Raycom Upgrades Volicon Observer Fleet

Raycom Media is upgrading its Volicon Observerdigital video monitoring and logging system deployment so that all 48 of the group’s stations can use the Observer not only for monitoring, compliance and ad verification, but also for new applications including competitive analysis, loudness monitoring and NAVE monitoring.

At the same time, senior group executives and consultants will continue to use a central Observer server to access live and recorded feeds from a total of 158 stations, including their own stations and competitors across the country and beyond.

“With our initial investment in Observer systems, we envisioned them monitoring what’s going out to air and providing proof that we aired content properly,” said Dave Folsom, Raycom VP-CTO. “Since then, they have been in constant use, adding value on so many levels and in so many different ways. This system-wide upgrade gives us new Observer hardware with more robust capabilities, and the fact that we have been able to add in NAVE and CALM Act monitoring and view content from mobile devices feels like a bonus.”

Volicon Observer systems capture, store and stream stations’ broadcasted content, offering unlimited simultaneous users 24/7 access to live and recorded content from their desktop computers and smart devices. An intuitive, streamlined user interface accessible from Mac, PC and mobile devices allows Raycom Media and its authorized users to access, play, pause and search recorded content for legal purposes, program analysis, talent coaching, proof of performance and a host of other uses.

The Observer loudness monitoring module lets Raycom Media measure AC3 dialnorm levels and to monitor broadcasts’ compliance with ITU BS.1770-1 and BS.1770-2, ATSC A/85 RP 2011, and CALM Act (FCC Report 11-182A1) standards. Intuitive overlay controls provide continuous measurements that identify program loudness and loudness range.

High-visibility audio, video, and measurement data, as well as fast, accurate access to any given piece of content and the ability to export a report and/or the content itself with loudness data overlaid, will support the broadcast group in demonstrating diligent compliance with loudness rules and laws.


Using the Observer system’s integrated NAVE monitoring module, Raycom will be able to determine immediately whether a station has placed Nielsen codes in the broadcast stream properly or if anything happened to them after it left the station. The immediate feedback provided by the Observer system will reduce the time it takes Raycom Media to act on this information and, in turn, improve its ability to maintain accurate ratings attributions, according to Raycom.

To address Raycom’s multichannel broadcast management and monitoring applications, the Observer systems not only provide critical monitoring functionality at the station level, but also facilitate provision of high-quality live or recorded content directly to “C suite” desktops, as well as executives’ iPad and iPhone devices. Using Raycom’s central Observer server, producers, directors, consultants and other team members evaluate — and even guide — the course of production, in turn reducing the cost and difficulty of maintaining the desired quality, content, or character of programming.

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