“I’m lazy and I’m a master procrastinator.” If you sympathise, learn how to automate network configuration with some code and spreadsheets.
In this video, the EBU’s Ievgen Kostiukevych presents a simple way to automate basic operations on Arista switches working in a SMPTE ST 2110 environment. This is done with a Python script which retrieves parameters stored in Google Sheets and uses Arista’s eAPI to implement changes to the switch.
The Python script was created as a proof of concept for the EBU’s test lab where frequent changes of VLAN configuration on the switches were required. Google Sheets has been selected as a collaborative tool which allows multiple people to modify settings and keep track of changes at the same time. This approach makes repetitive tasks like adding or changing descriptions of the ports easier as well.
Functionality currently supported:
Creating VLANs and modyfying their descriptions based on the date in a Google Sheets
Changing access VLANs and interface descriptions for the ports based on the date in a Google Sheets
Reading interfaces status and the mac address table from the switch and writing the data to the spreadsheet
The ST 2110-40 standard specifies the real-time, RTP transport of SMPTE ST 291-1 Ancillary Data packets. It allows to create IP essence flow carrying VANC data known from SDI (like AFD, closed captions or triggering), complementing the existing video and audio portions of the SMPTE ST 2110 suite.
In this video, Bill McLaughlin introduces 2110-40 and shows its advantages for closed captioning. With video, audio and ancillary data broken into separate essence flows, you no longer need full SDI bandwidth to process closed captioning and transcription can be done by subscribing to a single audio stream which bandwith is less than 1 Mbps. That allows for a very high processing density, with up to 100 channels of closed captioning in 1 RU server.
Another benefit is that a single ST 2110-40 multicast containing closed captioning can be associated with multiple videos (e.g. for two different networks or dirty and clean feeds), typically using NMOS connection management. This translates into additional bandwidth savings and lower cost, as you don’t need separate CC/Subtitling encoders working in SDI domain.
Test and measurment equipment for ST 2110-40 is still under developmnent. However, with date rates of 50-100 kbps per flow monitoring is very managable and you can use COTS equipment and generic packet analyser like Wireshark with dissector available on Github.
VP Product Development
JPEG XS is a brand-new, ultra-low latency standard delivering JPEG 2000 quality with 1000x lower latency; microseconds instead of milliseconds. This mezzanine compression standard promises compression ratios of up to 10:1, resolutions of up to 8K plus HDR and features frame rates from 24 to 120 fps.
Jean-Baptiste Lorent from intoPIX shows how JPEG-XS can be used with SMPTE ST-2110 stack. Part -22 of ST 2110 allows for transport of compressed video essence as an alternative to uncompressed essence – all the other elementary streams stay the same, just the video RTP payload changes. This approach saves a lot of bandwidth and keeps all the existing advantages of moving from SDI to IP at the same time.
Based on TICO which arrived in products four or more years ago allowing HD products to support UHD workflows, JPEG XS was also designed for visually lossless quality and maintaining that quality over multiple re-encoding stages. The combination of very-low microsecond-latency and relatively low bandwidth makes it ideal for remote production of live events.
Delivering an all-IP truck is no mean feat. tpc explains what they learnt, what went well and how they succeeded in delivering a truck which takes no longer to fire up than a traditional SDI truck.
A common questions among people considering a move to IP is ‘do I need to?’ and ‘how can I get ready?’. Here at The Broadcast Knowledge we always say ‘find a small project, get it working, learn what goes wrong and then plan the one you really wanted to do.’ The Swiss broadcasting service provider ‘Technology and Production Centre’, known as ‘tpc’, has done just that.
tpc is currently working on the Metechno project – a large all-IP news, sports and technology center for Swiss radio and television. In order to acquire necessary experience with the SMPTE ST 2110 standard, tpc designed the UHD1 OB van ahead of time which has been used in TV production for 6 months now. In this video, Andreas Lattmann shares the vision of the Metechno Project and, critically, his experiences related to the design and use of the truck.
The UHD1 is a 24-camera OB van with all IP core based on Arista switches with non-blocking architecture. It is the equivalent of an 184-square UHD SDI system however, it can be expanded by adding additional line cards to network switches. The truck is format agnostic, supporting both HD and UHD formats in HDR and SDR. IP gateways are incorporated for SDI equipment.
The SMPTE ST 2110 specification separates video and audio into discrete essence streams which boosts efficiency and flexibility, but we hear in this talk that more attention to latency (lip sync) is required compared to SDI systems. Andreas talks about the flexibility this truck provides with up-/down-conversion, color-correction for any video plus how IP has enabled full flexibility in what can be routed to the multiviewer screens.
Anderas spends some time discussing redundancy and how IP enables full redundancy – an improvement over many SDI infrastructures and how SMPTE’s ST 2022-7 standard makes this possible.
The main GUI is based on a Lawo VSM control system which aims to deliver a familiar experience for operators who used to work in the SDI domain. Network training has been provided for all operators because troubleshooting has changed significantly with the introduction of essences over IP. This is not least because NMOS IS-04 and 05 standards were not mature enough during design of the truck, so all IP connections had to be managed manually. With more than 50 thousand IP addresses in this system, AMWA’s NMOS IS-04 which manages discovery and registration and IS-05 which manages the setup and take-down of connections would have helped significantly in the lean management of the truck.
Lattmann emphasizes importance of using open standards like SMPTE ST 2110 instead of proprietary solutions. That allows you to choose the best components and not rely on a single manufacturer.
The learning’s the Andreas presents us involve difficulties with PTP, IP training, the benefits of flexibility. From a video point of view, Andreas presents his experiences with HDR->SDR workflows, focussing in HDR and UHD.