In Broadcast - February 2014 - 81


WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | ISSUE 28 - FEBRUARY 2014

I N T E R N A T I O N A L

N E W S

InTEST

Video Clarity Fine Tune Channel Line-Ups
Effective quality monitoring for fine-tuning channel lineups is essential...
By Adam Schadle
Vice President of Video Clarity

T

he growth of digital video has
redefined the economics of the
media and entertainment industry.
With the goal of gaining - and
retaining - viewers, subscribers,
and advertisers, broadcasters and
delivery networks must be able to
provide a quality product every time
to every screen. Quality assurance
is further complicated by today's
media landscape, which requires
monitoring and measurement
across multiple channels, multiple
screens and platforms, and many
different formats. That's why
effective quality monitoring and
measurement tools are critical
for determining that the content
meets self-imposed standards as
well as those set by the customer
or compliance regulators.

Monitoring Basics

In order to ensure a reliable, highquality transmission, operators must
be able to monitor and assess their
overall system performance against
an effective audio/video quality
metric. This also requires a broader
view of reliability, which must be
built in at the system level across
multiple equipment manufacturers
and using real-life data.
The most basic form of quality
monitoring is "no reference," in
which operators simply analyse
processed content at some point
downstream in the network. This
monitoring method is the simplest
to understand, but it is easily fooled.
If the original video has silence or
black frames, or if the director
applied special effects to distort
the image, then false alerts will
be generated.
A more effective solution is "full
reference" quality monitoring, which
uses the original video before it is
transmitted as a reference and
compares it in real-time against
the processed signals downstream
in the network. The processed
signal can be sampled either at
an intermediate delivery point or
at the end point. From the sample,
the monitoring system classifies a
range of problems including black
or distorted video, silent or distorted
audio, out-of-sync video and audio,
and ancillary data (closed captions,
subtitles, etc.) that is corrupted or
incorrectly timed. This method is
useful because it will not generate

false alerts.
In either case, the monitoring
system records the reference video
and audio synchronised with the
downstream video and audio. Such a
system requires a viewer application
that can offer instant recall of
segments that have measured below
set user thresholds. These segments
can then be played back together in
a side-by-side comparison, or the
reference recording and downstream
recording can be played back
independently. An example of such
a viewing tool is the Video Clarity
RTM Player shown below.

Reference Quality

A full reference quality monitor such
as Video Clarity's RTM reads the
original reference and the processed
content through SDI (HD/SD with
embedded audio) and then aligns
the video (both temporally and
spatially) and the audio. Then, the
system measures video and audio
quality, checks the integrity of the
ancillary data, and calculates the
audio and video synchronisation
offset based on standard or userdefined thresholds. If the threshold
levels are exceeded, the system
generates and logs an alert and
saves the associated audio and
video data (both reference and
processed). By accessing the
original data associated with the
error, the operator can review the
alerts and classify them, and then
add the reference data to the set
of regression tests as defined by
engineering or QA.
Such a solution facilitates the

Figure 1. Video Clarity's side-by-side viewing tool

review process by presenting the
reference and processed content
with or without perceptual, objective
metrics. Figure 1 shows the side-byside viewing tool provided by the
Video Clarity RTM Player.
Full-reference quality monitoring
is highly useful for finding and
correcting many types of errors,
including those that happen
infrequently or in the presence of
special conditions. In some cases,
the reference content itself can
have break-ups, which can cause
the processed content to further
break up or completely freeze. A
monitoring solution such as RTM can
find this kind of problem, and then
save the reference and processed
content and generate an alert. Since
the reference material is saved, it
can be used for regression testing
after engineering has
worked on the possible
fix for the processing
chain. Further, if the
reference content
came from a content
originator, it can be
sent back so that
the originator can
fix the problem.
In other instances,
processing of the
content is the culprit.
An example is
compressed content
placed on the network,
which causes some
of the packets to be
dropped before they
RTM Player used in side-by-side mode to show
errors introduced by compression
make it to the decoder

(set-top box). In this case, after
detection, logging, and alerting,
RTM further diagnoses the problem
by playing the content in side-byside mode using RTM Player. A noreference monitor would have found
this problem, but the cause would
not have been determined.

Supporting QC

Testing and review of service levels
is getting more complex, especially
as more formats and delivery
paths are added to the mix. For
originators and distributors alike,
the ability to measure all content
streams quickly, efficiently, and
automatically will not only save
time and effort, but help ensure they
can meet SLAs and compliance
regulations. Ultimately, automated
measurement and QC can help
ensure a quality viewing experience,
with greater retention rates of
both viewers and advertisers. A
full reference monitoring solution
supports these business objectives
by automatically and continuously
monitoring each channel's uptime
and performance and facilitating
fast, easy resolution of errors.
Adam Schadle is the Vice
President of Video Clarit y
based in Campbell, California.
He has more than 25 years of
experience in management
and leadership of companies
providing video solutions to
enterprises, television networks,
and service providers.

81


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - February 2014

In Broadcast - February 2014
Contents
InNews: Russia's Channel One Looks to Elemental
InNews: Eurosport Teams With SNTV for News Content
InStudio: Integration Is the Aim, but Is Our Aim True?
InGear: Chopperguy Relies on Aja Ki Pro Mini
InGear: NBC Olympics to Utilise Five Artemis Consoles
InGear: Sony Reduces 4K Camcorder Size
InMedia: The Connected Room 1990 – 2020 & Beyond
In Broadcast - February 2014 - Intro
In Broadcast - February 2014 - In Broadcast - February 2014
In Broadcast - February 2014 - Cover2
In Broadcast - February 2014 - Contents
In Broadcast - February 2014 - InNews: Russia's Channel One Looks to Elemental
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 5
In Broadcast - February 2014 - InNews: Eurosport Teams With SNTV for News Content
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 7
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 8
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 9
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 10
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 11
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 12
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 13
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 14
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 15
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 16
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 17
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 18
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 19
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 20
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 21
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 22
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 23
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 24
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 25
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 26
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 27
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 28
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 29
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 30
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 31
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 32
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 33
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 34
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 35
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 36
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 37
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 38
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 39
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 40
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 41
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 42
In Broadcast - February 2014 - InStudio: Integration Is the Aim, but Is Our Aim True?
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 44
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 45
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 46
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 47
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 48
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 49
In Broadcast - February 2014 - InGear: Chopperguy Relies on Aja Ki Pro Mini
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 51
In Broadcast - February 2014 - InGear: NBC Olympics to Utilise Five Artemis Consoles
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 53
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 54
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 55
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 56
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 57
In Broadcast - February 2014 - InGear: Sony Reduces 4K Camcorder Size
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 59
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 60
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 61
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 62
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 63
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 64
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 65
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 66
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 67
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 68
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 69
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 70
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 71
In Broadcast - February 2014 - InMedia: The Connected Room 1990 – 2020 & Beyond
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 73
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 74
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 75
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 76
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 77
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 78
In Broadcast - February 2014 - 79
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In Broadcast - February 2014 - 85
In Broadcast - February 2014 - S1
In Broadcast - February 2014 - S2
In Broadcast - February 2014 - S3
In Broadcast - February 2014 - S4
In Broadcast - February 2014 - S5
In Broadcast - February 2014 - S6
In Broadcast - February 2014 - S7
In Broadcast - February 2014 - S8
In Broadcast - February 2014 - S9
In Broadcast - February 2014 - S10
In Broadcast - February 2014 - S11
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201705
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOW2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201704
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201703
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_INREVIEW2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201612
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201607
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/lesommet/inbroadcast_APAC03
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201605
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOW2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201604
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_cabsat2016
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201602
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201601
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/lesommet/inbroadcast_APAC02
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201512
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_CCW15expo
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201510
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/lesommet/inbroadcast_APAC01
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201509
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_IBC2015
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201508
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOW2015
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