Designing IP Broadcast Systems: Part 3 - Designing For Everyday Operation

Welcome to the third part of ‘Designing IP Broadcast Systems’ - a major 18 article exploration of the technology needed to create practical IP based broadcast production systems. Part 3 discusses some of the key challenges of designing network systems to support everyday operation. It contains five articles which tackle; device discovery and why plug and play is not so easy to achieve, routing, resilience, remote control data flows, and ground to cloud contribution.

About 'Designing IP Broadcast Systems'

This series builds on the foundations of the huge body of work already published by The Broadcast Bridge on IP. The 18 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.  

Designing IP Broadcast systems will publish in four parts. Details of all four parts can be found HERE.


About Part 3. Designing For Everyday Operation

Part 3 is a free PDF download containing 5 articles:

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.

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