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Tektronix Well Poised To Meet Challenges of Convergence World

by Mary C. Gruszka~ April 24, 2006


Tektronix celebrates its 60th anniversary at NAB2006 with test and measurement and monitoring products for emerging 21st century technologies.

To meet the demands of the growing video delivery networks, Tektronix introduced Cerify, an automated system for verifying the quality of file-based compressed digital video and audio content prior to transmission or use.

"Customers are concerned about the quality of their feeds," said Todd Biddle, VP Video Products, Tektronix at a press conference on Sunday. "There's shift from managing signals to managing content. Cerify helps users find problems quickly."


Cerify tests media files against user-defined templates for the video, audio and system components. These templates include tests at different levels: system level transport layer, video elementary stream, and audio elementary stream.

"Cerify looks at all aspects of the content," said Thomas Dove, senior manager, Compressed Video, Tektronix. "It makes sure that the transport stream is correct, and it decodes the video to baseband and checks video and audio quality, like audio levels, blockiness in the video, and bit rate."

Cerify also logs errors as the content is checked. It can move suspect content to a "quarantine server" and can send e-mail alerts of errors to users and content encoders. The error notification explicitly describes the error and error location and provides images of the problem video frames or audio waveform with the error area highlighted.

Cerify is also one element of the overall Tektronix strategy for testing the next generation of global communications networks that provide the triple play of services -video, data, and voice over IP.

"We're focused on blending our video and communications expertise to deliver the right test methodologies and solutions to help bring triple play, including IPTV to market," said Rick Wills, chairman and CEO, Tektronix. "We are the leading supplier of network monitoring equipment in the world and we see that growing with video over IP."

Video over IP involves two principle and converging technologies - video products for the broadcast headend and network, and IP diagnostic tools for the network delivery to the home.

"Each side speaks a different language and uses different toolsets," said Ian Valentine, director of video marketing for Tektronix. "Tektronix's strength is that we work both sides of the network and we speak the language of each side. We are in a strong position to help those who provide content through VOD services."

Products that fit the bill for the headend side are the Tektronix MTM400 confidence transport stream monitor and the MTS400 compressed digital video debugger/analyzer for real time video over IP analysis and recording. Cerify is used to verify the quality of the video and audio content.

On the communications side is the Tektronix Spectra2|VQM for testing the IP pathway. Problems in the pathway can degrade the audio and video.

In the video test arena, the Tektronix strategy is to extend leadership in this market, Wills said. "We're leveraging our technology and breadth of portfolio to capitalize on our position."


To that end, at NAB2006 Tektronix is introducing the next generation of waveform monitors: WFM600, WFM7000, and WFM7100. These new products are designed to aid customers in their transition to digital, or from SD to HD, and for customers with hybrid facilities.

"Customers can purchase the combination of video support, audio support and measurement capabilities that best addresses their current needs and add other formats or measurement capabilities as their facilities evolve," Biddle said.

WFM6100 is for composite analog and SD digital video formats. WFM7000 and WFM7100 multi-format waveform monitors offer HD, SD, and composite video. WFM7100 has more options available.

The WFM6100 and the WFM7000 Series waveform monitors offer the new MyMenu feature that allows users to place their most frequently used functions in a single on-screen menu. With CaptureVu, new to the WFM6100 and WFM7100, an entire frame of video data can be captured, either user-initiated or automatically, on the occurrence of a trigger event such as gamut alarms.

Other existing Tektronix products, WVR7100 and WVR6100 rasterizers, have added new eye and jitter measurements, and support for Association of Radio and Broadcast (ARIB) standards used in Japan.

Also new in the Tektronix booth is the RTX130A a portable signal test generator for product development and manufacturing test. "It incorporates compressed MPEG and RF in a single box," Biddle said.

© 2006 NAB