The Telos Alliance®—leader in broadcast radio and TV technology and parent company to Telos®, Omnia®, Axia®, 25-Seven®, Linear Acoustic®, and Minnetonka™—announced today that it has launched a new product, the 25-Seven TVC-15 Broadcast Watermark Analyzer & Monitor.
Think of TVC-15 as a modulation monitor for watermarking. For the first time ever, stations in electronically measured markets can independently detect, monitor, and analyze how well each element in their programming supports audio watermarking. Measurements happen in real time, right off the air, without being connected to a watermark encoder. Every 400 milliseconds, TVC-15’s tone verification codec detects and analyzes the actual code symbols in any audio you feed it, whether yours, or any other encoding station in your market. Standard analog inputs mean you can monitor any source, live or recorded. A front-panel graph of your station’s watermark density gives you a granular, moment-by-moment display; you can also download reports to look at encoding quality over hours, days and weeks. With TVC-15, stations now have a tool to independently verify the presence and relative quality of watermark tones embedded in their programming.
"Broadcasting is a numbers business. Broadcasters' success depends on what kind of audience they attract and hold, and we all know there’s a direct link between ratings and a station’s revenue in electronically measured markets," says Geoff Steadman, founder of 25-Seven Systems. "Having comprehensive tools—ones that help you understand the entire watermarking ecosystem—is essential to your station’s competitive picture. When we introduced Voltair two years ago, users asked if we could detect watermarks right off air, or at any patch point. With TVC-15, now we can provide a complete, end-to-end picture of your and your competitors’ encoding.”
TVC-15's proprietary algorithms constantly analyze the input signal, looking for valid code symbols that combine to create a station’s unique ID and time-stamp. The input can be any real-world source: your off-air signal (or a competitor’s), a test file from a production studio, an Internet stream, or even a live mic listening to a sample radio in a public space. If there are watermarks hidden in the audio, TVC-15 will report their details.
As an option for stations with a Voltair watermark monitor and processor, TVC-15 can also be utilized to automatically adjust enhancement levels in real-time. TVC-15’s Intelligent Adaptive Enhancement (AE) closes the feedback loop, letting broadcasters dynamically control Voltair processing based on moment-by-moment analysis of their actual air signal, pushing enhancement when it is needed, while backing off when not. This application allows Voltair users to better optimize the trade off between robust watermarking and clean audio.
Some notable TVC-15 features include:
Time Since Last Complete Message reports minutes and seconds since the last successfully decoded message, indicating whether or not the message is reliable (green) or not (yellow and red). The Interval Display is constantly updating, and gives you a quick go/no-go indication of the current signal.
Last Complete Message Received is based on the actual encoder ID that accompanied the last valid message, along with an optional display of the time stamp that accompanied it.
Simulated Environmental “Noise Loading.” Most listening is done with speakers in a variety of acoustic environments. Whether a panelist is driving their car, attending a sports event, or in a bar that has radio or TV for background, ambient noise is a factor that can affect how portable meters receive your code. To help gauge the impact of different noisy environments, TVC-15 lets you load the signal with selectable levels of simulated noise.
Code Symbol Strength Bar is a white line on the front-panel LCD that constantly changes height to show the strength of potential code signals in watermark channels. This bar reacts instantly, to provide visual feedback that encoding could be taking place. Actual code symbols require 400 ms to broadcast, measured and displayed in the Main Confidence Graph.
Two Minute Scrolling History. The time display on the bottom of the Confidence Graph is calibrated in minutes:seconds, based on TVC-15’s real-time clock, to help you correlate confidence readings with moment-by-moment changes in your programming.
User Controls. TVC-15 includes complete, flexible front panel or web-based control over its operation. Clock and system settings, network access, how TVC-15 controls an (optionally) connected Voltair, and remote passwords can be set from the front panel. Multiple web connections are supported so that signals can be monitored by multiple browsers simultaneously.