Digital Nirvana Provides a 2012 Corporate Social Responsibility Year-in-Review

2012 efforts focused on educating children, feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and reducing domestic violence

Newark, CA, December 20, 2012 – Digital Nirvana, a provider of monitoring, management and compliance systems for broadcast, cable, and satellite networks, announces details of the company’s corporate social responsibility program this year.  

Digital Nirvana has supported domestic violence victim advocacy non-profit organization Safe Alternatives to Violent Environments (SAVE) and sponsored an international amateur online photography contest, Kalakaar 2012, to benefit impoverished children in India. The photography contest was organized by Vibha, a non-profit company dedicated to helping underprivileged children who Digital Nirvana has been involved with for a variety of programs. Digital Nirvana also sponsored the annual breakfast fundraiser for Abode Services, an organization that provides housing and services to homeless people and works to end the cycle of homelessness. In 2012, Digital Nirvana also helped support the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, Alameda County Library Foundation, child development agency Kidango and The Akshay Patra Foundation, U.S.A.

“Digital Nirvana strives to be a good Corporate Citizen and is making Corporate Social Responsibility part of its corporate culture,” said Hiren Hindocha, Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Digital Nirvana, who also serves as a board member of Abode Services. “Digital Nirvana plans to continue supporting the efforts of these non-profit organizations in 2013. Our goal is to positively impact the world, in both our community efforts, and as we continue to flourish as an innovative technology provider.”

Digital Nirvana has been working with SAVE for over five years. In 2012, the company sponsored the non-profit’s 10th Annual Breakfast Eye Opener, which brings attention to the ways domestic violence affects us all. The services provided by SAVE help to support domestic violence survivors, give them a sense of empowerment, and aid them on their journey to safety and self-sufficiency.

This year, Digital Nirvana worked with Vibha to sponsor a contest called Kalakaar – a word that translates to “artist” in Hindi. Proceeds from the international online photography competition benefitted children in need. Digital Nirvana pledged to donate one dollar for every photograph submitted, and when Kalakaar ended in mid-November, the project had raised $5,250 and gotten 13,720 ‘likes’ on Facebook. To view the winning photos from the contest, please visit: http://kalakaar.vibha.org/contest/winners.

“Providing assistance to domestic violence victims is a cause that’s close to my heart,” explained Hindocha. “An old friend of mine was a victim of domestic violence, so I’ve been personally affected by it. Services provided by SAVE and other victim advocacy organizations are critical to survivors of domestic violence. Because we feel that it’s important to have such organizations thrive, Digital Nirvana has supported various events and programs of SAVE over the past several years. Additionally, my wife, Unnati Amin, who also works at Digital Nirvana, is both a member of SAVE’s board of directors and a volunteer on their hotline.”

About Digital Nirvana

Since 1996, Digital Nirvana has been empowering customers with innovative knowledge management technologies. By combining media and digital technology expertise, Digital Nirvana makes it possible for organizations to streamline operations and gain competitive advantage with advanced product and service offerings. The industry-leading MonitorIQ Broadcast Monitoring System from Digital Nirvana is a full-featured monitoring platform incorporating the most advanced capabilities available in an affordable, networked appliance. Digital Nirvana is headquartered in Newark, California and has operations in multiple locations globally.

Further information is available at www.digital-nirvana.com.

Download this release as a PDF.

For more information, contact:

Robin Hoffman
Pipeline Communications
277 Valley Way
Montclair, NJ 07042
73-746-6970
robinhoffman@pipecomm.com
www.pipecomm.com

Ned Chini
Digital Nirvana
39899 Balentine Drive, Suite 200
Newark, CA 94560
510-226-9000 x707
nedchini@digital-nirvana.com 
www.digital-nirvana.com.

Editor’s Note: High-resolution product photography is available upon request.

2012 was a busy time for Digital Nirvana’s corporate social responsibility team.  Over the past year, the company has supported domestic violence victim advocacy non-profit organization Safe Alternatives to Violent Environments (SAVE) and sponsored an international amateur online photography contest, Kalakaar 2012, to benefit impoverished children in India. The photography contest was organized by Vibha, a non-profit company dedicated to helping underprivileged children who Digital Nirvana has been involved with for a variety of programs. Digital Nirvana also sponsored the annual breakfast fundraiser for Abode Services, an organization that provides housing and services to homeless people and works to end the cycle of homelessness. In 2012, Digital Nirvana also helped support the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, Alameda County Library Foundation, child development agency Kidango and The Akshay Patra Foundation, U.S.A.

“Digital Nirvana strives to be a good Corporate Citizen and is making Corporate Social Responsibility part of its corporate culture,” said Hiren Hindocha, Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Digital Nirvana, who also serves as a board member of Abode Services. “Digital Nirvana plans to continue supporting the efforts of these non-profit organizations in 2013. Our goal is to positively impact the world, in both our community efforts, and as we continue to flourish as an innovative technology provider.”

Digital Nirvana has been working with SAVE for over five years. In 2012, the company sponsored the non-profit’s 10th Annual Breakfast Eye Opener, which brings attention to the ways domestic violence affects us all. The services provided by SAVE help to support domestic violence survivors, give them a sense of empowerment, and aid them on their journey to safety and self-sufficiency.

This year, Digital Nirvana worked with Vibha to sponsor a contest called Kalakaar – a word that translates to “artist” in Hindi. Proceeds from the international online photography competition benefitted children in need. Digital Nirvana pledged to donate one dollar for every photograph submitted, and when Kalakaar ended in mid-November, the project had raised $5,250 and gotten 13,720 ‘likes’ on Facebook. To view the winning photos from the contest, please visit: http://kalakaar.vibha.org/contest/winners.

“Providing assistance to domestic violence victims is a cause that’s close to my heart,” explained Hindocha. “An old friend of mine was a victim of domestic violence, so I’ve been personally affected by it. Services provided by SAVE and other victim advocacy organizations are critical to survivors of domestic violence. Because we feel that it’s important to have such organizations thrive, Digital Nirvana has supported various events and programs of SAVE over the past several years. Additionally, my wife, Unnati Amin, who also works at Digital Nirvana, is both a member of SAVE’s board of directors and a volunteer on their hotline.”

About Digital Nirvana

Since 1996, Digital Nirvana has been empowering customers with robust, state-of-the-art knowledge management technologies. With extensive media industry expertise, Digital Nirvana makes it possible for organizations to streamline operations and gain competitive advantage with innovative product and service offerings. The industry-leading MonitorIQ Broadcast Monitoring System from Digital Nirvana is a full-featured monitoring platform incorporating the most advanced capabilities available in an affordable, networked appliance. Digital Nirvana is headquartered in Newark, California and has operations in multiple locations globally.

As today’s broadcast plants become increasingly more complex, monitoring systems must become at least as advanced, if not one step ahead, in their sophistication. It’s no longer necessary to maintain separate systems tracking different broadcast parameters with multiple operators running between disparate computers. Nor is that model the most financially sound way to run a broadcast facility.Quality control is too important to an organization’s bottom line to be relegated to a system that operators must ‘make-do’ with. The ability to cross reference all on-site and off-site systems within an enterprise, harvest metadata, drill down and take action on any issue – all from one central user interface – is what’s to be expected from a monitoring system today.

Our flagship broadcast monitoring system, MonitorIQ™, has a significantly advanced architecture built for both stability and scalability. Based upon Web Services (REST) API, the system integrates easily with other systems in a broadcast plant. It integrates with storage systems, multi-viewers and network managers from SAN Solutions, Evertz, Miranda, and others. Because it’s based on open web services, the software can scale from one to multiple servers and from one to hundreds of channels.  It is web enabled, so users can access the software through any standard web browser without ActiveX component.

Broadcasters today have a complex set of monitoring requirements. As they deliver an increasing number of channels, seek to implement a cohesive and revenue-generating mobile and online platform, provide signals that comply with closed captioning and loudness regulations, this rapidly changing and expanding environment requires a monitoring platform that is flexible and scalable. A one size fits all approach no longer works.

MonitorIQ can tailor itself to meet the particular needs of one broadcaster – as opposed to having a hard set of features that are not designed for your unique environment. A monitoring system for today and tomorrow must be built to scale, able to adapt to an evolving broadcast environment. And it should enable a simpler, improved workflow with fewer systems to track – not more.

One system monitoring an entire plant from one central user interface means one server, one operator, less technology to buy and maintain, less space needed for equipment and less power consumption. The end result is an operator who’s able to view and take action on all monitoring issues within an entire broadcast environment.

For example, because of the Advanced Metadata Harvester™ featured within MonitorIQ, one operator looking at one screen can: search any data and map results quickly to the video; create broadcast discrepancy reports that hyperlink straight to a specific issue; map problems to the channel and time associated with the discrepancy; and work remotely using an iPad, iPhone or Android interface to review discrepancy reports.

With all metadata coming to one location instead of disparate computers, diagnostics occur much faster. There’s no longer the need to jump from one system to another to determine which part of the signal path is experiencing an issue.

Among the tasks MonitorIQ addresses are: loudness monitoring, compliance monitoring, in-depth diagnostics and quality control; AsRun and traffic log ingest, watermark NAVE decoding, and automatic ad detection.

MonitorIQ can also serve as the central hub from which to manage multiple stations. It includes software that works with a centralized management server.

Broadcasters today need much more than a logging system. Their needs dictate an elegant and sophisticated system that provides an in-depth view of the entire environment and gives them the ability to take action from one, central location. MonitorIQ provides an efficient broadcast monitoring architecture that reduces operation costs and lowers the total cost of ownership. It’s what works in today’s digital broadcast environment.

With the recent legislation on loudness monitoring, broadcasters the world over are now required to implement technology that keeps audio volume levels consistent between commercials and their accompanying programming. This has taken the form of the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act in the United States and EBU PLOUD (R128: Tech 3341/2/3) in Europe. There are several additional international standards for loudness that require strict monitoring and compliance. These include: the international ITU BS.1770 standards; ATSC A/85; AGCOM (Italy); and others. 

Broadcasters and video service providers must be able to monitor for compliance and loudness regulations and easily troubleshoot and mitigate complaints to avoid fines from their governing bodies. The various legislation states that broadcasters and service providers must have a system in place to resolve and respond to complaints. The ability to log, monitor, and export loudness measurements is critical for broadcasters seeking compliance with this issue.

There are six essential features that must be present within a loudness monitoring system that promises to address today’s government mandates. They must be able to:

1)      Monitor at least 90 days of programing

2)      Provide visual thumbnails of what was playing at any moment in time

3)      Offer a printable time-stamped log of an entire 24-hour period or program, (providing both 1770-1 or 1770-2 values during extraction)

4)      Provide averaged loudness over a cut clip – This can be shown to the program provider upstream when a problem occurs. (It can be provided for a short form program or for a piece of dialog that is significantly not within the specifications.)

5)      Offer a convenient view of the instantaneous loudness level on the player

6)      Deliver alerts when programming is chronically out of range

Loudness Monitoring and More

Digital Nirvana’s flagship broadcast monitoring software, MonitorIQ, has a loudness monitoring and audio logging capability that meets all of those requirements. Contributing to the powerful audio capabilities of MonitorIQ is OEM software licensed from audio processing pioneer Minnetonka Audio Software, Inc. Minnetonka Audio’s AudioTools Loudness Measurement module enables MonitorIQ users to measure audio levels, perform quality control monitoring, record and log broadcast signals. With MonitorIQ, broadcasters can evaluate all common audio formats in their plant and be alerted whenever audio loudness exceeds acceptable limits. Loudness monitoring is bundled as a standard feature within MonitorIQ Essentials, Plus and Premium versions.

MonitorIQ incorporates Minnetonka Audio’s proprietary software within a broader feature set for loudness monitoring and logging of virtually all audio standards. With MonitorIQ being a 64-bit Linux-based system, and because Minnetonka Audio can upgrade its software to comply with any changes to loudness or other audio quality control standards, both products are relatively future-proof.

As the global leader in professional audio OEM licensing for Dolby Laboratories and DTS, Minnetonka Audio Software has been developing highly specialized audio processing software for over 20 years. Broad adoption of Minnetonka Audio’s algorithms for loudness measurement by European state broadcasters and major private European broadcasters attests to the reference implementation of the EBU and ITU recommended practices. The company’s retail, enterprise and OEM product lines are focused exclusively on audio, including encoding, QC, measurement and correction products for broadcast and content creation.

Digital Nirvana has licensed several Minnetonka technologies, including the AudioTools family of measurement products, for its powerful MonitorIQ broadcast monitoring system. Minnetonka Audio’s SurCode software licensed by Digital Nirvana includes technologies to decode and monitor Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby E. These industry–standard digital audio formats are widely used in ATSC/DTV and surround sound broadcasting.

Beyond Loudness

MonitorIQ is the only broadcast monitoring system that provides centralized management, automatic ad detection, a director’s audio track, as well as an advanced metadata harvester™.  The system also offers an efficient broadcast monitoring architecture that reduces operation costs and lowers the total cost of ownership.

Because the platform is based on open web services (REST) API’s, Digital Nirvana’s software can be easily integrated with third party products and can scale from one to multiple servers and from one to hundreds of channels. All Digital Nirvana solutions are web enabled, so users can access the software through any standard web browser without ActiveX component.

A powerful, new feature within the MonitorIQ Premier package is the Advanced Metadata HarvesterTM, which provides the ability to track any data the system logs and collects from alarms or from the broadcast feed. It can locate where the error occurred in the broadcast signal, collect forensic analysis about the event, and report that data back to the customer. It provides access to the data and to the mapping point of when, where and how that video was recorded.  This new feature dynamically enhances broadcast discrepancy reporting by allowing station executives and engineers to hyperlink straight to the reported video and view a problem or issue.

Digital Nirvana is actively engaged in the European broadcast market. Its European distributors include:  Broadcast Distribution LTD., LTRT, Video Signal, Twenty4Seven, Kapetanovic-Sistemi, and HMedia.

The ATSC mandate of a June 2009 deadline to transition to digital television marked a turning point in the broadcast industry. While many new digital technologies began impacting station facilities in the 1990’s, by the 2000’s a wave of technological change had swept over the industry radically changing the way broadcast engineers and television stations operated. 

As U.S. broadcast stations transitioned to DTV they were facing dramatic changes including the ability to broadcast a mix of HD and SD channels in a single transport stream, the need to comply with new FCC regulations, and a media universe that included viewing content on portable devices like laptops, tablets, and smart phones.

To fully appreciate the extent to which broadcasting changed, one need only look at the history of monitoring, logging, and compliance. Broadcasters always wanted to document their over-the-air transmissions to prove they were in regulatory compliance. Prior to the digital era, this involved recording the signal onto VHS and storing countless videocassette boxes or DVDs on shelves.

Multichannel Challenges

Even though broadcasters only had to concern themselves with logging a single NTSC signal, videotape was a very inefficient and inadequate medium for this purpose. If an engineer wanted to locate a particular technical glitch on the videotape, there was no fast, easy way to find it. Locating it required shuttling back and forth through linear tape, and oftentimes, the technical quality of the video and audio would be inferior to what the viewers actually saw on their home TVs.

While broadcasters were recording channels in their transport streams as highly compressed, low-resolution proxies on hard drives, finding a particular video segment on hard drives was still not easy. Storage capacities were limited and costly, and digital media could not be easily shared with others at the station even when there was a local area network.

As the industry moved to multichannel DTV distribution, the workflow for monitoring and logging transmissions for a single channel on VHS or hard drives was cumbersome, time-consuming, and inefficient. So it was completely impractical to monitor and log multiple channels as well as metadata—such as closed captions, Program and System Information Protocol data (PSIP), picture identifier data (PID), and other VANC vertical ancillary data—embedded in the ATSC transport stream.

High Cost of Errors

The stakes became even higher when the FCC introduced new mandates—such as closed captioning on all English language programming by January 2006 and Spanish language programming by 2010—and failure to comply could result in hefty FCC fines.

New Solutions

By 2009, Digital Nirvana expanded its software business and entered the broadcast marketplace with a sophisticated broadcast monitoring, logging, and compliance solution called MonitorIQ. With its Web-based architecture, MonitorIQ was ready to meet industry demands for a more efficient, scalable, and integrated solution.

Available in four versions tailored to different broadcaster’s needs, MonitorIQ records from one to hundreds of off-air channels and can store up to 90 days worth of broadcasts. It also supports IP recording, , H.264, and a wide range of video and audio formats, including Dolby Plus and Dolby E.

Rather than shuttling through tapes and scrolling through linear video to find what they’re looking for, engineers can now quickly locate the desired point in the recorded transmission by searching on the date, keywords, closed caption text, advertising ID codes, and other metadata.

MonitorIQ has transcended broadcast monitoring by becoming a quality control system. When an error occurs during broadcast, such as if the audio is lost or closed captioning is absent, it alerts the operator and logs the event. The log provides a link to the high-resolution video so the engineer can evaluate exactly what the viewer saw and heard. If an audio channel dropped out, it’s possible to listen to each of the audio channels separately, including any of the audio channels associated with Dolby Surround Sound.

Commercial Solution

If an advertiser indicates that a scheduled commercial did not run properly or as planned, the station’s traffic manager can access MonitorIQ via its Web-based interface and see first-hand what exactly happened. Since the station must typically run a make-good to compensate the advertiser, it’s vital to accurately log all instances where the ad ran and determine what went wrong.

By the fall of 2011, Digital Nirvana further expanded MonitorIQ to support integrated loudness monitoring and logging so that broadcasters could better comply with yet another new legal regulation, the U.S. CALM Act, as well as ATSC A/85, which triggers fines for airing commercials and other programming that exceed specified loudness standards. Loudness is an international concern as European broadcasters must comply with a wide range of ITU/EBU loudness standards.

In March of 2012, Digital Nirvana added Nielsen NAVE II Watermark decoding and detection of the watermark in the stream. If the watermark is missing, it can adversely impact ratings for a particular show. Since Nielsen TV ratings are the basis for setting advertising rates, a missing watermark could potentially hurt the station’s revenues and bottom line, especially if it goes undetected for some time.

Digital Nirvana also added an Apple iPad interface enabling more convenient remote broadcast monitoring using the increasingly ubiquitous tablets. A station’s advertising representatives can also use an iPad to access programming and advertising information during sales calls with advertising clients. If there is no Internet connection at the client site, the ad rep can play a half-hour’s worth of media downloaded in advance onto the iPad, such as a new sitcom, to entice the advertiser to buy time on the show.

Planning for the Unforeseen

While Digital Nirvana has expanded MonitorIQ to interface with third-party mission critical systems in the broadcast chain, such as Evertz routers and multiviewer displays, there was no way to anticipate all of the ways today’s broadcasters might want to use or interact with the system. For this reason, in March 2012, MonitorIQ made REST-based APIs available so that MonitorIQ users could customize the interface according to their own unique requirements.

MonitorIQ was designed from the ground-up to be extensible and responsive to the changing needs of broadcasters whatever those needs might be. For example, MonitorIQ’s high-quality broadcast recordings enable users to quickly repurpose the video content into edited clips for posting on their websites. Broadcasters can also use MonitorIQ to record live broadcasts of other stations, networks, and channels, and then extract newsworthy video clips for use in their own news and sports shows.

The reality is that broadcasters are dealing with new needs, mandates, and applications that didn’t exist five or 10 years ago. And the pace of innovation is accelerating. So any broadcast logging, monitoring, and compliance platform must be resilient enough to meet whatever technological challenges arise as the marketplace evolves.