FOX SPEED Channel Taps Volicon Observer for Ad Monitoring

Volicon, a leading provider of video monitoring, recording, archiving, and streaming solutions, has announced that FOX’s SPEED Channel has deployed Volicon’s Observer desktop video monitoring solution to provide proof of performance of sponsored elements during broadcasts. SPEED is also using the Observer to monitor the overall quality of its programming.

In addition to traditional commercials, SPEED airs several sponsored elements during races. Staff members need a way of identifying for sponsors exactly when and where a particular element was run. Unlike a commercial, which is routed through SPEED’s traffic system with a special ID, sponsored elements are not as easily identifiable. With the Volicon Observer, staff members can use the system’s closed-caption search functionality to find key words, such as a sponsor name, within a specified time window, locate exactly when and where the sponsored element ran, create a clip of it, and email or FTP it to the sponsor.

“The Volicon Observer allows us to quickly access sponsored program elements, convert them into video clips, and transport them digitally to anywhere in the world,” said Kevin Annison, vice president of business development and operations for SPEED. “Overall, it’s an extremely useful tool for helping us maintain the high level of quality and performance we require at the channel.”

To that end, SPEED uses the Observer to monitor all its programming, storing video for up to 90 days at a time. Staffers review the material for on-air discrepancies, signal problems, and other issues that may interfere with the quality of the programming. “We are very focused on how we do what we do and how well we do it,” said Annison. “The key is immediate access to anything that aired and the ability to access those files quickly and use them to improve our production.”

According to Julius Perl, vice president of marketing at Volicon, this is one of the main reasons Volicon developed the Observer. “Ultimately, the Observer is a tool that gives broadcasters the ability to develop the best programming possible. It gives them a literal record of what is going on air, so they can continually improve their operations and programming.”

The Volicon Observer is a multichannel desktop video, audio, and data monitoring system that allows users to capture broadcast assets from multiple A/V sources, view those assets from a traditional Windows-based desktop via a Web interface, search and retrieve them, and export them to interested parties.

The system is based on a powerful, proprietary streaming video engine and player that allow users to store instantly accessible content for up to a year via hardware RAID-5 storage. Storage to a DVD-RAM library can be automatically scheduled. Volicon also makes the Observer UNO, a one-channel version of the Observer.