SMTPE 2011: IP-Based Monitoring In A Broadcast Environment

HOLLYWOOD: Martin Jolicoeur of Miranda Technologies examined monitoring at two levels: Transport and content.

Transport monitoring covers network infrastructure, i.e., routers, switchers, ports; the MPEG transport stream, compliance with ATSC A/78, and quality of service. With transport monitoring, there are two important metrics, he said. Packet jitter and packet loss. Those can be combined to create the Media Delivery Index, the MDI.

Content monitoring covers quality of audio/video material, metadata and “quality of experience,” he said. “An error in an MPEG table may not cause a receiver problem.” Hence the dual-level monitoring.

IP infrastructures are replacing SDI in some broadcast facilities. For IP-based monitoring, IP-based multiviewers have emerged. All points in the playout chain can be brought up to the IP multiviewer. He said the deployment of IP technologies simplifies monitoring. Example: seven multiple program transport streams return with four programs each, or 28 programs.

“With SDI, you have 38 IRDs, and an SDI multiviewer with 28 inputs,” he said. “In an IP-based situation, you can use seven receiver/IPs and one IP multivewerer with one input,” and a lot less rack space.

Jolicoeur said monitoring today is “robot-assisted through the use of multiviewers and software. Tomorrow’s goal should be fully automated monitoring through the use of fingerprints, and for some channels, no operators would be required.”