IP is delivering unprecedented flexibility and scalability for broadcasters. But there is a price to pay for these benefits, namely, the complexity of the system increases significantly as we add more video and audio over IP.
What is the internet? Who is the internet? Where is the internet? These are the first three questions on the tip of every engineers and technologist’s lips. Before we can ever possibly hope to work with internet technology, we must be able to answer these three basic questions.
Without intercom, a live broadcast production would soon degenerate into chaos. A whole industry has been built on the protocols intercom users have adopted and everybody involved in the production must be able to hear the director’s instructions, clearly and concisely.
IP networks provide us with untold flexibility, but this flexibility presents us with interesting challenges of control. Developments in SDN (software defined networks) are leading the way through the separation of the control and data plane. And as we discover more of what SDN means, we soon realize that broadcasters are closer than they may think in achieving its operation.
With viewers demanding to watch what they want, where they want, and how they want, it’s not surprising we’re seeing an unprecedented growth in broadcaster OTT requirements. However, the change in delivery format from traditional broadcasting is providing us with some interesting challenges.
More broadcasters are seeing the benefits of moving their operations to the cloud, especially as we are becoming more reliant on remote working. But the transition isn’t necessarily a linear move and hybrid working practices help us balance the unique requirements of large media files and the flexibility cloud systems offer.
Whether we’re routing signals or remotely operating equipment, the need for reliable system control is one of the most important aspects of a broadcast facility. But as we migrate to IP, some of the working practices we took for granted with SDI operation don’t necessarily transfer and this is most evident in signal routing.
Viewing audiences are continually driving broadcasters to deliver improved video formats to further enhance the immersive experience. It didn’t seem so long ago that HD was lauded as the best format ever. Not only did we end up quadrupling the number of pixels and frame rates to deliver 12G-SDI, but we also mixed them with high dynamic range and wide color gamut.