StreamOverview is a new way to gain insight at-a-glance about the performance of a single channel, supporting assessment and troubleshooting as and when problems occur.

Bridge VB330 Probe

Bridge Technologies has developed new StreamOverview functionality for the VB330 monitoring probe as part of its version 6.3 upgrade. It strengthens the VB330’s usefulness for in-the-moment decision making as well as deeper-dive analysis. StreamOverview quickly visualises the performance of a single channel, supporting assessment and troubleshooting as and when problems occur.

The VB330 helps media and broadband providers of all types optimise their viewers’ Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE), and is capable of monitoring IP multicast, video OTT/ABR streaming, video-on-demand unicast and Ethernet trunk microbursts. It can also be used to undertake PCAP (packet capture) recording to analyse network characteristics, L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol for rapid, secure transfers across public networks) unpacking and monitoring and general traffic protocol inspection.

VB330 Metrics and Insights

Across the network types and a full range of signal formats, VB330 incorporates numerous metrics and insights, including but not limited to OTT/ABR QoS transport and manifests, Freeze Frame and signal loss, audio level, QoE MOS score, ETSI TR 101 290 with Gold TS reference, SCTE35/104 ad insertion, IP jitter, packet loss, OTT profile alignment, SRT and closed caption verifications.

This extensive list of functions means that, although straightforward to use, the main interface for the probe is based on a series of tabs and click-through menus, which can be fairly slow to navigate. While the design works well for engineers seeking to undertake forensic analysis of the network, it is less ideal for first-line engineers aiming to troubleshoot immediate problems.

Bridge StreamOverview VB330

StreamOverview consolidates all top-level measurements for each channel into one page.

StreamOverview addresses this issue. It displays a simplified view of each channel aligned with needs of first- and second-line problem solvers, showing just the data required and nothing further, in an accessible, intuitive manner. A high-speed search bar and drop-down list allow users to instantly target a problem channel and select it, while that channel’s information automatically updates to show all relevant monitoring data for that channel alone.

The nature of this data differs according to whether the stream in question is RF, IPTV multicast or OTT/ABR. Thus, in the case of IPTV/multicast, the user sees a summary of the alarms applied to the channel, their status, a thumbnail and various QoE parameters – including MOS score – along with other relevant data such as the latest SCTE 35 splice events, video resolution, audio/video codecs, and general stream information.

In addition, a MediaWindow readout is generated, displaying all packet traffic performance in a single composite graph, as well as various ETR 290 parameters and a full ETR 290 history graph. For HLS/DASH streams, a summary of alarms is presented along with the OTT profile, including information relating to video resolution and segment numbers, and an OTT segment overview with profile health over the last 120 minutes.

Single Page

In essence, StreamOverview consolidates all top-level measurements for a given service into one page, covering all aspects of content behaviour, both video and audio, and thus constitutes an elegant, accessible and highly valuable starting page from which deeper investigation can be undertaken, all with a simple click.

Speaking of this addition to the VB330, Bridge Technologies’ Chairman Simen Frostad said, “Our mission has always been to make the complex simple, but never to compromise on the depth and precision that make our monitoring probes so powerful. The key to achieving this is data presentation; giving users the flexibility to access what they need, when they need it, in a way that suits their task best.

“StreamOverview gets to the heart of the matter when it comes to in-the-moment network performance, which is crucial for time-critical error diagnosis. Diagnostic and maintenance engineers can go deeper with the probe, getting into the nitty-gritty, but for those fighting fires, the StreamOverview interface is an invaluable tool.”