Vidchecker Sweetens Honeycomb’s Tests

Honeycomb was established in mid-2015 with the goal of revolutionizing the market for TV advertising delivery services.
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LONDON—Honeycomb was established in mid-2015 with the goal of revolutionizing the market for TV advertising delivery services. We started offering our services in the summer of 2016 with a simple portal that allows our customers—typically post production companies and ad agencies—to select the required services, pay for the transaction and then deliver their ads to broadcasters in just a few minutes.

Behind the Honeycomb user interface are two Telestream products: Vidchecker Automated QC for checking file format compliance, and Vantage for transcoding and media processing workflows.

FLEXIBLE & ADJUSTABLE

The speed and adaptability of Vidchecker has been instrumental in making our service highly flexible and adaptable. There are a multitude of highly detailed delivery specifications unique to countries, regions, platforms or even to individual broadcasters. Each of these will define, in arcane detail, video and audio levels, color gamuts, video encoding parameters, audio structure, file format, metadata, subtitles, and the lineup of the video in the package. Just a few of the detailed specifications we have to comply with include DPP (for U.K. broadcasters), AS-10 (French), and ARD-ZDF-HDF10 (German). Then there are variants on these for SD and HD formats. And the list keeps on growing.

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The Vidchecker platform identifies what type of format a video falls under.

It is incumbent on post houses to ensure that these files are created exactly as defined by the broadcaster. Incorrectly encoded files will be rejected and have to be re-encoded—a process that causes delays and significant added costs for the post houses.

Our Telestream Vantage media processing system already contains more than 200 different file format profiles. We are required to run automatic QC on every file delivered, and provide a certificate of compliance with the file, ensuring not only that the file is accepted by the broadcaster, but also that there is an audit trail to prove the tests were completed successfully.

AUTO CORRECTION

The “Auto-Template” feature in Vidchecker allows Honeycomb to grow and adapt to changing customer requests. Rather than configuring or programing technical details for a test template, Auto-Template turns this into a 10 second procedure. If the customer provides one reference or “golden” file that meets the required specifications, Vidchecker will automatically analyze it and use the data to create a test template that can subsequently verify and document the technical compliance of other files submitted for that broadcaster.

I love the auto-correct functions in Vidchecker, which, as the name suggests, allows automatic correction of audio levels, video levels and color gamuts, video layout and even PSE flash patterns. When there is no time to “fix it in post,” auto-correct functions can save the day.

The author is responsible for systems engineering/systems design at Honeycomb. He is based in London and can be contacted at craig.russill-roy@honeycomb.tv.

For more information, please visit www.telestream.netor call 615-756-3360.