2016 Product Preview: Test & Measurement

The growth of 4K test gear in the past three years has been astonishing. More than ever, the test & measurement exhibitors at the 2016 NAB Show will showcase a wide array of solutions to check and maintain quality of 4K/UHD signals. With multiple program providers now delivering in 4K and millions of 4K-capable sets in the living rooms of consumers, it’s clear that 4K equipment is the hot trend in this category.

Axon Digital
will display its extensive line of transport stream analyzers, including the Smart DVB 90-series, which provides monitoring, analysis and display of transport stream integrity, and now includes black and freeze-frame detection running continually on all services as a background process.

Dektec will highlight its StreamXpert 2.0 HEVC decoder and analysis system, which also supports analysis of MPEG-2 and AVC video. On the audio side, StreamXpert 2.0 has an improved AC-3 and E-AC-3 audio decoder, as well as support for analysis of Dolby AC-4 audio.

Mediaproxy will introduce updates to its LogServer suite of products, now with advanced data monitoring panels in the Monwall IP multiviewer to facilitate real-time analysis and monitoring; advanced OTT monitoring at scale for HLS, SmoothStreaming and Dash sources/profiles; and support for 4K/HEVC sources. Also new is a native mobile app for real-time broadcast stream monitoring supported on iOS/Windows Mobile and Android devices.

Qligent will introduce several new features that simplify scalability of its Vision cloud-based monitoring platform,Qligent Virtual Probes, which can analyze IP-based streams from anywhere in the field and present that data on a centralized Vision dashboard in the cloud.

Nevion will highlight its network monitoring products, such as the TNS4200 broadcast monitor, which observes streams on IP/Ethernet and DVB-ASI, and provides fault detection and diagnostics with an easy-to-use user interface.

Rohde & Schwarz BMM-810 multiviewer and content monitoring solutionRohde & Schwarz will put the spotlight on the BMM-810 multiviewer and content monitoring solution for broadcast network and streaming platform operators. The BMM-810 allows visual monitoring of all service components and automatically detects content errors caused by playout, compression or transmission systems.

Sencore will show its AG 9000 UHD HEVC monitoring decoder, which provides HEVC 4K decoding for monitoring realtime linear distribution video feeds. The AG 9000 is a card that can be used in any Ross openGear frame, with up to 20 channels deployed in 2RU.

Torque Video Systems will feature the DVMon a monitoring platform for digital television networks. DVMon continuously compares required transport stream parameters and service attributes with what is actually there. In addition to its monitoring features, DVMon provides deep technical analysis of all transport stream parameters.

Triveni Digital will launch its new Broadcast Services Management Platform, giving broadcasters the ability to efficiently manage and deliver the necessary elements for ATSC 3.0 (and simultaneously, extensions compatible with the current broadcast standard as well). These include advanced service guides, hyperlocal advertisement, emergency alerts, interactive and dynamic media, addressable content, and efficient delivery of large-volume content. A key element of the platform is Triveni Digital’s new GuideBuilder XM signaling system, which offers unified signaling and announcement functionality per ATSC 3.0, along with support for legacy standards such as ATSC 1.0 PSIP and DVB-SI.

The company will also debut its Stream- Scope EM-50 enterprise-wide management system. In combination with StreamScope RM-50, the system proactively detects, isolates and resolves problems that degrade video services, and allows system-wide compliance auditing for key requirements, such as CALM and closed captioning.

Vidcheck will launch a fully scalable version of its Vidchecker automated quality control system. Vidchecker examines file-based video, audio and related metadata before and after distribution. It is also used by broadcasters to check files received from post-production and content distributors to ensure that file, video and audio parameters and levels are correct and ready for broadcast.

Video Clarity will demonstrate ClearView 8.4, the latest update to its ClearView line of video quality analyzers. In v8.4, ClearView 4K and 8K systems now provide new color-space-capable pictures as prescribed by ITU-R BT.2020 as well as support for high dynamic range.

Volicon’s Multiviewer option for the Observer Media Intelligence Platform unites recording capability with multiviewer functionality to give users access to multiple live or recorded programs. At the 2016 NAB Show, Volicon will demonstrate how an improved graphical interface for its multiviewer enables users to keep their eyes and ears on every channel in the broadcast delivery chain, including OTT feeds.

Blackmagic Design UltraScopeVIDEO TEST
Blackmagic Design
will showcase Ultra- Scope, a card that mounts in a standard PC, features six different scopes for measuring all aspects of a broadcast video signal, including waveform, vectorscope, RGB parade, YUV component parade, histogram, audio phase and audio level meters, plus picture view.

Cobalt Digital will spotlight its BBG-1060- TG2-REF1 standalone, dual-channel test signal generator a desktop unit that generates 3G/HD/SD-SDI/NTSC/PAL SDI test patterns and trouble slides and is capable of performing two separate tests on two separate paths. The generator offers bi-level and tri-level sync or composite-video test-pattern output.

For users with traditional engineering requirements, the Videotek division of Imagine Communications has familiar waveform monitors with advanced capabilities. At this year’s show, Imagine will feature the Videotek TVM9150PKG waveform monitor and audio signal analyzer, which can display and evaluate up to four input sources in four different formats, simultaneously.

Leader Instruments LV5480 HD waveform monitorLeader Instruments will showcase the LV5480 HD waveform monitor that can be upgraded to 4K. The eight-input LV5480 has digital audio capabilities, eye pattern and jitter measurement functions, can also generate test patterns. It also includes Leader’s CINELITE II toolset (comprising CINELITE and CINEZONE) as a standard feature, allowing easy assessment of relative exposure and overall luminance during production.

Lynx Technik will feature its Testor|lite 3G portable test generator, with support for SD/ HD/3G 4:2:2 and dual-link video formats, and which generates two simultaneous outputs, as well as one sync output. In addition, the unit can generate 3D test patterns.

Marshall Electronics will highlight its V-R185-DLW, an 18.5-inch monitor with waveform and vectorscope display. The V-R185-DLW incorporates a 10-bit video path and displays four quadrants for audio levels, waveform, vectorscope and live video simultaneously. It has two inputs supporting 3G/HD-SDI and Dual Link.

Phabrix will display the Qx UHDTV1 and UHDTV2 combined generator/analyzers. With real-time 12G-SDI physical layer analysis (eye and jitter) toolset and automatic SMPTE compliance measurements, it provides comprehensive testing for 4K/UHD infrastructures. The PhabrixQx platform supports the next generation of both copper and fiber uncompressed SDI interfaces, including SMPTE ST 2022-6 over 10GbE for IP-based infrastructures.

A requirement of a hybrid SDI and IP broadcast infrastructure is the ability to synchronize the facility in a mixed frameand packet-accurate environment. At this year’s NAB Show, Tektronix will highlight its SPG8000A master sync and PTP grandmaster clock generator, a field upgradeable unit that provides PTP (IEEE 1588) support for both traditional SDI-based and IP-based media infrastructures.

Bob Kovacs

Bob Kovacs is the former Technology Editor for TV Tech and editor of Government Video. He is a long-time video engineer and writer, who now works as a video producer for a government agency. In 2020, Kovacs won several awards as the editor and co-producer of the short film "Rendezvous."