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At IBC 2017, Qligent Will Unveil Match—A Real-Time Programmatic Error Detection System

Match is the latest addition to Qligent’s Vision cloud-based TV broadcast monitoring solution. It improves quality control by automatically spotting and flagging program content-related distribution errors.

At IBC2017, Qligent will unveil Match, the latest addition to its Vision cloud-based monitoring portfolio.

Match provides real-time, automated comparison of a transport stream's, video and audio to spot and flag program-related errors. The evolution of Qligent Vision encompasses objective errors (QoS), subjective errors (QoE), and now programmatic errors (Match).

Match software is designed for broadcasters, networks, advertisers, and regulators using any international broadcast standard. It is available as a cloud-based, software-as-a-service solution or on-premise software.

"Match can decode the transport stream back to baseband video and audio in order to compare that version with the reference data it captured of the program while it was in its native state prior to distribution. Match looks for programmatic errors and anomalies that may have occurred due to repeated encoding, multiplexing or other processes as the signals move downstream,” said Qligent COO,Ted Korte.

“The moment Match spots an inconsistency,” Korte added, “It triggers alarms and alerts, such as emails or texts, so that costly broadcast errors can be prevented or mitigated before they adversely impact compliance requirements or Quality of Experience (QoE) for viewers.”

Identify and flag

Match arms broadcasters with a toolset to identify today’s most common media distribution errors, such as airing the wrong show, or putting a show on the wrong channel. It also identifies programmatic local ad splicing errors, a foreign language on the wrong audio track, and insertion of incorrect program elements, such as bugs, crawls, time and temp, into the stream. It avoids mistaking a static image for frozen video, and identifies missing sub-titles or audio.

According to Korte, programmatic errors are on the rise as broadcasters increasingly outsource their master control operations and other functions to third parties; and as video networks expand broadcast content delivery via terrestrial, cable, satellite and over-the-top (OTT) video platforms.

“These errors are generally not caught by the usual quality control (QC) methods that are in place because there is nothing technically wrong with the signal but rather the program content it contains,” said Korte.

For example, Match immediately recognizes if a program was intended for 16:9 HDTV broadcast, but was mistakenly re-encoded or multiplexed as letterboxed. The system can also prevent false alarm triggers for frozen video during playout when, in reality, the imagery is a static graphic was intentionally left onscreen while its associated audio kept going. This is a common occurrence with infomercials, weather maps, and other seemingly static content.

Match can automatically alert users when a mismatch is detected, and generate a full recording of both the reference stream and monitored stream. It will also quickly provide a visual representation with thumbnails, which makes it easier to verify whether there is a problem with the content.

While the original Match reference data is not embedded in the transport stream, this ancillary data is readily available for reference at any point in the workflow.

“Without this capability, as long as the video is playing out smoothly, the on-duty network operator might not realize that there’s a big problem. Maybe the EPG calls for the Big Bang Theory to be on that channel, but they’re airing a documentary instead,” Korte said. “And the wrong show could run for quite some time before the mistake is finally caught, usually when a confused or angry viewer calls in to report the issue.”

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