Audio mitigation: Tektronix
Where it's based: Beaverton, Ore.
When it was founded: 1946
Why it's Fierce: Ostensibly a content monitoring product, designed to improve reliability and quality of service for cable systems that can no longer afford to deliver best-effort products, Tektronix's (formerly Mixed Signals) Sentry has assumed an even greater role and responsibility thanks to the federal Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act that basically shooshes loud commercials.
Because Sentry monitors and diagnoses video and audio errors, it can be used by cable operators to keep an ear out for deliberate or accidental audio anomalies during commercial breaks.
Even without CALM, Sentry was a product quality-conscious operators were embracing. "As we expand our offerings with more HD programming and other advanced services, the chances for video and audio errors to occur grows, but with Sentry we will be able to comprehensively monitor our content to catch and rectify errors quickly and with minimum fuss," explained Alain Boissonnault, senior director of digital video development for Videotron.