IP-based solutions for broadcasters are paving the way for flexibility in business models with new capabilities and transparent workflows, said AIMS Chairman Mike Cronk.
The Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS) latest whitepaper offers advice to help broadcasters “gracefully migrate to IP in mixed environments where SDI-based equipment remains in operation”.
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The IP challenge
In the same week that the whitepaper was released, Cronk explained to delegates at the Media Tech 360 event in London that while it’s hard to predict the future IP is already having an impact.
The integration and implementation of IP-based solutions are significant for the viewer from wide colour gamut, high dynamic range (HDR) and increasing resolutions up to 8K which NHK in Japan are working on, Cronk explained.
He said: “IP facilitates new work flows and reduces total cost of ownership.”
Cronk said: “IP is a means to an end. IP helps transform the industry and allows us to compete in the future.”
“The pace of change is astronomically faster than ever.”
On the whitepaper, Cronk said: “There is considerable ongoing technical change in our industry, which is why we’re issuing this AIMS whitepaper. The technical community needs guidance, and the whitepaper offers some important information.
“It provides a foundation for how to approach IP-based systems, drawing from the practical knowledge of the AIMS membership.”
AIMS whitepaper explained the advancement in interoperability is especially timely as the industry enters a next-generation of formatting including ultra high-definition (UHD), 4K, high dynamic range (HDR) and 1080p as a successor to HD.
“Fragmenting the industry involves a destruction of value.”
The SMPTE ST 2110 standard meets video formatting requirements including UHD and has been designed specifically to accommodate 8K UHD for the future adoption with vendors offering compatible products.
Cronk said: “IP benefits include format flexibility, resource sharing, scale, open architecture, future proofing and higher level software functions”.
“We recognise that many broadcasters are already in various stages of IP transformation using products mapped to the AIMS interoperability framework,” Cronk said.
“Media companies that are forward thinking and looking to IP and the cloud are eager to embrace this technology, which is incredibly positive for the vendors production and broadcasters adoption.”
“SMPTE 2110 is not fully ratified yet,” explained Cronk to delegates, “The results of IP integration are present at IBC and NAB tradeshows, the industry is working at the same pace, alongside SMPTE at the draft stage of the standards.”
Cronk explained the need for a new standard because there is a difference between the widely deployed ST 2022-6 and the new ST 2110, which enables audio, video and metadata to be bundled as separate essences.
“This common standard aims to create more value for worldwide adoption”.
”Miami-based broadcaster, Telemundo has built a brand new facility based on 2110. They feel it provides additional format flexibility and resource,” said Cronk.
He said: “What they’re doing with IP, on this scale, they couldn’t do in any other way.”
The bottom line
Broadcasters must consider that when designing IP-based production infrastructure there is a wide range of factors relating to consider.
The good news for producers, directors and engineers is that even though implementing IP in a broadcast plant is a massive technical shift, the basic workflows long followed in live TV production remain unchanged.
Careful consideration of points made in the whitepaper should help designers choose approaches that will serve any given facilities immediate needs while smoothing the way for ongoing migration from SDI to IP-based production.
SMPTE ST 2110 standard.
Built on three earlier phases of the AIMS roadmap, they include:
- SMPTE ST 2022-6, the protocol that supports bridging between SDI-based and IP- based equipment by describing how SDI payloads are embedded in an IP RTP (Real- time Transport Protocol) stream.
- TR-04, the technical recommendation developed by the Video Services Forum (VSF) that maintains the SDI-over-IP capability for video within SMPTE ST 2022-6 while defining an AES67-based option for transporting and processing discrete IP audio streams.
- TR-03, another VSF technical recommendation which defines how separate uncompressed streams of IP video, audio and metadata are packetized for mapping into RTP, thereby enabling independent processing of these components in IP while retaining the ability through synchronisation to treat them as a whole in production workflows.