Keeping the Content Flowing

By Angie Johnston  |  April 13, 2016

Part of operating and maintaining a broadcast system, no matter the complexity, is managing failures. These systems are made of devices and, as we all know, devices degrade or sometimes outright fail. The only questions are – how do you plan on mitigating those risks and how do you plan on remedying them?  No matter which style your organization chooses to take, one of Crystal’s key features can be utilized to predict a failure before it happens, and possibly expedite the RMA process with your vendor once it has. That is, if one knows where to look.


Built right into the Crystal Web Administration interface is an entire section on reporting. Used holistically, these features help you identify a device failure, what time the failure occurred, and even lend insight into the events that transpired leading up to that failure. The ability to view the system as a whole allows you to quickly determine whether the over temperature fault on device X is a problem with only that device, or a problem with your ECU in that space. This translates to less time spent isolating the problem, and more time solving it to get you back on air.

Restoration, Now!

Time is money, or so the adage goes, and in no industry is this more applicable than the broadcast industry where content ravenous consumers and paying advertisers are both clamoring for you to get your content back on the air. By saving graphing solutions in your Crystal Web Administration interface for your primary and backup chains, where applicable, you can quickly perform a differential diagnosis on your system and pinpoint the failed object enabling manual switching or replacement, where Crystal automation of protection switching may not have been leveraged, greatly reducing the time between failure identification and restoration.

Reactive, No More

If your organization already has a Crystal NMS system, you can perform post-mortem analysis on your failure to restore service quickly and save graphed attributes to enable fault prediction by incorporating them into your shift reporting. Imagine, if you will, getting a shift report from your 1st or 3rd shift Team Leaders detailing a rise in the Helix Current of your on-air HPA. Or getting a report showing that a drop in Eb/N0 on your IRD of an ingest feed means that your receive signal from your distant end is slipping. You can coordinate for your system, or your distant end, to transition to back-up equipment so that primary gear can be troubleshot and analyzed.

You just prevented a failure and transitioned services on your schedule, not by the “randomness” as previously experienced.

By simple web browser configuration you can quickly monitor key attributes in your identified devices by chain, by service, by whatever criterion you desire to predict failures or other problems not only with your system but with that of your distant end as well.

By utilizing all the functionality built into your Crystal NMS system, functionality delivered by default, you speed up your reaction time to problems, predict problems and plan contingencies to inform your staff and greatly reduce outages, if any has to be experienced at all.

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