Volicon’s Observer ™ System Streamlines Broadcast and Cable Network Operations

September 27, 2005

by -- Volicon

Major broadcasters and cablecasters seeking to replace their archaic analog-based monitoring systems can view and log multiple broadcasts and monitor transmissions from numerous stations using only a desktop PC and the Internet with the Observer System from Volicon, Inc. The Observer is a high performance video monitoring solution that enables customers to perform advanced monitoring and video logging applications from ordinary desktop computers. The Observer is based on advanced MPEG-4 video streaming technology and is tailored to the video storage, retrieval, and analysis needs of broadcasters and cable networks as well as media monitoring services and Government agencies.

Broadcasters and cable operators can use the Observer to log their own broadcasts for government compliance, to monitor competitors’ broadcasts and to retrieve and analyze video clips based on as-run-log data. The Observer system’s modular architecture scales to monitor a virtually unlimited number of channels and makes live or archived data instantly available over a LAN or via the Internet. Its simple interface allows users to quickly move to an actual or relative time stamp based on the station’s clock. The Observer’s powerful search feature uses metadata to allow users to find and select clips based on key words in closed captioning data. And it is the only system that enables users to overlay ratings information in real-time during clip playbacks.

The Miami-based arm of global media and entertainment company Discovery Communications is using the Observer to monitor its 23 feeds to Latin America and Iberia and will monitor six additional feeds to be launched before year-end. “In addition to replacing our traditional analog tape based system currently in use, the Observer system offers us powerful new capabilities helping to streamline our network operations and ensure signal quality,” commented Lisa Hyams, acting Senior Vice President of Operations for DNLA/I. “Now we have the ability to instantly retrieve and email video clips as proof of advertising to our clients and remotely monitor broadcasts by streaming them live over the Internet.” Features such as multiple signal monitoring, bilingual audio program recording, (in English/Spanish, or English/Portuguese), and an email alert system which indicates signal disruption will be a tremendous benefit for DNLA/I, added Hyams.

“Working with Discovery gave us valuable insight into the needs of a state-of-the-art multi-channel network television operation and helped us define and implement a broad set of new capabilities that will benefit comparable users in the broadcast industry,” stated Eli Warsawski, President and CEO of Volicon. “Because the system is so user-friendly, virtually all contingents within the organization can benefit from its capabilities including the engineers, the newsroom, sales, marketing and public relations, corporate management and legal. With traditional control-room functionality this level of information sharing would otherwise be time consuming and costly.”

The Observer’s interface works with Microsoft’s® Internet Explorer® web browser running on off-the-shelf PCs with no need for special software. Familiar “VCR-style” controls are combined with color cues to clearly indicate channels displayed, whether they are live or recorded and which channel is providing the audio feed. Users can add or subtract channels from their display and switch between windowed, split and full-screen display with a simple mouse click.

Applications for Volicon’s Observer technology include:
 competitive news analysis
 commercial advertisement placement
 user rating monitoring
 compliance logging for government regulations
 overseas broadcast monitoring
 long-term video broadcast archiving

A basic four-channel system configuration allows 30 days archiving capacity for under $22,000. The system scales to record any number of channels and any recording duration by adding additional system and storage units.

About Volicon, Inc.
Incorporated in January 2004, Volicon develops and markets turnkey digital video archiving & streaming solutions for the television broadcast industry, including the Observer multi-channel video monitoring and logging system. Volicon’s proprietary video processing system, comprised of a video encoder and streaming engine, enables a large number of users to simultaneously access multiple channels of video content over a network.


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