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What the EBU Says About QC in a File-Based Media Environment

How to use automated Quality Control (QC) when moving to file-based production facilities.

By Bruce Devlin | 01/27/15

“Broadcasters moving to file-based production facilities have to consider how to use automated Quality Control (QC) systems. Manual quality control is simply not adequate anymore and it does not scale,” so says the EBU.

It is reassuring when you see that what you have been advising customers for years is supported by a leading broadcast industry body – QC is key!

EBU Gets Serious About QC 

The EBU recognized QC as a key topic for the media industry in 2010. In 2011 it started an EBU Strategic Programme on Quality Control, with the aim to collect requirements, experiences and to create recommendations for broadcasters implementing file-based QC in their facilities. 

The EBU Strategic Programme on Quality Control (QC) has identified four main use cases:

1. Ingest

2. Legacy archive transfer to files

3. Final programme delivery

4. Programme exchange

The work of the EBU is essential in the pursuit of standardization of QC testing. Through this work it defines what a QC test is, what the QC metric should be called and what it looks like. Adopting the EBU guidelines enables content owners to take a media file and pass it through numerous third-party QC products and then to collate the results in a meaningful way. In today’s world of multiplatform delivery this is absolutely critical. 

QC’s Periodic Table of Tests

The EBU has created a ‘Periodic Table’ of QC tests, which is a visual representation of the different tests that users might wish to implement. Just as users need a visual representation of the tests, they also need a visual representation of the test results. This is AmberFin Unified Quality Control’s (UQC) raison d’être – it is exactly what UQC provides.

To provide complete coverage of the EBU Periodic Table of QC tests a user will need more than one QC tool since some specialize in certain areas, but no one tool provides every test. AmberFin UQC enables users to select from a broad range of ‘best of breed’ QC system that provide very specific capabilities and integrate them on a single platform. The results of all the tools are displayed on a single user interface.

Featured in: Dalet AmberFin | File-Based Workflows | Multiplatform Distribution |

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By Bruce Devlin

With 30 years in the industry, Bruce looks after Media Technology for Dalet. An engineer who designed antennas, ASICs, software, algorithms, systems and standards, Bruce is best known for being @MrMXF and you can get his book on Amazon.

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