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less, so any new technology must help raise effi ciency. Calibration is normally a long-winded process requiring a lot of operator input and expertise, and very few people in the industry fully understand all the intricacies of ETR290. As a result, operators generally don’t have the time or expert knowledge to set the correct values and thresholds, and subsequently the monitoring they can achieve is less accurate and effi cient than it should be, with errors going undetected, and many false positive alarms adding to the ‘chaff’ produced by the monitoring system. This tends to lower the trust in the information provided by the system, and makes it diffi cult to detect and resolve genuine service- affecting errors. When faults arise, effi cient analysis and diagnosis is crucial to a quick resolution of the problem and the maintenance of good service levels. But in systems available until now, fault-tracking has required technical staff to wade through a large volume of analysis data, searching for the cause of the error. Tracing and resolving errors is made even harder when the test criteria set during calibration were imprecise and incomplete. Gold TS Reference makes it very much simpler and quicker to calibrate a service, and once the service is working correctly, it creates a reference that includes all the service’s key criteria for successful performance – including but not limited to those based on ETR290. From that point on, the stream is continually analysed and compared with the reference. Any deviation from the reference is instantly fl agged for attention, and rapid fault-identifi cation is made easy for the user by a clear presentation of the error condition, with the deviation from the reference values automatically highlighted, side by side with the correct values in the reference. The clarity of the display helps the operator focus instantly on the cause of the error, without having to wade through tables of data. Using this reference-comparison analysis of the stream dramatically accelerates the time-to-resolve errors – typically by a factor of 10-15. In operational terms, this means that maintenance staff can monitor effectively larger numbers of streams, because they spend less time setting up the calibration, and less time tracing and resolving errors. Gold TS Reference puts the ETR290 standard into the context of commercial operations and makes the best possible use of it. Rather than a box-ticking exercise, compliance with the standard becomes part of an effective monitoring strategy that delivers real protection for the service quality of digital media services.