In the transition to transporting video over IP (Internet Protocol) infrastructures, it is essential that broadcasters maintain a common, ubiquitous set of protocols and practices for transmission of video and audio over IP. The same level of interoperability experienced in SDI networks must remain in order to ensure the same plug-and-play compatibility among various manufacturers’ products.
Substantial progress has been made by standards-making bodies like SMPTE, AES, and the EBU in insuring a high level of compatibility between IP devices. Covering both compressed and uncompressed standard and high definition video, the ST:2022 standard allows equipment from multiple manufacturers to work together seamlessly. SMPTE ST:2022 is a series of standards and has enabled sports broadcasters to transport error free video across managed IP networks. Today, the SMPTE standard has been expanded to cover uncompressed video, audio, and data at speeds up to 3 Gbps and beyond, and provides hitless protection switching (ST: 2022-7) to ensure smooth transmission.
With the emergence of IP in sport broadcasts, the need to maintain and improve synchronization among end points, devices, and processes across a broadcasters’ network is critical. This is of most importance in live broadcast productions. Precision Timing Protocol (PTP) is the backbone of an IP live broadcast as it enables the integration of audio and video in the time and phase domain, allowing for effective media processing. By leveraging the networking flexibilities of IP and combining it with a sound implementation of PTP, broadcasters could cost effectively introduce novel workflows, resulting in an improved and unique viewer experience. In addition, it allows for leveraging the efficiencies of media essence integration, remote production, and the ubiquity of IP networks to deliver live content of second and third-tier production. PTP is the foundation upon which broadcasters can build automatic processes, creative workflows, and innovation.
Having a cost-effective, single converged infrastructure for many different types of signals is encouraging the migration towards IP-based technologies on many level from video contribution, the process of transmitting HD video from a remote source (such as a sports arena) to a broadcast facility for production and distribution, to distributing a fully produced linear video channel (such as from a local broadcast affiliate) via backhaul and sending it to a national or regional television delivery provider, such as a satellite TV, CATV or OTT operator.
Contribution and backhaul links can involve long distances and tend to focus on low-delay, high-quality video signal formats. Long distance IP networks have become more cost-effective due to bandwidth-saving compression solutions. More broadcasters are migrating their contribution and backhaul video circuits towards managed IP networks. This trend is particularly apparent in terrestrial point-to-point services that replace dedicated satellite circuits.
In 2017, Artel became a member of the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), a non-profit trade alliance that promotes the open standards that broadcast and media companies use to move from legacy SDI systems to a virtualized, IP-based future—quickly and profitably.
Artel is an expert at providing compatible and interoperable solutions for IP infrastructures. We have vast experience at handling the transport of uncompressed and compressed video over IP networks. Our DigiLink and InfinityLink solutions supports HD-SDI, SD-SDI, and DVB-ASI through simple to configure modules that can be easily monitored in virtually any network environment.
The Quarra family of PTP Ethernet switches offers the industry’s most accurate IEEE 1588-compliant timing and synchronization. The switches support SMPTE ST 2110-10 standard system timing and definition and ST 2059-2 permitting interoperable use of IP-based media equipment with conventional genlocked SDI equipment, and they are RAVENNA AES67-approved. Quarra switches are designed for audio/video broadcast and enterprise IT applications in which accurate timing and control are required.
Also, Artel offers affordable solutions for streaming video over IP. ARQ IP media streaming offers a simple-to-configure solution for the distribution of high-quality video over unconditioned IP networks, including wireless, the internet, and satellite.