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Satnews Daily
October 25th, 2011

SatBroadcasting™ — This report includes new information from Bridge Technologies, Signiant, Utah Scientific, Wowza Meia Systems

[SatNews] Breaking news items for those who have an interest in the various satellite broadcasting industries....

  • Bridge Technologies has begun shipping an enhanced version of their microVB miniaturized digital media probe for subscriber premises. With its ability to report second-by-second data on all traffic passing through the STB, combined with new functionality for analyzing OTT service quality, the microVB 2.0 provides the industry's most complete capability for monitoring the viewer experience in the multiservice, multiscreen market. Widely deployed by major service providers, Bridge Technologies' microVB is the industry's only viable solution for monitoring at the STB, delivering massive maintenance cost savings for digital media operators by giving unprecedented access to accurate and continuous information about the service quality experienced by the subscriber. microVB 2.0 provides data-gathering capabilities that allow operators to monitor every factor influencing QoS and the viewer experience, including interactions between triple-play services, contention for bandwidth with Internet streaming media, and OTT service degradation. The microVB 2.0's OTT capabilities make use of specialized parameters developed by Bridge Technologies for monitoring ABR streams. The device offers an extensive protocol breakdown of all packets flowing between the residential gateway and the STB. Performance details such as peak, average, and total bandwidth are given for all the packets categorized into 25 separate protocol summaries. The data is graphically represented to assist quick appraisal. microVB 2.0 networks are readily scalable, with each central microVB server supporting thousands of microVB probes in individual subscriber premises. To simplify deployment across a wide range of network configurations, the microVB self-connects to the server using either multicast or unicast protocols and streamlines the administration of large networks by automatically naming each stream. As many as four simultaneous streams can be supported by each microVB, with each stream measuring continuous data including bandwidth, MLR (media loss rate), IAT (inter-packet arrival time), and RTP (real-time protocol) drops. The microVB sends the collated data to Bridge Technologies' MDC controller/server for detailed analysis and graphical presentation. All data are made available in XML format by the MDC to allow customized analysis by third-party systems.

  • Signiant today announced that the company's board of directors has selected Margaret Craig to serve as CEO. Following on a career devoted to leading businesses in the media technology sector, Craig has joined Signiant to guide the company through its next stage of accelerated growth within the media and entertainment industry. Henry Ancona, chairman of the board, Signiant, said, "She is a well-regarded business leader who also brings a technical background to the mix, as well as extensive senior-level working relationships throughout the global media ecosystem. Margaret's broad international experience, including operational roles in Canada and the U.K. and direct responsibility for Asian operations, will be invaluable as Signiant continues to build its global brand." Craig's background includes executive roles in various parts of the media industry, including both product companies and managed services businesses. She recently served as COO of Network Services for Ascent Media Group, which provided media management, content distribution, and 24/7 on-air broadcast services to media companies. Other previous senior positions include CEO at Leitch Technology Corporation, a publicly traded global provider of technical infrastructure for professional television; and president of Snell and Wilcox USA. Early in her career, Craig also served in various engineering and management roles at Tektronix. She has a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Iowa State University.

  • Utah Scientific revealed that WDRB Fox 41, in Louisville, Kentucky, installed a UTAH-400/64 digital routing switcher and a two-channel MC-4000 master control switcher with two MCP-2020 master control panels. WDRB is the only station in its market to produce an all-HD newscast, and is the market leader in terms of hours of local news per weekday. The new equipment serves as the backbone for WDRB's HD operation. The UTAH-400/64 unit provides routing for all incoming and outgoing HD signals supporting WDRB newscasts, as well as those of sister station WMYO, a MyNetworkTV affiliate. The master control channels are highly configurable and customizable, and integrate easily with WDRB's Utah Scientific GS-4000 graphics station. Housed in a compact 9-RU frame that includes dual power supplies and optional redundant crosspoints, the UTAH-400 is specifically designed to address the growing requirement for large switching systems with its ability to expand from 8x8 to 1152x1152 and beyond. Its revolutionary matrix architecture greatly reduces the complexity of large systems, resulting in considerable reduction in rack space and power requirements, and yielding significant cost reductions. The MC-4000 master controller is an integrated system for handling the most demanding on-air operations in live, automated, or automation-assisted operating environments. The MC-4000 offers built-in capabilities to handle all of the most commonly required on-air operations, including still and animated logo insertion, audio and video clip playback, and reliable, foolproof DASDECEAS messaging.

  • Wowza® Media Systems has introduced a major milestone in the evolution of media streaming with Wowza Media Server® 3, the next generation of its award-winning software platform that provides a single extensible foundation and value-added components for "Any Screen Done Right™" media delivery. The software offers the broadest any-screen coverage for Flash®- and Silverlight®-capable computers, tablets, phones, set-top boxes, media players, and game consoles; Apple® iPhone®/iPad® and other HLS-capable devices such as Apple TV® with AirPlay®; Android™ devices; Roku® media players; and Internet-connected TVs including Samsung® Smart TV™ and Google TV™-powered sets. The Wowza Media Server 3 platform advances media streaming to a new level of simplicity and cost-effectiveness with a variety of AddOn components that help organizations of any size to deliver live and on-demand content efficiently. With Wowza Media Server 3, formerly hard-to-implement features such as adaptive bitrate (ABR) streaming, time-shifted playback, and integrated rights management are made simple and cost-effective. Wowza Media Server 3 is the ideal media platform for revenue-generating services for an ever-growing number of destinations. New capabilities of the Wowza Media Server 3 platform include:
    • Integrated live adaptive bitrate (ABR) transcoding enabled by Wowza TranscoderAddOn eliminates the provisioning complexity typical of adaptive bitrate streaming, reduces needed access bandwidth by up to 80 percent, and enables better utilization of network resources such as routers and switches. Wowza Transcoder takes advantage of standard hardware to transform incoming live streams from encoders, IP cameras, IPTV headends, and other live sources into multiple stream sets for Flash RTMP and HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS), HLS, smooth streaming, and non-adaptive delivery for RTSP/RTP and MPEG-TS
    • Any-screen time-shifted delivery of live streams with Wowza nDVRAddOn enables Wowza licensees to increase revenues and viewer engagement by delivering premium catch-up TV services. Wowza nDVR significantly reduces cost by minimizing network storage requirements and simplifying the delivery workflow for all screens
    • Support for multiple studio-approved DRM platforms provides content owners and delivery networks with robust and truly secure streaming with on-the-fly encryption for both live and on-demand content to any screen — computers, mobile devices, and TVs — with a choice of industry-leading digital rights management platforms, including Verimatrix® VCAS™ and Microsoft PlayReady®
    • Unconstrained per-server capacity with no CPU core limitations means media publishers can take full advantage of the highly-threaded multicore hardware for even higher streaming efficiency and cost-effectiveness
    • Flexible and cost-effective licensing choices for any application and budget, including a risk-free monthly subscription license that requires no upfront investment and which provides free upgrades, automatic volume discounts, and the convenience of using any number of servers and AddOns with a single license key