Designing IP Broadcast Systems

Designing IP Broadcast Systems is a major 18 article exploration of the technology needed to create practical IP based production systems. It builds on the foundations of the huge body of work already published by The Broadcast Bridge on IP. This extensive article collection delves deeper into various aspects of how IP based systems work, with detailed technical explorations of key themes including; design philosophies, discoverability, hybrid systems, remote production, cloud infrastructure and software control layers.

IP for broadcasting is no longer a theoretical concept. It is proving its worth in television stations throughout the world. But transitioning to IP has its challenges, even for those lucky enough to work on greenfield sites. The abstraction of the video and audio essence from the underlying timing plane is presenting many issues whose solutions were often taken for granted in SDI and AES infrastructures, but the learning curve needed to make IP systems work for broadcasting is well worth the investment.

Fundamentally, we’re distributing synchronous video and audio over an asynchronous network, and in doing so, we’re effectively destroying the timing plane. To reconstruct the video and audio signals at the destination we must synthesize a timing system that operates over an asynchronous packet switched network. Switch buffers with indeterminate latencies conspire against this goal so packet jitter and loss become something we have to work with.

To achieve the promise of scalability, flexibility, and resilience, a change in mindset is required as broadcast engineers expect video and audio signals to be delivered with near perfection, but IT engineers and the vendors who manufacture routing and switching equipment assume there will be some packet loss due to the dynamic nature of IP networks. Once this has been accepted, then designing IP broadcast systems becomes more achievable.

Designing IP Broadcast Systems picks up the story where 'Understanding IP Broadcast Production Networks- The Book' left it, and assumes the reader has read this earlier work.  

Part 1. IP Network Design Principles

AVAILABLE NOW - Download Part 1 HERE

Article 1 : Thinking Asynchronously
Designing IP infrastructures requires broadcast engineers and technologists to think asynchronously if they are to deliver reliable studio IP infrastructures.

Article 2 : Network Layers & Topologies
Layer-2 switching and layer-3 routing are intrinsic parts of networks, and adding SDNs to spine-leaf and mesh networks improves flexibility and scalability.

Article 3 : Give & Take For IP’s Sake
Our partner Lawo discuss how real world user experiences and the sharing of knowledge are what really drives forward the widespread adoption of new technologies and the innovative workflows they empower.

Article 4 : System Glue
When we think of glue in broadcast infrastructures, we tend to think of the interface equipment that connects different protocols and systems together. However, IP infrastructures add another level of complexity to our concept of glue.

Article 5 : Timing
Adding PTP to asynchronous IP networks provides a synchronization layer that maintains fluidity of motion and distortion free sound in the audio domain.

Part 2. IT Philosophies, Integrating Cloud, Addressing & Delivery

AVAILABLE NOW - Download Part 2 HERE

Article 1 : Where Broadcast Meets IT
Broadcast and IT engineers have historically approached their professions from two different places, but as technology is more reliable, they are moving closer.

Article 2 : Integrating Cloud Infrastructure
Connecting on-prem broadcast infrastructures to the public cloud leads to a hybrid system which requires reliable secure high value media exchange and delivery.

Article 3 : With ST2110, You’ve Got The Power
Our partner Lawo discuss how a hybrid infrastructure that combines SDI and server based processing technologies, connected by an ST 2110 IP core offers the best of all worlds.

Article 4 : Addressing & Packet Delivery
Layer-3 and layer-2 addresses work together to deliver data link layer packets and frames across networks to improve efficiency and reduce congestion.

Part 3. Designing For Everyday Operation

AVAILABLE NOW - Download Part 3 HERE

Article 1 : Why Can’t We Just Plug And Play?
Plug and play would be an ideal solution for IP broadcast workflows, however, this concept is not as straight forward as it may first seem.

Article 2 : Routing
IP networks are wonderfully flexible, but this flexibility can be the cause of much frustration, especially when broadcasters must decide on a network topology.

Article 3 : Resilience is… When the Essence Keeps Coming
Our partner Lawo discuss how software defined broadcast infrastructure can bring true resilience to production systems.

Article 4 : Remote Control
All IP flows are not the same as protocols such as TCP and UDP may negatively influence each other resulting in video and audio breakup and sporadic control.

Article 5 : Ground To Cloud
Reducing the latency for video and audio streaming to the cloud has implications for congestion control and care must be taken to avoid congestion collapse.

Part 4. Software System Management


Article 1 : Software Defined Networking
SDNs are relatively new to IT and are making great milestones into optimizing networks to improve their performance, especially for heavy hitting media flows.

Article 2 : NMOS
SMPTE have delivered reliable low latency video and audio distribution over IP networks, but it’s NMOS that are delivering solutions to operational requirements.

Article 3 : System Monitoring
Monitoring is at the core of any broadcast facility, but as IP continues to play a more important role, the need to progress beyond video and audio signal monitoring is becoming increasingly important.

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