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LDS Conference Center
Submitted by Harmonic

The PBS Technology Center in Alexandria, VA, is responsible for continuous delivery of transmissions — four HD channels and eight SD channels — to member stations across the continental United States, Hawaii, Alaska, Guam and Samoa. Each month, PBS, with its nearly 360 member stations, reaches more than 120 million people through television and nearly 21 million people online. By 2010, the logging system that monitored satellite transmissions had begun to show its age. To refresh its video monitoring and logging capabilities, PBS sought a more advanced solution capable of monitoring multiple channels, merging as-runs from automation with aired video, providing fast response times, enabling effective searches across aired content and supporting easy clip exports. The Observer Enterprise, an automated and fully redundant digital video monitoring and logging system, met these demands and offered additional functionality that streamlines PBS monitoring processes.

A main priority for PBS was to have the tools necessary to get to video immediately, and the Volicon Observer allows engineers to watch live video or recorded material within just two seconds. In addition to enabling fast visual confirmation, the Observer system allows staff to search back on a playlist for a particular program or for words that would have been present in closed captioning at the time. Staff thus can monitor any signal impairments and diagnose those issues quickly.

Soon, the Observer will provide a fast and easy way of confirming that AFD codes have been sent correctly and that stations have received the data they need to display a given piece of video properly. If any metadata is determined to be incorrect, engineers in Alexandria will be able use the logging system to look back, see what metadata was transmitted and begin troubleshooting.