Paul Bunyan Communications deploys Witbox monitoring hardware and Witbe REC remote testing software to remotely access and monitor video channels on set-top boxes.

Witbe Remote Eye Controller

Paul Bunyan Communications is a rural all-fibre-optic network provider in the northeastern United States. As well as supplying internet connections at speeds up to 10 Gig, Paul Bunyan runs digital and HD television services. To proactively monitor channels running on their PBTV set-top boxes, their team has started using remote monitoring hardware and software developed by Witbe. The monitoring data is then used as the basis for improving the quality of experience the company delivers to customers across several states.

Witbe’s equipment is capable of monitoring a video service automatically while it runs on a physical device plugged into a Witbox, the company’s primary hardware. The Witbox watches and evaluates the picture and sound quality of the service it is monitoring, similar to the way a human would. Whenever the live service quality drops or is interrupted, the Paul Bunyan team receive immediate alerts, which they use to help resolve errors before their customers notice.

This monitoring data is then compiled in Smartgate, a platform of Witbe’s observation tools, where the team can analyse the results according to device, region and software versions. Video traces of errors become available immediately, with reports displaying the most important performance indicators.

Witbe Witbox

Paul Bunyan Communications is also using Witbe’s Remote Eye Controller (REC) software to remotely access and control real testing devices plugged into a Witbox from web browsers, including browsers on mobile devices and tablets. The company’s teams can collaborate and virtually monitor PBTV STBs across the regions they operate in, seeing exactly what customers see at home.

REC has a Mosaic Mode that displays all devices in one screen – STB, OTT devices, mobile phones, web browsers – where you can see and hear all real devices in use for testing and monitoring, while the quality alerts are displayed in real-time. This view is an efficient way to monitor differences between devices, for example when performing updates over a wide region, or checking on blackouts for a live event.

“Our robust, proactive monitoring was designed to help providers track the reliability of their video service 24/7,” said Mathieu Planche, CEO at Witbe. “Witbe’s equipment is as relevant for providers focusing on the specific needs of local markets as it is for global players. Paul Bunyan Communications’ choice of Witbe recognises our commitment to making the most effective tools available to them.”