Continuing to help broadcasters and service providers easily meet regulatory requirements and expanding audience expectations, media delivery quality assurance innovator Qligent will highlight the expanding compliance recording and analysis capabilities in its Vision monitoring system in booth N4215 at the 2019 NAB Show. Intelligently aggregating extensive data from multiple points in the content delivery chain, Vision’s compliance capabilities provide customers with deeper insights that allow them to more quickly identify and address the root cause of both legal and revenue-impacting issues.
Qligent’s cloud-based Vision solution provides comprehensive, holistic monitoring and analysis of four quality management pillars that impact the viewer experience: compliance errors (regulatory and SLA considerations), objective errors (QoS), subjective errors (QoE) and programmatic errors (intended presentation to the viewer). Vision’s unique distributed data collection approach uses software-based virtual and IoT probes to monitor live and on-demand content across varying platforms – including OTA, satellite, cable and OTT– at multiple points ranging from the origin facility to the last mile. This enables verification that content is in compliance not only when it leaves the headend, but also when it reaches consumers in their homes or on the go.
“Customers’ compliance requirements are evolving, as they combine live and linear channels to capture the first impression with on-demand distribution on new platforms to create a one-to-one relationship with each viewer,” said Ted Korte, CTO of Qligent. “Addressing this trend requires a unified compliance management system which can combine file-based, stream, and VOD analysis in a single tool. The Vision platform provides flexible compliance recording, logging and analysis far superior to traditional purpose-built boxes, supplemented by QoS, QoE and programmatic checks for more realistic and complete verification.”
Vision’s compliance tools enable operators to record at high or low resolution, store transport streams, and capture PCAP network traffic at multiple points in the delivery path. Recordings can be retained locally or in the cloud on customer-specified storage for any desired duration. In addition to regulatory requirements such as Closed Captions, Emergency Alerts (EAS) and commercial loudness, Qligent Vision can automatically check secondary events and attributes such as the timing of Digital Program Insertion (DPI) triggers as well as the presence of Nielsen watermarks, logo bugs and more.
“Vision gives broadcasters and service operators a flexible toolset to create their own definition of compliance,” explained Korte. “We can verify anything they are trying to deliver to their audiences, and do so in multiple ways in multiple locations, all the way out into the field.”
Adding a powerful new dimension to Vision’s rich compliance analysis capability is the optional As-Run module. Making its North American debut at the NAB Show, the new option enables operators to visually correlate compliance events and anomalies against an imported program schedule. The module overlays additional columns of monitored compliance characteristics – such as QoE issues, audio loudness and SCTE triggers – alongside the playlist, enabling deeper analysis than would be possible in isolation while helping differentiate legal compliance violations from audience-impacting but non-regulatory issues.
“For example, an abrupt audio loudness spike within a program may be annoying, but is not a violation of the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act,” said Korte. “If it occurs at the start of a commercial break, however, that is a violation. By correlating the detected loudness against the program schedule, customers can conclusively and automatically monitor CALM compliance. This is just one example of how the As-Run option makes it easier for broadcasters and service providers to manage by exception, helping them detect and remedy anomalies more rapidly.”
Automated alert notifications and reporting bolster monitoring by exception while minimizing effort. In addition to enhancing automated compliance checking, the As-Run option also offers greater control of manual verification tasks. An enhanced clip player allows frame-accurate review for precise correlation against captured data properties and events, while integrated search functionality helps users quickly locate specific shows, commercials, IDs or secondary events for further validation, reporting, export, repurposing or affidavit requirements.
“We have designed Vision’s compliance features with three key goals in mind: providing flexible recording from more points in the delivery path, automating compliance verification as much as possible, and making any remaining manual tasks as simple as we can,” said Korte. “We look forward to showing NAB Show visitors how our latest advances make these goals a reality, giving customers the most comprehensive validation possible across all of their distribution channels.”