The Net Insight Nimbra network switch is part of the companies low latency contribution network.
At IBC Net Insight showed their solutions for glass-to-glass live streaming from remote venue to central broadcast facility and finally on to the OTA and OTT viewer, with ultra-low latency throughout the chain.
Contribution links once used dedicated video circuits or more commonly satellite and microwave links. The ubiquity of fiber has changed all that with most premiere stadiums now having wide bandwidth fiber connections that can replace satellite backhaul. The new links could be dark fiber, MPLS or IP. By their very nature, such connections are bi-directional.
The availability of wide bandwidth fiber has led to the concept of remote production— truckless remotes. The advantages are that the onsite crew can be radically reduced, with attendant saving in catering, travel and accommodation costs. The camera operators are still needed, although PTZ cameras present an alternative, but the switcher and sound desk and even shading can be back at base. Of course, the viability of this depends on the cost of fiber connections, but as fiber costs fall, remote production is more and more making financial sense.
Pioneered by Swedish Television (SVT) way back at the 2012 London Olympics, and used regularly by broadcasters like TV2 in Denmark, remote production is already a reality. For their weekly sports broadcasts, TV2 uses just seven technicians at each site, enabling them to cover multiple events simultaneously at a reduced cost.
Many broadcasters have been sceptical of IP WANs for live broadcast, citing concerns such as:
- 1. Propagation delay
- 2. Bandwidth demand if multiple camera feeds are returned to the central facility
- 3. Synchronization of multiple feeds across a WAN
- 4. Fewer staff on site to cope with equipment faults or failure
Items 1 and 2 can be eased with low latency codecs like JPG2K. The synchronization of multiple feeds can be managed with the new SMPTE protocols like ST2110.
At IBC, the company showed Remote Production 2.0, a collaboration with Grass Valley, Calrec and Riedel for remote production based around the ST2110 protocol.
Net Insight’s Nimbra provides the platform for the connections between the remote event site and the broadcast facility. Their product suite provides for bandwidth reservation and burst control for a WAN on top of any IP network.
The use of IP networks can further be extended beyond the studio control room to the master control room, using the same ST 2110 links over managed IP networks.
Net Insight also be showed the latest developments in their Sye live OTT platform. Sye enables ultra-low latency live OTT where it is important to synchronize the live over-the-air (OTA) broadcast with the OTT social media streams. This avoids the classic problem where the phone viewer wonders why everyone crowed round the TV in the bar are cheering, and 30 seconds later they find out. The platform means that live broadcasts can be aired across first and second screen in sync. This is an enabler for many applications from multiple camera views for sport to interactive advertising, gaming or polling, and gives the viewer a seamless experience across all devices.
For simple deployment on-demand, Sye is now available as a cloud service in association with Microsoft Azure.
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