Canada’s Newfoundland Broadcasting Company Monitors Infrastructure With aQ Broadcast Server

Canadian broadcaster Newfoundland Broadcasting Company Ltd. (NTV) has added a new aQ Broadcast Video Server (aVS) from aQ Broadcast to its monitoring infrastructure to support a new expansion at the broadcaster’s main facility in St. John’s, Canada. The aQ’s server hardware and software automation technology supports NTV’s news studio ingest, storage and playout, as well as its MCR/transmission storage and playout.

With 16 ports, the new aVS server is being used to monitor transmission feeds to and from a variety of different sources and to provide alerts in case of any problem being detected. The unit was initially set-up with 8 bi-directional ports, redundant PSU and no internal media storage (none is required for this application) in a 1RU chassis. The ports were configured as seven monitoring inputs and one multi-viewer output. Since the initial installation the aVS has been expanded with an additional 8-port card, with one port in use as a monitoring input and the other seven available to support future requirements.

NTV, which also maintains locations in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, is a long-time customer of aQ Broadcast’s QSeries newsroom and transmission software and aVS video server solutions.

“Prior to the installation of the aVS monitoring server we were dependent upon the Master Control operator to notice any signal loss or degradation across seven different service providers, in different formats and all on separate video monitors,” said Dean Sullivan, NTV Manager of Engineering. “With the installation and configuration of this new aVS monitoring server we no longer require the human element and intervention. The aVS system monitors everything we need, displays the video and any alerts in real-time, and notifies us of the issue via email – both initially and when the issue has been resolved.”

Last fall, aQ personnel were on-site at NTV’s studios to undertake hardware and software upgrades. While there they identified a completely unrelated issue with a third-party device downstream in the transmission chain for one of the output feeds. An aQ engineer was able to outline the ability of an aVS server to provide automatic monitoring and alerting for such incidents. As a result, a new system was delivered and has now been in use for several months.

While the aVS multi-viewer output can provide a configurable view of any or all inputs, each input is monitored for a range of error conditions, including signal fault, freeze, silence and more. Once an alert is raised, a message is forwarded to all operational and administrative interfaces, with appropriate NTV staff receiving an immediate notification. The system can also send SMS/text message alerts.

In addition, aVS’ fault monitoring can be used to trigger automated failover switching.

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