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Snell & Wilcox Eases Burden of Content Quality Assurance Across Broadcast Applications With QC Station
Posted on Monday, April 14, 2008

Stand-Alone Automated Monitoring and Quality Assurance System Integrates Easily Into Any Infrastructure to Ensure Accurate Content Ingest and Playout


HAMPSHIRE, U.K. -- April 14, 2008 -- Snell & Wilcox today announced the release of QC Station, an automated quality assurance system that leverages the intuitive algorithms of the company's advanced Hyperion content monitoring technology to provide alarms and on-screen display of faults or anomalies in audio, video, and metadata. A stand-alone system that can be incorporated easily into any type of system infrastructure, QC Station significantly reduces the burden of quality assurance in ingest and playout applications and streamlines distributed operations by enabling remote monitoring from a centralized location.

"By monitoring content quality and makeup according to specific content and branding profiles, QC Station allows quality assurance staff to do more with less," said Joe Zaller, vice president of corporate development at Snell & Wilcox. "With the aid of QC Station, operators can handle additional video screens, oversee reliable ingest of more content, or manage monitoring of remote playout. In addition to providing sophisticated audio and video monitoring, the system features built-in metadata analysis that's valuable in ensuring compliance with the program schedule and with advertiser requirements."

QC Station uses proven algorithms to detect even subtle errors in video, multiple channels of audio, and metadata. Quality control operators can adjust the system's alarm function according to level, specific area of the screen, and type of content and station branding. QC Station provides alarms and logs content faults to provide a record of content quality and, in turn, support service-level agreements. The monitoring system is capable of frame-accurate measurement and recording of commercial content for the purpose of verification. It also uses metadata to detect program identity and parental guidance ratings. As a result, operators can be confident that the right content is airing properly on the right channel.

QC station also features TCP/IP connectivity, which supports remote monitoring and quality assurance. While QC Station provides a local display of faulty content, it also generates thumbnail images for remote monitoring over IP. Dual redundant, hot-swappable power supplies add system reliability, which is critical for remote deployments with fewer staff.

Snell & Wilcox designed QC Station to integrate smoothly into any type of new or existing system infrastructure. Those broadcasters that use Snell & Wilcox IQ Modular infrastructure products can build QC Station into their RollMap network control and monitoring system. The unit can be installed anywhere in the signal flow -- between the tape source and server for ingest, or as the last stop for signals before they leave the building for broadcast -- and will not interfere with the signal path or introduce new signal elements.