Intuitive GUI and Ease of Customization Tilt the Scales in Favor of Actus for DPG Media with Support from Diginet
BOSTON, MA — August 22, 2023 — DPG Media, leading media group in Belgium, Netherlands’ largest media company with a significant presence in Denmark, has transitioned to the AI-based Intelligent Monitoring Platform from Actus Digital for regulatory compliance recording/monitoring after nearly a decade with a competitive system.
In addition to compliance recording/monitoring and SCTE-based dynamic ad insertion and verification, DPG Media’s new Actus system includes EPG (Electronic Program Guide) integration, browser-based multiviewer, and loudness monitoring. The sale and implementation were closely supervised by Belgian A/V dealer DigiNet.
When the engineering staff at DPG Media went looking for a new monitoring and compliance system at IBC 2022, UI ease of use and global offices with 24/7 support were top-of-mind considerations. “We did an exhaustive search,” says Stijn Mertens, Team Lead Broadcast Playout, DPG Media. “Many of the monitoring systems were full of features but complicated, which is fine for the engineering team, but not for other employees working with the platform every day. We wanted a system that would not only meet our requirements but provide the best results. With the Actus platform, the user interface is extremely intuitive. We were confident the transition for our staff would be smooth. And even though it’s easy to use, the platform is feature rich. Given Actus’ continuous development on the product, our capabilities will only expand.”
Actus has a dual server set up for redundancy. The two servers represent a significant reduction in hardware for DPG. The software development required and Actus’ willingness to provide necessary updates was another huge factor in the company’s favor.
Actus developed customized SCTE integration for DPG. For their application, DPG needed to search within SCTE-104 and SCTE-35 tables. Actus developed a customized, advanced filtering option on SCTE-104 and SCTE-35 messages for monitoring reporting and analysis. “After talking to Actus about our need for SCTE reporting, they quickly agreed to add our requirements to their system,” says Martens. “We can now search more precisely and filter the data of the SCTE report.”
Previously, DPG had a single sign on (SSO) authentication process based on LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol). Actus implemented SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) authentication which interfaces with DPG’s companywide SSO system. The new system also provides an MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) step, making the current integration much more secure than the previous LDAP-based integration. The DPG team are still able to manage users in the company’s active directory.
“Implementing the SAML authentication was a first for Actus,” explains Karl Imbrechts, Product Manager at Diginet working with Actus as reseller. “And they knocked it out of the park the first time. The support of the Actus development team provided exactly what DPG asked for, with 24/7 support and constant communication throughout the process. It was all very reassuring to the DPG folks.”
“Now, we have highly secure connections, and it doesn’t matter where the person is or what device they’re using,” adds Mertens. “They can immediately be verified as an official DPG user. Adding new users or disabling employees who leave the company is a simple addition to or removal from our Active Directory. The Directory update automatically rolls into the compliance system to either block or add access to the user.”
With the flexibility of the Actus Intelligent Monitoring Platform, each customer can select only the options they need, while still benefiting from the centralization of monitoring from an all-in-one platform. DPG Media is looking into utilizing the system’s OTT logging and monitoring, browser-based multiviewer, and audio/video loss alarms in the future. Introduced as part of the Intelligent Monitoring Platform’s new Version 9.0, OTT StreamWatch is the first product that makes it economically feasible to monitor FAST, IPTV, and OTT streaming channels throughout the entire workflow. In addition to 24/7 quality assurance, it provides compliance logging, OTT stream monitoring, and aircheck recording of native HLS and other OTT ABR streams. Also included within the new Version 9.0 of the Actus compliance logging and Intelligent Monitoring Platform are more AI-enabled options, such as speech-to-text and translation to any language. This is particularly beneficial for news monitoring, allowing searches for specific keywords and quick and accurate audio and video analysis.
The Mosaic multiviewer enables users to view all channels from one large screen, so it’s easy to identify any issues and errors on content in real time. It can be controlled remotely via a network, allowing the user to dynamically manage, adjust and monitor feeds from any location. The multiviewer supports any mix of broadcast and internet input, in any format, at any resolution (including mixture of OTT and broadcast signals). The layout of the feeds on the output display can be customized and saved for future use.
The Loudness module lets operators maintain continuous measurements, which identify program loudness, loudness range, and average audio level. The loudness measurements, combined with broadcast compliance logging, allow users to quickly review the status and provide continuous, exportable measurements as proof of compliance and coverage against loudness complaints.
“DPG Media is a truly innovative media company that we’re thrilled to support,” says Sima Levy, CEO of Actus Digital. “Their selection of our platform and appreciation of our feature rich platform and yet, ease of use, combined with our ability to provide the customizations DPG has asked for and great support, all makes us proud each time. We look forward to a long and successful relationship with DPG as we continue to expand our capabilities in a way that best meets their needs and benefits our overall customer base.”
To meet with Actus in person during IBC 2023 (Hall 7, booth B44) or to schedule an online demonstration, visit https://actusdigital.com/events/tradeshows/.