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TWC Monitors Nielsen Data With Evertz

Michael SmereskiATLANTA
The level of competition between broadcasters to attract and hold new viewers is very intense in today's multichannel television programming environment. Terrestrial, satellite and cable TV, as well as Internet-delivered video, have provided the viewer at home with a lot more choices when it comes to watching television.

Nielsen Media Research provides the capability for actively measuring television viewing with a key metering tool, their Nielsen Audio Video Encoder (NAVE). This device is installed within the broadcaster's plant and inserts codes in the audio and video streams that are being transmitted. In the past nine years or so, more than 2,000 of these NAVE devices have been installed in U.S. television operations and are operating on a 24/7 basis.

To ensure accurate ratings, it is essential that broadcasters monitor the encoded data to make sure that it is correct at all times. We searched for a reliable way to do this and found it in the form of the 7760ND-HD Neilsen Universal Reader from Evertz.

KEEPING TABS ON NIELSEN DATA

The Evertz 7760ND-HD Neilsen Universal Reader The Weather Channel uses the Evertz 7760ND-HD technology to monitor the presence of Nielsen codes on the output of the NAVE encoders and to ensure that the coding is operational and accurate. It's very important for broadcasters to be able to confirm that the encoder hasn't been accidentally disabled or bypassed somehow.

The Evertz 7760ND-HD monitors both the video AMOL1/AMOL2 data, as well as the audio NAES data. It accepts either HD or SD SDI video with embedded audio. The 7760ND-HD senses the presence of Nielsen codes, and their respective values are monitored and reported using various network outputs available from the device, including logging via our SNMP-VistaLINK PRO installation. On-screen alarming is also provided for our operators via our Evertz MVP-driven, multichannel video display walls.

If the Nielsen codes are missing or incorrect, operators promptly receive multiple fault warning indications. This allows our maintenance engineers to quickly address and correct any potential problems occurring within the broadcast transmission chain.

The Evertz 7760ND-HD now replaces the old (and defunct) Nielsen Universal Reader (NUR) technology. This was a hardware-based system that decoded both audio and video and then overlaid the codes on an NTSC monitor, while it logged data through an RS-485 interface.

READER ENSURES ACCURATE RATINGS

The 7760ND-HD product has proven to be a very nice and timely alternative for detecting and decoding Nielsen code watermarking. We rely on it heavily. This Evertz device allows us to verify that Nielsen data has been properly inserted into the television content stream, thereby helping to ensure that our television ratings are measured accurately by Nielsen. This in turn assists in our future programming and advertising plans.

Michael Smereski has been an engineer at The Weather Channel for nearly six years. He manages the group responsible for the day to day support of broadcast and on air operations. He was formerly director of engineering for National Mobile Television. He may be contacted at msmereski@weather.com.

For additional information, contact Evertz at 877-995-3700 or visitwww.evertz.com.