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Volicon 7.2 RPM User Guide | SnapStream



RPM User Guide 7.2

Copyright © 2015, Volicon Inc., All Rights Reserved

Warranty and Limitations

“The information in this document is subject to change without notice and does not represent a commitment on the part of Volicon Inc.; it’s not a binding contract. Volicon Inc. will not be held responsible for failures or errors in the text of the document. Nor be liable for it to any claim from any third party. Documentation is provided “as is.” All conditions, representations and warranties, expressed or implied, including any implied warranty of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose or non-infringement, are disclaimed, except to the extent that such disclaimers are held to be legally invalid. This document contains proprietary information belonging to Volicon Inc. Such information is supplied solely for assisting properly authorized users of Volicon Inc. systems. No part of its contents may be used for any other purpose, disclosed to any person or firm. No part or parts of this document shall be copied, used for commercial purposes or passed to any third party for any use, without approval Volicon Inc. The text and graphics are for the purpose of illustration and reference only. The information herein is subject to change without notice”

Document Details

Document Name:

RPM User Guide 7.2

Part Number


Related Software Versions



  1. Introduction 6

    1. Purpose and Scope 6

    2. System Overview 6

    3. System Options: the Volicon Input Switch 7

      1. Using the Observer’s Internal Input Switch 8

      2. Using a KRAMER device 8

    4. Conventions Used in the Manual 9

    5. Definition of Key Terms 9

    6. Modes of Operation 10

      1. Scanning 11

      2. Reviewing 11

      3. Manual/Interactive Mode 11

  2. Initial Connection 13

    1. PC Client Minimum Requirements checklist 13

    2. Installing the Observer Media Player 13

    3. Graphical User Interface (GUI): Initial Login 19

      1. Internet Browser Support 19

      2. Steps to Log In 22

      3. Your initial LogIn Screen 22

      4. Installing player cab file 23

  3. Home Page 24

    1. Streaming 24

    2. Player Display Area 25

    3. Left Menu 25

    4. Dashboard - Encoder/Stream Inputs 25

    5. Favorites 26

    6. Controlling Your Video Stream/Streams 28

      1. Volume Controls 29

      2. Mark to cut clips 30

      3. Controlling Display Modes 30

    7. Wall of Monitors Mode 32

      1. Entering Wall of Monitors Mode 32

      2. Frame Color Alert Notification 33

      3. Keyboard Hotkeys 36

    8. RPM Toolbar - Remote Control Bar 37

    9. Status Line - AL, SS and BS 56

      1. BS - Black Screen Amount 57

      2. SS - Static Screen 57

      3. AL - Audio Level 58

      4. RPM Script Phase – Current Running Script 59

      5. RPM Script Phase – Manual Mode 59

    10. Logging Out 60

  4. Manual/Interactive Mode 61

    1. Entering Manual Mode 61

    2. Effects of Manual Mode 61

      1. Effect on Scanning 61

      2. Ability to Switch Inputs in a Single Player Window 63

  5. Media Clips 66

    1. Bookmarks 66

    2. Playing Your Clips 67

    3. Manipulating Your Clips 69

      1. Editing Clips 70

      2. E-Mailing Clips 79

    4. Searching Your Clips 80

      1. Simple Search 81

      2. Advanced Search 82

      3. Sort clips 84

  6. CC Search 85

    1. Launching the Search Function 85

    2. Using the Search Function 86

      1. Search Function Example 87

      2. Search Function Options 92

    3. Export clips 93

      1. Bookmark clips 93

      2. Export media 93

      3. Standard Export Format Types 95

      4. Export Stream Options 96

      5. Play Exported Clips 97

  7. Fault Clips 98

    1. Export fault clips 98

    2. Fault Clip Player 99

    3. Report Fault Clips in ASCII 100

  8. Remote Control 102

    1. Remote Control Bar 102

      1. Virtual Remote Control 103

        1.1.1. Virtual Remote Macro Scripting 104

  9. Scan Frequency 105

  10. Statistics 106

    1. Fault reports 106

      1. Service Fault Report Parameters 107

      2. Fault Report Operation 108

    2. Availability Reports 110

      1. Service Availability Parameters 111

    3. Availability Computations 112

      1. Observer Mode 112

      2. RPM Scan Mode 112

    4. Service Availability Status Determined During Scanning 112

      1. Service Availability Computation Example 113

  11. Central Configuration 114

  12. Front-end Setup 115

    1. User Preferences 115

    2. User Management 117

    3. Alert Notification, Emails and SNMP Notification 117

    4. Scheduled Recording Module 117

    5. Recorded Events 117

  13. Appendix 121

    1. Player hot keys 121

    2. References 122

      1. Loudness monitoring 122

      2. Glossary 122

    3. Troubleshooting 122

    4. What NOT to do on the server side 122

  14. Revision Change History 123


    1. Purpose and Scope

      This manual covers how to use the Volicon Observer’s Remote Program Monitor (RPM) for common monitoring and logging applications. It assumes that you administrator has set up alerting thresholds, and performed the user administration and general system configuration for your system as covered in the Observer Admin Guide. It also assumes that your administrator has completed the configuration functions related to the RPM, such as specifying the programs/services lineup to monitor, as covered in the RPM Admin Guide.

    2. System Overview

      The Observer system consists of two levels of servers:

      • One or more encoder servers (probes), usually located in remote or unmanned video distribution centers. Each encoder server is capable of monitoring several video inputs simultaneously, and is typically connected to four video sources through its encoders.

      • A Central/web server (CS) that functions as the interface between the system and the web client machines (client PCs).

        Usually the system administrator configures the web and probe server addresses and functions of the system. These functions include:

      • Automated monitoring and diagnosis of multichannel broadcasts

      • VOD and Interactive service monitoring

      • Media recording of scanned channels

      • Manual viewing/diagnostics to tune remote systems


        Figure: System Block Diagram

        Once configured, the RPM constantly records video inputs and monitors channels for various failures. The RPM scans the channels your administrator has configured it to monitor, issuing channel change commands to each Set Top Box (STB), and monitoring all of the available channels on a rotating basis. When the RPM finds faults, it alerts you through email messages and SNMP traps.

        You can access the RPM is via a standard Internet connection and control it through your web browser. RPM management is entirely web-based.

    3. System Options: the Volicon Input Switch

By default, one input connects to one encoder in the Volicon ecosystem. However, the Volicon Input Switch allows you to connect multiple inputs to a single encoder.

You have two options for deploying the Volicon Input Switching capability: you can use the Observer’s internal switch, or you can connect multiple inputs to a KRAMER device.

      1. Using the Observer’s Internal Input Switch

        The Observer’s internal Input Switch capability will support up to two connections to a single capture card. Connect one component to the HDMI input, and the second component to the Component input.


        Figure: Internal Input Switch

      2. Using a KRAMER device

        You can connect up to sixteen components to a single capture card using a Kramer switch. In this deployment, the Kramer device handles the switching.


        Figure: KRAMER Device Switching

        The first input is the default input, and will be the only input you see in automatic mode. You can see the other inputs attached to your Volicon Input Switch only by using manual mode.

        For more information about the Volicon Input Switch, please refer to the Volicon Input Switch User Guide V7.2.

    1. Conventions Used in the Manual

      Textual conventions used in this manual are listed in the table below.




      Denotes names and labels in the Graphical User Interface (GUI)


      Denotes push buttons and other similar user devices


      Automatic link to other sections in the document, denoted by boldface and the “@” prefix

    2. Definition of Key Terms



      Encoder Encoder/stream

      Observer RPM hardware adapter that receives and processes media signals from between one to four set-top boxes. Also called the Encoder/stream.


      RPM software module which controls the encoder, STBs, and channel scanning related operations. See “Scan cycle,” below.

      Media Fault

      The services module defines the limits of normal conditions with thresholds, scripts and schedules for audio, video, closed captioning, interactive services and VOD. A Media Fault is detected when the input signal falls outside of these limits.

      Service, channel

      The Network’s media content type as perceived by the end user. The RPM steps through the lineup of services and converts each service (through bouquet) to a channel number, dialing it then recording and checking the content.


      A separate encoder (or different time slot on the same encoder) assigned to verify a media fault on a channel.


      A notification of a media fault by email or SNMP. For enhanced verification functions, confirmation is required from a second encoder or time slot before issuing the alert.


      A sequence of services associated with the channels of a encoder’s-stream.

      Scan Cycle

      A complete tour of all services/channels in a lineup to check for faults.

    3. Modes of Operation

      Here is a brief outline of the different RPM system modes of operation:

      1. Scanning

        RPM interacts with STBs to scan/dial multiple broadcaster channels sequentially according to the corresponding channel program type:

        • Linear

        • On-Demand

        • Interactive


          Figure: Scanning and Fault Response Process

          In addition, the RPM monitors the media content of each scanned Service/channel to determine faults and log the content.

      2. Reviewing

        When the RPM detects a fault, it automatically reviews the fault using a second STB/Encoder stream. This allows the RPM to:

        • Dramatically reduce the number of false alerts

        • Separate STB faults from Network and Service Faults

      3. Manual/Interactive Mode

        RPM provides you with three interactive modes:

        • Virtual Remote Control

        • Menu based Remote Control

        • Troubleshooting


          Figure: Virtual Remote Control Interactive Mode


    1. PC Client Minimum Requirements checklist

      Before you install the Observer Media Player, check that your computer meets or exceeds the PC Client Minimum Requirements, listed below:

      • Windows 7, 64 bit OS or above

      • 3.5 GB of RAM or greater

      • Sound card

      • Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 8 or above

        • Alternatively, Silverlight support if you are using a non-IE browser

      • Windows Media Player 11 or above

      • Pentium 4 3.0 GHz or equivalent processor (recommended)

      • NVIDIA or ATI video adapter or better

      • Minimum of 10 Mbps network connection bandwidth

        (You will need bandwidth greater than or equal to 1.2-1.5x the sum of the bandwidth of the streams you are viewing. For example, to view two 512 Kbps streams smoothly, you will need between 1.2 Mbps and 1.5 Mbps of available bandwidth.

        In addition to the physical requirements listed above, you must also:

      • Place the URL or IP address of the Web server in your browser’s “Trusted Sites” zone

      • Be a user with local administrative privileges on your machine, to install the signed ActiveX control

    2. Installing the Observer Media Player

      To connect to Volicon Observer for the "first time", launch your Internet Explorer web browser.

      Note: Volicon Observer assumes that you are using IE10. For other browser support, including IE11, see section @2.3.1Internet Browser Support

      Internet Browser Support.

      In the address bar, type in the IP address or domain name of the Volicon server provided to you by your Volicon Administrator. In the example below, we are connecting to the Volicon demo server at http://observer.volicon.com.


      Figure: Initial Connection


      TECH TIP

      First time installation requires Administrator Rights on your PC

      If your Volicon Administrator has not previously loaded Observer on your PC/laptop, you must have administrative rights, (the ability to install software on your PC) for the initial install of the Observer Media Player software. Any subsequent logins will require only the permissions you currently have on your PC/laptop. The first time you connect to the Observer solution, IE will take approximately 30 seconds to load the Observer Media Player install software. Click Install to begin the installation process. IE will continue to calculate and will present you with a Security Warning.


      Figure: Security Warning

      Accept the warning by clicking Install. Observer will launch the Observer Media Player Setup Wizard.


      Figure: Observer Media Player Setup Wizard

      Click Next to continue.

      Accept the terms of the License Agreement and click Next to continue.


      Figure: License Agreement

      You now have the option of choosing the folder into which Observer will install the Media Player. Unless Volicon Support has instructed you otherwise, accept the default folder by clicking Install.


      Figure: Choose Install Location

      Setup will give you a success message. Click Next.


      Figure: Installation Complete


      TECH TIP

      The option of creating an Observer Shortcut button has been added to the Internet Explorer tool bar.


      Observer will present you with the Optional Settings window.


      Figure: Optional Settings Window

      Optional Setting/Selection: Internet Explorer shortcut

      If you want to add a quick connect button to your Internet Explorer tool bar, enter the URL or the IP address for your Volicon Observer in the field provided. Leave the field empty if you do not want Observer on your tool bar.

      Optional Settings/Selection: Intel video adapter workaround

      Volicon does recommend that if your computer has an Intel video card, or a video card with an Intel chipset, that you enable the Intel “flickering video” workaround checkbox as a precaution. Enabling the checkbox will not affect the performance of the Intel chip sets that do not have issues with multiple video streams, and will protect you in the event that your chipset is one of those with known issues.

      Optional Settings/Selection: Favor Quantity over Quality

      Volicon also recommends that you check the Enable “Favor Quantity over Quality” checkbox for the best experience using Internet Explorer to run multiple players.

      Make your choices, and click Next.

      Observer presents you with the “Completing the Observer Media Player Setup Wizard” window.


      Figure: Completing the Observer Media Setup Wizard Window

      Click Finish to exit setup.

    3. Graphical User Interface (GUI): Initial Login

          1. Internet Browser Support

            1. Internet Explorer Support

              For full functionality, the Observer Media Player currently supports Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10 in both 32-bit and 64-bit format. When you are using Internet Explorer 10; you must set "compatibility mode". From your browser window select Tools>Compatibility View. Set your options to “compatibility view options."

              You must run a specific procedure to use Observer with IE11. To do so:

              1. Open Internet Explorer. Click on the Tools icon (Alt+X) Internet Options. Make sure that the following window opens:


              2. Click on Alt Tools And then choose “Compatibility View Settings.”


              3. Under “Add this website:” insert the client’s IP address and then click on Add.


                Compatibility view mode is now enabled.

            2. Multiple Browser Support using Clientless Mode – Silverlight and Flash Players

      The Volicon Observer now supports a clientless mode for use with Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browsers. Clientless mode allows you to avoid installing the Active-X player.

      To use clientless mode, you must perform some local php configuration:

      define("CLIENTLESS_PLAYER", "FLASH"); // SILVERLIGHT or FLASH (using Flash if undefined )

      Please read the Clientless configuration documentation for complete details.


          1. Steps to Log In

            1. At the top of your Browser search bar, enter the IP or URL address provided from your Administrator.

            2. You will then be prompted for your log in credentials (Username/Password). This will also be provided to you by your Observer System Administrator


              TECH TIP

              Add the IP address or the Observer domain name to the "Trusted Sites" list in Internet Explorer.

          2. Your initial LogIn Screen

            For your initial login, choose Home, and enter the Username and Password your administrator provided you and select "Log In" In future logins, you will be able to select your starting screen from the drop-down menu on the left; options include-Home, Clips, Search, User Preferences, and Settings.


            Figure: Initial Login Screen

            Click Login.

          3. Installing player cab file

      When a firewall blocks Volicon player download from a Web server or you need to install players on multiple machines, it might be more convenient to use an installation file. You can download a cab file from the Observer Web server: https://ObserverURLaddresss/observer.cab. Then for the installation to proceed, double click on the installation file and accept all the prompts.


    The Home page is the main monitoring interface of the system. Here you select the various channels from the Dashboard to view live broadcasts, play back recorded video and create clips for later review.


    Figure: Observer RPM Home Page

    You may need to define your Favorite channels in order to get them to appear in the Dashboard area. See the “Favorites” section @3.5. for this feature. To enable the favorites feature, See “Favorites” in the Observer Admin Guide.

    1. Streaming

      To view channels, select the streams using checkboxes in the Dashboard area of the display, then use the <Live> button on the right of the Control-bar for the most recent media. Verify that all the Encoder/streams are working before proceeding to the next step.

      If no channels encoder/channels appear, check your “Favorites” configuration. Alternatively, your system may not have the encoders configured. See “Stream Control” in the Observer Admin Guide if this is the case.

      If encoder/streams appear but there is no video in them, it could be that the TCP streaming port is not open. In this case, contact your network administrator.

    2. Player Display Area

      RPM will display each channel you select, along with its individual play bar. Click on a channel of interest to select its player.

    3. Left Menu

      The Left menu allows for additional functionality such as clip list creation, editing and export. These features are described later in this document.


      Figure: Left Menu

      Note that some of these abilities may be restricted by the administrator and thus not available to you.

    4. Dashboard - Encoder/Stream Inputs

      The Dashboard provides you with stream checkboxes, Favorites and Uncheck All icons. Click on a player to listen to its audio and to select it for control with the Control-bar.


      Figure: Dashboard

      The Uncheck All icon unchecks all the selected players at one time.

    5. Favorites

      In a large system you can use the Favorites option in your Dashboard to select the specific encoder-streams you wish to show in your Home page out of the many available in the system. This allows you to manage a large system with ease.

      To access your Favorites window, click the “Favorites” link in the Dashboard. Note that if you have already selected to play all your encoder streams, the Favorites link might not be visible. In this case, go to Maintenance Settings to edit your selections. (See the Observer Admin Guide for details.)


      Figure: Favorites Window

      Select the streams you are interested in from the bottom half of the page. (Note: selecting streams also makes the “Add to Favorites” icon visible.) Click the “Add to Favorites” icon to move the selected Encoder/streams to the top half of the “Favorites” page and to redefine the players accordingly in the Home page.

      Follow a similar procedure to “Remove from Favorites.” Select streams at the top half of the page and click “Remove from Favorites” to remove players from the Home page. (Selecting streams at the top of the page makes the “Add to Favorites” icon visible.)

      Click Home in the left menu to return to your home screen and display your chosen streams.

    6. Controlling Your Video Stream/Streams

      After you select and video stream(s) for display, a Media Player Bar opens along the bottom of the display frame. The Media Player Bar controls all the Video Stream/streams in your window simultaneously.


      Figure: Media Player Bar

      In the example below, both video streams were paused briefly. Clicking on the Live button caused the Observer to simultaneously retrieve the current live content for both streams.


      Figure: Simultaneous Control


      TECH TIP


      If you use your mouse and "hover" over the control you can see the various search speeds for both directions.

      From left to right, the buttons perform the functions below:

      • Fast Rewind – 2x: rewinds at twice the normal frame rate, or (click again for 8x)

      • Rewind – 1x: rewinds at normal frame rate

      • Slow Rewind – ½x: rewinds at one-half the normal frame rate, Step Backward: steps backward by a single frame

      • Pause

      • Step Forward: steps forward by a single frame

      • Slow Forward – ½x: moves forward at one-half the normal frame rate,

      • Play: moves forward at the normal frame rate

      • Fast Forward MAX: moves forward at 2x the normal frame rate, (click again for 8x)

      • Live: synchs up all the Video Streams in the Player Window with the most recent content. There are two visual ways to ensure you are viewing the most recent content: by border color identification and by Time Identification.

You can also place the mouse cursor inside the video stream window and use the mouse wheel to move frame by frame.

Note: The power of the Volicon RPM platform is in its ability to support many sessions or users simultaneously without affecting other users. For example, what you do in the Player Window only affects your Player Window. It has no effect on other users. Observer is the only program of its kind on the market that provides you in this way with the complete freedom to perform your job functions when and as you need to perform them.

      1. Volume Controls

        Observer provides you with volume controls in the lower right hand corner of your home page. These are the master volume controls, and control the volume to your speakers of whatever stream you are listening to on your home page.

        Note that If you have multiple video streams open, you will only receive audio from one of the streams. Simply left clicking inside any open video stream will allow you to hear audio for that stream. Also, the bottom border will turn blue while the other open streams will be black (a visual way of identifying where video is coming from).


        Figure: Volume Controls

        You have two volume controls:

        • Mute mutes and unmutes the audio for your currently selected stream

        • Volume: adjusts the volume of your audio as you move the slider bar left and right. All the way to the right gives you full volume.

      2. Mark to cut clips


        While examining media, the <Mark Start/Mark End> button allows you to clip sections of interest. Navigate to the desired start time and click the <Mark Start>; the button’s graphic will change automatically to

        <Mark End>. Then navigate to the desired end-point and click the button again. A dialog box will appear allowing one to specify additional information, e.g., Name, Description… Press the <OK> to record the new clip in the Bookmarks area. See the “Export Clips” section for additional details.

      3. Controlling Display Modes

        Observer allows you to specify the display mode of your Player Window with the Display Mode buttons at the lower left of your window.


        Figure: Display Mode Buttons

        Fromm left to right, these buttons are:

        • Full Screen, which displays a single video stream across the full screen of your monitor (outside of the IE window in which Observer is running).


          Figure: Full Screen Display Mode

          To exit from Full Screen mode, press the Escape key.

        • Split Screen, which displays all of your active streams across your full monitor.


          Figure: Split Screen Display Mode

          To exit from Split Screen mode, press the Escape key.

        • Picture in Picture, which displays the stream with active audio as the main feed, and places all other active feeds inside that picture on the right hand side.


          Figure: Picture in Picture Display Mode

          To exit from Picture in Picture mode, press the Escape key.

    1. Wall of Monitors Mode

      In older versions of the Observer opening a large number of players simultaneously created high memory consumption. In order to solve this issue, 64 bit player is now supported. 64 bit mode allows you to open large numbers of players simultaneously, without creating any additional memory consumption.

      1. Entering Wall of Monitors Mode

        In 64 bit mode, it is possible to open multiple players without losing functionality.


        Figure: Wall of Monitors Mode

        In 32 bit mode you must configure an ability to enter multiview with missing functionality.

        Note: by default, the Observer supports up to 12 players simultaneously. You can change this default value in the local.php file by adding the following line:

        define ("HARDCODED_PLAYER_LIMIT", <number_here>)

        In addition, you can change the player’s number for entering multi-view by adding the following line to the local.php file:

        define("MAX_FULL_CAPABILITY_PLAYERS", <number_here>);

      2. Frame Color Alert Notification

Volicon developed the frame color alert notification so that when you are in “wall of monitors” mode you will be able to see if any alert appears on one of the encoders.

This feature will color the player frame according to the following table:

Video - RED



Audio - YELLOW


Other – BLUE


If multiple alarms occur in the same player simultaneously, the Observer has an established priority for which alert determines the frame color. Video alerts take precedence over audio alerts which take precedence over "other" alerts, i.e.:


When you turn on the frame color alerting notification, the player frame color will always reflect the encoder status in live mode. For example, consider the situation in which the encoder observed a script error ten minutes ago, and so the encoder frame has turned BLUE. The encoder frame will remain blue, even if you are observing yesterday’s video in the encoder from a period of time in which there was no alert. Configuring Frame Color Alert Notification

To configure Frame Color Alert Notification, from the left panel click Preferences. Click Settings in the Preferences window. Click the checkbox beside Show alert’s frame.


Figure: Configuring Frame Color Alert Notifications

Note that this option is only available to you if you are running in 64-bit mode.

The screen capture below is a sample of a video alert. Note the red frame around the lower right-hand encoder.


Figure: Video Alert

      1. Keyboard Hotkeys

        When you have multiple players open simultaneously in your main screen, you may find it easier to control them using keyboard hotkeys. The hotkeys available to you are:

        • L-live

        • P- Picture in picture

        • S- Split screen

        • F- Full screen

        • M-mute

        • D- Switch between main and expanded display

        • Z- Fast reverse

        • X- Normal reverse

        • C- Slow reverse

        • <Spacebar>- Pause/play

        • V- Slow forward

        • B- Normal forward

        • N- Fast forward

        • M- mute/un-mute

        • I- Image snapshot

        • <Cursor up/down>- Volume up/down

        • mouse scroll up/down- Single frame forward/backward

        • <'>- cut clip <mark in/mark out>

    1. RPM Toolbar - Remote Control Bar

Click on the scan icon to place a channel in manual mode. It will cycle through idle, scan and manual mode. The manual mode is marked with the user name.


i Information Channel Window

  • > Go to

    < Preview

  • Next


Figure: Remote Control

See the “Remote Control” section later in the manual for details.

        1. Controlling Individual Video Streams

          You can control your Video Streams individually by clicking anywhere on the seek bar within the Video Stream itself.


          Figure: Individual Video Stream Control

          The Observer Media Player Seek bar is unlike any seek bar you see in other streaming video applications. The Observer Media Player video feeds do not have a finite end to the video stream like other internet based video streams. Therefore, we cannot count down to the end of currently playing video. Instead the end user can configure the seek bar duration time span displayed on screen. Using the "+" & "-" magnifying glass icon in the lower right hand corner of the Observer Media Player (see the red box, above). You can define the seek bar time span to be anywhere from 1 minute to 10 hours in length in predefined increments. This duration applies to all open streams.

          By hovering over the Observer Media Player Seek bar, you can immediately see the time down to the millisecond you wish to navigate to within that time span. Once you click anywhere on the seek bar, the video stream will instantly begin to stream video from that point in time. To return to the most recent content, simply click the live button and all open video streams will begin to stream live content again. Each open window can be individually controlled in the same manner.

          Note that in this context “live” means “real time to the Observer.” The Observers ingests live video, transcodes it, stores it, and streams it out to you as an end user. This process takes from 6-8 seconds. Thus, the “live” feed will be about 8 seconds behind real time.

          Border Color Identification:

          Green Border

          First, Observer Media Player always surrounds a live Video Stream with a thin green border. Anytime you press the "Live" button on the Media Player bar, all open video streams will begin streaming live video and the green border will appear around all open video streams.

          The green border disappears when the stream is not in near real time. Blue Border

          A blue border along the bottom of the feed represents the stream from which you are hearing audio.


          Figure: Video Stream Border Colors

          Time Identification

          The second method is comparing the time displayed on the video stream to the current time on your PC/laptop.



        2. Video Stream Management Advanced Actions Bar


          Figure: Advanced Actions Bar

          Observer provides you with several tools for managing individual Video Streams within the Video Stream window itself. If present and configured by your Volicon Administrator, from right to left these actions are:

          • The Calendar Function

          • The Synch to Me function

          • Closed Captioning

          • Advanced Options

        3. The Calendar Function

          Besides using the Media or Seek bars to find specific content, you can navigate any Video Stream to a specific date and time by left clicking on the date/time value in the bottom left of each Video Stream. Observer opens the Go to date and time window.


          Figure: Go to date and time Window


          Enter the date you are searching for either by clicking on the calendar icon and choosing the date, or by entering text in the format MM-DD-YYYY. Enter the time you are searching for in the 24-hour format HH:MM:SS or by clicking the up and down arrows beside the Time field. Click the Go To button to move to your chosen date and time. The video stream will instantly begin to stream video from that specific date and time.

          INFO TIP

          Note: you can only view historic video up to the date either when the system was initially installed or back to the time configured for video storage, which ever time comes first.

        4. Sync to Me

          If you have several Video Streams open and need to know what each Video Stream was displaying at a specific date and time, you can move a single Video Stream to that date and time and then click the Sync to me button. Observer will set all your open Video Streams to match the date and time of your selected window.

          Another method is to open one stream select a date and time to view then open other video streams. You will notice all video streams open to the same time as the original open stream


          Figure: Sync to me Button

        5. Closed Captioning

          You can turn Closed Captioning/Teletext on or off for individual Video Streams using the Show/hide CC button in the lower left portion of the window. The closed captions/teletext is an overlay and not burnt into the video when it is turned on or off. It can be turned on or off by each user without being displayed on any other users stream. Observer always captures the cc/tt data if the admin configures it to do so, which allows you to go to any point in time and view cc/tt. When Observer displays the Closed Caption text, it conforms to SMPTE profile of W3C Time Text Markup Language which preserves the Position, transparency, font, color, and timing of the CEA708 CC data


          Figure: Show/hide CC Button

        6. Advanced Actions Button

          Each Video Stream also gives you access to an Advanced Actions Button that affects that Video Stream only.


          Figure: Advanced Actions Button

          Left-click on the Advanced Actions Button or right click inside the video stream to open the Advanced Actions Menu. The menu gives you access to a set of commands:

          • Play live: causes your stream to retrieve the live Video Stream from your selected source.

          • Last position: Allows you to jump back and forth between two positions on the Video Stream time line. For example, you can be watching a live Video Stream, use the Go To Date and Time window to move to a specific point in the past, and jump back and forth between the two.

          • Sync to me: Synchronizes the date and time of all your open Video Stream windows to that of the window in which you execute the command.

          • Loudness Meter: Displays an active loudness meter in the lower left of your Video Stream window.


            Figure: Loudness Meter

          • Set LM right: Sets the loudness meter to the lower right of your Video Stream window.


            Figure: Set Loudness Meter Right

          • Display Metadata: this option expands the menu to give you the option of displaying various metadata as an overlay on top of your Video Stream. This metadata is not burnt into video but is an overlay that can be turned on or off on live or historic data. Not all metadata is available; please check with your Observer administrator to understand which data is being captured.


            Figure: Display Metadata Submenu

            You can choose which set of metadata you wish to display.


            image XDS Metadata If present in the Video Stream, you may display the source, title, and program rating of your Video Stream.


            Figure: XDS Metadata

            Video and Audio displays the video codec, the pixel resolution, the bits per second, frames per second, and audio sampling frequency of your Video Stream.


            Figure: Video and Audio Metadata

            Audio loudness displays the audio regulatory environment from which the Video Stream originated: in the capture below, English language from the United States.


            Figure: Audio Loudness Metadata

            AFD (Active Format Description) is a standard set of codes for television or set-top-box decoders. AFD displays that metadata on your Video Stream. The AFD information instructs the Observer as to what specific format is being sent, either 4:3 or 16:9. Since programs can vary in format in a given stream, the Observer will use the AFD to adjust the format dynamically for display.


            Figure: AFD Metadata

            NAVE (Nielsen Audio Video Encoder) is a Nielsen encoder that adds data to audio and/or video to track the distribution of content through a variety of local and national distribution systems. If the Video Stream you are watching carries a NAVE watermark, choosing this option will display that metadata.


            Figure: NAVE Watermark Metadata

            AC3 is the technical name for Dolby Digital Audio Compression. It has been standardized by the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), and is used for the efficient encoding of surround sound. If your Video Stream is carrying AC3 information to create surround sound, choosing AC3 will display that metadata.


            Figure: AC3 Metadata

            DPI or Digital Program Insertion allows cable headends and broadcast affiliates to insert locally-generated commercials and short programs into remotely distributed regional programs before they are delivered to home users. If your Video Stream is displaying locally generated programming, you can see its parameters by observing the DPI metadata.

            Align Metadata allows you to push your metadata display either to the left:


            Figure: Align Metadata Left

            Or to the right:


            Figure: Align Metadata Right

          • Sub Encoders: displays the available sub encoders in your Video Stream. Sub encoders, if they are available allow you to view the video stream in something other than the default pixel size and data rate. This will always be in a lower bit rate and usually in a lower resolution. Sub encoders are intended for bandwidth constrained networks (WiFI, Mobile, etc).


            Figure: Sub Encoders

          • Captions and Subtitles: displays the available closed caption options in your Video Stream, and allows you to turn them on or off. This option provides the same function as clicking the CC button on the Advanced Video Options bar. If available, allows the user to select DVB subtitle(s) by language


            Figure: Captions and Subtitles

          • Audio Tracks: displays the audio tracks available on your chosen Video Stream. Your administrator configures which tracks are available on your chose stream with the Audio Profile Manager (see the Observer Admin Guide for details).


            Figure: Audio Tracks

          • Wide Screen: lets you view your Video Stream in wide screen format, regardless of the format of the Video Stream.


            Figure: Wide Screen

          • Full Screen: lets you see your Video Stream in full screen format. In full screen format, press ESC to return to your Volicon RPM window.

    1. Status Line - AL, SS and BS

      The status line displays the video and audio measurements recorded for every channel. These can also be examined later through playback.


      Figure: Status Line

      In addition it displays the RPM script phases, see below.

      1. BS - Black Screen Amount

        Black Screen Amount (BS) shows the percentage of black pixels in the display.


        Figure: Black Screen Amount

      2. SS - Static Screen

        Static Screen (SS) shows the percentage of static scenery in the display.


        Figure: Static Screen Amount

      3. AL - Audio Level

        Audio Level (AL) provides the received signal as measured in dB (Decibels). The default threshold for Low Audio Alert is -40 dB; with an amplitude range from -54 to 0 dB.


        Figure: Audio Level

        1. HA – Low/High Audio Level

          The default thresholds are -40 dB for Low Audio (LA, audio going below the threshold) and -1 dB for High Audio (HA, audio exceeding the threshold).

      4. RPM Script Phase – Current Running Script

        For each channel the RPM goes through several script phases such as the dialing of digits, delay for the STB to respond and the “Detect” phase which compares media characteristics with your configured thresholds:

        The table below lists all of the RPM script phases, and explains how to read the results.

        Detect BS(30,95), SS(30,95), LA(30,-40), HA(30,-1)


        30 sec

        Period of black screen measurement


        Percent of black screen pixels in the display


        30 sec

        Period of static screen measurement


        Percent of static screen pixels in the display


        30 sec

        Period of Audio Low measurement


        Audio threshold in dB


        30 sec

        Period of Audio High measurement


        Audio threshold in dB

      5. RPM Script Phase – Manual Mode

        When you are in manual mode (explained in the next section), the RPM displays the word “Manual” along with your user name and the IP address of your client PC on the status line.


        Figure: Manual Mode RPM Script Phase Display

    2. Logging Out

      When you complete your work session, log out in order to save system resources.

      To log out of the Observer, click the Log Out button in the upper right hand corner of the home page.


      Figure: Log Out Button


    1. Entering Manual Mode

      Manual mode allows you to manually access any channel or service on the Encoder/STB.

      Click on a scanning icon to enter manual mode.


      Figure: Entering Manual Mode

    2. Effects of Manual Mode

      1. Effect on Scanning

        Automatic scanning through lineup is paused temporarily during this time. This affects:

        • Video history for that specific time period

        • Anyone viewing that specific live stream

          Manual mode will pause the encoder from scanning through the lineup and will pause triggered recording. Interactive Scripts stop running when you enter manual mode.


          When you enter manual mode, the RPM displays a message confirming that you have change your scanning mode. The Scan Icon also changes to indicate manual mode.


          Figure: Manual Mode Indicators

          In addition, the Remote Control Bar opens. Note that access to Remote Control is permissions based and is set up by the administrator.

      2. Ability to Switch Inputs in a Single Player Window

              1. Input Switching in Internet Explorer

                If you have configured Input Switching, either using the internal input switch or an external Kramer device, when you enter manual mode you gain the option of switching between inputs in a single player window. To do so, right click on the bottom of your player window on the player stream bar.


                Figure: Input Options Drop-Down List

                The Observer will display an input options drop-down list. To view an input other than the default, simply click your input choice.

              2. Displaying Input Metadata

                You can display the input’s metadata on the player by right-clicking on the player window and choosing Display metadata>Input.

                Figure: Displaying Input Metadata


              3. Input Switching in Clientless Browsers (Chrome, Firefox and Safari)

                If you are using a clientless browser, the input drop-down list is located inside the manual mode display itself.


                Figure: Input Switching in Clientless Browsers

              4. General Notes on Input Switching

                You can expect the following behavior from your input switch:

                • Opening the remote control pop up should show the correct remote according to the input’s STB configuration.

                • If a remote control timeout event occurs the input will return to 1st default input.

                • You can only use Lineup/Reviewer on the 1st input.



      Clipped video from live or recorded media is stored in the Bookmarks page. To access your clips, from the left-hand menu click on Clips>Bookmarks.


      Figure: Accessing Clips

    2. Playing Your Clips

      To play a clip, from the Clips/Bookmarks window, mouse over the clip you want to play to highlight it.


      Figure: Highlighting a Clip

      Click on the clip. Observer will open a new window and launch the clip.


      Figure: Clip Window

      The clip window contains tools to allow you to control your playback experience, including a player bar, volume controls, and full screen mode. The informational

      window below the clip tells you the clip number, the clip name, the date, starting time, ending time, and channel of the clip.

      It also provides you with two options for exporting the clip:

      • Export

      • Export Closed Captions

    3. Manipulating Your Clips

      Observer gives you multiple options for manipulating your clips, all of which are accessible to you in the Actions column.


      Figure: Actions Column

      Two of these actions are particularly important: Edit and E-Mail.


      Figure: Important Actions

      1. Editing Clips

        Clicking the Edit icon opens your clip in the Edit Clip window.


        Figure: Edit Clip Window

        From here you can view the clip, use the Mark In and Mark Out tools to define a subset of the clip, and edit the clip name and description.

        You can also export the content of your clip in two different ways:


        • Export

          Figure: Export Options

        • Export Closed Captions

        1. Exporting Your Clip

          To export the clip itself, click the Export Clip icon in the Export column of the Edit Clip window.


          Figure: Export Clip Icon

          The –export_to window opens. Volicon automatically creates a default name using the channel name, date and time, but you can edit the name to something more meaningful to the end user. Name your clip, choose the format under Save as Type and the location in which you want to save your clip on your PC/laptop. This clip will not be stored in the Observer; it is a physical copy of the content.

          Click Save.


          Figure: -export_to Window

          Observer will open the Export clip—Webpage Dialog box.


          Figure: Export Clip Webpage Dialog Box

          This dialog box gives you several options for your export. From the Streams drop-down menu, you can choose which audio languages to include, if more than one audio language is present.


          Figure: Streams Drop-Down Menu

          The Streams drop-down menu also gives you access to the Default Video dropdown menu, which allows you to choose the resolution at which you export your clip.


          Figure: Default Video Drop-Down Menu

          The Advanced Options drop down menu opens nine options for what you include in your export.


          Figure: Advanced Options Drop-Down Menu

          • Closed Captions: Closed Captions allows you to choose the On Screen Display (OSD) language you want to export, if there is more than one option available.


            Figure: Closed Caption Options

          • Timestamp allows you to specify the format for the timestamp used in the export. The default is Month/Day/Year/Hour/Minute/Second/Frame. Change the order of the variables if you wish the time stamp to display in another order.

            Timestamp also allows you to specify where you want the timestamp to appear in your export – at the top or at the bottom.


            Figure: Timestamp Options

          • Banner allows you to choose a GIF or BMP file and incorporate it into your export as a banner. To do so, click on the File icon to the right of the field.


            Figure: Banner

            Observer will open the Select a banner file window. Navigate to the image you wish to use, and click Open.


            Figure: Select a banner file Window

            Observer populates the Banner field with the file you have chosen.


            Figure: Populate Banner Field

            Choose whether you want the image displayed at the Top Left, Top Right, Bottom Left, or Bottom Right of your export. You may also choose your Transparency, the percentage of Width of the export you want the banner to occupy, and the percentage of Height of the export you want the banner to occupy.


            Figure: Banner Options

          • Resolution gives you the option of choosing the Output Resolution, in pixels, of your export. Make your choice from the Output Resolution drop-down menu.


            Figure: Resolution Options

          • Target Bitrate allows you to specify the bitrate you want your exported clip to run at. Make your choice from the Target Bitrate drop-down menu.


            Figure: Target Bitrate

          • You may also choose whether to export your clip with Maximum time accuracy, and DPI information.


            Figure: Additional Options

            You can also start the export process from Export column of the Clip Player window.


            Figure: Export Button in Clip Player Window

      1. E-Mailing Clips

        The email function allows you to email a link to the clip only to other users on the Volicon solution. It does not email a physical file, only a hyperlink to an existing clip in the bookmarks section. To e-mail your clip, click on the e-mail icon in the Actions column.


        Figure: E-Mailing Clips

        Observer will open your default e-mail client and create an email with the name of the clip in the Subject line, and a hyper-link to the clip in the body of the e-

        mail. The only thing the user needs to do is add a recipient’s email address in the "To:" field.


        Figure: E-Mail Window

    1. Searching Your Clips



      Over time, the Bookmarks folder will expand to include many pages of clips, which can make finding a particular clip difficult. Observer RPM allows you to search for a clip either by ID, name, description or a combination of parameters


      Figure: Searchable Fields in Bookmarks

      1. Simple Search

        For a simple search of the Name and Description fields, enter the term you are searching for in the Search Text field and click Search.


        Figure: Simple Search

        Observer returns a list of all the clips that have your search term in either the Name or Description fields.


        Figure: Simple Search Results

      2. Advanced Search

        Observer gives you two tools for narrowing the results of your search: the Time range field and the Advanced Search option.

        1. The Time Range Field

          Use the Time range to narrow your search by date and time. The drop-down menu provides you with four options:


          Figure: Time Range Search Options

          • None (the default)

          • Created: search by time range of when the clip was created

          • Modified: search by time range of when the clip was modified

          • Video: search by time range of whether the clip contains video Choosing any option other than “None” opens up the Search Calendar.


            Figure: Search Calendar

            Set the start point and end point of the period you wish to search, and click


        2. The Advanced Search Field

          You can further refine your search by clicking the Advanced Search button to open the Advanced Search window.


          Figure: Advanced Search Window

          The Advanced Search window gives you three drop-down menus you can use to quickly narrow in on the results you want.


          Figure: Advanced Search Drop-Down Menus

          Those fields are the:

          • Boolean Operator Field. This field allows you to use multiple search terms using Boolean logic. If you combine two search terms with a Boolean AND (for example, if you search for Coke AND Pepsi), Observer will return a clip only if it contains both terms. A Boolean OR search, on the other hand, will pull up every clip in which either term is mentioned.

          • Column Definition Field. This field allows you to search for terms in a specific column.

          • Variable Field. This field allows you to search for clips that bear a specific relationship to the search term.

      3. Sort clips

        Video clip lists can be sorted in ascending or descending order by clicking on

        column parameters:

        • ID: Clip’s unique identification number

        • Name: Clip Name

        • Description: Clip’s description

        • Trk: Media Track

        • Created by: User name

        • Created: Time created

        • Modified: Time modified


If configured by the Volicon administrator, the Observer will store closed captioning content in a separate database. This allows you to search for any word spoken on streams where the Observer is capturing CC/TT. . The search function references the Closed Caption metadata attached to your stored content and displays the text along with the video associated with the CC/TT metadata. So as long as CC/TT database storage is enabled, you have the ability to search Closed Caption text .

    1. Launching the Search Function

      To launch the Search function, click Search in the left-hand menu.


      Figure: Launching the Search Function

    2. Using the Search Function

      The Search function allows you to configure three different parameters. Use these to narrow in your search on the Video Stream you are looking for.


      Figure: Search Parameter Drop-Down Menus

      Those three search parameters are:

      • Time range. You can search for your term across a defined time period, or across all of your stored content.

      • CC Duration. When the Search function finds your search term, it will return not only the Closed Caption that contains your term, but a portion of the surrounding video as well. Use this drop-down box to determine how much of the surrounding video you want to see following the search word.

      • Channel. The Channel drop-down menu allows you to specify the channel or channels on which you wish to search.

      1. Search Function Example

        As an example, say that you want to search for the premier of the Agents of Shield television show. Begin by clicking Search, and in the Time Range menu, choose Defined Period. Observer defaults to presenting you the period from one week ago to your current date and time.


        Figure: Default Defined Period Search Duration

        Alter the search duration if you need to by clicking on the calendar icons in the

        From: and To: fields.


        Figure: Setting the Search Duration Period

        Enter your search term, in this case, Shield, and select your channels. For this example, we are searching All channels with a five minute CC Duration. Click Search to see your results.


        Figure: Search Results

        Observer returns all the instances of your search term within your chosen parameters, beginning with the most recent occurrence and listing them in order from newest to oldest. The duration of the clip will be dependent on the time span you defined above. The default is 5 minutes.

        If your search returns more than one page of results, use the Page box at the bottom of the screen to page through your returns.

        The Export column provides you with two functions:

        • Export allows you to save the clip to your desktop.


          Figure: Export Icon

          Clicking the Export icon opens the Export to… window.


          Figure: Export to… Window

        • The Export CC icon allows you to export the Closed Caption text of your clip.


          Figure: Export CC Icon

          When you click on the Export CC icon, Observer opens a query window at the bottom of your screen, asking whether you want to open or save your Closed Caption text.


          Figure: Closed Caption Query Window

          Choose Open to open the CC text in a Notepad window.

          The Save button has a drop-down menu with three options: Save, Save As and Save and Open.


          Figure: Save Button Drop-Down Menu

        • Save downloads the CC text into your Downloads folder with a file name of cctext.

        • Save as opens your Downloads folder window and gives you the chance to rename the file.

        • Save and open saves the file in your Downloads folder with a file name of cctext, and opens the CC text in a Notepad window.

          When you find the occurrence of your search term you are searching for and double-click on it, Observer opens up a Webpage Dialog window to display the clip.


          Figure: Webpage Dialog Window

          The Dialog window gives you several tools for utilizing the results of your search:

        • The list of time stamps in the right-hand column gives you the exact times the text was spoken in the video. All texts are hyperlinks – by clicking on any text the video will navigate to the exact moment in the video when the text was spoken.

          The video overlays the CC/TT in the stream.

        • The Player Bar allows you to rewind the clip at 2x, 1x, ½x, and to step backward frame by frame; to pause, to step forward your clip frame by frame, and to run the clip forward at ½x, 1x, and 2x.

        • The Volume buttons allow you to change the volume of or to mute the audio of your results.

        • The Full Screen button allows you to view your results in full screen mode; Esc returns you to your Webpage Dialog window.

        • The Closed Caption panel on the right allows you to navigate to any CC panel in your search results by clicking on the panel of your choice.

      2. Search Function Options

        In addition to allowing you to search on a specific word, Observer allows you to search using phrases, wildcards, and Boolean operators. Consult the table below for details.




        single term


        Searches for documents that contain "document" term in the default field


        "important document"

        Searches for documents that contain the phrase "important document" in the default field.

        wildcard search


        Single-character wildcard search. It will match "document" and "dociment" but not "docooment".


        Multi-character wildcard search. It will match "document" and "documentation".

        fuzzy search


        Search based on similar spelling.


        Search based on similar spelling. 0.9 is the required similarity (default: 0.5)

        proximity search

        "important document"~5

        Find words of a phrase that are not next to each other. Maximum distance in this example is 5 words.


        important^4 document

        Set boost factor of the term "important" to 4. Default boost factor is 1.

        "important document"^4 "search engine"

        You can set boost factor for phrases too.



        important document

        "OR" is the default operator.

        important OR document

        The default field must contain either "important" or "document".



        important AND document

        The default field must contain both words.

        + operator

        important +document

        The default field must contain "document" and may contain "important".



        -important document

        The default field must contain "document" but not "important".


        (important OR office) AND document

        Use parentheses for expression grouping.

    1. Export clips

      Mark clips of live or recorded media (Home page) with the <Mark Start/Mark End> button.


      1. Bookmark clips

        After clipping video click <OK> (figure below) to send the clip to the Clips

        Bookmarks page.

      2. Export media

        To “Export Video”, “Create stamp” or to publish through “Content Export”, click on the corresponding icon:


        Figure: Clip Export

        After clicking the “Export Video” icon the “Export to” popup window will appear.


        • Select directory and provide “File name”

        • “Save as type” to client PC or to network directory

        • Press the <Save> button

      3. Standard Export Format Types

        Note there various export formats to select from including full transport stream after selecting the “Save as type”:


        • ASF file (Advanced Streaming Format)

        • Flash Video .flv

        • HD Flash Video .flv

        • H254 Video .mp4

        • HD H254 Video .mp4

        • MPEG2 Video .mpeg

        • HD MPEG2 Video .mpeg

        • MPEG4 Mobile .mp4

        • Transport Stream Video .ts

          Type transport stream stores data TS bit rate (optional module).

      4. Export Stream Options

        During export select one or more of the following with the dropdown icons:

              1. Stream Options

                • Audio

                • Default Video


              2. Advanced Options

                The Advanced Options when selected up to the Maximum time accuracy are burned into the video.

                • Closed Captions

                • Timestamp

                • Banner

                • Resolution

                • Target Bitrate

                • Maximum time accuracy

                  The Maximum time accuracy option insures that the recorded media is frame accurate.

            1. Play Exported Clips

        To play the exported clip on a client PC, standard media players (Windows Media, VLC…) can be used.


Whenever the Observer detects a fault in a media stream, it generates a fault clip. You can use the fault clip to review a problem and see exactly what occurred, because the clip was recorded at the time of the occurrence.

To access your fault clips, go to: Clips Fault Clips


Figure: Fault clips

The fault clips page shares several features with the Bookmarks page, such as the Action icons and Advanced search. See the “Bookmarks” section @5.1 for information on these features.

The “Quality of Experience” package needs to be available for fault clips to appear. Fault clips are configured in the backend.

    1. Export fault clips

      To export your fault clips use the process in the “Export clips” section @6.3


    2. Fault Clip Player

      To play a fault clip, from “Fault Clips” click on a clip to open the fault clip player. Each fault clip might have several tracks, comprised of faults of the same type. The player uses DVD type player controls.


      Figure: Fault Clip Player

      The player provides you with a clip fault description just below the player controls. The description includes the information below:

      • Fault name/description

      • Track number (No)/Clip ID

      • List of fault clip tracks

      • Date and duration fields

      • Export icons

        • Media

        • CC – Closed captions

      • Channel – Service name

        Click on a track to play that occurrence of the fault on the service. A script description follows the list of tracks.

    3. Report Fault Clips in ASCII


      • <Report> button lists Fault clips in text or CSV

      • System will prompt for a folder on your client PC to download the report

      • Excel spreadsheet will display clip parameters in separate columns:

        The system will prompt for a folder on your client machine to download the report. Opening the report with a spreadsheet application will display clip parameters organized in separate columns.


        Figure: CSV File of Fault Clips


    1. Remote Control Bar


      i Information Channel Window

      • > Go to

        < Preview

      • Next

      Select an encoder to control the corresponding STB.

      Go to Live mode for the most recent media (Control-bar). Control STB using Remote Control Bar icons or the Virtual R/C.

      Place channel numbers or simple scripts in ‘Channel Window’ then click the ‘Go to’ ‘>>’ icon or <Enter> key - A quick way to dial channels or test simple scripts.

      Note the IR message above the active player display.


      Info Command STB to display a Banner (without dialing a Channel)

      Power Off/On command usually brings STB in/out of standby mode

      Review/Next Up/Down channel similar to the way a real Remote Control functions. (STB IR codes are configured with the IR Trainer, see the RPM Admin Guide)

      Last channel Returns STB to the previous channel tuned to. E.g. if tuned to channel 20, and then tuned to channel 10, clicking “Last” would return STB to channel 20

          1. Virtual Remote Control

            Click the Virtual R/C icon - R/C graphic will appear.



            The virtual remote allows you to create Macros/Scripts for repeated or often used functions. Expand the virtual R/C window by clicking the double arrows on the bottom right. image

            Virtual R/C buttons

            • Note IR message above the active player

            • There is a 4-6s delay once hitting the R/C button that allows buffers to handle network issues

      Experiment pressing different R/C buttons

      1.1.1. Virtual Remote Macro Scripting

      R/C Macro Commands - Click the expansion icon below Shortcuts to start macro scripting


      Click the Edit/Create script image Name Macro in the Name, field see Macro1

      Write script in the Script field. For example 52,,,,,,71 to dial CH 52, delay (commas) then CH 71

      Script can also use R/C Key Names and Pause command PX (X in seconds) Save script image to complete the macro

      Reduce the Editing Window when done


    The RPM estimates daily how often are the different probes, group of probes and encoders are utilized per day. From the left menu select: Central Configuration Scan Frequency


    Then select:

    • Groups (of probes)

    • Probes

    • Encoders

    • Average Scan time - Estimated average scan time for the selected encoders

    Estimate the “Average Scan time” for the selected probes and encoders in seconds (or leave the default value) then press the <View> button.


    The statistics module keeps track of service availability and faults occurring on a daily basis.

    1. Fault reports

Fault reports capture service faults and their related parameters over a 24 hour period. “Fault Report Operation” section @10.1.2 describes its operation. The parameters are saved in a tabulated format. To access your fault reports, form the left-hand menu click Statistics Faults


Figure: Fault Reports

Click on one of the reports to open it for viewing or right click to save the file on your machine or to a network drive. When saving, designate a folder to save the report (in *.csv format).


Figure: Open or Save Option

The details of the various fields are described in the next section.

      1. Service Fault Report Parameters

        You can open the report in a spreadsheet program and use its tools for analysis.


        Figure: Fault Report CSV

        Fault reports for services are composed of fault clips and related parameters. These parameters include the clip_ID, fault name, description, the time the fault was detected, Marks number, Probe, Service, Encoder and Script ID – See the table below for definitions of the parameters detected and assigned by the RPM during a service scan cycle:




        Integer value referring to an RPM fault clip uniquely. The Lipid can be used in the http://<CS_IP>/view_clip_dlg.php?id=<Clip_ID> URL to access the fault clip directly from an Internet Explorer such as: http://rpm.cableco.com/view_clip_dlg.php?id=1312965


        Name of the fault such as “Audio Low”


        Fault additional details: service channel number (e.g., 22), encoder display name (e.g., Orlando), audio level and script details


        Date and time of the fault detection

        Marks number

        Number of tracks in a fault clip, see “Trk” field in “Fault Clips” section @7. After detecting the first fault on a service (broadcast channel), a fault clip is cut as the first media track. Follow up faults of same type detected on the service will add additional tracks to the fault clip.

        Track numbers are listed under the “No” field header in the clip player.


        Probe server


        A broadcast service also referred to as a broadcast channel. When an encoder is set to manual mode, during fault the Service field will be NULL_STRING


        Module which analyzes video and media data

        Script ID

        Integer value identifying a script uniquely

        Table: Service Fault Report Parameters

      2. Fault Report Operation

        Fault reports for services capture fault clips recorded daily and their parameters. The following faults are recorded when enabled in the RPM:

        1. Media faults

          This is only a brief description (see Observer Admin Guide for details).

          • Audio Low : Incoming audio stays below the low level threshold, for details see “Media faults with examples” section, RPM Guide Addendum

          • Audio High: Incoming audio stays above the high level threshold

          • Video Lost: Video frame loss is detected and persists over the duration threshold

          • Video Black: Video stays above the black screen and over the duration thresholds

          • Video Static: Video static is detected and persists over the duration threshold

          • Closed Captions: Used for both for closed captions and teletext missing indications

            Media faults must be enabled on the probe and in the scripts (Central Config Scripts) to be detected during scanning (see Observer RPM Admin Guide for configuration details).

        2. Equipment and link errors

          Equipment and link errors, when detected, are included in the Fault reports:

          • STB fault: Detecting Declared after detecting three or more faulted services of the same type

          • Equipment error: Related to probe server inter services error

          • Encoder stopped: Encoder module processing a media stream has stopped

          • Service stopped: Encoder service (operating system routine) has stopped

          • Dial error: Digit dialing errors detected with a custom script written using the Interactive Services (optional module)

          • Script error: This fault can be the result of:

            • System detected syntax error in the script

            • Script failure due to an IR problem

        3. Other faults

          The following faults, when detected, are included in the Fault reports:

          • GPI fault: Triggered by any media fault to provide an electrical alert to external hardware

          • NAVE TS fault: A watermark is received with an older timestamp than what was defined

    1. Availability Reports

      Service availability reports are recorded daily and measure both duration and the percentage of time during which each service is available in a 24 hour period, see the “Availability Computations” section @10.3 below for details. The evaluated parameters are tabulated and are accessible from the web frontend menu: Statistics Availability reports


      Figure: Availability Reports

      Click on one of the reports to open it for viewing or right click to save the file on your machine or to a network drive. When saving, designate a folder to save the report (in *.csv format).


      You can then open the report in a spreadsheet program.


      Figure: Availability Report CSV

      The details of the various fields are described in the next table.

      1. Service Availability Parameters

        When RPM is monitoring the Downtime and Uptime parameters, it computes Availability and Fault_Count for each Service running on an Encoder, Probe, or Group (of probe servers):



        Report Start, Report End, Report Duration

        Start and end date and time of the report and the period over which the parameters of the report were collected


        Name for the group (of servers) to which this probe belongs


        Probe server


        Module which analyzes video and media data


        A broadcast service also referred to as a channel


        Duration the service was not operating during the reporting period


        Duration the service was operating during the reporting period


        Percentage of time a service is available in a 24 hour period => Uptime/”Report Duration” x 100


        Number of faults for a service per Report Duration, 24 hours


        Number of times the channel was dialed during the 24 hour period

        Table: Service Availability Parameters

    2. Availability Computations

      1. Observer Mode

        The Availability and Fault reports are only available in the RPM scan mode.

      2. RPM Scan Mode

A service state is monitored while the service is scanned; then in between scans (while the RPM is scanning other services on the same encoder) its state is preserved (as available or faulty). The time duration for availability is calculated by summing the spans in between service visits - see the next section for details.

    1. Service Availability Status Determined During Scanning

      During a scan cycle, multiple services are monitored to detect the fault status and availability of each service. An encoder samples a particular service periodically as illustrated by the blue and orange columns in the next figure.

      Service faults and equipment and link errors such as video lost, STB fault, encoder stopped, and service stopped determine the service state of the availability computations during sampling. See “Media faults” and “Equipment and link errors” of section “Fault Report Operation” @10.1.2 for details.

      In between scans (while the RPM scans other services on the same encoder), the availability of a service is assumed to persist during the whole scan cycle until the

      beginning of the next scan cycle. Therefore the availability duration for one scan cycle starts at its beginning and ends at the beginning of the next scan cycle for the monitored service. RPM sums up the availability durations of the service for the whole day to determine the service’s daily availability.

      1. Service Availability Computation Example


        Fig: Service Availability for Sampled States

        In figure above a service is monitored during scanning (of multiple services) to detect if it is good or faulty. Then the scan results are converted to a service availability computation as follows:

        • Service availability status begins from the beginning of the first monitored good scan up to the beginning of a first faulty scan as illustrated by the blue timeline above

        • The “Not Available” service status begins at the beginning of the first faulty scan and continues to the beginning of a first good state as illustrated by the orange timeline above

          If a service is free of faults – i.e., “Good” at 12:00 PM and at 12:05 PM but goes faulty at 12:10 PM, then it is considered to be available for two scan cycles: 12:10 – 12:00 => 10 minutes as illustrated in figure above. If the faulty service at 12:10 is followed by other faulty service scans at 12:15 and 12:20, but recovers after 3 service visits at 12:25 PM, then the overall downtime would be 12:25 – 12:10 => 15 minutes.


    The RPM system management has been centralized to ease system configuration, lineup maintenance, network stream debugging, software updates and to facilitate large scale deployments.


    1. User Preferences

      In User Preferences from the Left menu, you can configure the Seek-bar scale, change the login password and additional parameters as shown below:


      Figure: User Preferences Window

      Preference Option


      Seek-bar duration

      Seek-bar duration time in minutes

      Time zone

      Specifies user player display and clip date/time. System Time zone Settings – sourced from user’s Web client machine time zone (default). For the Observer Pro (Silverlight) the default is the only time zone setting available – change through Web client machine time zone

      Default audio language

      Configured for the encoder servers in audio profile

      Timestamp on CC export

      Enables timestamps on CC being exported

      Play live last selected channels

      Play-live on channels selected last time just before logout rather than continue playing from when last left off

      Show frame in live mode

      Enable frame control in live mode

      Limited results of CC search

      Limit the maximum number of clips from CC searches

      Select default CC state

      CC “On”, “Off” or “Remember last state “

      Select default XDS state

      XDS “On”, “Off” or “Remember last state “

      Select default Loudness meter state

      Loudness “On”, “Off” or “Remember last state “

      Change Password

      Ability to change your login password

      Observer Theme

      Background, color and display schemes

      Keyword Alerts

      Enable alerts of CC for configured keywords “Enable”, “Disable” or “Delete”

      Use slider players control

      Checkbox (Check/Uncheck)

    2. User Management

      See the Observer Admin Guide.

    3. Alert Notification, Emails and SNMP Notification

      See the Observer Admin Guide.

    4. Scheduled Recording Module

      This is an optional module:

      • Channel/service recording specified periods

      • Channel/service and verification during the scheduled periods

      • Dwelling on a stream (instead of scanning) for an extended period

    5. Recorded Events

      To enter this page select Central Config Scheduled Recording

      • Click on an event line below to view your event details. The Event Details

        window will appear at the right of the display.


        Figure: Schedules

        Use the Search icon to search for events.


        Figure: Search Icon

        Use the Export icon to export the list of all the events.


        Figure: Export Icon

        To schedule your recording events, click on the Manual Recordings tab.


        Figure: Manual Recordings Tab

        Click Create to open your Event Details window.


        Figure: Create Button


        Figure: Even Details Window

        Select you Parameters:

      • Encoder/stream

      • Service - Channel dialed in an Encoder/stream

      • Start and End - Time

      • Category

        Then press the <Save> button to schedule the recording event.


    1. Player hot keys

      In addition to the Control-bar, you can use keyboard single key strokes to control the player functions conveniently, as detailed in the table below.

      Hot key buttons

      Multi- player screen

      (Normal mode)/6.0 Test results

      Full-screen mode/6.0 Test results

      L – Live playback



      F – Full-screen for active window


      F or ESC returns screen to normal player mode

      D - Switch between main and extended display (in Full-screen mode)



      S – Split-screen


      F or ESC returns screen to normal player mode

      P – PIP (picture in picture)


      F or ESC returns screen to normal player mode

      Z – Fast reverse



      X – Normal reverse



      C – Slow reverse



      <Spacebar> - Pause/Un- pause Play



      V – Slow forward



      B – Normal Forward



      N – Fast Forward



      I – Image snapshot


      <Cursor up/down> - Volume up/down (audio)

      <Cursor up/down>

      <Cursor up/down>

      M - Mute/un-mute (audio)

      M (first press Mute on Control bar)

      M (first press Mute on Control bar)

      <Ctrl + Mouse scroll

      up/down> – Single frame forward/backward

      <Mouse scroll up/down>

      and <Cntr + mouse scroll up/down>

      <Cntr + mouse scroll up/down>

      <‘> Single quote– Cut clip



      L – Live playback



    2. References

      1. Loudness monitoring

        See the “Observer User Manual”.

      2. Glossary

        Electronic Program Guide (EPG)

        softcopy of TV listings with the associated metadata for display


        association of video channel, specific start date/time, duration and recurrence for scheduling system to record video content; or for clip generation


        Volicon’s broadcast video monitoring solution

    1. Troubleshooting

      Most troubleshooting and repairs are performed by systems administrators - see the Observer Admin Guide for details.

    2. What NOT to do on the server side

  • Do not run the Web client application on a server machine.

  • Do not load/execute any additional applications on the server.

  • Do not install Anti-virus until you contact Volicon Support.




Scheduled recording module; Remote control


Add pre-recorded media source to Create Clips


Upgrade to tab stops; move scheduled recording and R/C to the appendix


Dashboard; update popup menu, media clips section


Upgrade to 6.0, Status line, Remote Control, Export, Statistics reports


Conventions; Service/channel definition


Rename document


Front page footer update


Statistics module, availability and fault reports access and computations


Updated Fault and Availability reports

062412 Minor – font fix

072212 NAVE modified in "Other faults"

092712 6.1 changes; edit Favorites and Availability Computation 100312 Updated export video including the TS format

012913 Combine Observer user manual 6.2 updates with the RPM user manual 020513 Observer player installation and playback; Sections rearrangement 040913 Upgrade for release 7.0 QB2

041013 Minor edits