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.
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.
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.
Recent international events have overtaken normality causing us to take an even closer look at how we make television. Physical isolation is greatly accelerating our interest in Remote Production, REMI and At-Home working, and this is more important now than it ever has been.