Sentry® Datasheet

Sentry Video Quality Monitor Datasheet
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Sentry® is a comprehensive video and audio quality monitoring solution for advanced video networks. It enables video service providers to deliver services with optimum quality while reducing operational expenditures.

Key features
  • Real-time 24/7 QoS and QoE monitoring and analysis of entire channel lineup
  • In-depth monitoring for compliance to closed captioning standards
  • Audio silence and audio-level issue detection based on ITU BS.⁠1770 specification
  • Tiling and macroblocking detection
  • Perceptual video quality (eMOS)
  • PID-level IDR (Instantaneous Decoding Refresh) and EBP (Encoder Boundary Point) reporting and alerting
  • Live thumbnails and Thumbnail Wall
  • User-triggered & alert-triggered stream captures
  • Error second and program availability reporting
  • Stream to view
  • Historical reporting and graphing
  • Transport Stream and Program Group bandwidth graphing
  • Carousel monitoring (SA-BFS, DSM-CC, tru2way™)
  • Detect intermittent problems
  • Alert notification and historical reporting
Applications
  • Audio and video Quality of Experience (QoE) scoring system
  • IP network impairment analysis
  • Alert filtering and resolution tracking
  • 10 GbE network monitoring
  • Carousel monitoring (SA-BFS, DSM-CC, tru2way™)
  • Digital program insertion monitoring (SCTE-35)
  • EBIF monitoring
  • Program statistics and availability reporting
  • Dual input support for monitoring multiple video feeds

Video quality monitoring with Sentry

Sentry identifies anomalies in the network at the IP and MPEG layers as well as in Quality of Experience (QoE), identifying issues including frozen video, tiling/macroblocking, and audio disruptions or audio-level issues, which represent the bulk of trouble calls from subscribers.

In addition, Sentry includes a video artifact measurement and detection capability. This makes Sentry the only solution that detects video and audio errors in digital programs while generating metrics that correlate to Mean Opinion Scores (MOS).

The multithreshold-based alerting capability enables a flexible alert configuration. Sentry uses this approach for alerting because it is effective in detecting problems in their developing stages before the subscriber experience is impacted. This capability, combined with detailed root-cause troubleshooting information appended in the actual alert, allows engineers to resolve problems quickly and often before subscribers experience any quality deterioration or outage.

Detection and alerting of a subscriber-impacting issue is only part of the monitoring functions of Sentry. Analysis tools coupled with historical data give service providers the ability to resolve complex and intermittent problems quickly. Advanced reporting capabilities give operators the ability to generate reports that quickly identify the top offending programs or locations. Trending reports quantify improvements made over time. Lastly, reports can be automatically generated and forwarded by e-mail for an accurate and timely assessment of the quality of every program.


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Sentry can be deployed throughout your network, but it is most cost effective at your master and secondary headends where digital content is first acquired and where it undergoes the most manipulation before it is sent to hub sites and the customer premises.


Software options

Ad verification (DPI)

Today, an average of 2% of digital advertisements fail to air or air incorrectly due to scheduling, insertion, and other errors. In addition, advertisements often suffer the same audio and video quality issues that plague regular programming. As a result, monitoring and auditing capabilities are critical to successful ad delivery.

The Sentry suite of products provides the most complete digital ad insertion monitoring solution by combining real-time monitoring and alerting with historical auditing across the entire channel lineup in all advertising zones. The Sentry product line delivers extensive data including historical thumbnails which improve digital ad insertion on any platform, allowing engineering teams to ensure proper function of insertion technology by identifying and correcting system errors when they occur.

In addition, the ad insertion verification capability allows ad sales groups to provide higher levels of customer service, resulting in greater revenue potential. Using the web-based interface you can monitor digital ad insertion across your entire network. By strategically placing Sentry, Sentry Assure, or Sentry Verify in each of your ad zones, you can monitor and be alerted on all insertion opportunities network-wide, as well as issues that arise from problems.

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Monitoring Ad Insertion.


Perceptual video quality (eMOS)

Sentry's Quality of Experience (QoE) monitoring solution has been expanded to include Perceptual Video Quality or effective MOS (eMOS). The PVQ feature ranks picture quality in real time from 0 to 5 (5 being the best) on both SD and HD programs (MPEG2 and H.264), so service providers can understand how video compression artifacts such as blocking video are affecting the viewer’s experience with the picture.

These problems are extremely difficult to detect and are becoming a critical issue to monitor as video content continues to grow while bandwidth is becoming more limited than ever. Sentry’s eMOS is the industry’s first and only highly scalable “non-reference” perceptual quality score that correlates closely with the Tektronix PQA - the industry standard for picture quality test and measurement, used by leading encoder manufacturers worldwide.

Sentry accurately detects video artifacts and scores them as PVQ (or eMOS), which ranks video quality in a similar way as a Mean Opinion Score (MOS). eMOS can be used, in the case when there are no technical “errors” in the transport stream, to measure perceptual video quality in the compressed domain. Sentry's PVQ scoring provides the minimum, maximum, and average PVQ scores and is sensitive to certain artifacts caused by over-compression that specifically affect chroma detail.

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Perceptual Video Quality (eMOS) Measurement.


Compliance monitoring

For Closed Captioning compliance monitoring, data and syntax anomalies within the closed captioning data stream are detected to allow for an accurate closed captioning quality of experience (QoE) measurement. This applies to SCTE20 and ATSC transported caption data. Sentry alerts on the absence of closed captioning as well as when closed caption is non-compliant to the stated SCTE20 and ATSC standards.

For Audio Loudness monitoring, Sentry helps video service providers ensure compliance with its advanced audio level detection and analysis based on the ITU-R BS 1770 specification. Sentry monitors the loudness of every audio element on every program in every transport stream in real-time. The thumbnail timeline feature captures thumbnail images to help visually confirm the relative location of audio issues in programming or commercials. Sentry offers 60-day historical reporting to help service providers with documents needed to prove compliance or to show when violations have occurred.

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Monitoring Audio Loudness compliance.


Carousels tru2way™ / OCAP/MHP / DSM-CC

The OCAP Monitor is a tool for monitoring tru2way™/OCAP carousels. Digital set-top boxes receive continuous delivery of applications and data from the headend or uplink center. These data and applications are critical for normal set-top box function and service delivery.

With the advent of tru2way™ (OCAP) and other carousels, multichannel service providers are introducing a vast array of complex, interactive services to their subscriber base. Monitoring the carousel activity is essential to ensuring the quality and consistency of experience for subscribers.

Sentry supplies detailed reports of carousel performance and activity based on their real-time behavior and data output. Service providers are able to identify the root cause of errors and make necessary changes to eliminate issues and guarantee rapid application deployment. The reports show detailed source and file structures and carousel changes in real time while observing streaming metrics such as cycle time, bandwidth utilization, and stream packet continuity. Real-time alerting notifies users of critical situations, enabling them to resolve issues such as outages, cycle-time fluctuations, and unauthorized changes.


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Monitoring tru2way™/OCAP Carousels.


Alerting and root-cause analysis

The multi-threshold based alerting capability enables a flexible alert configuration. Sentry uses this approach for alerting because it is effective in detecting problems in their developing stages before the subscriber experience is impacted. This capability, combined with detailed root-cause troubleshooting information appended in the actual alert, allows engineers to resolve problems quickly and often before subscribers experience any quality deterioration or outage.

Detection and alerting of a subscriber-impacting issue is only part of the monitoring functions of Sentry. Analysis tools coupled with historical data give service providers the ability to resolve complex and intermittent problems quickly. Advanced reporting capabilities give operators the ability to generate reports that quickly identify the top offending programs or locations. Trending reports quantify improvements made over time. In addition, reports can be automatically generated and forwarded by e-mail for an accurate and timely assessment of the quality of every program.

Specifications

All specifications apply to all models unless noted otherwise.

Platform characteristics
Browser support
Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer
MPEG/IP input port
Single input Sentry
1000BASE-T Ethernet interface, 1- or 4-⁠port ASI, or 10GBASE-(LR or SR) interface
Dual input Sentry
1000BASE-T Ethernet interface (standard) plus optional 1000BASE-T Ethernet interface, 10GBASE-(LR or SR) interface, 1-⁠ or 4-⁠port ASI, or 4- or 8-tuner QAM A/B/C interface
Management port
1000BASE-T Ethernet interface
Supported protocols
Video
MPEG-2, H.264, H.265 (HEVC), VC-1 
Audio

Dolby AC-3 (5.1 Surround)

MPEG-1 Layer II (Mono, Stereo)

AAC, HE-AAC, and HE-AAC v2

Carousel
tru2way™, BFS MHP / DSM-CC
Program insertion
SCTE-35 (local ads)
Misc. support

HD/SD programs, SPTS or MPTS, multicast (IGMP v3) and unicast

MPEG-PSI, DVB-SI, ATSC-PSIP table support

SNMP trap and MIB support

Physical characteristics
Dimensions
Height
50.8 mm (2 in.)
Width
432 mm (17 in.)
Depth
381 mm (15 in.)
Weight (net)
9.2 kg (20.2 lb.)
Power supply
100-240 V AC, 50-60 Hz
Environmental characteristics
Max storage temperature
70 °C
Max operating temperature
35 °C
Max humidity
85%
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