Interra Systems Releases White Papers on ATSC 3.0, Headend Video Monitoring in Virtualized Infrastructure

Just in time for NAB 2015, Interra Systems has published two new white papers that are now available: “ATSC 3.0 and its Potential Impact on Video Quality Assessment” and “Headend Video Monitoring in a Virtualized Infrastructure”

ATSC 3.0 and its Potential Impact on Video Quality Assessment
ATSC 3.0 is currently being developed as the next generation standard for digital television. The standards committee clearly realizes that the viewing experience is no longer confined to a ‘static’ model of people watching TV in their homes. Rather, viewers are enjoying content wherever they may be – at home or outside, on a flat-screen TV, on a tablet or other mobile device.11. Content could be delivered via Off the Air/Terrestrial, Cable, Internet/Wi-Fi, or Mobile/Cellular.

In addition, content provision is now being considered at higher resolutions such as Ultra High Definition (UHD), in turn mandating better video compression techniques such as H.265 (HEVC). Moreover, with different users having different end requirements (display devices) the content delivery is proposed to be made scalable using layered coding techniques. For those end users requiring the enhanced video format experience, this would allow delivery of an HD version (of a piece of content) for basic service over a robust Physical Layer Pipe (PLP) and an enhancement layer over a higher bitrate pipe to bring the video to say, UHD11.

With ATSC 3.0 mandating these multi-delivery, multi-user requirements, the processing of native UHD content as well as the same content down-converted to lower resolution has its inherent challenges vis-à-vis Video Quality (VQ) monitoring. Therefore, a careful examination of the issues involved with UHD content delivery via HEVC within the ATSC 3.0 mandated ecosystem is the need of the hour.

With these considerations in mind, Interra Systems Digital Media Group’s Video Quality R & D Team briefly discusses the UHDTV format and follow it with a discussion on 4K content VQ issues.


Headend Video Monitoring in a Virtualized Infrastructure
A compelling alternative to dedicated hardware-defined video monitoring for service providers

Real time content monitoring has been deemed mission critical in the video delivery chain for service providers such as broadcasters, video headends and telecom/satellite companies. The monitoring probes are placed strategically within the headend where video processing takes place and at network edges. They enable service providers to detect and troubleshoot video/audio impairments that can adversely affect Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE).

Traditionally, these monitoring products have comprised specialized hardware with a dedicated, fixed interface designed to monitor a specific number of video feeds. They require a substantial amount of manpower for racking, cabling and configuring including connectivity to the surrounding ecosystem, all of which have associated overheads – maintenance of the hardware, energy, training, rack footprints, downtime in case of failure, and most importantly, underutilization of hardware. Scalability and flexibility, to accommodate growing monitoring needs, are known issues with this type of deployment. They have a higher cost of ownership and run the risk of having a limited shelf life. Over the last few years, the broadcast industry has been shifting from dedicated hardware-based solutions to software-based solutions running on readily- available dedicated IT equipment. The next step in this evolution is for the software-based solutions to work on virtualized standard IT equipment.

In this white paper, the Interra Systems team discusses why a software-based, virtualized monitoring solution can be a much better alternative to the currently deployed dedicated hardware-defined video monitoring solutions.


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