Telestream, a global player in file-based media workflow orchestration, media streaming and delivery technologies has announced a major project with German cable network operator, Cologne-based Unitymedia. The project sees Unitymedia adopting advanced video monitoring and analytics platforms throughout its network, which serves over seven million consumers. In addition, Telestream will supply intelligent media processing and file-based quality control, creating a solution to provide robust, automated quality assurance to better serve millions of Unitymedia viewers.
The system will help Unitymedia ensure the highest Quality of Experience (QoE) for its viewers, position its offerings as premium quality and help ensure that the company’s technology investment is supporting its business development activities.
Unitymedia is adopting Telestream’s iQ solutions range, including linear and adaptive bitrate (ABR) end-to-end monitoring platforms. Specifically, Telestream’s Inspector LIVE enables automated quality assurance of acquired signals and encoded/transcoded outputs. Also, Telestream Surveyor TS ensures Quality of Service (QoS) across the Horizon delivery chain. For the Horizon Go service, Telestream’s Surveyor ABR passive enables passive monitoring of the output of the packager / origin server as well as Surveyor ABR active monitoring availability and accessibility assurance post CDN (Content Delivery Network).
At any time, Unitymedia has more than 60 thousand pieces of content permanently available to its customers. It seeks quick time to release whenever it has new programs and it demands reliable quality. With such a high volume of assets, it can only meet time and quality requirements when it employs a fully automated system. For this, Telestream will supply its Vantage media processing platform and Vidchecker file-based quality control (QC) system.
“By deploying Telestream file-based QC solutions, we are automating the verification process of contributed assets,” explains Florian Münz, Senior Manager, Service Deployment & In Life Entertainment Technology at Unitymedia. “Previously this was done manually: now, with the combination of Telestream Vantage and Vidchecker with our customized dashboard, we can verify that all contributed assets meet the quality expectations of our viewers. In addition, issues with those assets are automatically reported back to the content providers for a fast turnaround time and minimum involvement of our teams.”
“Unitymedia is a highly valued customer to Telestream – because of its visionary approach of how an organization can combine linear TV and OTT services alongside its commitment to bring the best content to their customers,” commented Raphael Burgener, VP of Sales, EMEA & APAC at Telestream iQ. “Unitymedia is pushing back the boundaries of technology application, creating a business model that is agile and focused on quality of experience.”
Quality of Experience key to extension of Unitymedia’s customer base
Unitymedia is a major player in Germany’s communications infrastructure. The company serves customers in Baden-Württemberg, Hessen and North Rhine-Westphalia: 6.3 million customers have cable TV, 3.3 million phones and 3.5 million Internet services – in all, 7.2 million customers in 13 million households.
“By deploying Telestream iQ solutions, we are able to rapidly decrease the meantime to repair of our Horizon and Horizon Go video platforms,” explains Münz. “This is done by monitoring both the quality of experience and quality of service, providing distinct insights into the real root causes. Moreover, the entire delivery chain is being segmented. In combination with Telestream’s iVMS and iVMS ASM management systems, which correlate all the alarms, rapid pin-pointing of issues is enabled.
“In addition to the operational monitoring platforms for linear and ABR services, we are deploying Telestream’s video business intelligence solution, cPAR. This is collecting all our data generated over several years: it provides full visibility of our playout platform´s health status – in one system.”
“This allows us to track service quality and gauge the impact of changes in the network over time. It serves as an information hub for the organization as it automatically generates customized, dedicated reports for various internal departments.“
“Using Telestream’s cPAR solution, we are implementing a continuous improvement process – reviewing the service quality, analyzing the gaps and agreeing on measures to improve those aspects. With the new Telestream iQ solutions in place we will be able to react very proactively to avoid any service and quality limitations that arise,” Florian Münz explains.
“We have trusted in iQ monitoring solutions since 2010,” Münz comments. “With Inspector LIVE, we get a unique probe that delivers video MOS values for all programs, both on the acquisition side and post encoder or transcoder. Day by day, this helps our operations team with trouble shooting encoding issues. In the long run, we can analyze which services require different contribution feeds for an overall improvement in video quality.”
“All Telestream iQ solutions can be connected to our central provisioning tool and database so we ensure real-time provisioning during lineup change processes. With IVMS and cPAR we have the perfect tools to support our process of continuous improvement for our customers,” Münz continues. “My team will deliver the necessary analysis and data for regular reconciliations with the operations, marketing, content and quality teams to make this improvement happen.
“Our partnership with Telestream iQ is important. The iQ team know the cable business very well and can support us with customized solutions. We develop solutions together and bring in new perspectives or find more cost-efficient ways of working,” Florian Münz concludes.