Snell’s Hyperion brings intelligence to signal monitoring

Snell & Wilcox is taking signal monitoring to the next level with Hyperion, a new content monitoring system that uses intuitive algorithms which mimic human intelligence. The goal? To provide dedicated audio, video, and metadata monitoring for all content throughout the broadcast infrastructure, from ingest to transmission.

Hyperion monitors what s within the video signal rather than just the signal itself, says Joe Zaller, vice president of marketing at Snell & Wilcox. It acts like a human being by making a subjective assessment as to whether all is right with the audio, video, and metadata content within the signal.

Zaller adds that feature is important because typical monitoring systems only alert operators when there is a complete technical failure which is a rare occurrence. Hyperion, instead, provides an educated opinion as to whether each element of the program meets satisfactory viewing quality standards, as well as the legal and contractual requirements necessary to generate revenue.

It also monitors signal quality across the entire distribution chain. “Conventional systems alert the operator to errors as they are being broadcast, Zaller adds. Hyperion works to ensure that errors are identified and corrected before they go on the air. This level of preventative quality control not only ensures the integrity of the playout schedule, it also protects broadcasters from lost revenue associated with program downtime and legal issues.

Among the unique signal qualities can detect are subtle errors such as whether the content is too dark or too still. It can also track multilanguage soundtracks, multichannel audio types, and the ever-increasing volume of metadata that tie together today s complex broadcast operations.

The system works by first enabling broadcasters to determine and set what normal looks like for a given content type or channel. If the content does not match up to expected behavior, the system can alert the operator. The extraordinary ability to monitor the subtler elements of content streams from both a technical and a human perspective translates directly to more trouble-free broadcasts.

For sports applications Hyperion simplifies remote monitoring by providing powerful tools that use metadata to track and QC content in conjunction with automation and scheduling systems. It also provides video thumbnail images over TCP/IP to enable visual confirmation.
To help gain traction among current Snell & Wilcox uses Hyperion functionality is embedded in all new Snell & Wilcox infrastructure products. This distributed implementation dramatically increases the monitoring capability of any broadcaster. For example, says Zaller, content can be stamped with either SMPTE UMIDs or in-house IDs during ingest, and these can be linked to the facility s automation system. At transmission, these unique content identifiers in the playout schedule can be cross-checked with the IDs that have been stamped in the content, at both local and remote monitoring points, ensuring that the correct content is going out on the right channel at the right time.