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25 July 2019

Tektronix, Telestream combine – striving for end-to-end analytics

Workflow production vendor Telestream has completed the integration of the Tektronix video test and monitoring technologies into the core business after the two companies merged in April. Not only was timing critical for Telestream with video monitoring specialists like SSIMWave breathing down the neck of Tektronix in the video space, but also at a time where the value in workflow tools are under increasing threat of commoditization.

Plan A for the combined engineering teams is to go about integrating Telestream’s iVMS ASM management system across the full video monitoring product portfolio where relevant, specifically with Tektronix Sentry probes which the announcement credits for being key to bridging technology between the two product groups. It says the system allows operators to correlate all alarms within a network in a single management platform – enabling rapid pinpointing of issues and resolution of faults.

On the video side of the coin, we have Tektronix Video’s waveform monitoring portfolio and Aurora filed-based quality control capabilities which Telestream identifies as being critical when aligned with the Telestream quality management story. ABR video monitoring and analytics are high on the agenda for Telestream, aiming to advance its position in customer applications, particularly large-scale OTT video, and Tektronix’s experience with DRM assets is touted as a valuable area going forward.

So, while the Telestream Inspector Live and Surveyor probes combined with the iVMS ASM management layer provide video streaming service providers with what it describes as pervasive video monitoring, Tektronix’s Sentry system expands the range of applications beyond the core capabilities.

“Tektronix Video has a large installed customer base within linear broadcast applications, especially within video headend monitoring applications,” comments Charlie Dunn, President of the Tektronix Video Business Unit at Telestream. “Moving forward, the challenge is to match the product profile that best suits the needs of a customer application – be that a traditional broadcaster or OTT service provider.”

It’s worth remembering that the California-based company also bought playback analytics expert IneoQuest Technologies a year ago – creating a substantial force in analytics branching throughout the network to achieve something pretty close to end-to-end capabilities.

Telestream won a significant deal at Liberty Global’s German cableco Unitymedia last year, which has just been sold to Vodafone (subject to final German court challenge). It supplies the iQ portfolio of linear and ABR monitoring platforms, which includes the Inspector Live technology for automated quality assurance of acquired signals and encoded outputs. Also, the Surveyor TS ensures QoS across the Horizon delivery chain, including Surveyor ABR for the OTT service Horizon Go – enabling passive monitoring of the output of the packager and accessibility assurance post-CDN. However, this week Vodafone has said it will begin phasing out the Horizon platform for its GigaTV service (see separate story in this issue), so therefore it looks like a lost contract for Telestream.

Pre-merger, one area Tektronix was looking closely at was camera setup, which is more crucial than in the past given the risk of creating issues, such as noise in dark areas, which cannot be fixed in post-production. New techniques are also required to monitor the various camera log formats and conversion to PQ (perceptual quantizer) or HLG (hybrid-log gamma). Relative to this, about a year ago Tektronix added support for 4K UHD, HDR and Wide Color Gamut across its WFM/WVR 8000 Series and PRISM IP/SDI waveform monitoring and analysis platforms.

Despite serving a range of industries from electrochemistry to semiconductor switching use cases, the Tektronix Video division continues to grow with tendrils well-positioned to expand the Telestream business.