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Observer wins big for monitoring + logging

Volicon's Observer Enterprise digital video monitoring and logging system has become a central element used by the world's largest 24x7 sports broadcaster and other leading US sports broadcast networks.

Volicon’s Observer Enterprise digital video monitoring and logging system has become a central element used by the world’s largest 24×7 sports broadcaster and other leading US sports broadcast networks, writes David Fox.

It has made significant wins in the past year, that resulted in Observer installations providing continuous monitoring and recording of some of America’s best-known sports channels.

“The Observer Enterprise system is popular within the sports broadcast market because it does so much more than provide reliable continuous recording and easy media access for compliance purposes,” claimed Mike Asebrook, senior director of product marketing at Volicon.

“What Volicon provides and what sports broadcasters require for their advanced monitoring and logging needs appear to be a perfect match. Users in this demanding 24×7 sports delivery environment focus on getting the most out of new technologies across their organizations, and the Observer system offers functionality that’s valuable in a wide variety of use cases. It is common that virtually every department in a media enterprise uses the Observer platform on a daily basis.”

Volicon Observer products capture, store, and index broadcast content from multiple channels and a variety of inputs, offering users simultaneous 24×7 web access to video from their computers. It also facilitates audio/visual content identification, live and archived content detection, matched clip export, and alerting via SNMP, SMS, and email.

At sports networks, such as Comcast SportsNet New England (CSNNE), the sales, traffic, programming, production, and engineering departments all use Observer to resolve quality and content issues such as discrepancies with airing of commercials or other promos. Users log on via a web browser, find and validate the appropriate content, and create and send clips to other internal users or customers as proof of delivery.

Because the Observer system supports text-based Boolean search queries through recorded closed captions, those networks that caption all of their programming can quickly locate even promo items that are simple reads during a broadcast. Integration with industry-standard as-run logs supports searches based on programme, as well as time. The scrub viewing function gives users quick mouse or keyboard control to quickly locate what happened.

Sports broadcasters also employ Observer to support long-term archiving. With decades of content, archiving is critical for future repurposing. Interfacing smoothly with standard HSM systems, the Volicon system gives users immediate access to archives.

Volicon has recently added MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 Transport Stream logging with Observer TS, which simplifies ASI, IP or DVB troubleshooting, chronic resolution, and regulatory proof of conformance.

It also offers improved logging density (more streams per rack unit), with low resolution proxy for affordable long-term storage, realtime integrated loudness monitoring, and offline analysis of MPEG metadata (AC-3, Dialnorm, PSIP, DVB-Subtitles, TR 101 290).