Tektronix delivers new network monitoring solutions to ensure superior video QoS

Tektronix has introduced its new VQNet video service assurance manager and IPM400A network probe, designed to help cable, telco and broadcast operators to proactively detect and resolve problems across their IP networks. Tektronix has also introduced a DVB-S2 interface for its MTM400A transport stream monitor.

With consumer options for watching digital video and rich media content continually expanding, maintaining quality of service and quality of experience has emerged as a key to success for service providers. Along with increasing competition, network operators also must manage the complexity of delivering multiple services over IP-based networks. The challenge for operators is to find tools that not only give useful information about service quality, but also can direct them on how to efficiently solve problems before they severely impact customers. Moreover, operators need analysis insight across all network layers, including IP, RF and transport stream.

Adherence to SCTE-142 and A/78 TS error classifications allows the solution to focus attention on errors that need immediate corrective action. Video and audio backhaul allows actual content to be fed back to a central monitoring point to see and hear the actual content being broadcast. SCTE-35 DPI splice-point monitoring allows the user to ensure that local and advertising content revenue is realized. EIA-608/708 and SCTE-20/21 closed-captioning tests, along with region rating table monitoring displays in the thumbnail and EPG views, ensure adherence with FCC mandates. In addition, real-time buffer analysis captures encoding and multiplexing issues that can cause black frame, freeze frame or set-top box reboots.

Providing views across entire facilities and networks, VQNet can be incorporated into existing workflows. It presents key information in terms operation staff can easily understand and take action to resolve. This is made possible through an intuitive user interface that displays warnings and alarms when it detects errors impacting customer viewing quality. To further assist operators, the software can display video thumbnails from multiple points in the network and can backhaul video and audio content from any probe in the network. For more difficult problems, engineers are able to easily see detailed information on the root cause of issues at the IP, RF or transport stream layers at any point in the network.

Working in concert with the VQNet management software, Tektronix delivers a powerful, scalable probe architecture. This includes the new IPM400A concurrent probe that provides real-time analysis of all video and audio content within a GigE link, and the MTM400A directed diagnostic probe, which provides deep analysis capability for ASI, QAM, COFDM and DVB-S/S2 RF links. This architecture gives operators unprecedented scalability in depth of measurement and visibility across their headend network. VQNet also supports the Tektronix RFM300 8-VSB probe for ATSC transmission and ingest monitoring.

The IPM400A can monitor up to 500 IP flows (sessions) and all essential parameters including TS errors, IP packet interarrival time) and MDI. This ensures IP and TS integrity across a broad set of video services on even a fully loaded GigE link.

The new DVB-S2 interface for the MTM400A transport stream monitor enables satellite direct-to-home broadcasters and other operators that ingest and distribute content via satellite to efficiently deliver high QoS levels as they adopt the latest standard for transmission of MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 audio and video streams.