Axon's SMART DVB Helps BVN Ensure Programme Quality

The Dutch broadcaster has renewed its downlink system to encompass the very latest version of this powerful software

BEST OF VLAANDEREN AND THE NETHERLANDS (BVN), has chosen Axon Digital Design’s SMART DVB system to ensure the quality of programmes transmitted via its network from outlets around the world. BVN Television is the Dutch-language public television channel for Dutch and Flemish people abroad and transmits worldwide via satellite. NPO Dutch Public broadcasting in Hilversum, the Netherlands, is the executive company of BVN TV.

BVN’s network hosts the best radio programmes from VRT and television programmes from NPO. Daily operating services are provided by the Ericsson Broadcast Services Division at NPO’s headquarters in Hilversum.

BVN recently renewed its downlink system to encompass the latest 2.1 version of SMART DVB software, which includes Gateway support and Web Alarm status views. At the same time the organisation replaced its existing servers with smaller SMART DVB 25 servers that deliver lower energy consumption and lower heat dissipation.

“With the latest SMART DVB upgrade providing a Web Alarm status view, we can now see the status of the NPO BVN network at several outlets or mobile devices around the Globe,” says Rene van Baaren, Channel Manager at BVN. “What’s more, it can do this without interfering with our main monitoring system.”


Comprising a suite of tools to monitor, analyse and report on live MPEG-2 and DVB transport streams, SMART DVB is an open and scalable system that can be deployed at multiple levels– from single probes for local service, large and complex channel line-ups to distributed or centralized networks with multiple probes, data aggregation, clients and web server applications. An integrated platform, it combines Axon’s pioneering modular software with COTS server hardware, all managed through a universal windows-based interface for ease-of-use and rapid deployment. With SMART DVB on board, broadcasters and network operators can check the health and conformity of their programming across the digital distribution chain and ensure that any signal problems are quickly identified and resolved. This vital service allows broadcasters to maintain quality for viewers and meet commercial and legal obligations relating to performance.

BVN is now using SMART DVB to monitor downlinks at Atlanta in the USA, Johannesburg in South-Africa, Sydney in Australia and NPO’s head office in Hilversum, the Netherlands. The recent system renewal also enabled NPO to add a new downlink location – Madagascar, where it is monitoring the Thaicom 5 Satellite.


In total, the system comprises seven SMART DVB probes, seven different Satellite transponders, two on-premises encoders and a decoder/descrambler on location. The interconnection between the Probes and the SMART DVB Gateway is carried out via a low bandwidth internet connection and protected by Cisco ASA VPN tunnels. Web status output from the SMART Gateway is monitored at the Ericsson Master Control Centre where operators can see the actual and historic status of the DVB Transponders, Services and Components. The SMART Gateway is also sending email notifications to the MCR to inform the first line operator. Should a problem occur, SMART Gateway can send selective email notifications to different stake holders.

“We rely on Axon’s SMART DVB platform to gives us a complete view of our transport streams to ensure programme quality and provide valuable trend analysis and trouble-shooting,” comments Rocus de Joode, NPO’s Satellite Network Coordinator.  “These latest upgrades to the system are not only enhancing the view of our global operations and with small servers providing lower energy consumption and lower heat dissipation we’re also saving money and being more environmentally responsible.”


“We’re delighted to continue our relationship with NPO and support their global operations,” says Jan Eveleens Axon’s CEO. “SMART DVB is proving to be an essential tool for broadcasters not only for the quality control of MPEG-2 and DVB transport streams but to drive new levels of performance, efficiency and functionality.”

About Axon
Headquartered in The Netherlands, and with offices across the world, Axon develops, manufactures and markets high quality broadcast equipment for the conversion, processing and compliance recording of audio and video signals. Products integrate advanced signal processing techniques, innovative engineering and modular flexibility and provide high quality, affordability and reliability within mission-critical broadcast applications.