The Telos Alliance has unveiled a product it describes as a modulation monitor for watermarking.
A followup to its Voltair watermark monitor and processor, the 25-Seven TVC-15 Broadcast Watermark Analyzer & Monitor is a complementary product that also can be operated independently.
The TVC-15 — TVC for “tone verification codec” — enables stations to detect, monitor and analyze how well programming elements support audio watermarking every 400 milliseconds, according to the announcement. A connected watermark encoder is not required but stations must be in electronically measured markets.
The tone verification codec detects and analyzes the actual code symbols in any audio because its standard analog inputs allow users to monitor any source. A front-panel graph of watermark density provides a granular display, and users can download reports of different lengths of time so that stations independently verify the presence and relative quality of embedded watermarks.
Stations using the company’s Voltair box can utilize TVC-15 to adjust enhancement levels automatically and optimize “the tradeoff between robust watermarking and clean audio,” according to the announcement.
The TVC-15 offers front-panel or web-based control. Users can adjust clock and system settings, network access, how it controls a Voltair unit and remote passwords can be set from the front panel. Multiple web connections are supported.
It reports minutes and seconds since the last successfully decoded message (based on the actual encoder ID that accompanied the last valid message, along with an optional display of the time stamp), as well as indications of whether the message is reliable. The interval display updates and gives a quick indication of the current signal.
To gauge the impact of various acoustic environments, TVC-15 lets users load the signal with selectable levels of simulated noise.
The code symbol strength bar is a white line on the front-panel LCD that changes height to show the strength of potential code signals in watermark channels. Actual code symbols require 400 ms to broadcast, measured and displayed in the main confidence graph.
The time display on the bottom of the confidence graph is based on the real-time clock, which helps users correlate confidence readings with changes in programming.
“When we introduced Voltair two years ago, users asked if we could detect watermarks right off air, or at any patch point,” 25-Seven Systems founder Geoff Steadman was quoted in the announcement. TVC-15, he said, can provide an end-to-end picture of a station’s encoding as well as that of its competitors.
The Telos Alliance comprises Telos Systems, Omnia Audio, Axia Audio, Linear Acoustic, 25-Seven Systems and Minnetonka Audio.