10.29.2010 04:33 PM
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
NECN monitors HD streams with Volicon Observer

Migrating away from a videotape-based workflow, regional cable network New England Cable News (NECN) has chosen the Volicon Observer Enterprise to monitor and record its two HD channels.

Greg M. Roehr, chief engineer at NECN, said that compared to the time it once took to create off-air tape dubs for different personnel who then had to search through the tapes to find the materials they needed, the Observer Enterprise is helping them save up to three person days a month. The staff is even thinking up new and different ways to use the recorded video — projects that would have been too time-consuming with their old system.

The Observer Enterprise is a digital video logging and monitoring solution that offers an enterprise-grade automated record-and-search capability for a wide range of compliance, media monitoring, quality management and content verification capabilities. The system continuously records and creates a log of all aired content over NECN's two HD channels that can be easily searched by any user in the operation using either the Observer's streamlined multiplatform, Microsoft Silverlight-based interface or the system's traditional Observer Enterprise-level interface.

For advertising verification, the NECN traffic department uses Observer Enterprise to quickly search for and access clips of aired video that demonstrate that a particular commercial aired as contracted, as well as to verify the presence of paid graphical elements within the broadcast’s lower third bug, in which contracts specify a certain number of appearances per hour. Previously, this function required a traffic manager to sit in front of a slow-scan VHS tape system to manually watch a program and tally the number of times the graphic appeared during the course of an hour. Now, with the Observer, the manager can simply retrieve an hour of programming and e-mail the client an embedded HTML link to the aired clip for verification, saving time and boosting compliance with contracts.

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