With UHD / 4K now being adopted by many organisations, there is an increasing need for the appropriate test equipment to support manufacturing, commissioning and the day to day running of any UHD / 4K equipment installation.

There is a significant desire within the broadcast industry to be able to compete with content created and delivered ‘OTT’ where working practices are not constrained by traditional broadcast processes. To be able to compete with the flexibility that OTT providers enjoy, broadcaster are embracing the challenges of the IP world to gain the benefits and flexibility that IP potentially offers them.

If you are an equipment manufacturer you will already know the massive benefits of automated testing using remote control to reliably test products without the need for user interaction on tedious tasks. Typically, this is done using SNMP remote control of Test and Measurement equipment to run pre-defined scripts that report back a pass/fail for each parameter tested.

Many organisations already have remotely sited, unmanned equipment bays that are only accessed via remote control and via web browser technology. Only when something goes wrong, that cannot be resolved remotely, will an Engineer visit the remote site.

The quality of the SDI signal is important to both equipment manufacturers and equipment installers as this determines the maximum cable length over which the signal can be sent and successfully decoded. The quality of the SDI signal can be defined by the waveform shape and the level of jitter present.

Ideally for production, QC, monitoring and OB applications the tools that are required need to cover multiple disciplines from physical layer analysis of a signal through video and audio analysis to compliance checking of audio loudness, subtitles / closed captions and Dolby audio content. In addition to these in some applications HDR test pattern generation is required to ensure that the video path is setup correctly for uplink or transmission.

Video test patterns and audio tones have always been used to ensure that equipment is setup and working correctly. Inserting known test patterns and audio tones into the start of the equipment chain and ensuring that you get the same at the end of the chain.