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Much of the talk around IP is technology based—standards, timing issues, when to implement and cost. But business managers are less concerned about the nuts and bolts technology than bottom line issues. When it comes to making decisions on facility direction and the technology to install, business factors weigh heavily. Are you ready to answer your boss’s IP business questions?

Here are two articles to help technical managers prepare for those questions.

Consultant Tony Orme looks at the economic and business reasons for moving a facility from SDI to IP. In this article he reviews the efficiencies IP can bring to a facility and how to best leverage them for the creative teams.

From the Article:

Broadcast television is undergoing a tectonic revolution from artisanal service provider to industrial scale producer. As the industry moves to its mature phase business owners require a highly efficient production line approach that is scalable, agile and cost predictable, allowing creative production teams to deliver better programming and viewer experiences.

IP is the enabling technology for this revolution, not the reason for it.

Regardless of the industry they work in, business managers of mature industries want systems that are highly flexible, cost predictable, resilient and scalable. From a business owners point of view, having to invest in specialist broadcast hardware with all of the costs that are needed to support it is unwelcome and directly affects the productivity of the creative production teams.

Virtualization makes much more efficient use of hardware. Click to enlarge.

Virtualization makes much more efficient use of hardware. Click to enlarge.

Television stations are traditionally rigid, inflexible designs catering for peak transients and worst case scenarios. Flexibility is extremely expensive in SDI. A news operation may only use twenty percent of its resource eighty percent of the time, but when a big news story breaks it’s all hands on deck and the remaining eighty percent can be consumed easily.

Mature Business Attitudes

SDI routers form the core of a TV station with thousands of point to point inputs and outputs. Resilience involves the added expense of buying a second SDI router and either using distribution amplifiers to copy each feed, or providing some sort of vendor specific trunk routing between them.

TV stations do not scale easily. Events such as the Olympics happen every four years and this needs to be catered for at the start of the design. In the life cycle of a station the expensive extra capacity may only be used for five or six months in total.

Read the complete article here.

The Broadcast Bridge writer and consultant, Gary Olson, helps readers understand the behind-the-scenes differences between over-the-air broadcasts and over-the-top content delivery. The latter being the current favorite technology with cable firms and investors. Olson’s article helps explain what the future may hold.

From the Article:

Over-The-Air (OTA) broadcasters are no longer the only game in town when it comes to delivering content to viewers. A whole new range of competitors and technologies are lining up to bring content to viewers.

New Competition for Broadcasters

Technically speaking Wi-Fi and cellular are over the air technologies. But for the purposes of this discussion they will be considered interlopers. Industry purists will only look at traditional television transmission as OTA. So is ATSC 3.0 an attempt by broadcasters to give the cable cutters access to their free content in new and improved resolutions? Or is it a way to capitalize on being able to deliver Over-The-Top (OTT) products like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu in addition to their regular programming? And if ATSC 3.0 is on demand content and needs a separate internet connection then isn’t this just OTT and then what does ATSC 3.0 offer? 

5G the Next RF Path

More bandwidth, not better coverage, just more bandwidth. There have been a number of interesting efforts to bring ATSC broadcast onto mobile devices and computers. It just doesn’t seem to be getting traction. As broadcasters are challenged to produce and deliver programming at higher resolutions and transition their infrastructure while waiting for the industry to make up its mind about IP, UHD, and the family of K’s, upgrading their transmitters to ATSC 3.0 when their upgrade to digital is barely depreciated with no market insight does not seem practical.

Read the complete article here.

Visit The Broadcast Bridge daily for more answers to your technology questions.

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