12.21.2009 12:11 PM
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Volicon offers enhanced features on new Observer RPM

Volicon has released a new version of its Observer Remote Program Manager (RPM), the company's post set-top-box video service assurance solution for cable, IPTV, mobile and satellite video service providers. The latest release incorporates a range of new features and add-on software modules for ensuring the highest-quality delivery of HD and interactive services, at a price point that makes the solution practical for deploying at edge locations.

Based on the core technology of Volicon’s Observer broadcast monitoring system, the Observer RPM allows operators to monitor hundreds of channels, troubleshoot real-time video issues, and verify broadcast content and advertising in a 24x7 log. By providing a remote view of the customer's experience, the RPM enables pay TV operators to identify and troubleshoot problems quickly before they turn into customer complaints and to avoid costly chronic troubleshooting sessions.

Among the new features is a new Interactive Services Module (ISM), which helps operators monitor the quality of not only linear content, but also on-demand and interactive content and advertising. Using advanced object recognition capabilities and decision-making logic, graphical pattern matching, and multitiered testing, the ISM works alongside the continuous RPM lineup scan for linear content. In addition, the RPM offers testing of SD and HD services via component and HDMI inputs scanned at both 720p and 1080i resolutions. By providing frame-by-frame visibility of HD content, operators are able to assure the availability, proper formatting and high quality of HD programming.

There’s also a Scheduled Recording module, which provides verification of advertising and high-value content such as breaking news or sporting events. Driven by an XML schedule file or a GUI selection from an electronic program guide (EPG), the module allows the operator to establish channels and time periods to stay on one service and record it continuously. This content is monitored for A/V impairments while the system creates an easily viewable and exportable clip for archival or forwarding purposes. As-run logs from the program or ad insertion system may also be imported into the RPM system for easy advertising verification and reconciliation.

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