Tektronix Expands Compressed Video Test and Measurement Product Line

Tektronix, Inc. (NYSE: TEK), a leading, worldwide provider of test, measurement and monitoring instrumentation, announced that it has expanded its compressed video test and measurement products portfolio. The four new additions, Cerify(TM) 3.0, Cerify(TM) Lite, SyncCert(TM), and MTS4CC, will be showcased at the IBC trade show taking place in Amsterdam from September 8-12. The new additions are designed to help broadcasters and content providers improve the quality of the products and service they provide to their customers and to help drive the transition to digital broadcasting.

The growth of digital technologies has transformed the way broadcasters, production companies, network operators and video archivists store and use their video images. File-based video often originates from a variety of sources including multiple content providers and different post production and network distribution centers which means that the video may have been produced in different formats or adhere to different compression standards including MPEG, H.264/AVC and VC-1. New workflow methods designed to move video more efficiently, enable non-linear editing and support re-purposing of content, can impact image quality in ways that a human eye may not see while viewing the content prior to transmission. Cerify(TM) 3.0 and Cerify(TM) Lite are designed to help address these issues. SyncCert(TM) is designed to identify and measure problem areas of A/V sync in file-based video at different points in a broadcast chain. MTS4CC provides compression analysis of files for broadcasters and developers of file-based video products.

“In today’s highly competitive video market, broadcasters cannot afford to lose viewers due to poor quality of service,” said Todd Biddle, Vice President, Video Product Line, Tektronix. “These new additions to our product portfolio were created to help broadcasters and production houses deliver the highest quality products to their customers, and to further enable a smooth transition to DTV.”

Save Time, Money and Improve Customer Satisfaction
Over the past decade most broadcasters and production companies have embraced the transition to digital technology. Having content ingested and housed in a server-based environment allows users to easily view, edit and send content in a much more timely and efficient manner. However, the encoded content can be delivered in a wide variety of formats using any number of compression technologies. Often these files need to be converted to a common format for transmission or distribution and the act of transcoding between formats can produce unseen quality problems. Customers typically review content visually prior to distribution in an effort to ensure quality, however, this process can be time-consuming, costly and often ineffective since identifying image quality issues within the file data can be very difficult.

Cerify checks that content files have been correctly encoded and signal levels, color, and video and audio parameters are correct and ready for broadcast. It logs errors automatically and alerts broadcasters if there are problems with the files prior to transmission. Cerify 3.0 is a major update to the Cerify(TM) software, adding GXF and MXF file formats, providing expanded baseband video tests and offering numerous UI improvements. Cerify 3.0 also includes CeriTalk(TM) which enables integration using XML between Cerify and broadcast automation systems.

Tailored to Meet Customer Needs
Introduced in April 2006, Tektronix Cerify is designed for broadcasters and network operators and is the world’s first fully automated file-based content verification system. Cerify may offer more capabilities than necessary for some broadcasters and content producers. To meet the needs of these customers, Tektronix is now offering Cerify(TM) Lite which is designed for broadcasters and content providers who need to verify content but who do not require an enterprise-wide networked solution. Cerify(TM) Lite software can be installed on a standard PC, runs on Windows XP and can test files on the local hard drive. It offers a full range of video and audio codec tests, comes with user definable test templates and offers detailed on-screen reporting of the file parameters and test results.

Ensuring Superior Audio and Video Picture Quality
Audio and video signals often go through de-multiplexing, encoding, decoding and re-multiplexing prior to being broadcast. Because bandwidth is a finite resource broadcasters want to take advantage of the technologies that afford them the greatest opportunity for bandwidth utilization. As a result errors can be introduced at a number of points along the broadcast chain and new tools are required to help identify, isolate and correct problems.

Since the early days of broadcasting it has been a challenge to ensure that audio and video signals are synchronized. Having so many steps involved in the transmission process can often lead to misalignment of the video and audio components. To help address these issues Tektronix has developed SyncCert which is designed to check and measure audio and video synchronization of compressed video and audio signals, identify where and when synchronization errors occur so that the problem can be corrected before it is broadcast to customers. It provides a systematic, reliable and accurate means of detecting audio/video sync errors well before they are severe enough to be detectable.

The growth of HDTV and superior audio sound systems have made consumers much more aware of the picture and sound quality that is delivered by their broadcaster. With so much at stake it is important that broadcasters use the most advanced technologies to ensure the highest quality of audio and video delivery to customers.

Multiple video signal formats, such as MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264/AVC and VC-1, add to the overall complexity of managing audio and video signals. To tackle these challenges, Tektronix is introducing MTS4CC software that will help broadcasters and equipment designers validate operation of encoders and decoders to ensure compliance to industry standards. A variant of the MTS4EA EA analyzer, the MTS4CC provides compression analysis, error checking and reporting and supports a wide variety of video compression standards including MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264/AVC, VC-1 and H.263. It also supports a wide variety of audio compression standards including MPEG-2, MPEG-2 AAC, AAC-Plus, PCM and Dolby(R) Digital AC3.

About Tektronix
Tektronix is a leading supplier of test, measurement, and monitoring products, solutions and services for the communications, computer, and semiconductor industries — as well as military/aerospace, consumer electronics, education and a broad range of other industries worldwide. With 60 years of experience, Tektronix enables its customers to design, build, deploy, and manage next-generation global communications networks, advanced and pervasive technologies. Headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, Tektronix has operations in 19 countries worldwide.

Tektronix is a registered trademark of Tektronix, Inc.