Fox Network Engineering and Operations Lab Relies on Video Clarity Real-Time Monitoring to Improve Internet Delivery
RTM 3G Tests HLS Streams and Helps Identify Ideal Equipment and Streaming Scenarios for Adaptive Bit Rate Delivery
February 06, 2014 --
Video Clarity Inc., provider of market-leading audio and video quality-assessment and analysis systems, today announced that Fox Networks has installed an RTM 3G real-time audio and video monitoring solution in its Network Engineering and Operations lab in Los Angeles. The lab is using the RTM system to test processing equipment and sample network paths thoroughly for quality of adaptive bit rate audio and video streams, with the aim of perfecting its Internet program delivery.
"Now that we're delivering content over the Internet to more and more devices, we have to ensure the quality of the viewing experience well beyond the TV set, and the biggest challenge in doing that is testing for all the variables in formats, encoding processes, and profiles," said Yves Montane, director of research and development engineering for Fox Network Engineering and Operations. "The RTM 3G allows me to compare HLS video streams, which is critical for ensuring quality on tablets and smart phones. Now I no longer have to rely on visual comparison alone, which is imperfect even for someone with a trained eye and years of experience. Instead I have accurate, objective measurements to bolster the qualitative testing."
Montane runs test material -- which has been created in the lab to be intentionally challenging -- through encoders from all major manufacturers to test which ones work best for which types of video on which end devices. An uncompressed reference clip runs from the video server into the RTM unit and then through different encoders, and comes out as compressed video via IP on the other side. Montane tests different profiles and different encoding processes for different scenarios to see which combinations introduce artifacts or otherwise reduce quality.
RTM compares the quality of the various streams and yields objective, quantitative measurements beyond what can be seen with even the most experienced naked eye. The results help Montane determine with objective certainty which profile and configuration will yield the best quality of video for which devices without spending all the available bandwidth, which in turn helps him decide on the equipment and processes to recommend for practical use. It also gives him definitive data to present to encoder manufacturers, who rely on labs like his to test their products and provide feedback.
Likewise, the Fox lab played a role in developing RTM 3G and its unique ability to test HLS streams. The well equipped lab's challenging test material and ability to recreate real-world scenarios helped Video Clarity take the product from prototype to usable solution.
"IP delivery is challenging, and it's hard to replicate that environment, but that's exactly what we have to do in order to create viable testing solutions. The Fox lab has the insight, equipment, and expertise to do it, so it has been a longstanding test bed for our products," said Blake Homan, president of Video Clarity. "With the rapidly expanding range of Internet delivery requirements, methods, and devices, most program originators are doing research to determine how to deliver the best quality of experience. Thanks in part to our collaborative relationship with Fox, RTM 3G will help them do it."
More information about Video Clarity and the company's products is available at www.videoclarity.com.
Video Clarity Inc. provides audio- and video-quality assessment and analysis systems for researchers, broadcasters, equipment vendors, and entertainment distribution engineers that must continually measure the quality of their products and services. Propelled by market-leading technology, Video Clarity solutions have been adopted the world over by major media networks such as NBC Universal and BSkyB; leading broadcast-product manufacturers such as Cisco(R) and Harmonic(R); and educational, government, and research organizations such as the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, the U.S. Army, and NASA. Video Clarity was founded in 2003, with headquarters in Campbell, Calif., and distribution worldwide. Additional information is available at www.videoclarity.com.