Electronic Design

Software Upgrades Enhance Compressed Video Testing

The increased adoption of digital video has brought about a real need to speed up and simplify the testing of systems that use compressed video. Video on demand (VoD), HDTV, and video over Internet Protocol (IPTV) systems are growing in number, with more on the way as broadband carriers gear up for increased video revenue.

The speed and complexity of compressed video systems give test engineers fits in verifying correct operation isolating faults that produce less than broadcast quality. To address these problems, Tektronix offers two upgrades to its MTS400 compressed video test system.

The MTS400 automatically monitors, analyzes, and debugs live and deferred time video transport streams (see the figure). It lets broadcasters, network operators, and equipment manufacturers quickly gain insight into intermittent system faults that directly impact broadcast quality. Using Tektronix's CaptureVu technology, it captures and analyzes video system events in real time (streaming) or deferred (stored) video to help identify problems.

Also, it handles stored transport streams at up to 400 Mbits/s, greatly reducing analysis time. Overall, the MTS400 test system instruments generate, record, and analyze at the highest data rate possible of about 214 Mbits/s. The system handles all legacy and next-generation compressed video standards, including MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, VC-1, 3GPP, and ISDB. A special user interface makes using the system easy for power experts and novices alike.

The upgrades are new tools for validating, debugging, and comparing H.264 video equipment (see "What The Devil Is H.264?" at www.electronicdesign.com, Drill Deeper 13260). The H.264 multiplexer is the first offline software solution available for multiplexing H.264 elementary streams into a transport stream, which lets users easily create test streams for validation and debugging.

The second enhancement is a set of IP analysis tools that shorten the design cycle for IPTV equipment. These tools address MPEG-IP cross layer tests and MPEG-IP cross layer timing correlation. Users can analyze MPEG and IP layer performance and quickly identify equipment performance problems by triggering on events based upon IP layer measurements. Then, they can correlate cross timing of the IP, transport stream, and packetized elementary stream layers.

Both tools provide a way to create test streams for validation and debugging designs more quickly. They also let users create error streams to perform parametric stress testing to ensure the robustness and quality of H.264 equipment. MTS400 series users will receive version 1.1 of these programs on a CD.

Tektronix Inc.
www.tektronix.com

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