INDEX SOLUTIONS PRODUCTS SERVICES TECHNOLOGIES NEWS EVENTS CONTACT ABOUT US   LOGIN
  LATEST NEWS PREVIOUS NEWS ARTICLES AWARDS
Virtually there… media monitoring goes beyond hardware

By Simen K. Frostad, Chairman

Published in TVBay, December 2015



Being a hardware manufacturer is a great thing. It allows you to design the totality of the product and the user’s experience of it, to create a plug-and-play appliance that is uniquely fitted to its task. And there are plenty of tasks that are best done with the help of a piece of dedicated hardware, for many reasons.



An ‘appliance’ can save the user the trouble of installing and setting up software to run on a general purpose platform; it can provide all the required interfaces, ready for easy integration; it can be far more robust physically, and able to tolerate extreme conditions; it can be almost maintenance-free; and it can be much more efficient with energy consumption.

With all these advantages, it’s not surprising that hardware manufacturers can sometimes appear over-zealous in their advocacy of dedicated equipment. In some circumstances, another approach might be more appropriate. Sometimes, it’s necessary to think outside the box.

For many years, the trend in our industry has been towards using a general-purpose computing platform as the engine for much of the workload in producing and distributing media content. From the early development of broadcast graphics and editing solutions using personal computers, to today’s massive data-centre hosted regional and global media operations, the computer has carved out more and more territory for itself as a tool for broadcasters.

That’s not to say that everything can or should be done by servers. For the reasons mentioned above, dedicated hardware can get the job done more effectively in many parts of the production and delivery chain. And parts of that chain are still very much in the broadcast domain, staffed by engineers who are in their comfort zone cabling racks of discrete, dedicated pieces of broadcast technology.

But with the widespread and growing use of IP in the media industry, other parts of the chain are no longer a natural environment for broadcast kit – and neither for dedicated hardware appliances. This poses a potential monitoring problem for media organisations in that ‘horses for courses’ may be a good idea in principle, but so is ‘the end-to-end solution’, and the two might seem incompatible at first. It’s not ideal, in other words, to have dedicated monitoring products in a broadcast rack, and specialised IP monitoring products elsewhere in the chain – because they don’t talk to each other, and the end-to-end collection and correlation of data therefore becomes impossible.

The logical way to resolve this problem is to have fundamentally the same technology available in both hardware form and in software, so that there is a coherent monitoring solution encompassing the broadcast production centre, the (possibly outsourced) data centre, the headends, the transmitter sites, the viewer’s home network and the individual mobile devices used to consume OTT streams. Obviously some of this monitoring is best done with dedicated hardware probes – nobody really wants to maintain servers at a sub-zero transmitter site on top of a mountain. Conversely, a hardware probe is pretty much an alien presence in a room full of 400 servers.

The essence of this integrated approach is that all the parts – hardware probes or virtualised software probes – talk to each other as if identical, and where appropriate, offer exactly the same functionality and performance. The overall monitoring environment can then provide a completely coherent picture from end to end, with no blank spots or ‘language barriers’ caused by incompatible monitoring equipment. Engineering staff can track status and data from the satellite ingest, the IP transport streams at the headend, the RF performance at the transmitter, and the OTT service quality – all within a consistent graphical display.

By virtualising the functionality of the VB330 core network probe, Bridge Technologies has made it possible for media organisations to implement this kind of monitoring environment, and to make large-scale installations of virtualised probes almost instantly when scaling up server-based capacity to launch new services or extend existing ones.

One of the key attractions of data centre computing is the ability to scale up and reconfigure capacity at very short notice, so for media organisations competing for territory with new audiences and new markets, virtualised functionality is a vital aid. The ability to roll out services in a rapid reaction to some new market opportunity is increasingly important, but in this very contested field, where much of the content may be similar from one service to another, the point of differentiation could well be the service quality available to the subscriber. The virtualisation of functionality in production and in monitoring is an important development for the continued competitiveness of media businesses now and into the future.




NEWS
08.08.17
Bridge Technologies Reinforces Commitment to Interoperability at IBC 2017
At IBC, Bridge Technologies (Stand 1.F68) is focusing on how the company is responding to the industry requirement for maximum interoperability with ST2110 signal vendors and at the same time contributing to the AIMS, VSF, SMPTE, AES interop showcase with new analytics gear.
20.09.16
Bridge Technologies VB440-V Virtual Probe Wins IABM Award for Test, Quality Control & Monitoring
Bridge Technologies today announced that its innovative VB440-V virtual probe was chosen by the judges as the winner of the 2016 IABM Design & Innovation Awards in the “Test, Quality Control & Monitoring” category.
19.09.16
Bridge Technologies Remote Data Wall “Highly Commended” by CSI Judges
Bridge Technologies today announced that its innovative Remote Data Wall was ‘Highly Commended’ by the judges in the ‘Best monitoring or network management solution’ category of the CSI Awards at a presentation at IBC on 9 September.
07.09.16
Bridge Technologies Addresses New Classes Of User With Uniquely Portable Probe for Monitoring and Managing IP Networks
At IBC 2016, Bridge Technologies launched NOMAD, a unique, innovative and affordable tool for anyone tasked with managing, supporting and optimising IP networks and hybrid networks with RF signals.
30.08.16
Remote Data Wall (RDW) Receives IBC 2016 Innovation Award from Broadcast Beat
Remote Data Wall enables users with no special skills to create displays, extending over multiple screens in a videowall format, that deliver graphical representations of a broad range of data, significantly easing the monitoring, analysis and troubleshooting of media networks.

The OMEGA Program
FIND THE NEAREST SALES
REPRESENTATIVE PARTNER:

PARTNER NAME

COUNTRY LISTING

SITEMAP

SOLUTIONS

PRODUCTS

SERVICES

TECHNOLOGIES

NEWS/ EVENTS

ABOUT US

LOGO/PRESS

LOGIN

PARTNERS

CUSTOMERS

RESELLER




SHARE THIS PAGE




FOLLOW US