In Broadcast - August 2016 - 32


32

www.inbroadcast.com | Vol: 6 - Issue 8 | August 2016

InForm

Video Over IP Pandora's Box Or
Bright New Future?
By Kevin Salvidge

E

very now and then a technology
comes along that has the potential
to revolutionise an industry, but the
reluctance to adopt the new technology
can result in not all of the benefits of
the new technology being realised.
The broadcast industry is currently
being bombarded with the benefits
of using off-the-shelf consumer
products instead of the expensive
bespoke proprietary hardware that
has formed the backbone of broadcast
infrastructure since John Logie Baird
legged it down the patent office with
his idea of broadcasting moving
pictures over the airwaves.
Consumer
off-the-shelf
(COTS)
devices have come a long way since
the first IBM PC appeared in 1981
but nobody has yet built an end to
end broadcast system in a personal
computer. Why?
Firstly the Serial Digital Interface
group of standards has served the
broadcast industry following its
establishment as an SMPTE standard in
1989. SDI allows third party products
to work together irrespective of the
manufacturer.
Video Over IP Needs A Standard
The brave new world of Video over
IP needs a new standard. Various
manufacturers are trying to establish
this. Sony, with its Networked Media
Interface, is trying to replicate the
success it had when it developed SDI
which was adopted by practically the
entire broadcast industry. This time
round, Sony faces competition from
Evertz (with its ASPEN offering) and
TICO to name but a few. Then you
have the alliances that are trying to
standardise a Video over IP standard;
they include AMWA with its Network
Media Incubator.
Video over IP offers many benefits.
Being able to separate the video,
audio and metadata offers significant

benefits. Imagine a live production
from London being able to use its
favourite audio post production facility
in New York and video post-production
facility in Los Angeles without having
to send content they do not need, and
then the two parts being linked back
together.
You can do this with IP but the
solutions currently being offered are
simply replacing the traditional SDI
transport layer with an IP transport
layer. Surely we can do better than
that.
Many
technology
revolutions
appear to have been started by
manufacturers to get customers to
buy new equipment with the carrot of
significant cost savings on both their
capital and operational budgets.
The carrot on this one is simple. 4K/
UHDTV and its 8K big brother require
multiple SDI cables. One might say
all we have managed to achieve over
the last 20 years is get back to where
we were with analogue video. Then
the major concern was synchronising
RGB. Now we are concerned with
synchronising sub images 1, 2, 3 and 4.
To move 4K/UHDTV around requires
4 x 3G SDI cables and that's in only
one direction. If you need the signals
to return, that is another 4 x 3G SDI. IP
gives you the advantage of being able
to move 4K/UHDTV in both directions
over a signal 10Gb Ethernet cable. If
you want redundancy, you simply add
a second cable.
Before we get too excited, 4x 3G
requires 12G networks to move it
around but traditional IP networks are
only 10G so some form of compression
is going to be needed to squeeze it in.
For those who don't want to use
compression, our IT friends have
an answer: a 40G network. But that
means losing the 'COTS' benefits that
started the decision to move away
from SDI.

A new 24G IT standard is being
developed. This will support 8K as well
as 4K but couldn't we be ending up
with a bespoke niche architecture that
we have been trying to get away from?
Lower Hardware Prices?
So the brave new world of Video
over IP is going to offer significant
savings in cable. We are also promised
the benefits of hardware prices being
lower than traditional broadcast
equipment because the whole of the IT
world is using this hardware.
But when you dig into this, the
hardware that broadcasters need is
not the commodity hardware you can
buy on your local high street. It needs
a high specification platform only
available via the most experienced
IT resellers. Even then there is still a
probability that these resellers will
require the manufacturer to support
their sales efforts.
Once your traditional broadcast
equipment manufacturer gets wind
that you are looking at an IP-centric
solution, if they don't have any IP
products themselves, the level of
discount on their traditional broadcast
products start to drop.
Because at the current time a
multi-vendor end-to-end IP solution
does not exist, if you are going to
deploy an IP solution it's going to be a
hybrid solution featuring both IP and
traditional SDI.

System
Configuration
The next thing to consider is how you
are going to configure your system.
In the SDI world, the traditional
broadcast engineer could configure
a house router in his sleep. An IPbased system requires an IT-certified
engineer to configure it. IT engineers
do not come cheap and the best ones
are in huge demand so they can be
extremely difficult to book even if you
can afford their rate card.
That's not a problem I hear you say,
my broadcast engineers are clever
chaps and I can get them trained to
configure my IP system, plus they
know the broadcast world and will
be able to support both aspects of a
hybrid environment.
That may well be the case but, once
they are Cisco, HP and Microsoft
certified, they are going to realise very
quickly that they can now earn more
money than they could before and they
are not restricted to just the broadcast
industry.
An engineer working for an OB
company commented that, once he
was Cisco certified, he quite fancied
the idea of earning more money
and working 9am to 5pm in an airconditioned office rather than in the
middle of nowhere, in the freezing wet
and cold, with a long post-midnight
drive home following a Champions
League football match.
This is making me sound like an
old stuck in the mud, which I'm not. I
love the broadcast industry because
it continually pushes the boundaries.
What other industry would bring out
the next generation of products before
less than 50% of its existing customer
base had adopted the previous
technology?
IP will come but its dawn might
have been announced a bit early.
Hybrid solutions will be the way
forward initially, with the traditional
SDI architecture being replaced by IT
architecture as it becomes available.
So What Did NAB
Have To Offer?
As NAB (Las Vegas) falls in April, the
same month as the famous National
Hunt Steeplechase, The Grand
National, it was interesting to hear
from several broadcast commentators
this year that Video over IP resembled
the Grand National. All the runners
have completed the first circuit of the
course, some have fallen, some have
tailed off and some were looking to
switch riders.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - August 2016

In Broadcast - August 2016 - Intro
In Broadcast - August 2016 - Cover1
In Broadcast - August 2016 - Cover2
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 3
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 4
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 5
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 6
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 7
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 8
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 9
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 10
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 11
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 12
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 13
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 14
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 15
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 16
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 17
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 18
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 19
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 20
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 21
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 22
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 23
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 24
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 25
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 26
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 27
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 28
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 29
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 30
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 31
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 32
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 33
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 34
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 35
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 36
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 37
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 38
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 39
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 40
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 41
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 42
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 43
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 44
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 45
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 46
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 47
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 48
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 49
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 50
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 51
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 52
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 53
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 54
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 55
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 56
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 57
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 58
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 59
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 60
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 61
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 62
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 63
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 64
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 65
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 66
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 67
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 68
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 69
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 70
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 71
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 72
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 73
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 74
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 75
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 76
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 77
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 78
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 79
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 80
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 81
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 82
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 83
In Broadcast - August 2016 - 84
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S1
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S2
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S3
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S4
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S5
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S6
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S7
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S8
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S9
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S10
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S11
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S12
In Broadcast - August 2016 - S13
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