Highly Scalable Cloud-Enabled Solution Lets Broadcasters Start at Any Level – Big or Small – and Future-Proof Their Monitoring Networks
Ensuring the availability and quality of both live and file-based content is a critical challenge for video content distributors moving to adaptive bit rate (ABR) and over-the-top (OTT) delivery models. Those challenges just got easier with the introduction of comprehensive video on demand (VOD) and live OTT monitoring solutions from Tektronix, an industry-leading innovator of video test, monitoring and diagnostics solutions, that allow broadcasters and other video content distributors using cloud, virtual or physical networks to ensure that the content they are delivering to customers is good quality.
At IBC 2017 on Stand 10 D14, Tektronix will be demonstrating the new OTT monitoring solutions designed with scalability in mind. As a result, broadcasters can start out at any level that fits their needs, whether it’s a single critical point in the video workflow or part of a wider, more comprehensive monitoring program.
From ingest to delivery
The broadcast industry is in the midst of significant change as new business models and key technologies like cloud workflows emerge. As such, monitoring solutions must be adaptable enough to accommodate future services. The Tektronix OTT monitoring solution for live content, based on the Sentry platform, does just that, by providing monitoring and diagnostics anywhere along a modern media workflow, from cloud ingest through to content delivery networks (CDNs). With new support for Microsoft’s PlayReady digital rights management (DRM) technology, Sentry offers true video quality of experience (QoE) and picture quality analysis on encrypted networks. The software-based solution can be deployed where it’s needed with cloud, virtual private network and datacenter options.
For file-based analysis, Tektronix’ Aurora file-based QC solution delivers similar flexibility and scalability. Using Aurora, broadcasters can easily verify the correct encoding for all ABR profiles, and ensure their packaging is error-free and perfectly aligned for a flawless viewing experience. They can also use Aurora’s perceptual video quality tests to reveal any encoding issues and alignment features ensure seamless transitions between different representations for viewers.
“With so many fundamental changes in technology and workflows, broadcasters need scalable, future-proof and highly flexible monitoring solutions to adopt cloud-based OTT video delivery models that ensures quality and regulatory compliance,” said Charlie Dunn, general manager, Video Product Line, Tektronix. “For both file and live OTT, our scalable solutions allow customers to start out at any level, big or small, and to see what their viewers see with QoE and video quality measurement that validate picture quality.”
Picture quality measurement and scoring has traditionally been done using full reference techniques that involve comparing test images with reference images. The challenge with this method is that the original or reference image may not be available at all times, if at all. To address the challenge, Tektronix has developed new TekMOS technology that is only available in Tektronix monitoring solutions, including Sentry and Aurora, and is being demonstrated for the first time at IBC.
TekMOS provides a new fully automated single-ended mean opinion score evaluation system for picture quality. As a single-ended analysis solution, TekMOS uses machine-learning techniques to evaluate picture quality and identify distortions based on a large training set of subjectively graded images. The score-based approach saves broadcasters time and money since they no longer need to devote resources to monitoring picture quality and greatly improves the viewers’ experience.
As opposed to an implied image quality measurement approach, TekMOS provides a real, objective measure of picture quality so broadcasters can comparatively grade picture quality through their broadcast chain. With TekMOS on tap, broadcasters can ensure image quality stays consistent throughout the workflow and any problem areas can be quickly identified and corrected based on the actionable scores it provides.