• Euro Media Group discussed IP remote production system diPloy
  • Discussion took place as part of Imagine Communication’s panel at IBC SHOWCASE
  • diPloy is 4K and UHD HDR-enabled

Euro Media Group has lifted the lid on its new modular IP-based remote production system diPloy, which had been set to make its debut in Japan this summer.

Imagine panel

Imagine panel discussed IP remote production for live sports

Making the shift from SDI to IP-based production has been a three-year labour-of-love for the French facilities giant, which has a presence in eight countries.

Euro Media discussed diPloy as part of Imagine Communications’ panel “Scoring with IP” at IBC SHOWCASE.

According to Euro Media’s director of operations Timo Koch, the group knew back in 2017 that, if they wanted to make the move into remote production, “IP was the only way to go”.

“When you look at very large productions in UHD HDR you run very quickly into the limited bandwidth of SDI,” said Koch.

Koch added that his company wanted to “take IP a step further” by designing “a fully flexible, scalable and modular production environment on a single platform that could be used by the entire group for all applications and all formats.”

He said: “Scalability was one of our key factors, and still is. The system was designed to be fully elastic to fit any production, from a four HD camera job to a full-sized world-class sporting event, with close to 100 UHD cameras.”

The diPloy platform, which is 4K and UHD HDR enabled, was designed and integrated in-house with a team led by Euro Media’s senior project engineer Christoph Hadyk.

Hadyk, who also joined the session, described the system as being based on small blocks of functionality called modules.

“Our modules are in physical racks with different sizes that fit on top of each other like little Lego blocks and can be put together anywhere, whether a data centre or an OB truck, depending on the requirements of the job,” he said.

Central to this architecture is Imagine’s media processing platform, the Selenio Network Processor, which provides four independent processing blocks that can be software-reconfigured in each deployment.

In some diPloy modules, SNP works as a gateway to bridge EMG’s legacy SDI equipment to the SMPTE ST 2110 network on which diPloy depends. In others, it works as a processor, adjusting visual parameters of camera signals or performing HDR conversions.

Imagine CTO for Networking, John Mailhot (also an SMPTE fellow serving as group editor for the 2110 standard) welcomed the business benefits that were finally being realised by standards that Imagine and others had worked on with SMPTE, AMWA and the Video Services Forum.

He said: “The whole purpose of IP was to consolidate all the signals onto a common infrastructure to make it easier to build facilities, especially dynamic facilities that are tuned up a little differently for each event,” he said.

Koch alluded to the fact that the system should have had its first outing during this year’s now postponed Olympics 2020 games.

“We were supposed to show it to the world in its full glory during a massive sporting event in Japan that did not happen,” he said

However Koch added that diPloy is now integrated into one of Euro Media’s remote operations centres in the Netherlands - where it is being used daily on two live shows - with other integrations in France, UK, Italy and Belgium to follow.

The operations director added that the platform was now in two of its golf trucks with plans integrate the technology into one of its “very large OB trucks” by the end of the month.