Back when you could count the number of broadcast TV stations in your market on one hand, broadcast studios were generally satisfied with manual quality-control (QC) spot-checking methods, looking mainly for ill-timed videotape dropouts. Today, the quantity and quality of content files for the multichannel digital television universe is exploding, while the number of people handling and critically verifying quality before streaming or airing is shrinking. Some content arrives at stations wrapped in various digital file formats that may contain their own invisible problems. More channels with fewer critical eyes prowling for problems before airing increases the risk of real viewer complaints. Is there a sensible solution other than adding staff?
The most reliable, efficient and economical digital QC solution is stand-alone automated QC. Broadcast automation, including automated QC processes, saves time and resources and always devotes its undivided attention to its assigned tasks. Properly administered automated QC will get 95 percent of necessary QC work done in an automated file-based environment. The remaining 5 percent will continue to rely on humans because there are some types of artistic expression in the video and audio that an automated system may misinterpret as a problem. When humans QC, they verify audio content (language, for example) and audio quality, watch for video artifacts and make the pass-or-fail call. What humans inspecting programs can’t see is the aggregation of ancillary digital data required that make the viewer-consumable essence of the file into valid digital media file.