Monitoring a multichannel playout infrastructure
The French company LUTEUS, software publisher and longtime partner on similar projects with Ericsson Broadcast Service France was chosen for supervision of the broadcast infrastructure.
The LoriotPro BE monitoring software, thanks to its internal architecture of multithreading processing, supports the collection and display of thousands of indicators of presence and quality of audio and video signals. It also supports monitoring of the network infrastructure for data flow and the video servers and storage servers. Operators are informed in real time by audible and visual alarms; furthermore all events are mostly stored in history files for offline analysis.
A frequent problem for playout operators in such context is the monitoring of many channels simultaneously. Any absence of video or audio signals or frozen image (black, freeze) must be identified in seconds to trigger the necessary corrective actions. The challenge therefore is to inform operators in the second following the occurrence of a fault and then help them quickly and accurately identify the cause.
As for the audio and video streams, the numerous mosaics, Miranda Kaleido already provide visual alarms, but the simultaneous monitoring of a large number of screens, up to 16 channels on the same screen between SD (Simple Definition) and HD (Hight definition) video and only for the control of outputs is rather difficult. LoriotPro intervenes here by centralizing all information provided by the Miranda Kaleido equipment in a synthetic dashboard that clearly displays anomalies. Blinking object and sound messages attract the attention of the operator on the monitroing screen in case of change of status, absence of signal or loss of quality. For this, the power of the internal multitasking engine LoriotPro is put to use to achieve the collection by SNMP status indicators of audio and video signals present on the mosaics, but also indicators of active sources (ChangeOver) managed by IQHC3193 cards from SNELL. It is about 300 SNMP objects that are thus collected every second, analyzed and treated to provide a rapid update of centralized monitoring screen.
LoriotPro processing speed is achieved by the use of an internal database containing structures which are called Global Objects that stores the values of SNMP data collected or the values of correlated data. You will find on this site many explanations on their principles of operation and use. The functional principle of the whole, as shown on the image on right side, the monitored equipments, on the right side, the dashboard and amidst this Global Objects database and audits programs (thread) in charge of SNMP data collections. The dashboard (Active View) performs requests to the database of Global Objects in order to update the function blocks and status color.
The engineers in charge of the technical maintenance have access to detailed dashboard with the status of the components constituting the audio and video processing chain. The synoptic below shows the architecture used for processing chain of audio and video signal, it may exist variants as required in SD and HD signals. As can be seen, the doubling of equipment and routes within the signal path, but also for the outputs to the broadcast operators, ensures a very high availability. However, it is always necessary to know the status of all video processing modules like the failover modules and which outputs are currently ON AIR. The broadcast operator is in need of constant flows on the four outputs provided to it by the playout.
For supervision, the most detailed visuals like this image on the left were therefore used to rapidly identify the source of anomaly in the signal processing chain. Visual use an internal service called LoriotPro Active View. The Active View allow to create a large variety of dashboard like in Microsoft Visio but with dynamic graphic elements (color change) based on SNMP collected values. It is therefore easy on an existing schema to add dynamic status indicators based on the working condition of equipment, in this environment mainly by the audio and video processing cards (glue) SNELL. On the Active View indicators show the presence of the SDI signal in all intermediate stages of treatment and the current active output by the switches position Normal / Backup of departures 4 HD and SD.
Supervision of video servers, storage servers and network infrastructure is also performed by LoriotPro. LoriotPro sends SNMP collection from different equipments and stores them in dedicated Global Object (internal base). Are then generated result files in XML and / or JSON directly accessed remotely via the LoriotPro WEB server. Ericsson then uses this data on the client side (WEB browser) for creating visual HTML.
In conclusion, LoriotPro demonstrates with this implementation, its ability to adapt to severe operating constraints both in terms of volume and in terms of collection speed, near from real time. Furthermore, the configuration flexibility provided by the use of the integrated LUA scripting language allows fast maintenance and update operations of this changing environment.