Test and Measurement at the 2013 NAB Show

The first time a new acquisition format appears at the NAB Show, it draws a crowd of curious onlookers. By the time test and measurement equipment manufacturers release products for the new format, the curiosity stage has been replaced by real-world production in the new higher level.

This year it was obvious that 4K had arrived—several manufacturers displayed 4K-capable test and measurement gear. Of course, there was a wide variety of test and measurement products for every other professional television application, as well.


Blackmagic Design debuted the Smart- Scope Duo featuring dual eight-inch LCD screens in a compact rackmount design that’s less than an inch thick. It provides independent monitoring of picture video and technical monitoring between the two screens.

Pete Fraser (L) of Phabrix makes a point about the company’s Rx2000 rasterizer to Omarr Alharazim of Infinite Conferencing. DekTek Digital Video unveiled the DTU-351, a USB3 device that accepts an HD-SDI signal for recording on a PC. When used in conjunction with the supplied SdEye software, it displays video waveforms and audio signal level information.

Hamlet introduced the Digi- Tek DT900 waveform/vectorscope with an LCD display and a built-in rasterizer, and audio monitoring functionality. The 1RU device supports 3GSDI, HD-SDI, and 16 channels of analog or AES audio.

Harris/Videotek rolled out the DL-870 legalizer for HD, SD and RGB. It can be optionally linked to a second channel for dual-channel presentations.

Leader announced the LV5490 waveform monitor with 4K capability and a nineinch display. It displays waveforms for any signal from 525-line SD to 4096 x 2160-pixel 4K, as well as serving as a picture monitor and focus-assist display.

Phabrix upgraded its rackmount Rx1000 and Rx2000 rasterizer line, adding ITU 1772 and EBU loudness support, LTC and VITC timecode view, CEA-608/708 closed caption support, Dolby E/D/D+ generation and analysis, 2K file formats and an enhanced waveform presentation.

Tektronix unveiled the WFM5250 waveform monitor with an HDMI connection, which makes it ideal for checking the HDMI output of cameras and Blu-ray players. The WFM5250 (and the similar rasterizer version, the WVR5250) can confirm that the output of HDMI devices meet industry specs.


Bridge Technologies debuted the Pocket- Pro, which analyzes data at a receive point and sends information back to the headend via an IP link.

Rich Miller (L) from Vislink Broadcast explains his requirements for the Nevion TNS-460 HD/SD-SDI monitor to Inge Hillestad of Nevion. Broadpeak highlighted its BkA100 video delivery analytics, a system that gathers a network’s raw data in a variety of formats, then enables access to the data to analyze patterns of use, quality of service and other parameters. Data is displayed as dashboards and graphs in a GUI, which can be exported in a range of formats for reports and archives.

Cobalt Digital showed new features for its SpotCheck series of transport stream compliance monitors, including the Spot- Check-5000 that performs compliance monitoring on up to 1024 streams. It measures, records and logs audio loudness and can work with IP, ASI or off-air MPEG streams.

Digital Nirvana unveiled AnyStream IQ, a cloud-based system for streamed media monitoring. It records, logs and monitors live and recorded streamed broadcasts for Web captioning compliance and proof of advertising.

DVEO showed its handheld Probium QAM digital signal analyzer that monitors QAM and DVB-C parameters including MER, BER, average power and pre/post FEC.

Peter Lampel (L) of Rohde & Schwarz explains the operation of the company’s EFL-110 RF Analyzer & leakage detector to Greg Ellis of Dacast. IneoQuest introduced new features for its DVA IP quality of service monitor, which now supports 10 Gbps Ethernet. The company also showed the IQDialogue ASM 3.0 monitor with active monitoring for up to 5,000 sessions.

Nevion featured its TNS460 HD/SD-SDI monitor for central head-end monitoring. It tracks signals on temporary contribution feeds and may be placed at a signal hand-off point to confirm that everything is clean before it’s handed off to the next link.

Pixelmetrix showed the DVStor2 Consolidator compliance logging system that locates, marks and extracts an entire program in either reduced or full resolution.

Snell displayed its Roll family of control and monitoring products, including Roll- Map, a system that monitors Snell’s products for signal flow both locally and remotely.

TeamCast debuted Odyssey, which confirms operation of set-top boxes and receivers. It measures typical RF performance data including input level, MER, SNR, CNR, BER and PER.

Triveni Digital demonstrated its Stream- Scope MT-40 and RM-40 DTV transport stream analysis and monitoring. The MT- 40 provides end-to-end MPEG-2/MPEG-4 transport stream analysis and monitoring and the RM-40 focuses on quality-of-service functions.

Video Clarity announced the RTM 3G, a realtime monitor/recorder that analyzes 1080p video in uncompressed 3G format, and provides long-term monitoring to detect subtle errors. Also new was the ClearView Extreme 4K video quality analyzer for testing 4K encode/decode degradation.

Volicon showcased v7.1 of its Observer TS MPEG transport stream logging and monitoring system, now with loudness measurement and digital program insertion monitoring functionality.


Barb Perrion of Sencore shows off the company’s DSA1490 signal analyzer. Coaxial Dynamics highlighted its model 81041 USB Wattmeter, which has a standard analog meter on its face and a USB port for computer connection.

Promax featured the TV Explorer HD analyzer, which is used to prove a broadcaster’s signal coverage. Paired with a GPS device, the TV Explorer HD acquires signal strength measurements from a moving vehicle and exports the data to a GIS mapping service.

Rohde & Schwarz debuted the EFL110 portable TV test receiver that sniffs out RF leakage and stray emissions. When coupled with R&S’s new directional VHF/UHF antenna, it can quickly locate interfering signals and leaking connections and provides a spectrum display on a built-in.

James Zajicek (R) of Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan discusses a feature of the Z Technology MeterMate Pro with John Purdy of Z Technology. Sencore spotlighted its DSA1490 and related DSA1490-ASI signal analyzers. These analyze 8-VSB, QAM, digital satellite signals and ASI MPEG streams, providing measurement of MER, BER, PER, and more.

WorldCast Systems/Audemat showed its Goldeneagle ATSC for monitoring up to 40 digital channels for RF, transport stream errors, MER and PSIP data. There are similar versions for DVB-T and DVB-T2.

Z Technology unveiled the MeterMatePro software option for its R-506 and R-507 field strength meters. Using Meter- MatePro with a computer and a GPS unit, it supports automated signal strength measurements for up to 15 frequencies. Data can be moved into a GIS mapping service and Google Earth.

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."