The Big Switch

Rafael Fonseca and other vendors tell Vinita Bhatia, Digital Solutions India, that IP-based infrastructure is ready for primetime and can offer broadcasters operational and economic benefits over SDI-based studios. Read the full story here.  Rafael’s perspectives on “Changing Mindsets” is noted below. 

“Overall, the swap to IP will present broadcasters with challenges and opportunities in three broad areas: networking, network management, and service availability. Hence, they need to map a migration plan that does not interfere with their ongoing business operations. The CTO can decide which segments of the network should be shifted to IP, based on the business functions they support and how critically they will affect the existing workflows. ‘The key is to minimise technology ‘islands’ that might hinder service availability and assurance,’ said Rafael Fonseca, VP and director of product management, Artel Video Systems.

Another challenge of the transition is training the existing staff in IP technology. This can be managed by either hiring some IP experts, especially for key positions, from relevant industries. ‘In many cases, these people had IP expertise but not relevant industry expertise, for instance broadcasting, thus having to train the IP experts on the new industry they were migrating to,’ Fonseca cautioned.

From a networking perspective, broadcasters will need to harness the flexibility of IP networking to support the time-sensitive services found in their network. Latency, quality of service, and high availability must be maintained. ‘Transitioning to IP implies that the elements in the network are addressable entities with monitoring, control, and reporting capabilities that could be executed remotely and from a central location. This means that the investment is not only on networking equipment but on a robust management network, which will become the enabler for the efficiencies to come in the IP domain,’ he said.

What he means is that post an IP-transition, the network becomes very much like the public internet with the potential to be vulnerable to distributed denial of service attacks (DDOS). Broadcasters will need to create ‘walled gardens’ and implement safeguards to protect from these and from other rogue entities.”

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