CAMPBELL, Calif. -- June 29, 2015 -- Video Clarity Inc., provider of market-leading audio and video quality measurement and analysis systems, today announced that PBS has deployed the ClearView Extreme 4K video quality analyzer to test and verify the quality of 4K video when processed with different encoding technologies. The analysis is helping PBS to develop and recommend production techniques that its independent production partners can follow for 4K origination. In addition, ClearView Extreme 4K testing is helping PBS to understand the effects of 4K encoding technologies on program delivery so that it can continue to refine the audience quality of experience.
"In order to give all of our member stations a solid product at the origin so that they, in turn, can provide a top-notch experience for their viewers, we must protect our product from downstream degradation as it goes through processing and distribution," said Renard T. Jenkins, senior director of production and distribution operations at PBS. "Besides being the first analyzer out of the gate to deal with 4K and other advanced formats, ClearView 4K is also one of the only analyzers on the market that can test 4K UHD content at high frame rates, such as 60 frames per second and beyond. ClearView 4K gives us a proven set of audio tools that lets us analyze how 4K and UHD codecs affect the audio -- a critical part of the viewer experience."
PBS is using ClearView Extreme 4K in its Advanced Formats Center, a test environment created in collaboration with its public media partner, NPR. The center contains a miniature ecosystem of advanced formats and production and distribution methods. With ClearView Extreme 4K, PBS can look at 4K and test new technologies in an exploratory setting to determine which combination of products, codecs, and methodologies will yield the best quality for the lowest bandwidth. A big part of the testing involves new compression standards such as HEVC, which PBS is testing alongside codecs such as H.264, J2K, and VP9 to determine the best approach to 4K and UHD delivery.
ClearView 4K's A-B split screen allows PBS to do side-by-side comparisons of different compression codecs -- and even different "flavors" of the HEVC codec. PBS can make quality measurements throughout the processing chain, from origination through delivery, using different encoding methods at various bit rates, frame rates, and other variables. With ClearView 4K's complete set of full-reference tests, PBS can test any given scenario from top to bottom and be assured of high quality results.
In addition to performing critical testing in the lab setting, ClearView 4K further saves time and money by doubling as a remote testing solution. Not only does PBS use it in the Advanced Format Center, but operators on its distribution team also can access the box anytime via VPN to perform remote tests of their own.
"We see PBS as a bellwether for the industry, so its ClearView 4K deployment is an indication that the market is taking 4K origination and delivery potential very seriously," said Adam Schadle, vice president of Video Clarity. "PBS is grappling with the questions that all content distributors are going to face sooner or later: What aspects of the new UHD format are going to create an enhanced experience? Is it simply a higher spatial resolution and a requirement for a higher frame rate, or do we need a higher color gamut and dynamic range? We built our line of ClearView 4K quality analyzers to help answer those very questions, and PBS is the perfect example of how broadcasters and cable networks can benefit from using these systems."
More information about Video Clarity and the company's products is available at videoclarity.com.
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About Video Clarity Inc.
Video Clarity Inc. provides audio and video quality assessment and analysis systems for researchers, broadcasters, equipment vendors, and entertainment distribution engineers that must continually measure the quality of their products and services. Propelled by market-leading technology, Video Clarity solutions have been adopted the world over by major media networks such as NBC Universal and BSkyB; leading broadcast-product manufacturers such as Cisco and Harmonic; and educational, government, and research organizations such as the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, the U.S. Army, and NASA. Video Clarity was founded in 2003, with headquarters in Campbell, California, and distribution worldwide. Additional information is available at videoclarity.com.
Photo Caption: Renard Jenkins, Senior Director of Operations at PBS