In Broadcast - NABSHOW 2016 - 92


92

Cont'd from page 90...
Segmenters and packagers slice
the
compressed
streams
into
matching-duration
chunks
and
package the video/audio segments
into OTT container formats such as
Adobe HDS, Apple HLS, Microsoft
Smooth Streaming, or MPEG-DASH.
These functions can be performed
by standalone devices, combined
into a single device, or integrated
with encoding. The results of these
different
functions
should
be
monitored and captured wherever
they are accessible, in order to
provide as much granularity as
possible. In particular, it is important
to monitor each of the generated bit
rates to ensure that encoding artifacts
are not being introduced at different
compression levels, and also to check
each of the container formats being
generated to ensure that they conform
to their specified syntax rules.
Origin servers are the keystone
to OTT delivery, whether they are
provided by a broadcaster, an
external service bureau, or if they are
part of a bundled service furnished
by a CDN. Because they act as the
ultimate source for all of the files
delivered through an OTT system, it
is critical to ensure the integrity and
performance of the origin server. This
can be accomplished with appropriate
logging tools that can monitor files as
they are being delivered by the server,
or tools that can directly request files
from the origin.
Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) do
the heavy lifting for OTT applications
by distributing video files to cache and
edge servers that are located close to
clients and creating individual streams
that are sent to each viewer. As a
result, CDN performance has a major
impact on viewer experience, and
hence should be monitored to ensure
that the files are being delivered
correctly and that the content is
able to be accessed throughout the
network's coverage area. This can be
accomplished either using distributed
test devices, or by using cloud-based
applications that can generate stream
requests from different virtual
locations.
The network edge is where the
content actually reaches the viewer,
so capturing streams and measuring
performance at this interface is
critical. Measurements can be made
of the network's ability to support
multiple streams simultaneously,
dynamically react to bit rate change
requests, and to deliver files smoothly
and completely so as to not impact
video quality.

www.inbroadcast.com | NAB SHOW 16-21 April 2016 | InShow Guide

User devices that are capable
of viewing OTT content come in
a wide range of capabilities and
configurations.
Testing
content
delivery to these units is essential to
ensure that the proper file formats
are passing through the entire OTT
delivery chain intact, and that all
of the required metadata is being
provided correctly.
Critical Parameters for Monitoring
Once the appropriate monitoring
points have been established for a
video network, the next step is to
select the signal parameters that will
be measured and reported while the
actual video signals are captured.
For video, the most basic
measurement is to ensure that an
actual signal with some type of
motion or changing image is present,
and not just an all-black screen,
a frozen image, or a set of colour
bars. Video distortions, such as
macroblocks or other visible artifacts
are also important to be tracked
and captured, whether this means
simple verification of the proper
compressed stream format, or more
detailed analysis of image signal to
noise ratios. Confirming the validity
of image metadata is also important,
such as checking AFD (Active Format
Description) information embedded
in the signal to see if it matches the
actual image aspect ratio.
Due to the sensitivity of viewers
to audio issues, and the various
regulations that have been put
in place concerning audio, audio
monitoring and capture might be
considered even more important
than video monitoring in many
applications. The most basic test is to
verify that audio is actually present
in both the main audio stream for
each video, along with any secondary
audio programs that are supposed to
be present. Loudness of each audio
channel should be measured and
compared to any loudness metadata
(dialnorm) to ensure that viewers will
have a suitable experience during both
programmes and advertisements.
Digital audio formats, such as
Dolby AC-3 used in a wide array of
broadcasts, should be monitored
and captured to ensure that the
appropriate audio properties are
being included with the compressed
audio streams to accurately represent
the audio configuration (stereo vs.
5.1 surround, etc.). For advertisingsupported channels, checking the
accuracy of NAVE (Nielsen Audio
Video Encoder) watermarks which are
embedded into the audio channels

Delivering highquality content to
viewers requires
constant vigilance

is also extremely important, thereby
ensuring that SID (Source Identifier)
data is present on all of the intended
audio channels, to support any
required audience measurement.
In addition to video and audio
signals, a number of data signals
also need to be checked, both to
ensure compliance with government
regulations as well as to meet other
contractual obligations. First and
foremost, closed caption detection
and decoding is essential for making
sure that timely, accurate captions
are being provided to all viewers in
compliance with FCC regulations for
both linear and OTT video delivery
systems. Advertisement insertion
cues, either digital or tone-based
in accordance with relevant SCTE
standards, also need to be verified
so as to make sure that downstream
ads are signaled for insertion into
program streams at the appropriate
times. Other viewer-oriented signals
such as Station ID, time-of-day,
and V-Chip ratings should also be
captured and monitored from the XDS
(Extended Data Services) fields of both
SD and HD content.

devices, streaming "sticks", and for
intelligent TV platforms. Testing linear
and OTT content that is intended for
these devices is complicated and
requires constant vigilance, as new
software versions and upgrades
are constantly being pushed out by
suppliers. Proper surveillance of
these complex ecosystems requires
a flexible toolkit that can monitor the
transactions between devices and the
network, as well as provide endpoint
emulation for checking content
delivery quality.
Multiviewer capability provides
a technician with the ability to
oversee multiple streams on a single
display, or to simultaneously observe
network behaviour at multiple points
along distribution paths. Live or
previously captured video images
can be displayed, as can be a variety
of diagnostic results and dynamic
network status reports and system
"dashboards", all under user control.
The ability to dynamically reconfigure
these displayed information windows
and to support multiple highresolution displays also makes the
technician's job easier.

Intelligent Monitoring Solution
Gathering lots of data is one thing,
providing meaningful, actionable
measurement results is something
else entirely. With a system that
provides full recording and archiving
for complete analysis, the secret to
making the system operator-friendly
is to provide advanced analytics with
clearly displayed results. When this
is coupled with the ability to directly
access stored video signals for deeper
analysis, the technician will have a
great deal of information available for
system troubleshooting.
Interactive services, especially ones
that are based on downloadable apps,
are growing in popularity for mobile

Conclusion
Delivering high-quality content to
viewers requires constant vigilance.
As content providers and distributors
roll out new technologies to give
viewers the flexibility to view content
when and where they want, the media
industry is being driven to rapidly
roll out new technologies. Full-time
monitoring is required to ensure
that these newly-minted hardware
modules and constantly-refreshed
software releases are doing what they
are intended to do, and not interfering
with other systems.


http://www.inbroadcast.com http://www.volicon.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - NABSHOW 2016

In Broadcast - NABSHOW 2016 - Intro
In Broadcast - NABSHOW 2016 - Cover1
In Broadcast - NABSHOW 2016 - Cover2
In Broadcast - NABSHOW 2016 - 3
In Broadcast - NABSHOW 2016 - 4
In Broadcast - NABSHOW 2016 - 5
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In Broadcast - NABSHOW 2016 - 105
In Broadcast - NABSHOW 2016 - 106
In Broadcast - NABSHOW 2016 - Cover3
In Broadcast - NABSHOW 2016 - Cover4
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201705
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOW2017
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201701
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_INREVIEW2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201612
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/lesommet/inbroadcast_APAC03
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOW2016
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