Broadcast Beat Magazine 2017 NAB Show NY/SMPTE Special Edition - Page 51

a flawless experience on every device. There are also many screen sizes and types to consider. On one hand, there’s the small mobile screen, but there’s also 4K content distributed directly to the connected TVs or to the latest gaming consoles. Traditionally, broadcasters and content distribu- tors install quality assurance monitors through- out their network to ensure that the encodings are going well, that the video and audio content is flowing through the network smoothly and sources of problems can be quickly identified. This is because there’s a lot going on in a net- work. For instance, when software upgrades are being rolled out, there are humans entering and selecting options, and a wide range of things can go wrong at any point. The need for similar levels of monitoring hasn’t gone away with the move to streaming – in fact, it’s only becoming more critical. Cloud monitoring considerations There are multiple considerations when looking at how to set up monitoring in the cloud. One of the most fundamental is network assurance and making sure all the assets are there and the network is operating as planned. Next is verifying the quality of the video itself. It’s important that anyone doing streaming, especially on live con- tent, can assess the actual quality of the video, the audio, and all the content going across, and isn’t just looking at packets. The final piece is diagnostics and having proactive tools in place. It’s not enough to wait for an end player to say, “This consumer had a bad experience.” Proactive tools can identify issues quickly and help techni- cians find resolutions ideally before consumers even know there was a problem. Another consideration is having a set of quality assurance tools that extend across both linear and OTT networks, whether it’s a physical network, a public cloud, or even a private cloud. Ideally, the tools should provide a common look and common dashboards for monitoring workflows, whether it’s physical or whether it’s through the cloud. Where on-premise monitoring tools typically involve hardware, everything in the cloud is soft- ware based, which provides a lot of flexibility to scale and deploy workflows quicker, versus having to change an entire physical network. It follows that the tools for monitoring cloud workflows also must also be software based, so as broadcasters scale to support more programs, more channels and more regions their monitoring solution can also scale along the way. Moving video and media delivery to the cloud involves working with cloud providers that pro- vide high-speed media workflow services includ- ing video processing and distribution. On top of that core, you then can layer additional function- ality such as content or workflow management software as well as video monitoring solutions. For everything to work smoothly, it’s important to work with vendors who have strong relationships with each other and have thoroughly tested all the various components you are likely to require. As shown in Figure 2, once cloud services and Figure 2. Cloud services integrated with monitoring solutions allow monitoring across an entire streaming workflow. Broadcast Beat Magazine • • 51