Articles You May Have Missed – March 15, 2017

The move to IP has some engineers scratching their heads for solutions. No need to panic. This week we highlight articles from consultant Gary Olson and broadcast engineer Ned Soseman. Each author offers advice on making that important move to IP, offering their thoughts on moving forward.

Between broadcast and studios, IP is the standard connection method. Why not within studios also? Image courtesy HD Broadcast Arizona.

Between broadcast and studios, IP is the standard connection method. Why not within studios also? Image courtesy HD Broadcast Arizona.

Just when I thought it was going to be safe to go in the water, out comes a survey and a statement that Live over IP is still 5 to 10 years away. Really?

Consultant Gary Olson responds to the industry’s motivation to move facilities from SDI to IP platforms. The driver, he says, “It's the cost of transition.”

Broadcast and production organizations don’t change technology on whim and fancy. It is either driven by program requirements or as the current technology fails or reaches the end of its lifecycle, it gets replaced with new technology and usually a bunch of interfaces and adapters to make it compatible with the existing technology and infrastructure. It isn’t until a technology becomes impractical for either business or technical reasons, or both, that the decision is made to make the significant investment to fully upgrade to the next generation of technology.

And on the investment side, IP isn’t any more expensive if you are building from scratch. Was SDI more expensive than analog or SD to HD? Keeping both with all the black boxes and interfaces is costly but that peels away as more of the facility is based on a common technology.

Don’t be panicked by press headlines. Often those are vendor cries that “The sky is falling, quick buy IP.” A studied approach is the proper methodology for any investment decision. Olson offers some sage advice in his article, “Live Video Over IP: More Confusion Than Clarity” 

4K has 4 times the clarity of 1080p/60. Courtesy HDMI Licensing LLC.

4K has 4 times the clarity of 1080p/60. Courtesy HDMI Licensing LLC.

Video over HDMI has proven for more than a decade it has a place in professional and broadcast TV infrastructures and its use continues to grow. But can HDMI replace the SDI interface? Let’s examine the technology.

HDMI cables are nearly universally available. HDMI cables approved by HDMI Licensing LLC come in two categories. Category 1 is the Standard HDMI cable. It has been tested at 74.5MHz, and is suitable for up to 1080i and 720p. Category 2 High Speed cables are tested at 340MHz, and are designed to work with 1080p and 4K. Fluctuations in the price of a certain length and category cable is usually indicative of the physical quality of the cable and connectors.

Learn more about the underlying technology and signal-handling capabilities of HDMI in this article, “SDI or HDMI? Yes!.”

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