Manage and Monitor

Will Strauss#

Author: Will Strauss#

Published 1st October 2014

Issue 93 - September 2014

In less than a month’s time, British television producers will be asked to deliver their programmes to broadcasters as files rather than tape. Some have been doing it for years. For others, it’s a whole new world.

Fundamentally, the change is just replacing physical items like tapes, labels and VT reports with their zeros and ones equivalents. So, instead of a plastic tape case it’ll be an AS-11 DPP wrapper (as agreed by the cross broadcaster initiative the Digital Production Partnership). Inside the wrapper is the programme as a digital fi le and the associated metadata.

Take a quick scan of the IBC announcements this month and it is clear that this is a subject that is focussing the minds of the manufacturing community as automated quality control options for fi le-based content and methods for monitoring loudness abound.

What we still haven’t seen, however, is a method for dropping a late edit into a fi le-based DPP master. If a credit change (or similar) is required at the last minute, as things currently stand, there is no easy or quick way to do this. With tape it was easy. With digital fi les, you have to make the change and then create a new master. And that takes time and costs money.

If an IBC exhibitor or indeed visitor wants to make himself rich and famous, he or she could do worse than try to solve this.

News Production

BroadStream Solutions will unveil a workfl ow accelerator for live news production at IBC (8.B29). Designed to work from ingest and proxy generation through to playout, CURRENT allows news teams to begin working with incoming content directly from their desktops the moment it arrives and play immediately to air without transcoding delays. Content viewing and clip trimming is available inside the News Room Computer System (NRCS). Other features include automated ingest and proxy creation for incoming video feeds and fi le and MOS integration with newsroom computer systems.

Quantel will unveil LiveTouch at IBC (7.A20), a scalable studio highlights system consisting of a new server, a new software client, a new panel and new middleware that links clients with content across a server cluster. The panel is purpose-designed to make highlights selection sure, simple and robust. LiveTouch can be reconfi gured to support different productions across several studios as required and offers bidirectional editor integration direct into the server cluster, speeding operations and simplifying system design.

MOG Technologies is using IBC to showcase how it can help broadcasters to reduce costs and quicken production schedules using its mxfSPEEDRAIL centralised ingest technology. The Central System platform within mxfSPEEDRAIL reduces workfl ow complexity by controlling all ingest processes in a single interface covering transcoding, fi le conversion, playback, quality control and task archiving.

Media Management

Digital Nirvana will introduce its Media Management Platform at IBC on the EMEA Gateway stand (9.B14). The suite of applications allows users to capture, edit, share, and manage content and provides the ability to monitor and analyse video. Optional modules are available for loudness monitoring, iPad/iPhone encoding and cCentralized management.


Version 6.3 of the Telestream Vantage fi le-based workfl ow automation system now includes Nexidia’s QC, the software verifi cation tool for automating closed caption quality control. The integration will help Vantage users to automate the compliance process for closed caption regulations around the world, including those for the FCC or for partners like iTunes, Netfl ix and Amazon. Also included in the latest release is 4k support and HEVC encoding, auto assembly of DPP compliant bundles and XAVC decoding and ProRes 4444 encoding.


Disk Archive Corporation and Squared Paper have combined to develop ALTO FM, a new hybrid storage concept that overcomes the perceived high costs that make the cloud unusable as a storage platform for long-form broadcast content in native resolution. ALTO FM combines on-site long-term disk storage technology with the security offered by content replication in the cloud. Content for production is held locally on the ALTO system with cloud-based copies used only as a last resort. ALTO FM is available as a multi-petabyte offering for DPP/AS11 tapeless operations.

Test & Measurement

PHABRIX is showcasing its TAG portable T&M instrument for the first time in Europe at IBC (8.E40). Using the same form factor as its Sx series, the TAG has interfaces for testing analogue, SDI and optical infrastructures. A SFP cage supports both fibre and copper modules. A UHD demo will also be available, with a new platform specifically for higher resolution formats likely to also be on display.


At IBC (10.B44) Cobalt Digital will launch a selection of new openGear cards including a quint-split multi-image display processor, a high-quality down-converter, embedder/de-embedder, DA, a MPEG multi-standard broadcast transcoder, and several fibre optic cards. The Blue Box Group is also being expanded with new units while Cobalt’s SPOTCHECK loudness measurement/compliance monitoring system will be upgraded to include full EBU-R128 compliance.


Sony is aiming to help content owners protect and maximise the value of their legacy content assets with the launch of Media Lifecycle Service (MLS). Divided into three service areas, which customers can use any or all elements of, it features: Digitisation, which includes Sony’s optical disc archive technology for preservation and restoration of assets, indexing and metadata; Managed storage and secure cloud based archive management; and Distribution and monetisation.

Facility Management

Xytech will introduce a cloud-based version of its MediaPulse platform at IBC (6.C22). MediaPulse Cloud delivers the complete functionality of MediaPulse platform but in a secure, managed offering, negating the need for customers to purchase, maintain and upgrade their own IT infrastructure. MediaPulse Cloud works seamlessly with Windows PCs and tablet computers, Macs and both iOS and Android tablets.


TSL Products (10.B41) will present several European product launches that address the increasing demand for workfl ows based on audio and/or video-over-IP. The PAM AVB range – for monitoring connections based on Audio Video Bridging as well as SDI, AES and analogue audio formats - and the AXIUS range of managed Ethernet switches will both be on show. As will the PAM PiCo Touch audio, loudness and logging meter.


Quantum Leap Technology are introducing the world’s fi rst 55” Grade 1 OLED Reference Monitor as part of the new ‘ODS’ (Orion Display Solution) product range. Reference monitors are not designed for showing high quality video; they are designed as a critical analysis tool for evaluating and measuring artefacts and colour. They are introducing this new technology monitor to the Broadcast, Film, and Post Production Industry due to the many benefi ts of OLED properties.



At IBC (6.C23) Cambridge Imaging Systems will preview the new version of Imagen, the media management and publishing solution, as well as demonstrating strong relationships with Microsoft, Quantum and Spectra Logic that will help users to create scalable, secure end-to-end workflows. Imagen 3.4 will reveal cloud-based object storage support for Microsoft Azure and Amazon cloud services.

Suitcase TV will use IBC (2.C10 and 2.C15) to exhibit new software modules for its Aqua series. Amongst them is TrakStak which allows a new audio track to be added to content at up to 80 times real-time without the need to re-ingest the video. Another, MetaGenus, gives users the facility to edit metadata associated with a programme or series without having a view of the media. The others are ShotLogger and the EDL creator Splice.

Quality Control

Venera will unveil Pulsar Pay-Per-Use (PPU) at IBC (7.C03). The new addition to its Pulsar automated file-based QC system offers users who don’t want to make an upfront investment the option to convert their investments to operational expenditures and adopt QC immediately. Pulsar can automate content QC at various stages in the content workflow including ingest, archive, and playout. Current users can continue to use Pulsar within their facility with the added benefit of pay per use.

Stand 7.D14 at IBC will be the venue for the debut of the Archimedia QuSee Suite, a family of tools for inspecting and measuring video, audio, and metadata. Working in tandem with the Archimedia Master Player, QuSee Suite brings validation and verification functions to the desktop, allowing users to perform tests on files rather than on SDI streams created from files. The Archimedia QuSee Suite replaces aging SDI hardware such as video and audio waveform monitors, vectorscopes, and audio phase meters.

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