Dutch cable operator Kabel Noord has chosen Swedish video monitoring vendor Agama Technologies to provide a headend monitoring solution for its digital cable TV service. The package monitors all key aspects of the DTV service from the physical layer and the transport stream to the audio and video content. The system addresses issues such as audio silence, black screen, freeze frame and macro blocking, which can originate in a stream even before it enters the headend, but can also be created within headend equipment and processes. Discovering these problems and their origin requires content-level monitoring because they cannot be detected by regular transport stream or deep packet inspection analysis.
The deployed solution includes the Agama Analyzer H-E, with support for analyzing muxes on multiple RF interfaces and advanced monitoring of MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC streams up to the video content layer. The analyzer detects audio and video content conditions, while also providing syntactic and semantic verification of all levels of the TV service. The real-time monitoring data is handled by an Agama Alarm Server, a solution for alarm generation enabling SNMP, syslog and e-mail alarms to be filtered and sent to separate network management systems.