Article Overview

APS Chooses Volicon Observer® RPM 400 to Provide Remote Quality Assurance for Package of Programming to South African Viewers

Remote quality monitoring for delivery of a range of TV services to the South African market

Astra Platform Services (APS), one of Germany's foremost broadcasting and playout centers, has implemented Volicon's Observer® Remote Program Monitor (RPM) 400 to provide remote quality monitoring for delivery of a range of TV services to the South African market. As Volicon's post-set-top-box (STB) video service assurance solution for cable, IPTV, mobile, and satellite video service providers, the Observer RPM 400 is enabling APS to proactively monitor and troubleshoot transmissions to ensure the highest quality of experience (QoE) for South African viewers.

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"Since we would be delivering services outside the ASTRA European footprint, it was essential that we have a centralized means of quality monitoring for these remote international program offerings," said Stefan Vollmer, APS. "Since it is a post-STB solution, the Observer RPM 400 gives us an efficient and cost-effective way to verify exactly what viewers are seeing. Also, the system's easy-to-use and yet rich feature set for remote monitoring via Web browser was a big selling point for us."

A subsidiary of SES ASTRA, APS broadcasts more than 200 channels from its main broadcasting facility in Munich. Installed at a remote location, the Observer RPM 400 system continuously scans all channels in the lineup and tests signal integrity. It issues alerts (via e-mail and SNMP) to NOC engineers when transmission quality falls below APS's preset thresholds. The system automatically detects such faults as missing/frozen/black video, low audio levels, and macroblocking. APS enlisted German systems integrator ANEDIS for installation support.

"With the worldwide explosion in content, playout services such as APS are uncovering many new opportunities for serving broadcasting customers and reaching international audiences. The Observer RPM 400 is an ideal tool for these companies to ensure the highest quality viewing experience possible for remote viewers, and to do so in an easy-to-use and cost-effective manner," said Andrew Sachs, senior marketing product manager for Volicon. "The Observer RPM 400 provides proactive monitoring capabilities at the point in the delivery chain that is most critical: the output that viewers are actually seeing on their televisions."

About APS

Astra Platform Services GmbH (APS) is a subsidiary of SES ASTRA and operates one of Europe's most modern broadcasting centers. APS provides technical support for broadcasters and production companies and offers a comprehensive range of services for the preparation and transmission of content for TV and radio channels. These include digital archiving and playout, as well as preparation and transmission of content via satellite, over the Internet, or to mobile reception units. Today, APS broadcasts some 200 analog and digital TV and radio programs and also offers interactive and data services. As Germany's first playout center, APS also provides a complete HDTV playout service for HD channels. Clients of APS include well-known German broadcasters from both the public and private sphere, as well as pay TV providers, rights owners, cable network operators, and global companies. For more information, visit

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APS

About Volicon

Volicon is the broadcast and cable industry's most efficient, reliable, and cost-effective automated multichannel video content logging and monitoring system for compliance, media analysis, content repurposing, and quality of service. Its Observer® real-time, digital video monitoring and logging solutions are based on Volicon's patent-pending Video Monitoring Architecture (VMA). VMA is comprised of a multichannel video streaming engine, interactive search, content analytics, and service monitoring and alarming capabilities. Volicon products and services meet the demanding requirements of broadcasters, cable and IPTV service providers, and enterprise and government organizations looking to improve broadcast product quality, enhance video management, and lower costs. More information is available at

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Volicon

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