Telestream, a privately held provider of software and hardware products for video processing, has completed integration of video test, monitoring and quality assurance products from Tektronix. This came three months after the announcement that Telestream would acquire Tektronix Video in April 2019.
Telestream’s CEO Scott Puopolo has reaffirmed the company’s intention to continue investing across its entire integrated portfolio, implying there will be no rationalization because the product lines do not overlap. “We are combining two strong product lines that are complementary,” claimed Puopolo. “By bringing together the best of each product line in stream monitoring and Quality of Experience (QoE) applications, we can create better products that more completely address the needs of our customers.”
The key benefit for existing users of Tektronix monitoring products will be improved higher level management and alert correlation, according to Telestream. The respective engineering teams intend to integrate Telestream’ s iVMS ASM management system across all of its relevant video monitoring product portfolio. This system allows operators to correlate all the alarms within a network in a single management platform, enabling faster pinpointing of issues and resolution of faults. Both companies contend that this integration of iVMS ASM with Tektronix Sentry probes will provide a vital bridging technology between the two product groups, significantly enhancing Sentry’s application potential.
For some Telestream customers, a benefit of the merger will come from the combination of Tektronix Video’s waveform monitoring portfolio and Aurora file-based quality control (QC) with Telestream’ s own quality management products, according to the two companies. Telestream’ s President of the Video Quality Monitoring and Analytics Business Calvin Harrison singled out OTT service providers as a particular target for the combined portfolio, admitting that Tektronix would increase its appeal in this sector where need for effective QoS monitoring is paramount.
Tektronix and Telestream’s product lines are complementary, according to the latter’s CEO Scott Puopolo.
“Any large-scale OTT service provider needs deep seated, pervasive video monitoring across their networks, and this is provided by our Inspector Live and Surveyor probes in combination with an iVMS ASM management layer,” said Harrison. “However, Tektronix’s Sentry system expands the range of applications beyond the core capabilities of the iQ system and so expands our overall application range.”
Incorporation of Tektronix technology and products strengthens Telestream’ s position among the top video monitoring and quality assurance vendors, alongside the likes of Agama Technologies, NETSCOUT, Cisco, Conviva and SSIMWave. Sizing this market is difficult because it is a broad field with the respective vendors spreading out in different directions, with varying specialties or focuses. Tektronix Video itself is strongest in video head end monitoring, while Conviva has made a big play for overall QoS and also advertising monitoring. Conviva’s Ad Insights measures delivery, experience and completion rate of video ads, so monitors both quality aspects based for example on bit rate at playback, as well as the user’s response to ads.
Then Sweden’s Agama has a range of analyzers and probes targeting the whole end to end delivery chain from headend to client device, having set out its stall from the outset with a focus on the overlying service rather than individual components.
SSIMWave is interesting because it grew from early breakthroughs in perceptual quality measurement revolving around prediction of what the user visual experience will be. The company claims its structural similarity (SSIM) algorithm is the only one so far to exceed 90% correlation accuracy between computed objective virtualization and subjective human opinion scores across all video content. This algorithm has roots in the so-called Universal Quality Index (UQI), or Wang–Bovik Index, developed by SSIMWave’s co-founder Zhou Wang and Alan Bovik in 2001. This evolved into the current version of SSIM.
To add further confusion, video quality assurance is converging somewhat with the field of content monitoring, where the initial aim was compliance with regulations. This convergence is occurring around AI and machine learning as service providers and broadcasters seek to automate analysis of content with detection of objects, people and events within individual frames. Major players in the global broadcast content monitoring market include Actus Technology Corporation, Verizon Media, Arbor Media, Kantar Media, CARMA International and Mediaproxy, but we can anticipate some convergence with video quality assurance.
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