Boston’s WGBH monitors and logs Mac-based video with Volicon Observer

WGBH, one of the PBS flagship stations, is using the Observer Professional system from Volicon at the station’s Boston facility for digital video content monitoring and logging. The Observer lets WGBH monitor its own broadcasts with the as-run logs generated by the station's existing Harris automation system. The system’s interactive Ratings Import Module also allows WGBH to keep an eye on the popularity of content aired by other PBS stations.

The Observer Professional is a video content monitoring, logging and compliance system that provides WGBH with two channels of 24/7 SD recording and 90 days of storage, along with Volicon support. The system's Microsoft Silverlight framework has eliminated the need for WGBH to update its existing inventory of Mac-based client workstations. The Observer Professional interface also supports import of as-run logs from the Harris automation system, giving WGBH the ability to segment the recorded content for simpler program access and clip creation.

The Ratings Import Module is designed to help broadcasters understand the popularity of aired content. At WGBH this capability allows the station to import viewer approval ratings data into the Observer system and then view multiple PBS channels with a synchronized ratings time-based graph. Operators can navigate to points of interest simply by clicking on any recorded point in time in the graph to view the content in real time. In addition, there are several supported chart types, including demographic breakdowns, to gain a better understanding of the content's effectiveness.

By replacing DVR recording of content with the Observer Professional system, WGBH has gained a great deal more flexibility and efficiency in monitoring, logging and analyzing digital video content, both for compliance and for competitive purposes, according to Mike Asebrook, senior director of product marketing at Volicon. “The ability to utilize their Mac OS X clients natively into their monitoring and logging workflow is a great fit for WGBH, thanks in part to our Microsoft Silverlight framework for Observer Professional.”