Agama Technologies, the DTV quality assurance expert, has announced the launch of version 4.1 of the Agama DTV Monitoring Solution for IPTV, Cable, Broadcast and OTT operators at IBC2011. Visitors to the Agama stand 4.A55 can experience live demonstrations showcasing new functionality like adaptive bitrate streaming support, loudness monitoring, and much more.
The Agama DTV Monitoring Solution is a complete solution for continuous real-time monitoring and quality assurance of all forms of video delivery. It allows operators to maintain control and understanding of the service quality distribution throughout their deployments with rapidly visible effects on operations bottom-line, such as reduced time-to-fix, avoidance of needless truck rolls and increased end-customer satisfaction. With version 4.1, launched at IBC2011, Agama expands its monitoring offering to cover new digital video distribution technologies, but also adds new features and improves the solution’s usability, efficiency and performance.
OTT and Adaptive Bitrate Monitoring
One area of focus has been to add support for end-to-end quality assurance of OTT services and Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). “Our existing product line already covers the OTT head-end, offline verification of on-demand content, as well as embedded monitoring clients for multi-screen scenarios and devices like set-top boxes, residential gateways, PCs and tablets,” states Johan Görsjö, Director of Product Management at Agama. “With v4.1 we extend our offering to complete end-to-end support for video assurance in the OTT environment as well, by presenting additional components for adaptive bitrate streaming confidence monitoring and CDN monitoring.”
Version 4.1 of the Agama Analyzer offers a brand new active confidence monitoring feature supporting the Apple HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) format. It is aimed at all operators of adaptive bitrate services, such as OTT and unmanaged IPTV, but also CDN providers can benefit from this new sophisticated analysis feature to understand the service quality. Any errors in the session setup and HTTP streaming, as well as in the video content itself, are detected and will work seamlessly with all top-level functionality in the central Agama Enterprise Server .
Head-End Monitoring for Broadcast, Cable, IPTV and OTT
Agama’s powerful and proven head-end monitoring offering is additionally strengthened with a range of new features, for instance EBU R128 loudness monitoring support, a crucial feature to any head-end where video services are created and modified. Loudness difference between channels and programs can be a serious cause of annoyance for viewers and is also coming under regulatory control. This new Analyzer feature provides real-time presentation of loudness, as well as long time performance data and alarms.
Another example is a new innovative head-end widget that can show QoS and alarm indicators, thumbnails and real-time graphs for a configurable set of channels, giving operators a quick and easy way to gain confidence in the quality and status for all services. These features are applicable to all video head-ends, regardless of whether the delivery to the end consumer is broadcast, cable, IPTV or OTT.
In-Home Service Assurance
The last-mile and in-home service assurance offering is significantly boosted with version 4.1. Alarms can now also be generated on aggregates of QoS/QoE values for groups of devices, for instance when certain amounts of STBs or gateways connected to the same DSLAM report packet loss above a given threshold or average. Just as with the existing availability and QoE alarms, thresholds and metrics can be configured on an individual device group basis that can create alarms on thousands of groups. This function will further enhance efficiency in the operator’s day-to-day process in the Network Operations Centre and the second/third line technical support, pinpointing where problems occur.
As the home network at the typical customer site is growing more complex, reducing truck rolls and increasing customer satisfaction by increasing quality is a top priority for most operators today. Agama therefore introduces pre-integration of the Agama Embedded Monitoring client with wireless in-home network technologies, such as the Celeno <http://www.celeno.com/> (TM) Wi-Fi technology, further strengthening the operators’ monitoring capabilities in the home and enabling faster problem resolution.
“Agama continues to focus on supporting the operators with video quality assurance and monitoring solutions to enable world class DTV service offerings while lowering operational costs. The extensions we introduce in v4.1, with for instance end-to-end OTT monitoring support and integrations with in-home gateways, definitely take us forward in providing efficient, highly scalable and feature rich monitoring solutions to the market,” Görsjö concludes.