The 8 Most Commonly Asked Questions about Live Stream Monitoring

As developers of the first cloud-based live video stream monitoring system, we regularly receive questions about this new technology. Our solution, AnyStreamIQ, records and monitors streamed media for proof of advertising, web caption compliance, and quality of experience (QoE) monitoring.

Because anyone producing content (be it for print, broadcast, or online) can benefit from monitoring and recording their live streams, the questions come from a range of potential customers.

Here are a few facts about AnyStreamIQ, followed by some of the most common questions we hear.

Facts:

  • AnyStreamIQ provides proof of air for advertisers, proof of web caption compliance, and quality of experience (QoE) monitoring.
  • Because it is a cloud based Saas solution, all that’s required is a web browser. No installation of hardware or software is required.
  • By specifying the URL of the stream, AnyStreamIQ records the streams, extracts any closed captions and provides a browser-based interface to search the recorded streams. 

Questions and Answers:

Question #1:

Does the system alert you if there’s an error and what does it alert you on?

Yes, AnyStreamIQ alerts the operator to any loss of video, audio or closed captioning.

Question #2:

Does the user have access to view, cut, clip and email from a browser?

Yes. Users can make frame-accurate in and out points on video using the H.264 standard and share the clip for either compliance or proof of airing purposes.

Question #3:

Can AnyStream record Flash for streaming to Android devices and Desktop devices?

It records both FLV and HLS streaming formats for desktop computers, tablets and smart phones.

Question #4:

Does AnyStreamIQ record all of the bitrates in an HLS stream?

At the moment, the system records the highest bitrate available to the app. It functions similarly to an HLS Player where it constantly monitors the bandwidth and chooses the highest bitrate available in the stream.

Question #5:

How is AnyStream priced?

AnyStreamIQ is a cloud-based, SaaS solution. So, it’s offered with subscription-based pricing, which turns monitoring into an operating expense as opposed to a capital expense. The cost of monitoring can be spread over the course of an entire year. It also eliminates upfront installation and server maintenance costs.

Question #6:

We already have an in-house compliance logging system. Will AnyStream work with it even if it’s not from a known vendor?

AnyStreamIQ can easily complement any current, in-house compliance logging system.

Question #7:

Will it provide proof of compliance for the new FCC web captioning mandates?

Yes. The FCC set the following deadlines for closed captioning compliance:

  • September 30, 2012: Pre-recorded video programming that is not “edited for the Internet” must be captioned.
  • March 30, 2013: Live and near-live video programming must be captioned.
  • September 30, 2013: Pre-recorded video programming that is substantially edited for the Internet must be captioned.

If a broadcaster violates these regulations, it may be liable for financial penalties, and it may be required to ensure accessibility going forward. Failure to provide closed captioning can result in lawsuits and public relations issues.

Question #8:

Why is this something we should invest in now?

There’s clearly a growing need for online ad monitoring. Video is being delivered far beyond the television set, with streaming video delivered to desktops and mobile devices. Within the television broadcast industry, many broadcasters are inserting ads that differ from those running on TV. TV stations have to create logs of their streaming content to provide a “proof of airing” to their advertising clients. Industry experts predict that online ad growth will increase three fold by the end of 2017. That’s in addition to the new FCC mandates requiring closed captions on streamed programming for hearing impaired viewers.

Additionally, the quality of the video and audio is of paramount importance with the growing competition for viewers.  Content producers can no longer put substandard stream quality out there and expect the end user to remain engaged.  That is no longer an option.

That means that streams must be monitored to ensure quality – so consumers will stay tuned in.

Early last month, systems integration firm Advanced Broadcast Solutions (ABS) held its annual Media Technology Expo (MTE) for one day in Seattle and one day in Portland. The expo included a full schedule of free educational seminars and an exhibit hall with over 50 companies showcasing professional video and audio equipment. The conference attracted hundreds of attendees on both days.

Our CEO and president Hiren Hindocha participated in the expo. He offered MTE attendees demos of AnyStreamIQ, our cloud-based streamed media monitoring solution; MonitorIQ, our flagship broadcast monitoring solution; and MediaPro IQ, our content repurposing system.

Headquartered in SeaTac, Washington, ABS is a highly regarded firm led by Mark Siegel, who brings over thirty years of industry experience to his position as company president. The ABS team offers a variety of integrated solutions, from project budgeting and management and architectural design and engineering, to procurement and installation. The company represents a range of leading brands in the professional video and audio business, including technology from Digital Nirvana. ABS has successfully included Digital Nirvana solutions within its installs and recommendations since the two companies partnered two and a half years ago.

“At ABS, our top priority is offering service and products of high value to our customers,” said Arco Groenenberg, executive vice president and general manager at ABS. “Digital Nirvana offers technology for broadcasters and media outlets that ensures compliance and protects revenue streams. We believe in their solutions. The ABS team appreciates the value that Digital Nirvana provides in addressing issues and improving operations for our customers.”

By Hiren Hindocha, CEO at Digital Nirvana

As part of  the recent SMPTE session “Evolving Technology for Broadcast Facilities – Part 2” held in Hollywood last month, I had the opportunity to discuss some of our most recent technology developments to a room filled with roughly 100 industry engineers. It was a pleasure to speak to such a highly qualified, attentive audience.

My presentation, “The Importance of Live Stream Monitoring,” delved into why and how monitoring live video streams has become so vital to broadcasters’ future success. As live streaming has increased in popularity, reliable live stream monitoring has become crucial. Live stream monitoring, logging and recording also helps with compliance and ad run verification.  New FCC web captioning mandates require broadcasters to monitor and record live streams to prove compliance.  Additionally, online advertisers now demand proof that their ad campaigns ran as they were scheduled. The easiest way to prove ad runs is to monitor and record the live stream.

Our AnyStreamIQ™ is the industry’s first cloud-based solution for streamed media monitoring. It provides recording, logging and monitoring of live and recorded streamed broadcasts for web captioning compliance and proof of advertising. It’s designed specifically for the new streamed media monitoring requirements of broadcasters, content creators, aggregators and distributors.

While networks are equipped with the necessary tools to monitor traditional broadcasts, they’re lacking the same for streamed media. Currently, when broadcasters monitor streamed content, they do so with a labor-intensive, manual approach. A cloud-based, automated, scalable system can reliably monitor a broadcaster’s live streamed programming.

As a cloud-based subscription service, there is no hardware or software to install. Users just specify the URL of the stream, and AnyStreamIQ records the streams, extracts the closed captions, and provides a browser-based interface to search the recorded streams.

Members of a major network contacted me after the SMPTE presentation to see how best to set up a monitoring system for their organization.  I definitely look forward to attending more SMPTE-sponsored events and participating in panels and presentations during upcoming shows.

You can view a slideshow of my presentation by visiting this site.

SMPTE 2013 is the premier annual event for motion imaging and media technology, production, operations and the allied arts and sciences. To find out more about the conference, visit www.smpte2013.org.