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Your Guide to Understanding IP

See that hill up ahead? It’s not a hill, it’s Mt Everest and your job is to conquer that mountain. Rendered into familiar industry vernacular, you, video engineer, are charged with building an IT-centric facility. A SMPTE standard was just approved, so what’s taking you so long?

Faced with such a challenge, some broadcast and production engineers might choose to instead just hang up their ‘scopes. After all, many of these professionals cut their teeth on the analog-to-digital transition. Who needs another hair-pulling industry conversion?

Sometimes technology changes bring equal amounts of both excitement and headache. Engineers love a challenge and those I know welcome learning about new and unfamiliar equipment and techniques.

And once the climb to the IP facility build-out has been accomplished, these people will be the new experts. They will have worked through the unknowns, developed new and previously unfamiliar solutions to create IP-centric systems and networks. By pushing through to the summit they will become the new technology heroes.

We need a guide

However, before these technology athletes reach this finish line, they need to cross the starting line. That is where we are today. These professionals are faced with the requirement to build IT and software centric video workflows and facilities. Oh, and do it while maintaining the current, reliable SDI systems. And switchover better be smooth because no one likes make goods.

When entering unfamiliar territory, the first thing a person needs is a map. A guide that shows where the dangers are located, places and things to do or not do. In technology verse, that means the engineer needs an accurate, timely and professionally written reference guide to building IP-based video systems.

Aiming to demystify IP, Tony Orme explains networks from the perspective of a broadcast engineer. Replacing hosts with microphones, and servers with vision switchers, he uses common broadcast applications to demonstrate how and why IP networks operate the way they do. “Keys to Migrating from SDI” is the go-to reference book for any broadcast engineer seeking to better understand IP technology.

Fortunately, there is such a technology guide and it has been written by The Broadcast Bridge editor and consultant Tony Orme.

The book, “Building IP Media Facilities – Keys to Migrating from SDI,” is a video engineer’s guide to transitioning from digital SDI infrastructures to IT-centric facilities. The book is comprised of 15 chapters focused on key operational aspects of IT and IP terminology, networks and ‘how-to’ practical discussion.

As a former analog engineer with only about half of my professional broadcast career spent in the digital domain, I recognize firsthand the challenge of keeping up with changing technology and systems. It’s not easy moving from being familiar and comfortable with a technology, to a world where much of what you know is pretty much no longer needed.

Likewise, with IT systems, first, the language and terminology is different. Nodes, PIDs, MPLS, and Link State Protocol mean little to one not versed in the latest IT network terminology. Fortunately, The Broadcast Bridge readers now have access to Tony Orme’s expertise. He is a specialist in IT and digital video networking. One of his life’s goals is to help others become familiar with these new systems and solutions. In that regard, Orme has just released his first tutorial book on IP media facilities.

Orme’s “Building IP Media Facilities – Keys to Migrating from SDI,” is targeted at the needs of broadcast and video engineers. It was written by a broadcast/IT systems designer and engineer who is familiar with the challenges they face.

Reading the book is like talking with a fellow engineer. Tony understands the difficulty with learning these new systems and he communicates through the use of precise language and practical examples. Orme begins the training journey by discussing the core of IP media systems, IP routing. The conversation addresses the benefits of IP routing and their built-in resilience. The reader quickly grasps the enormous differences between a ‘video’ and ‘IP’ router. No longer is an input always an input. A port can be both either an input or an output. Being able to explain such key points in a clear and understandable manner is a gift Tony Orme brings to this book.

Other key chapters in the book examine digital audio and its relationship with digital video. The book explains how AES67 and other audio networks are transported in a digital plant. VLANs and Ethernet are illustrated with both text and graphics, making them easy to understand.

Test and measurement practices must also change with IP networks. To deliver a high QoS, the signal path must experience minimal signal delay. The book describes how to measure that delay and with what equipment. Orme reviews new test methods and the needed tools including Wireshark. The reference book’s last chapter covers the extremely important aspect of IP networking—security. Engineers will learn how networks are attacked and steps that help protect those networks from hackers and outsiders.

Update your skills for tomorrow’s standards and technology. Buy Tony Orme’s book today...

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