The power and flexibility of cloud computing is being felt by broadcasters throughout the world. Scaling delivers incredible resource and the levels of resilience available from international public cloud vendors is truly eye watering. It’s difficult to see how any broadcaster would run out of computing power or storage, even with 4K and 8K infrastructures.
Video, audio and metadata monitoring in the IP domain requires different parameter checking than is typically available from the mainstream monitoring tools found in IT. The contents of the data payload are less predictable and packet distribution more tightly defined leading to the need to use specialist media stream centric monitoring tools.
Television is still a niche industry, but nonetheless, one of the most powerful story telling mediums in existence. Whether reporting news events, delivering educational seminars, or product reviews, television still outperforms all other mediums in terms of its ability to communicate to mass audiences.
Timing accuracy has been a fundamental component of broadcast infrastructures for as long as we’ve transmitted television pictures and sound. The time invariant nature of frame sampling still requires us to provide timing references with sub microsecond accuracy.
Having a collection of PCs and MACs stacked under a desk to facilitate the multitude of operational requirements not only proves difficult to operate but challenges our modern ideas around security and makes maintenance almost impossible.
IP and COTS infrastructure designs are giving us the opportunity to think about broadcast systems in an entirely different manner. Although broadcast engineers have been designing studio facilities to be flexible from the earliest days of television, the addition of IP and COTS takes this to a new level allowing us to continually reallocate infrastructure components to make the best use of expensive resource.
Monitoring has always been the engineers’ best friend as it turns apparent chaos into order and helps us understand what is going on deep inside a system to deliver high-quality pictures and sound. As OTT continues to play a more prominent role, the need to monitor internet distribution systems is becoming increasingly compelling.
SDI has been and continues to be a mature and stable standard for the distribution of video, audio and metadata in broadcast facilities. From its inception in the 1989 to the modern quad-link 12G-SDI available today, it has stood the test of time and even with the advent of IP and Ethernet, it shows no sign of waning.