of the physiological effect produced when a sound stimulates the ear, and it is dependent on factors including bandwidth, frequency, and duration. Today, advertisers have taken advantage of digital audio’s extended dynamic range to push commercials into the headroom portion of the audio, thereby increasing the perceived loudness of those commercials in order to grab viewers’ attention. Government and regulatory bodies across the world have taken up the issue of loudness and legislation has been passed requiring broadcasters to monitor loudness and maintain a log for public inspection.

Triggered Recording

Visual and aural evidence of content quality close to the viewer gives broadcasters and other media companies a much better understanding of program quality and viewer experience. A new capability from Volicon, called triggered recording, allows an operator to identify and record an impairment when it occurs, as well as its potential impact on viewer satisfaction. Because typical analysis tools measure faults in the digital bit stream, they present a “sea of numbers” indicating only the possibility of a fault and displaying an alarm. It can take a great deal of time for engineers and other NOC personnel up the chain to confirm an issue and its source. With triggered recording capability, the digital analysis tools provide an actual recording of a program impairment for the operator’s review and escalation.


Virtualization has brought significant cost and operational benefits to businesses and consumers by enabling different components of IT-based systems to connect and work in orchestra; regardless of their location. In the business world, the usual goal of virtualization is tocentralize administrative tasks while improving scalability and overall hardware-resource use.

Remote Monitoring

Not so long ago, broadcast and media companies seeking to view aired content across the full distribution chain resorted to recording either to tape or a system the equivalent to a collection of modified TiVo’s. Neither solution was ideal, but both were a better alternative than dedicating staff to monitoring at remote sites. Using these recording systems, engineers could go back and review the content that had been broadcast on a particular channel at a given date and time.