Audio and Video over IP: A Dream No More

    Proprietary protocols are giving way to standards being developed with input from both manufacturers and broadcasters.
    Proprietary protocols are giving way to standards being developed with input from both manufacturers and broadcasters.

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    TSL Products’ PSS event is a platform that brings together the TV broadcasting community to discuss the challenges facing the broadcast, satellite, terrestrial, cable and IPTV industries

    TSL Products, a broadcast equipment manufacturer, organized the Professional Seminar Series (PSS) in India this June. Now in its seventh year, the PSS provides a platform that combines expert knowledge from TSL Products and other brands like Axon, Dolby, Ericsson and Tektronix and brings together the global television broadcasting community, to discuss the current and future challenges facing the broadcast, satellite, terrestrial, cable and IPTV industries.
    Professionals from each of the participating manufacturers gather to deliberate how broadcasters and content distributors can tackle pertinent industry issues, new technologies and workflows as well as ways in which content delivery is changing. Held on 27th June, 2016 at Mumbai, on 29th June, 2016 at New Delhi and on 1st July at Chennai, key topics for discussion at this multi-city event included ‘Enabling IP workflows for Broadcast’ from TSL Products, ‘UHD systems and practice’ by Axon, ‘Delivering new consumer experiences with Next Generation Codecs’ with Dolby, ‘Software Defined Video Processing – The next step in video deliver’ by Ericsson and ‘Introduction to IP Video and PTP’ by Tektronix.
    Swarup Mukherjee, regional sales manager, TSL Products, commented, “With six successful years behind us, PSS is now viewed as a staple event in the calendar. This year, the TSL Products team reviewed the enormous changes that have occurred in the last 12 months in the world of audio and video over IP with a presentation titled ‘Audio and Video over IP, one year later’, given by our product director, Pieter Schillebeeckx, as part of our PSS theme.”

    Audio and Video over IP – A Year Later
    Schillebeeckx noted that exactly a year ago during PSS 2015, TSL Products presented an overview of audio and video over IP for the broadcast market. Although even a year ago it was clear that the rise of IP was unstoppable the industry was confused and in a holding pattern. Protocol wars were raging between different manufacturers and the IP dream was just that, a dream.

    A year later, he said that things are starting to look up as proprietary protocols are starting to give way to standards being developed with input from both manufacturers and broadcasters. Another major shift in the market is that this IP revolution is now being driven by the broadcasters with the manufacturers playing catch up.
    “The move to IP in the broadcast industry has been happening for a long time; just take a look at a modern news room. The current IP revolution – the move to IP for uncompressed audio and video within live production and MCR – is the final charge in completing the move to IP. The impact of this ‘revolution’ should not to be underestimated as it will have far reaching changes to signal flow and ultimately work flow,” Schillebeeckx noted.
    He also pointed out that one of the fundamental differences when monitoring a traditional 3G-SDI signal vs a video over IP stream (such as S2022-6, which is in essence 3G-SDI over IP) is how the signals makes their way to the audio monitor. In a traditional set-up the 3G-SDI input of the audio monitor would be connected to the output of a video router and, using a router control panel, any signal available in the video router can be routed ready for monitoring. In the case of S2022-6 this is a very different story, as all signal routing is now taken care off in the software domain and the physical connection is now a 10Gig-e bi-directional pipe into the network. This differs radically in that an audio monitor can now monitor any stream available on the network by signing up to a multicast rather than having a video signal sent to it by a hardware router.
    While being able to sign up to any multicast stream on the network sounds like an exciting prospect, typing in IP addresses in order to monitor a signal does not exactly rank highly on the list of usability. Luckily, there are some comprehensive control protocols on the horizon that will help to deal with this signal management. In the meantime, TSL is working to make the user experience as positive and simple as possible while also making control available to third parties through an API for integration in third party control systems.
    “Although the IP revolution is very exciting, as an industry we are also very aware that this is not going to replace good old fashioned SDI based infrastructure overnight. This is where broadcasters face a challenge when making investment decisions, and this is no different when it comes to audio monitoring solutions,” Schillebeeckx asserted.
    He added that an all IP broadcast facility may not be quite in our grasp yet. But companies are getting ever closer and he is looking forward to PSS 2017 to review its progress.

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