Video: ST-2110 – Measuring and Testing the Data, Control and Timing Planes

An informal chat touching on the newest work around SMPTE ST-2110 standards and related specifications in today’s video. The industry’s leading projects are now tracking the best practices in IT as much as the latest technology in IP because simply getting video working over the network isn’t enough. Broadcasters demand solutions which are secure from the ground up, easy to deploy and have nuanced options for deployment.

Andy Rayner from Nevion talks to Prin Boon from Phabrix to understand the latest trends. Between then, Andy and Prin account for a lot of activity in standards work within standards and industry bodies such as SMPTE, VSF and JT-NM to name a but a few, so whom better to hear from regarding the latest thinking and ongoing work.

Andy starts by outlining the context of SMPTE’s ST-2110 suite of standards which covers not only the standards within 2110, but also the NMOS specifications from AMWA as well as the timing standards (SMPTE 2059 and IEEE 1588). Prin and Andy both agree that the initial benefit of moving to IT networking was benefiting from the massive network switches which now delivering much higher switching density than SDI ever could or would, now the work of 2110 projects is also tracking IT, rather than simply IP. By benefiting from the best practices of the IT industry as a whole, the broadcast industry is getting a much better product. Andy makes the point that broadcast-uses have very much pushed fabric manufacturers to implement PTP and other network technologies in a much more mature and scalable way than was imagined before.

Link to video

The focus of conversation now moves to the data, control and timing plane. The data plane contains the media essences and all of the ST 21110 standards. Control is about the AMWA/NMOS specs such as the IS-0X specs as well as the security-focused BCP-003 and JT-NM TR-1001. Timing is about PTP and associated guidelines.

Prin explains that in-service test and measurement is there to give a feeling for the health of a system; how close to the edge is the system? This is about early alerting of engineering specialists and then enable deep faultfinding with hand-held 2110 analysers. Phabrix, owned by Leader, are one of a number of companies who are creating monitoring and measurement tools. In doing this Willem Vermost observed that little of the vendor data was aligned so couldn’t be compared. This has directly led to work between many vendors and broadcasters to standardise the reported measurement data in terms of how it’s measured and how it is named and is being standardised under 2110-25. This will cover latency, video timing, margin and RTP offset.

More new work discussed by the duo includes the recommended practice, RP 2059-15 which is related to the the ST 2059 standards which apply PTP to media streams. As PTP, also known as IEEE 1588 has been updated to version 2.1 as part of the 2019 update, this RP creates a unified framework to expose PTP data in a structured manner and relies on RFC 8575 which, itself, relies on the YANG data modeling language.

We also hear about work to ensure that NMOS can fully deal with SMPTE 2022-7 flows in all the cases where a receiver is expecting a single or dual feed. IS-08 corner cases have been addressed and an all-encompassing model to develop against has been created as a reference.

Pleasingly, as this video was released in December, we are treated to a live performance of a festive song on piano and trombone. Whilst this doesn’t progress the 2110 narrative, it is welcomed as a great excuse to have a mine pie.

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Speakers

Andy Rayner Andy Rayner
Chief Technologist,
Nevion
Prinyar Boon Prinyar Boon
Product Manager,
PHABRIX

Video: NMOS Technology: A User’s Perspective

Bringing you discovery, registration, control, audio remapping, security and more, the open NMOS specifications from AMWA make using SMPTE’s ST 2110 practical. Most importantly, it makes using 2110 open meaning that different equipment can co-exist in the same ecosystem without being many different drivers being written to translate between each vendor.

Led by Wes Simpson this video talks about implementing NMOS from the perspective of a user, not a vendor with Willem Vermost> from Belgium’s public broadcaster, VRT. One drawback of IP-based solutions, they say early on, is that there are so many options on how to deploy. This, potential, choice paralysis goes hand in hand with trying to adapt to the new possibilities which come with the technologies. For instance, identifies Willem, says engineers need to adapt their thinking just to design differently knowing that, now, multiple signals can now flow in both directions down a cable. It’s not like SDI’s point to point, unidirectional nature.

Any large plant can get busy with thousands of signals. The question is how to control this massive number of streams; not forgetting that in 2110, an SDI video stream is split up into at least 4 streams. To help put this in to perspective, Willem looks back to the original telephone exchange and considers the different workflows there, They work, certainly, but having people present plugging in each individual call doesn’t scale well. In our IP world, we want to get beyond the need to ‘type in an address’ as we want to capture the ease at which cameras are connected

The telephone exchanges worked well but in the early days, there were many exchange manufacturers which, when calling from Berlin to New York all had to work. Willem suggests this is why telecoms acted upon what the broadcast industry is now learning. The last point in this analogy is the need to stop your links between exchanges becoming over-subscribed. This task is one which NMOS can also be used to deal with, using IS-05.

NMOS is fully available on GitHub and whilst you can take that software and modify it to your needs, Willem says it’s important to maintain interoperability between vendor implementations which is why the JT-NM Tested programme exists to ensure that it’s easy to buy on the market solutions which say they support NMOS and when they do, that it works. Getting an NMOS test system is easy with open projects from Siny and NVIDIA which are ready for deployment.

Willem ends is talks saying that ST 2110 is easier now than it was, including a recent experience when the en/decoder worked ‘out of the box’. He then answers the question “How do I start out?” Saying you should try something small first, perhaps even an island project. Once you have done that, gained the experience and the concepts, you can take it from there.

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Speakers

Willem Vermost Willem Vermost
Design & Engineering Manager,
VRT
Wes Simpson Wes Simpson
Owner, LearnIPVideo.com

Video: AES67/SMPTE ST 2110 Audio Transport & Routing (NMOS IS-08)

Let’s face it, SMPTE ST 2110 isn’t trivial to get up and running at scale. It carries audio as AES67, though with some restrictions which can cause problems for full interoperability with non-2110 AES67 systems. But once all of this is up and running, you’re still lacking discoverability, control and management. These aspects are covered by AMWA’s NMOS IS-04, IS-05 and IS0-08 projects.

Andreas Hildrebrand, Evangelist at ALX NetworX, takes the stand at the AES exhibition to explain how this can all work together. He starts reiterating one of the main benefits of the move to 2110 over 2022-6, namely that audio devices don’t need to receive and de-embed audio. With a dependency on PTP, SMPTE ST 2110-30 an -31 define carriage of AES67 and AES3.

We take a look at IS-04 and IS-05 which define registration, discovery and configuration. Using an address received from DHCP, usually, new devices on the network will put in an entry into a an IS-04 registry which can be queried by an API to find out what senders and listeners are available in a system. IS-05 can then use this information to create connections between devices. IS-05, Andreas explains, is able to issue a create connection request to endpoints asking them to connect. It’s up to the endpoints themselves to initiate the request as appropriate.

Once a connection has been made, there remains the problem of dealing with audio mapping. Andreas uses the example of a single stream containing multiple channels. Where a device only needs to use one or two of these, IS-08 can be used to tell the receiver which audio it should be decoding. This is ideal when delivering audio to a speaker. Andreas then walks us through worked examples.

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Speakers

Andreas Hildebrand Andreas Hildebrand
Ravenna Technology Evangelist,
ALC NetworX

Video: A Snapshot of NMOS: Just the Facts, Please.

NMOS is the open standard for multiple vendors co-operating on a broadcaster network, particularly ST 2110, to announce new devices and configure them. Acting as both a database but also a way of easily describing settings to be shared between systems. Often new ST 2110 systems are specified to be NMOS IS-04 and IS-05 capable.

NMOS IS-04 is the name of the specification which defines discovery and registration of devices while IS-05 describes the control of said devices. It’s very hard to run a SMPTE ST 2110 system without these or a proprietary protocol which exchanges the same information. It’s not practical to manage any of these tasks at anything more than the smallest scale.

John Mailhot from Imagine Communications delivers a concise summary of these technologies which may be new to you. He explains that an SDP will be generated and John reviews how you would read them. John explains that the stack is open source with the aim of promoting interoperability.

John takes the time needed to look at IS-04 and IS-05 in terms of practically implementing it at the end of this short talk.

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Speaker

John Mailhot John Mailhot
Systems Architect, IP Convergence,
Imagine Communications