Leading cable and satellite broadcaster Playboy TV has updated its ingest quality control process with software-based solutions from Hamlet. The contract is for two Reel-Check file-based systems and four VidScope PC-based tools.
Based on a common software platform, running under Windows, Reel-Check and VidScope perform a comprehensive suite of audio and video tests, including conformance to standards for photo-sensitive epilepsy. VidScope tests run in real time, displaying measurements in up to six windows on a standard computer display. Reel-Check is designed for automated quality control in a file-based environment, performing a full set of tests faster than real time and only reporting errors to the operator.
At Playboy TV the VidScope systems will be used in pairs in the ingest suites, on either side of a video legaliser and audio compressor/limiter. The first identifies any technical issues which need to be addressed for broadcast compliance, the second confirms that the remedial action has been performed without introducing other quality issues.
The two Reel-Check systems are to provide quality monitoring for the in-house editing suites: eight Final Cut Pro and six Edius workstations. They perform compliance editing of content as well as producing trailers, station promos and other interstitial content. Once edits are complete they are transferred to a watch folder where the Reel-Check software scans for compliance before releasing the content for transmission.
“The beauty of the Hamlet solution is that all it needs is a PC and a good video card, a Blackmagic DeckLink in our case, but any card could be used” said Nigel Merett, Playboy TV. “Provided Windows has a codec for it, Reel-Check and VidScope can analyse it. That makes it much more convenient, and of course more cost effective, than its competition. I have had a great deal of experience using Hamlet’s conventional test tools in my broadcast engineering career, and I am confident that this set-up is going to operate very efficiently for us now.”
Steve Nunney, director of Hamlet added, “VidScope and Reel-Check are an ideal combination for broadcasters, like Playboy TV, who have both conventional linear ingest and a file-based network. They allow the broadcaster to tweak the settings to the house standard and compliance regulations, then impose them uniformly across the whole of the output. And, of course, being PC-based, they are extremely cost-effective: the Playboy model of checking all parameters before and after the legaliser and audio limiter would be impractical if you needed standalone instruments for each test. The Hamlet route delivers better quality, in realtime.”