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Quality control for OTT

by Adrian Pennington on Sep 30, 2017




IneoQuest Technologies, which since March has been part of the Telestream stable, has evolved a FoQus Delivery service to help clients migrate to “all-software” system architectures that could be deployed as virtualised solutions in cloud-supporting data centres. Akamai, the world’s largest CDN, is one such customer.

“The FoQus Delivery service provides a pay-as-you-go subscription-based business model that is prevalent in the OTT market, supporting both network-less video providers that are offering pure OTT services, as well as video providers that are extending beyond their on-network offerings with OTT,” explains Calvin Harrison, CEO. “What we can do is test, monitor, and fault-detect OTT data streams right the way through a distribution network, from the broadcast centre to the point of consumption on literally any device or platform.”

Other solutions for monitoring the transport stream include Dektec’s StreamXpert, available in both full and “lite” versions for real-time analysis, monitoring, and recording; and Axon Digital’s Smart 90-series. The latter blends the capabilities of its SMART DVB 10-series/50-series and SMART DVB IP Viewer. Supporting up to 8 MPTS or 40 SPTS, the SMART 90-series also provides black and freeze-frame detection, running continually on all services as a background process.

Sencore offers the CMA 1820 compressed media analyser that allows engineers, system integrators and network operators to verify standards compliance, identify media interoperability issues, develop products around new codecs, and troubleshoot transmission issues. There’s an OTT option that allows direct examination of manifest files and the corresponding media. Other options for this product include closed caption, subtitle, SCTE35-DPI, and PTS/DTS alignment analysis.

Automated and manual QC

Broadcasters and content owners spend a large portion of their revenue on acquiring content, but this content cannot be monetised until it has successfully made it throughout the complete production workflow. Making quality control (QC) part of the ingest and production process ensures that only high-quality content will be delivered on multiple platforms.

Until recently, this was a tedious task during which an operator had to view all the content to detect errors. It resulted in a costly and time-consuming procedure, in which metadata couldn’t even be checked. The explosion in file-based workflow means traditional manual methods are no longer effective. With tens, even hundreds, of deliverables needed for each media asset, human operators using traditional video and audio test equipment struggle to cope without help. Automated QC (AQC) has become a commercial imperative.


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