Media streaming over the internet is unique. Packet switched networks were never designed to deliver continuous and long streams of media but instead were built to efficiently process transactional and short bursts of data. The long streams of video and audio data are relentless in their network demands and to distribute them effectively requires the adoption of specialist CDNs.
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.
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.
Moving to IP opens a whole plethora of options for broadcasters. Engineers often speak of the advantages of scalability and flexibility in IP systems. But IP systems take on many flavors, from on-prem to off-prem, private and public cloud. And then there is virtualization.
What broadcast engineer, video or audio technician or camera person hasn’t wanted to work the Super Bowl? Being part of the broadcast team for the most high-profile event in U.S. television is considered by many to be a career-crowning achievement. For those who do work the Super Bowl, it may be just another weekend football game—albeit one with an intensity that is off the chart!