Advanced Television

The VB330 10G probe, now with OTT capability

July 16, 2012

By the use of the VB330 monitoring probe, existing Bridge Technologies’ customers can extend their monitoring capabilities to their 10G based network interfaces. At the same time the VB330 probe answers to new requirements by the operators that are in a need of high capacity monitoring of Over-The-Top (OTT) or broadcast video.

VB330 with its capability to monitor thousands of streams simultaneously on 10G interface is a great addition for Bridge Technologies’ product offering of extensive network monitoring and analysis platform. for the existing and new customers the VB330 is a perfect fit for monitoring headend outputs, core IP network node locations and ISP demarcation points . It is becoming more and more common to use 10G based network interfaces on these locations.

These locations are the main content aggregation points in the network and thus it is vital to monitor the availability of the video content continuously.
By the use of VB330 the operators can make sure that their services are available without any errors and the cost per stream to do this is negligible.

Shortly to say: VB330 is a great value for the money!
VB330 utilizes a number of well-known techniques like the MediaWindow™ to simplify measurement data interpretation. For those who have used already VB1 or VB2 series probes it is easy to cope with the new VB3 series probe.

This is important, as it makes it easier for busy personnel to relate to monitoring information collected from different system stages. VB330 can be integrated with VBC which means that the operators can do monitoring comparisons between their 1G and 10G networks and make sure that the services are available on both network interfaces. For this purpose no additional licenses or products are needed.

VB330 can handle thousands of multicast on one 10G interface alone
Traditional video broadcasting contains usually 150-500 TV channels and the VB330 can easily handle this, as a matter of fact the VB330 can handle thousands of multicast on one 10G interface alone.

However the VB330 is also capable of OTT traffic monitoring, the emerging OTT technology becoming increasingly important.

The real strengths of the unit comes up when an operator adds their OTT services under the 24/7 monitoring and analysis and the power of monitoring simultaneously several thousands of streams is needed.

The OTT services is used in multiscreen devices like the iPad. At home environment it is very common to use PC or tablet to access video content over Internet and smart TVs are gaining ground. At the same time people expect to be able to access video content while in transit – tablets and smart phones have an exceptional fit for this need. What is common for different terminals is that the users expect to get good quality video for all of them without any service interruptions.

According to IDC’s Online Customer Behavior Survey (2008) the smooth play of video is the most important element for online video consumers. For this reason it is vital for the service providers to make sure that their OTT content is available without any interruptions.

Unmanaged networks
Delivery of digital media over unmanaged networks to subscribers involves typically multiple networks and peering points. This long-haul path presents many potential sources of packet loss and delays. The nature of video traffic and the enhanced picture quality requirements with higher usage of the services makes the networks even more disruptive. These errors however can be detected by OTT monitoring probes placed in strategically optimal locations in the network and the corrective actions can be taken accordingly.

In OTT environments the video traffic is typically transmitted over multiple networks . Most likely the service providers have their own internal networks to distribute the video content to a CDN. From the CDN the video content is delivered over a local ISP’s network to the end user.

The minimum requirement is to monitor the service availability at these content handover points . It is though advised to add more monitoring points in the network along the way of the OTT content distribution. In any case the service providers expect their monitoring system to report them if their video content is not available over this whole infrastructure.

The OTT video traffic consists of video transport stream that is fragmented to chunk files and manifest files that are carrying metadata of the delivered content. The main target for service provider is to make sure that these files are available in the network without any delays. The OTT network monitoring probes such as VB330 should alarm if any files are missing or the network delays makes it impossible to download the files rapidly enough.

1G and 10G monitoring interfaces
The Bridge Technologies OTT monitoring is based on an engine build in on existing probes and is available for both 1G and 10G monitoring interfaces. By license activation this engine can be used to actively join OTT video delivery and in this way analyze the availability of the manifest files and video chunk files in regard to the lost packets and packet delay. Based on the downloading success the probe will alarm and report if any problems exist.

The OTT engine features are available today with latest software release of Bridge Technologies. A single engine can be used to monitor all the profiles of up to 10 OTT channels in any VB1, VB2 and VB3 series probes.

An OTT engine will do round-robin monitoring for the 10 channels and based on the network connection speed and chunk file length one scan round will take from few seconds to few minutes. VB330 probe can host dozens of OTT engines which means that it can monitor hundreds of OTT channel feeds on its 10G network interface.

VB330 is a future proof product and offers service providers a sustainable and reliable path to develop their monitoring capabilities. By the use of OTT monitoring tool the service providers can make sure that their video services are available over the network and accessible by the end users with their OTT capable terminals at any time.

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