Outdoor Channel Monitors With Volicon
December 4, 2012
TEMECULA, CALIF.—Outdoor Channel has
been using the Volicon Observer digital
video monitoring and logging system since 2006. We adopted it to record on-air feed for verification
of ads and programming and a way
to alert our operators to such transmission
errors such as static video or black frames.
The Observer was the only system—then
and even now—that could provide the
sort of functionality we required.
We have extended
and upgraded our Volicon systems so that
we now have critical functionality such
as high-definition video support, loudness
monitoring, and NAVE monitoring along
with the on-air logging and the air checking
utility that has been so valuable to us
from the beginning. And after six years,
the Observer is still our primary means
for detection of any errors in the standard-
and high- definition simulcast of our
programming, which today reaches 39
million U.S. households.
The Volicon system captures about
three months of programming for each of
our feeds and is configured to send alerts
to control and monitoring systems in our
master control facility and to deliver an
e-mail alert—including a clip of any suspect
content—to our key engineering
contacts. Such capability is particularly
important, for example, as the nature of
Outdoor Channel’s programming lends itself
to dark, still scenes for extended periods
of time, such as might be experienced
in a nighttime hunting trip. With the Observer
watching Outdoor Channel’s feeds
on a 24/7 basis, our master control room
operators may confidently turn their focus
towards other tasks.
Outdoor Channel has also implemented
one of our older Observer systems for
monitoring the next day’s playlist. In this
application, the system is configured to
record programming played out from the
server one day in advance, allowing us to
identify and resolve any potential issues
before that content goes to air.
On-air broadcasts captured on the Observer
system make it easy for our traffic
department to locate a video clip and verify
for producers and clients that programming
and ads were played out correctly
from our facility, and that any issues such
as audio/video degradation or ad insertion
discrepancies were introduced downstream.
MORE ENHANCEMENTS PLANNED
We’re now looking at extending the
availability of the Observer interface
across Outdoor Channel’s programming
and promotions departments. As part of
this project, we’re working with Volicon
to roll out a platform-agnostic interface
that will work across both Mac and PC
systems. We’re also looking forward to
taking advantage of the Observer’s new
mobile capabilities, which will enable our
engineers—no matter where they may be
physically located—to view any suspect
content more quickly and to determine if
an issue really exists that requires attention.
Paul Weaver is vice president of operations
at Outdoor Channel. He may be
contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .
For additional information, contact
Volicon at 781-221-7400 or visit www.volicon.com .
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