PHOENIX—The Phoenix Model Market Station, a collaboration of the Pearl Group’s members, several local stations in Phoenix, and broadcast networks, is making great progress in the development and testing of ATSC 3.0 with the help and participation of many in the industry.
The focus of the Model Station is on testing new business models and developing end-to-end systems as well as workflows required for broadcasters to take full advantage of the new ATSC 3.0’s added capabilities. The Model Station also provides an “open test bed” where ecosystem providers can work together in a practical setting to ensure their systems interoperate, which is a key aspect of preparing for commercialization of ATSC 3.0 in the USA.
MORE THAN JUST AN ANALYZER
Given the Project’s goals and the work process that involves so many participants as well as early ATSC 3.0 equipment, it was critical that we have robust test tools that support the ATSC 3.0 standard. To do this, we purchased the portable version of Triveni Digital’s StreamScope XM MT ATSC 3.0 stream analyzer. More than a comprehensive ATSC 3.0 analyzer, the system supports analysis and validation across the wide range of ATSC 3.0 standards, from the RF layers to the upper-level data structures, in a visual and intuitive way.
The XM MT supports ROUTE/MMTP decoding, advanced RF measurement, multiple PLPs, video rendering, intuitive data structure analysis and visualization features. The product can support multiple simultaneous inputs, and is designed to support the analysis needed at key system demarcation points in the transmission infrastructure. Those include ROUTE/MMTP, STLTP, and RF. While the ATSC 3.0 standard evolves and matures, Triveni Digital will provide future feature updates, including a rules-based monitoring capability.
We have used the StreamScope XM MT throughout the project, and it’s been instrumental in resolving key issues. After the initial broadcast chain was set up, it helped us debug downstream STLTP issues, for example. Since XM MT functions as an ATSC 3.0 receiver, when initial receivers were not available, the product helped us verify the service. At our recent plugfest and ATSC 3.0 technology conference, the XM MT helped validate pairwise integrations and track down any potential issues. A key aspect of the product is its support for work group analysis, with the full user interface available for multiple simultaneous remote users.
LAPTOP VERSION COMING SOON
At this stage of industry development, a robust, reliable and extensible analyzer is critical. There will be a continuing need for this technology throughout the life span of ATSC 3.0. While we purchased this product in a portable form, it is also available in rack mount packaging, and we understand Triveni Digital plans to make laptop versions available in the future. StreamScope XM MT is a featured analyzer that fulfills an essential role in getting and keeping ATSC 3.0 infrastructures running. Triveni Digital has indicated that a less-featured product, built on their comprehensive analysis engine, is also being developed.
We have found that Stream- Scope XM MT’s intuitive user interface, and comprehensive feature set enables users to quickly detect, isolate, and resolve issues. While inevitably different from the user interface in Triveni Digital’s StreamScope MT MPEG stream analyzer for ATSC 1.0, we have been happy to see that Triveni Digital has designed a user interface that makes a complex standard approachable. We also believe it would also be an excellent learning vehicle for engineers who need to get a hands-on and deep understanding of the ATSC 3.0 system and technology.
Dave Folsom is a consultant to the Pearl TV Group and the former CTO for Raycom Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
For more information, visit www.trivenidigital.com or call 609-936-3411.
For comprehensive coverage on ATSC 3.0, visit TV Technology's ATSC3 silo.