SMPTE 2011: Monitoring Data Integrity in SMPTE 310M and DVB-ASI Transport Streams
October 28, 2011
HOLLYWOOD: Monitoring signal integrity within a facility is
one thing. Catching a glimpse of it in the air is another. David Wood of Ensemble
Designs considered monitoring a signal from the studio to the transmitter
relay sites. He used KJLA-TV in Los Angeles as an example. Its studio is 29 miles
from the Mt. Wilson transmitter site, with a 6 Gb digital STL and an 8 Mb data
“We’re taking a transport stream and calculating a checksum across a group of
data packets,” he said, crediting Bob Castleberry.
They started by taking all of the data that fell between two program clock
reference packets. That method was ultimately abandoned, but the idea was to
take all the data packets in a chunk of clock time and run them through a
checksum by taking a null packet out of the stream and replacing it with a
checksum packet. This packet doesn’t reference any higher level structures in
the stream and does not adhere to the SMPTE standard, but is eventually taken
out of the stream, he said.
They hit upon blocking at a 10 Hz rate. Across the course of a second, they
borrowed 10 null packets to carry checksum information. At the other end, the
checksum packets are collected and run through the calculation to determine the
data integrity. Either there is or there isn’t integrity, he said.
“There’s no gray area here. It works no matter what the content is, he said,
“and it works very quickly.”