BETHLEHEM, PA.—I’m amazed at how much test and measurement continues to impact the trade shows. Nearly all design engineers have developed a test process or circuit to test and prove designs. One might say test and measurement products are the basis for broader industry design.
This remains true as the broadcast industry moves to cloud-based technology. In a modern broadcast facility, the issue of quality control/test and measurement generally concerns the distribution of content, either applied to the stream destined to a transmitter, satellite provider, cable TV distribution and/or cloud-based, enterprise-level media. In these environments content is evaluated in the compressed domain for both quality of experience (QoE) and quality of service (QoS) parameters.
The Point system can provide detailed information and insight into audio loudness, closed captioning, and EAS transmission.
At WLVT-DT (PBS39) we use signal analysis hardware designed specifically to evaluate compressed streams transported in the ASI, IP and RF domains. These are used to confirm the content, as delivered, to destination distribution networks Fiber, ATSC and IP. It’s imperative the quality distributed equals that of our origination. The Qligent Point system has been a comprehensive solution to our monitoring requirements.
WLVT has consolidated important signal monitoring responsibilities to a single workstation, eliminating the labor-intensive and bulky approach of componentbased legacy monitoring. The Qligent Point system adds value through consolidating compliance monitoring and recording, providing detailed information and insight into audio loudness, closed captioning, EAS transmission and other pertinent video, audio and data events. Use of a system designed to monitor our distribution content simultaneously in various formats is key. Cloud-based signals, ASI signals, IP and RF streams can all be monitored (including recording for compliance) simultaneously. Alarms and notifications prompt the operator of issues present in any format. Also, the Point system displays all QoE and QoS parameters on a simple GUI in the master control room on a 24/7 basis.
WLVT’s file-based workflow is connected to PBS’ NRT system for delivering file-based network content for later playback. Recently, WLVT operators noticed a problem with receiving certain incoming PBS feeds. Using Point, a novice operator localized the issue to a mistuned satellite receiver five miles from the studio. We traced the problem back to the recordings we made in Point from that specific Earth terminal, and fixed the problem in 20 minutes. This would have taken days to evaluate and troubleshoot with any other type of test and measurement hardware.
Test and measurement today is primarily comprised of monitoring compressed signals to any and all distribution networks. Being proactive on signal quality is the key to success. Point is format-and platform-agnostic, with the flexibility to present every required parameter in a simple GUI. This enables a high level of efficiency in the control room of any modern broadcast installation.