BCE Monitors Hybrid Ops With Tektronix

Broadcasting Center Europe uses PRISM to monitor state-of-the art IP media facility

LUXEMBOURG—Broadcasting Center Europe is a leader in media services, system integration and software development for television production and post production, radio, telecommunications, and IT. Our current facility houses a staff of more than 200 and we serve about 400 clients in various sectors that include television channels, radio stations, film distributors, producers, advertising companies, telecommunications operators, and public services. Core to the business is providing playout for more than 35 different television channels.

However, with different customers, come different demands.

What we see in our industry today is a continuously changing landscape in terms of technologies expected by our clients. Specifically, we are seeing a growing need for OTT and 4K capability.

SIMPLE AND COMPREHENSIVE

To meet these needs on the technical operation, system maintenance and support side we wanted to provide a flexible and high-end system that not only delivered the product, but could accurately synchronize and monitor critical points along the workflow. To make this a reality we built what we believe is the world’s first installation—in terms of size and scope—that is fully video-over- IP based and built on the SMPTE 2022-6 standard with SMPTE 2022-7 utilized for redundancy.

The company that helped us build out this impressive and exciting workflow is Tektronix.

The reality is that mixed SDI/IP environments still exist, and as such we are using existing SDI equipment hooked into the IP infrastructure through gateway converters. What we needed for this type of setup was a monitoring solution that worked across multiple types of feeds, as well as a team that wanted to partner with us long term and who understood the complexity of the service we are offering. In short, we needed a simple and comprehensive approach to monitoring our feeds.

Tektronix provides a PRISM API that allowed BCE to fully design and customize system tools for its speciic use.

Tektronix provides a PRISM API that allowed BCE to fully design and customize system tools for its speciic use.

Tektronix is a leading-edge partner in critical operations such as synchronization and monitoring, and they were thrilled to provide the technology to monitor our system. We worked with them to implement multiple features, including the capability for Black Burst timing for the SDI infrastructure and for a PTP Grandmaster interface. However, the most critical component of the build was the addition of the Tektronix PRISM.

The PRISM provides us with visibility, analysis and monitoring across the entire network through real-time IP/SDI media monitoring. The analysis platform provides objective information that our teams can trust is accurate as we strive to produce error-free content.

SOFTWARE-BASED ARCHITECTURE

Further, the system is built around a software-based architecture for easy upgrades to meet our growth requirements, and to keep up with the constant state of evolution in our field. With PRISM we don’t have to worry about being outdated as we continue to grow and update to cutting edge technologies. The software-based build also means we can access the system through a web interface at any workstation. Monitoring for potential video issues is now an undertaking that can be completed from anywhere on the network.

Taking it a step further, we were able to fully customize the system we use through the PRISM API. With Tektronix we have a specific tool to meet our specific needs.

The PRISM solution has saved us a ton of time in our network deployment, and we know if we ever have any problems we will quickly get the feedback necessary to fix the issue through easy to understand graphs and displays.

Tektronix strongly contributed in the success of our full video-over-IP workflow. Working on the cutting edge of broadcast technology, it is paramount to work with reliable partners.

Costas Colombus is the technology projects and support director for Broadcasting Center Europe in Luxembourg.

For more information, visit www.tektronix.com or call 800-833-9200.