Test and Measurement Equipment at the 2012 NAB Show

This has to be the most exciting period in the history of television test and measurement equipment. With the interest in 3DTV during the last several years and the recent focus on “over-the-top” (OTT) video from sources such as YouTube and Netflix, test gear was everywhere at the 2012 NAB Show.

Bridge Technology
introduced its microAnalytics system with microC software for OTT monitoring. The system employs the company’s microVB hardware probes, central server/controllers, and microC embedded software clients for monitoring individual viewing devices such as smartphones, tablets, set-top boxes and televisions.

DVEO introduced the Q Check IP/ASI, a real-time multiviewer transport stream monitoring system for viewing, monitoring and logging errors. Q Check IP/ASI includes error trapping for video freezes, black screens, loss of video, loss of audio, loss of subtitles and audio levels in multiprogram IP and/or ASI streams.

Hamlet showcased its DigiScope, the world’s first 4 input, low power, 1U, 1/2 rackmountable, measurement and monitoring multiviewer, with test signal generation, EYE pattern display capability and iScope touch screen control.

IneoQuest rolled out iVMS ASM, a system to monitor and maintain quality during multiscreen and OTT video delivery. It collects and aggregates key per-formance metrics and statistics on a per-video asset basis.

Danny Wilson of Pixelmetrix (L) describes the company's new OTT Media Grinder (OMG) to Philip Bowser of Wendel.Manzanita Systems highlighted its CrossCheck, a system that automates and verifies transport stream files in environments such as video-on-demand, ad insertion and OTT playback.

MiraVid debuted v3.2.1 of its TeleSight monitoring system. TeleSight analyzes a variety of input types (ASI, SDI, IP, RF), compression formats (MPEG-2, H.264, MPEG-4 v2, VC-1), with resolutions ranging from HD to 3G.

Pixelmetrix introduced the OTT Media Grinder (OMG), a system to test OTT networks with heavy playback loads to simulate how the network responds to the demands of a viral video. Simulating multiple client pools, OMG can play content to the end or abruptly terminate, mimicking real-world behavior.

Snell spotlighted Signal Sentri, a new technology that works to maintain unimpaired signal transmission. Signal Sentri watches over the main and back-up signal paths, and serves as a video, audio and metadata monitoring and reporting solution that can trigger automatic signal changeover or provide detailed information.

Serge St. Pierre (L) of Bell Canada listens as Seth Vermulm points out a feature of Sencore's VideoBridge OTT/adaptive stream monitoring system.Sencore highlighted a new partnership with Harmonic to provide end-to-end monitoring and analysis of transport packets on IP, ASI and RF interfaces. Using Sencore’s VideoBridge system with IRIS-enabled Harmonic encoders provides picture quality metrics from the encoder, as well as operational data for IP and RF distribution systems.

Triveni Digital announced enhancements to its StreamScope MT-40 DTV transport-stream analysis and verification system. V4.7 provides the ability to monitor multiple terrestrial and mobile transport streams from any location across a network, and also addresses new loudness regulations.

T-VIPS brought its new TNS547 DTT monitor for DVB-T and DVB-T2 networks. Providing end-to-end monitoring, the TNS547 continuously monitors rele-vant quality of service parameters at important points in terrestrial transmission chains.

Video Clarity unveiled new features for its RTM test system, including IP testing of OTT signals, as well as loudness monitoring. The company also hig-hlighted new audio impairment metrics for its ClearView platform.

Volicon revealed a variety of changes in its Observer system, including a complete TV station monitoring solution at an affordable price. The Observer is also available in multi-channel configurations with options that can provide data to computers, iPhones, iPads and Android phones.


Dennis Kutchera (L) of EGG Films puts a question to Jeff Witman of Harris about the Videotek TVM/VTM Series rasterizer.DK-Technologies showed a variety of products, including the PT0700 series of waveform/vectorscopes, which can display two HD/SD SDI inputs and up to 16 audio channels on the built-in screen. Another featured product was the PT5300 HD-SD VariTime sync generator that provides up to 12 separately controllable tri-level outputs.

Doremi debuted its Generation3D test pattern generator, which features both pre-loaded internal 3D test patterns, as well as custom user-generated 3D test patterns.

Harris rolled out the Videotek TVM-VTM-JEM3 multiformat jitter evaluation monitor. The TVM-VTM-JEM3 can confirm jitter tolerance to ensure SMPTE video standards compliance, and provides five different jitter levels and frequencies ranging from 50 Hz to 500 kHz. Harris also added loudness compliance to the Videotek MSA-100 and MSA-300 analyzer products.

Leader Instruments featured the LV5770 test set, which simultaneously monitors two 3G/HD/SD-SDI sources and displays picture, waveform, vector, and several other parameters individually or in various screen combinations. The LV5770 has an XGA display for clear waveforms, and the unit has options to support data analysis and physical layer testing.

Thomas Tobergte of Rohde & Schwarz points out the new GPS module for the company's ETC test set.Phabrix unveiled its RX line of modular rasterizers, available with different rackmount chassis configurations, and up to four modules can be installed in a single chassis to provide monitoring of eight SDI feeds.

Rohde & Schwarz showed its popular ETC multistandard TV analyzer that supports several international television standards. The ETC’s functions include spectrum analysis, TV analysis, scalar network analysis and power measurement, and the device is now available with a GPS module for exact identification of the location where measurements are made.

Tektronix debuted a new portable waveform monitor/vectorscope, the WFM2200. The WFM2200’s display can be partitioned into four quadrants, each displaying a different parameter, such as waveform, vectorscope, audio levels and closed-caption decode, and the unit has a built-in video/audio signal generator to aid in troubleshooting.

Carlos Becker (L) of Tektronix demonstrates the WFM2200 portable waveform/vectorscope for Noel Santos of Venevision Studios.RF
Coaxial Dynamics showed its line of RF test and monitoring products, including the Digital Wattchman, which can shut down a transmitter in less than 15 milliseconds.

Promax Electronics featured its TV Explorer RF analyzer, which includes a spectrum analyzer covering standards such as PAL, SECAM, NTSC, COFDM, QPSK and QAM.

TeamCast unveiled its Odyssey test system for the DVB-T2 standard, which can test for RF signal performance figures such as input level, MER, sig-nal-to-noise, BER and frame error rate in real time.

Worldcast Systems displayed its new Audemat GoldenEagle ATSC test set that can provide RF and MPEG-2 monitoring for up to 40 channels. GoldenEagle ATSC provides real-time measurements, analysis, content display and recording.

Z Technology displayed its line of RF testing equipment, including the DM1010 measurement demodulator that can provide FCC shoulder and transport stream data measurements.

Bob Kovacs is the former Technology Editor for TV Tech and editor of Government Video. He is a long-time video engineer and writer, who now works as a video producer for a government agency. In 2020, Kovacs won several awards as the editor and co-producer of the short film "Rendezvous."