North Point Ministries Connects Campuses Over High-Speed IP Infrastructure

Looking to provide shared, immersive experiences for its congregation members, North Point Ministries, based in Alpharetta, Ga., has linked three of its seven church campuses across the metropolitan Atlanta area with a high-speed Cisco data network, designed by local systems integrator World Wide Technology.

This sharing of content and production team collaboration is at the heart of North Point Ministries’ mission and now offers a new method for software-defined processing and IP connectivity. Three of its seven campuses are now connected via 40 gigabit IP links, with Cisco 100 gigabit switches installed to allow for future bandwidth expansion. In addition, North Point has a global network of more than 90 partner churches and an online ministry. Its style of worship features vibrant stage designs and immersive production techniques to engage and galvanize audiences.

“The SMPTE ST 2110 family of standards has allowed us to move away from a traditional TDM-based, SDI-over-fiber transport between our facilities to a purely IP-based workflow,” said Jeremy Lommori, senior engineer, NPM Productions, North Point Ministries. “Utilizing the same dark fiber connection, we have more than doubled our capacity and can provide a significantly higher level of flexibility in transporting signals between multiple campuses.”

The network is supported by five Selenio Network Processors that provide video and audio processing and an interface between SDI and SMPTE ST 2110 standards-based IP.

The network is supported by five Selenio Network Processors that provide video and audio processing and an interface between SDI and SMPTE ST 2110 standards-based IP.

The network is supported by five Selenio Network Processors (SNP) from Imagine Communications that provide video and audio processing and an interface between SDI and SMPTE ST 2110 standards-based IP. The result is that North Point Ministries’ operators can route any signal from any location, to any location.

The SNPs provide timing synchronization, as well as SDI/IP interfaces, connecting Imagine Platinum routers at each location and the multi-campus SMPTE ST 2110 IP network. Each of the Platinum routers incorporates integrated multiviewer functionality, and the whole installation operates as a single network under the control of Imagine’s Magellan SDN Orchestrator, a software control layer.

A Platinum router at each location incorporates integrated multiviewer functionality, along with other signal distribution capabilities.

A Platinum router at each location incorporates integrated multiviewer functionality, along with other signal distribution capabilities.

As a compact 1RU device, SNP enables system designers, like those at North Point Ministries, to simplify operations and reduce costs, supporting both SDI and IP networks. It supports uncompressed HD and Ultra HD based on the SMPTE ST 2110 family of IP standards, including PTP timing, and the ST 2022-6 redundancy model, enabling free interoperability. A single SNP can support up to eight channels of Ultra HD, 32 channels of HD, or a combination of the two in one unit. 

Steve Schubert, a consulting systems engineer at World Wide Technology, said that as Cisco’s first certified-IP Fabric for Media Solution partner, WWT leveraged this solution because it was built for broadcasters moving from SDI switching to an IP network.

“We based the network design on those solution best practices and from there customized the network needed to accommodate North Point Ministries’ unique requirements,” Schubert said.

Cassidy Phillips, solutions architect at Imagine Communications, said that by using Selenio, the network can synchronize and process up to 32 uncompressed signals, bidirectionally, over as few as two single-mode fiber links. This provides immediate improvements in fiber utilization to the North Point system, along with new ST 2110, HDR and UHD capabilities, ensuring that all the immediacy of the worship productions is seamlessly shared between the other church campuses, and relayed to partner churches and online.

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