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Tektronix Sentry Now Monitors at Full Line Rate

Version 5.0 of Tektronix’s Sentry digital content monitor now enables the unit to perform in-depth monitoring of video streams at full line rate--1 Gbps per unit. The enhancement enables video service providers to monitor hundreds of video streams per unit, which reduce the number of Sentrys to comprehensively monitor a large multichannel lineup.

Sentry 5.0 introduces eMOS, or Perceptual Video Quality, which helps service providers tackle content errors where the QoE score is good but the program suffers artifacts due to over-compression which is common in motion intensive programs like sports. In addition, the new release includes GOP length statistics, RTP support and new reason codes that help service providers quickly understand the source of an issue.

"Cable operators and other video service providers are continually adding new live and on-demand services which increase the complexity of their networks and consequently increase the likelihood of video and audio errors," said Eric Conley, Vice President Video Network Monitoring, Tektronix. "Our commitment to adding new features and capabilities to the industry-leading Sentry family of products keeps our customers one step ahead of their competition and allows them to rapidly expand their service offerings while ensuring a high quality viewing experience."

Full line rate monitoring complements the advanced artifact detection feature recently added to Sentry's Quality of Experience (QoE) scoring capability with new reason codes and its new mean opinion scores (eMOS) scoring capabilities. These metrics can be used to compare and track the qualitative performance of audio and video programs throughout the video network, enabling root cause analysis of degradations in quality and automatic prioritization of issues based on subscriber impact. For example, Sentry can generate video quality scores on incoming feeds at the headend prior to multiplexing, which gives a baseline score for each program. After the programs are multiplexed, another Sentry can generate single-ended MOS and QoE scores of the resulting channel line-up to determine if the video or audio quality has been affected. This scoring process can be conducted at all recommended monitoring points in the network to provide an overview of the health of each program.

Tektronix’s Sentry is a comprehensive content monitoring solution for cable, telecom, IPTV and other video service providers. Sentry enables the early detection, diagnosis and repair of video and audio errors (i.e., video freeze, macro-blocking, loss of audio, etc.) whenever or wherever they occur in the network, so service providers can deliver services with excellent quality, thus ensuring an optimal quality of experience (QoE) for subscribers. Sentry accomplishes this through a combination of visibility into network anomalies at the IP and MPEG layers, scalability to monitor every program in the network, and its real-time, 24/7 operation. Sentry is used by nine of the top 10 U.S. cable operators.