SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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Tektronix Ensuring Content Quality From "Start to Finish" at NAB 2014

Tektronix Showcases Latest Advancements Addressing OTT and Quality Assurance Challenges for Broadcasters

LAS VEGAS, April 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Tektronix (www.tektronix.com), an industry-leading innovator of video quality monitoring solutions, is demonstrating how its latest solutions address the broadcasters' ongoing challenge of ensuring the picture and sound quality of their programming here at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) 2014, April 5 – 10, in booth N5223. 

Tektronix Inc. Logo.

With new ways to view content, comes new ways for errors to be introduced into that same content. Broadcasters need to ensure the quality of their content from production, through post production to delivery to the viewer. To help content creators and broadcasters produce great quality content as new technologies, services and viewing platforms emerge, Tektronix is showcasing its solutions under the theme of "ensuring content quality from start to finish" at the show.

Highlights include a technology demonstration supporting a 4K upgrade to the WFM8300 Waveform Monitor, plus the latest solutions for Cloud-based quality control (QC), video quality monitoring of adaptive bit rate (ABR) content, in-depth HEVC / H.265 analysis as well as the latest in portable waveform monitors with physical layer measurement capabilities.  NAB attendees can see demonstrations of these and other Tektronix products as well as discuss their quality needs with the company's experts.

4k Technology Demonstration
Tektronix will showcase a technology demonstration of its 4k-upgraded WFM8300 Waveform Monitor with UHDTV1 (3840x2160) content. The demonstration will illustrate how Tektronix protects investments by giving customers a direct upgrade path without the need to replace existing products.

During the demonstration, attendees will able to see the upgraded WFM8300 performing a broad range of 4K measurements including four tile displays of waveform, picture, vector, gamut and eye diagram.

The WFM8300 Waveform Monitor uses a high-performance architecture designed from the outset to support the throughput requirements of 4K content. As underscored by the NAB demonstration, this means that existing users, as well as those who are in the process of making infrastructure decisions, can avoid the considerable extra expense of having to purchase new waveform monitors when moving to 4K.

Cloud-based QC With QCloud
Tektronix addresses the quality control (QC) needs of organizations running file-based workflows on cloud infrastructures with its QCloud cloud-based QC software subscription platform.  QCloud is the first cloud-based QC solution that meets the needs of the production, post production, broadcast and online video service markets operating file-based workflows on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other cloud platforms.

Processing content through QC software is a standard practice for all companies involved in the production and distribution of programming, but QC processing is computationally intensive requiring costly solutions.  QCloud overcomes this, enabling customers to replace upfront capital expenses with usage-based operating expenses.  Regardless of size, QCloud users can scale the system and their cost of ownership to meet budget and QC needs. 

Ensure Quality of OTT Services With Sentry ABR
Sentry ABR uniquely enables broadcasters and content creators to ensure that their over-the-top (OTT) video assets are intact and available for immediate streaming when requested by viewers. OTT delivery is increasingly being adopted by broadcasters and content creators in order to reach consumers directly with multiscreen TV Everywhere services. The key to OTT delivery is the use of ABR streaming to accommodate the inherent bandwidth fluctuations in the cable and telecom networks consumers use to receive OTT content.

Ensuring the quality of OTT services can be a two-step process in which the first step is to employ a Sentry digital content monitor to identify any quality of experience (QoE) errors in programs in the transcoded H.264 format for ABR.  If source content is in an uncompressed format, Tektronix waveform monitors can be used to ensure the quality of the ingested content. For on-demand content, the Tektronix Cerify file-based QC tool is used to verify that on-demand assets are free of errors and are correctly prepared for packaging. The next step is to utilize Sentry ABR to validate that all the OTT programming assets are properly packaged and that the correct assets are delivered when ordered.  This is critical because delivering the wrong asset can seriously degrade the user experience.  For example, if an asset requiring 1MB of bandwidth is incorrectly sent when network conditions will only support 500KB the program will either fail to play or stop midstream. 

Portable WFM2300 Waveform Monitors Address Install and Maintenance Applications
The portable WFM2300 – a member of the award-winning Tektronix line of waveform monitors – is ideal for installation and maintenance applications thanks to its combination of features, capabilities and exceptional portability.  Its features include enhanced eye pattern and jitter measurement capabilities combined with cable simulator margin tests. The cable simulation and margin test capabilities are unique to Tektronix waveform monitors, helping cable operators determine the coax cable margin of their networks to ensure they do not reach the "digital cliff" where the transmission error rate increases significantly and content quality suffers dramatically.

Users can further tailor the WFM2300 to their specific needs by taking advantage of its multiple optional features and capabilities, including 3G-SDI format support, ANC data analysis, optical interfaces with SFP (Small Form factor Pluggable) module, Dolby E meta data monitoring and loudness meter.

ECO8000 and ECO8020 Ensure Robust Facility Timing and Synchronization Performance
The Tektronix ECO8000 and ECO8020 Automatic Changeover Units work with a pair of SPG8000 Master Sync and Master Clock Reference Generators to form a highly reliable sync generator system for modern broadcast, mobile truck and post-production facilities.

The ECO8000 and ECO8020 hot-swappable, redundant dual power supplies minimize the risk of sync loss due to power supply unit failure. Additionally, the scalability of the ECO8000 and ECO8020 allows customers to configure their sync generator systems to meet specific application needs without paying more for unnecessary ECO channels.

Analyze HEVC (H.265) Streams with MTS4000 MPEG Test and Analysis System
The HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) deep dive Elementary Stream analysis capabilities of the MTS4000 MPEG Test and Analysis System help equipment manufacturers accelerate the time-to-market and optimize the coding efficiency of their next-generation encoders for mobile video, OTT video and 4K / Ultra HD applications. Content providers and distributors can evaluate the performance and interoperability of their HEVC equipment with the MTS4000 to ensure high picture quality.

Several of the MTS4000's key HEVC-related features and capabilities include the decoding and displaying of video from HEVC streams up to 4K resolution and overlays for Coding Unit (CU), Prediction Unit (PU), Transform Unit (TU), macroblock, slice, tile, and motion vector over decoded picture. All these capabilities are also available as a standalone software product (MTS4EAV7 with Option HEVC).

Wonder what else Tektronix is up to? Stay up to date on Twitter and Facebook.

About Tektronix
For more than sixty five years, engineers have turned to Tektronix for test, measurement and monitoring solutions to solve design challenges, improve productivity and dramatically reduce time to market. Tektronix is a leading supplier of test equipment for engineers focused on electronic design, manufacturing, and advanced technology development. Headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, Tektronix serves customers worldwide and offers award-winning service and support. Stay on the leading edge at www.tektronix.com.

Tektronix is a registered trademark of Tektronix, Inc. All other trade names referenced are the service marks, trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

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