Compliance and Logging

  • By David Kirk

Compliance and Logging

Contributing Editor David Kirk looks again at the latest developments in terms of hardware, software and services...

Broadcast compliance and logging had their origins in the Code of Practice recommendations issued by national public-service broadcasters. Its focus then, as now, was on social issues, programme ownership rights, proof-of-publication and technical factors such as signal quality. The transition from analog to digital production simplified the entire business by introducing the use of metadata for content tracking and allowing ‘as-run’ recordings of a channel’s entire output to be stored at relatively low cost. In terms of signal quality, compliance monitoring is a largely automated process which has advanced strongly in recent years. An accelerating trend is the inclusion of AI-based tools for content analysis. This article looks at the latest developments in terms of hardware, software and services.

Actus Digital compliance logging and monitoring supports the recording of any video, audio and Internet format and any metadata extraction. Compatible standards include, ATSC, ASI, SDI, TSoIP, SMPTE 2022-6, SMPTE 2110, HLS, MPEG-DASH, RTMP, DVB etc. All the mandatory and metadata requirements are included such as SCTE 35/104, Loudness management, CC, DVB Subtitles, Teletext etc. OTT monitoring is included as well. Any deployment platform is supported: on premise, Virtual Machine, Cloud based and Hybrid. It includes QoS and alerting system for audio and video issues such no video, frozen image, pixelization etc. and TS analysis (ETR 101-290). Actus compliance and monitoring is a part of a much larger intelligent media monitoring platform. Additional workflows are supported such as advanced clips editing and fast content publishing to social media, advanced fingerprinting technology for content matching, automatic ads detection and reports, AI based workflows for automation and video and audio analysis: speech to text, face recognition, brand detection, as a few examples.

Artec Technologies’ Xentaurix Media and Broadcast Logger allows multiple channels to be stored using MPEG-2 or H.264 video codecs. Features include secure access, fast content retrieval, validation and exporting. The logger is available as standalone device with up to 16 channels or as scalable system. Both versions have integrated data storage or can be connected to external servers. The logger can also be used as an IPTV headend in connection with DVB-C/S/T receivers. With the H.264 Anywhere transcoder and streaming server, streams can be displayed on various platforms, live, time-shifted and as VoD. Up to 20 HD or 40 SD channels per device can be encoded, transcoded, streamed and recorded in racks of 1U or 3U height depending on the type of signal. Media and Broadcast Logger functions and features are also available as a cloud-based service. The company’s cloud data centre has antennas that receive TV and radio stations from Europe and the Middle East.

Digital Nirvana’s MediaServicesIQ is a combination of cloud-based microservices designed to streamline media production, postproduction and distribution. It produces a record of transmission performance to within one second of a transport stream failure. Black frames are inserted into the proxy media to document outage duration.

Video fingerprinting auto-detects, displays and reports on the frequency and location of commercials and lets users add custom metadata. Other features include speech synthesis, content classification, subtitle generation and compliance.

Easy Media Suite’s Easy DVB Analyser enables operators to check all key aspects of DVB transport streams. It performs a variety of standards-based output stream validation tests. Supplied as software to run on a Windows-based PC, it can test for transport stream sync loss, sync byte error, continuity count error, PMT error, PID error and transport error, CRC error, PCR repetition error, PCR discontinuity indication error, PCR accuracy error, PTS error and CAT error. Also available is the Easy Multiviewer which can be used to monitor and analyse multiple sources. It can perform automatic tests for video and audio continuity, generating relevant alerts and logs. Audio level metering can be set to display multiple audio tracks or single audio track.

Mediaproxy has upgraded its LogServer logging and monitoring system to work with Zixi and SRT formats. Zixi is a software-defined live streaming platform designed to produce a low latency broadcast-quality service over any IP network, protocol, cloud provider or edge device. SRT (Secure Reliable Transport) is an open-source video transport protocol based on UDP (User Datagram Protocol). It is designed to account for packet loss, jitter and fluctuating bandwidth. Mediaproxy recently joined the SRT Alliance and will develop its LogServer monitoring and analysis technology for low latency OTT applications. “Being able to support two of the most prominent streaming platform protocols is an important advance for LogServer,” comments Mediaproxy’s Chief Technology Officer, John O’Halloran. “Low latency streaming is becoming more important for live internet sources. Having native support for both Zixi and SRT protocols in LogServers will allow customers to take advantage of our advanced toolsets for compliance, monitoring and analysis.”

Mividi’s TSM100 monitors up to 300 IPTV services simultaneously in a single system. It can analyse transport stream errors according to the ETSI TR 101 290 test guideline and measure IP packet jitter as well as media loss rate. Multiple TV standards are supported, including analysis of metadata in MPEG, DVB and ATSC streams. On receiving transport streams, the system can perform detailed analysis of the IP layer, including protocol and bandwidth analysis as well as media delivery index calculation to measure the media loss and IP packet jitter loss. RTP sequence analysis and loss characterisation for RTP streams can also be performed. If any values exceed tolerance, errors are generated and logged in data base.

Qligent has introduced version 3.10 of its Vision media monitoring and analysis software. Free to existing   customers with a support contract and running on Linux CentOS, the new version can be integrated with Wasabi’s cloud service for video, audio and data storage. Vision v3.10 is claimed to strengthen software security, improve measurement and more communicate performance through scheduled reports. Qligent also now offers broader access to on-demand reports, allowing customers to schedule enhanced reports detailing media performance at specific times.

The reports use the software’s real-time data analysis capabilities to gather specific performance information and generate reports for presentation on a customisable dashboard. “This latest release provides value for all of our customers seeking to accelerate their transition to cloud by offering a lower cost, highly secure and infinitely scalable storage and management platform,” says Qligent Product Manager Lang Cooksey.

SnapStream’s Monitoring & Compliance service is designed for use by local TV stations, broadcast networks, cable networks, and multichannel video programming distributors. It accepts inputs from sources such as SDI, ASI, TSoIP and HLS. Capabilities include loudness compliance, as-run log integration, ratings display, audio watermark detection, closed captioning compliance, SCTE-35 logging and monitoring, clip export with burn-in, custom alerts and notifications via email or Slack. A clustering feature allows organisations to access TV channels in different parts of the world using a single interface. Customers can deploy the service on their own hardware or on SnapStream-built-and-supported hardware. SnapStream supports Volicon’s as-run log and Nielsen ratings XML configuration files.

Stirlitz Media’s Logger software can capture single or multiple SD, HD or UHD channels from MPEG-TS over IP (H.264 & H.265). It incorporates a timeline-based player and gives authorised users instant access to any part of the recordings. The player runs in modern web browsers on workstations as well as iOS and Android mobile devices.

The software includes a logger which captures, stores and accesses multiple video, audio and metadata sources; an IP multiviewer which displays video sources in mosaics on one or more screens; an MPEG-TS monitor providing full stream analysis, reporting, error and statistics logging plus flexible alarms; and an ‘IP master control room’ allowing DVB and IP broadcast monitoring, visualisation and multi-level QC. New features added in version 6.8 include variable speed playback (50 to 250 per cent) and direct AES67 source support (up to 256 per server). 

Vela’s Smart Logger is intended for QoS alerting, air checks and ad verification, competitive news comparison, analysis of ads on competitors’ channels and clipping of original or transcoded media for repurposing back to air or online media. Version 6.0 offers new features including AI-based tools allowing customers to analyse hundreds of streams on site or in the cloud, to recognise faces, voices, logos, audio and video patterns, and to integrate that metadata with the underlying video. Vela has also introduced the ability to compare source content with one or many OTT or cable/satellite/return feeds for automated detection of where commercials or content have deviated.

WinMedia’s winLogger is designed to automate multiple channel audio and video recordings. It includes multiple features such as record scheduling and content monitoring. Automatic segmentation of recorded files facilitates archiving and content delivery. Up to 32 audio and four video channels can be recorded on a single workstation at a choice of quality settings.