Video: Creating Interoperable Hybrid Workflows with RIST

TV isn’t made in one place anymore. Throughout media and entertainment, workflows increasingly involve many third parties and being in the cloud. Content may be king, but getting it from place to place is foundational in our ability to do great work. RIST is a protocol that is able to move video very reliably and flexibly between buildings, into, out of and through the cloud. Leveraging its flexibility, there are many ways to use it. This video helps review where RIST is up to in its development and understand the many ways in which it can be used to solve your workflow problems.

Starting the RIST overview is Ciro Noronha, chair of the RIST Forum. Whilst we have delved in to the detail here before in talks like this from SMPTE and this talk also from Ciro, this is a good refresher on the main points that RIST is published in three parts, known as profiles. First was the Simple Profile which defined the basics, those being that it’s based on RTP and uses an ARQ technology to dynamically request any missing packets in a timely way which doesn’t trip the stream up if there are problems. The Main Profile was published second which includes encryption and authentication. Lastly is the Advanced Profile which will be released later this year.

 

 

Ciro outlines the importance of the Simple Profile. That it guarantees compatibility with RTP-only decoders, albeit without error correction. When you can use the error correction, you’ll benefit from correction even when 50% of the traffic is being lost unlike similar protocols such as SRT. Another useful feature for many is multi-link support allowing you to use RIST over bonded LTE modems as well as using SMPTE ST 2022-7

The Main Profile brings with it support for tunnelling meaning you can set up one connection between two locations and put multiple streams of data through. This is great for simplifying data connectivity because only one port needs to be opened in order to deliver many streams and it doesn’t matter in which direction you establish the tunnel. Once established, the tunnel is bi-directional. The tunnel provides the ability to carry general data such as control data or miscellaneous IT.

Encryption made its debut with the publishing of the Main Profile. RIST can use DTLS which is a version of the famous TLS security used in web sites that runs on UDP rather than TCP. The big advantage of using this is that it brings authentication as well as encryption. This ensures that the endpoint is allowed to receive your stream and is based on the strong encryption we are familiar with and which has been tested and hardened over the years. Certificate distribution can be difficult and disproportionate to the needs of the workflow, so RIST also allows encryption using pre-shared keys.

Handing over now to David Griggs and Tim Baldwin, we discuss the use cases which are enabled by RIST which is already found in encoders, decoders and gateways which are on the market. One use case which is on the rise is satellite replacement. There are many companies that have been using satellite for years and for whom the lack of operational agility hasn’t been a problem. In fact, they’ve also been able to make a business model work for occasional use even though, in a pure sense, satellite isn’t perfectly suited to occasional use satellites. However, with the ability to use C-band closing in many parts of the world, companies have been forced to look elsewhere for their links and RIST is one solution that works well.

David runs through a number of others including primary and secondary distribution, links aggregation, premium sports syndication with the handoff between the host broadcaster and the multiple rights-holding broadcasters being in the cloud and also a workflow for OTT where RIST is used for ingest.

RIST is available as an open source library called libRIST which can be downloaded from videolan and is documented in open specifications TR-06-1 and TR-06-2. LibRIST can be found in gstreamer, Upipe, VLC, Wireshark and FFmpeg.

The video finishes with questions about how RIST compares with SRT. RTMP, CMAF and WebRTC.

Watch now!
Speakers

Tim Baldwin Tim Baldwin
Head of Product,
Zixi
David Griggs David Griggs
Senior Product Manager, Distribution Platforms
Disney Streaming Services
Ciro Noronha Ciro Noronha
President, RIST Forum
Executive Vice President of Engineering, Cobalt Digital

Video: Bit-Rate Evaluation of Compressed HDR using SL-HDR1

HDR video can look vastly better than standard dynamic range (SDR), but much of our broadcast infrastructure is made for SDR delivery. SL-HDR1 allows you to deliver HDR over SDR transmission chains by breaking down HDR signals into an SDR video plus enhancement metadata which describes how to reconstruct the original HDR signal. Now part of the ATSC 3.0 suite of standards, people are asking the question whether you get better compression using SL-HDR1 or compressing HDR directly.

HDR works by changing the interpretation of the video samples. As human sight has a non-linear response to luminance, we can take the same 256 or 1024 possible luminance values and map them to brightness so that where the eye isn’t very sensitive, only a few values are used, but there is a lot of detail where we see well. Humans perceive more detail at lower luminosity, so HDR devotes a lot more of the luminance values to describing that area and relatively few at high brightness where specular highlights tend to be. HDR, therefore, has the benefit of not only increasing the dynamic range but actually provides more detail in the lower light areas than SDR.

Ciro Noronha from Cobalt has been examining the question of encoding. Video encoders are agnostic to dynamic range. Since HDR and SDR only define the meaning of the luminance values, the video encoder sees no difference. Yet there have been a number of papers saying that sending SL-HDR1 can result in bitrate savings over HDR. SL-HDR1 is defined in ETSI TS 103 433-1 and included in ATSC A/341. The metadata carriage is done using SMPTE ST 2108-1 or carried within the video stream using SEI. Ciro set out to do some tests to see if this was the case with technology consultant Matt Goldman giving his perspective on HDR and the findings.

Ciro tested with three types of Tested 1080p BT.2020 10-bit content with the AVC and HEVC encoders set to 4:2:0, 10-bit with a 100-frame GOP. Quality was rated using PSNR as well as two special types of PSNR which look at distortion/deviation from the CIE colour space. The findings show that AVC encode chains benefit more from SL-HDR1 than HEVC and it’s clear that the benefit is content-dependent. Work remains to be done now to connect these results with verified subjective tests. With LCEVC and VVC, MPEG has seen that subjective assessments can show up to 10% better results than objective metrics. Additionally, PSNR is not well known for correlating well with visual improvements.

Watch now!
Speakers

Ciro Noronha Ciro Noronha
Executive Vice President of Engineering, Cobalt Digital
President, Rist Forum
Matthew Goldman Matthew Goldman
Technology Consultant

Video: RIST Unfiltered – Q&A Session

RIST is a protocol which allows for reliable streaming over lossy networks like the internet. Whilst many people know that much, they may not know more and may have questions. Today’s video aims to answer the most common questions. For a technical presentation of RIST, look no further than this talk and this article

Kieran Kunhya deals out the questions to the panel from the RIST Forum, RIST members and AWS. Asking:
Does RIST need 3rd party equipment?
Is there an open-source implementation of RIST?
Whether there are any RIST learning courses?
as well as why companies should use RIST over SRT.
RIST, we hear is based on RTP which is a very widely deployed technology for real-time media transport and is widely used for SMPTE 2022-2 and 6 streams, SMPTE 2110, AES67 and other audio protocols. So not only is it proven, but it’s also based on RFCs along with much of RIST. SRT, the panel says, is based on the UDT file transfer protocol which is not an RFC and wasn’t designed for live media transport although SRT does perform very well for live media.

“Why are there so many competitors in RIST?” is another common question which is answered by talking about the need for interoperability. Fostering widespread interoperability will grow the market for these products much more than it would with many smaller protocols. “What new traction is RIST getting?” is answered by David Griggs from AWS who says they are committed to the protocol and find that customers like the openness of the protocol and are thus willing to invest their time in creating workflows based on it. Adi Rozenberg lists many examples of customers who are using the technology today. You can hear David Griggs explain RIST from his perspective in this talk.

Other questions handled are the licence that RIST is available under and the open-source implementations, the latency involved in using RIST and whether it can carry NDI. Sergio explains that NDI is a TCP-based protocol so you can transmit it by extracting UDP out of it, using multicast or using a VizRT-tool for extracting the media without recompressing. Finally, the panel looks at how to join the RIST Activity Group in the VSF and the RIST Forum. They talk about the origin of RIST being in an open request to the industry from ESPN and what is coming in the upcoming Advanced Profile.

Watch now!
Speakers

Rick Ackermans Rick Ackermans
RIST AG Chair,
Director of RF & Transmission Engineering, CBS Television
David Griggs David Griggs
Senior Product Manager, Media Services,
AWS Elemental
Sergio Ammirata Sergio Ammirata
RIST AG Member,
Chief Science Officer, SipRadius
Adi Rozenberg Adi Rozenberg
RIST Forum Director
AG Member, Co-Founder & CTO, VideoFlow
Ciro Noronha Ciro Noronha
RIST Forum President and AG Member
EVP of Engineering, Cobalt Digital
Paul Atwell Paul Atwell
RIST Forum Director,
President, Media Transport Solutions
Wes Simpson Wes Simpson
RIST AG Co-Chair,
President & Founder, LearnIPvideo.com
Kieran Kunhya Kieran Kunhya
RIST Forum Director
Founder & CEO, Open Broadcast Systems

Video: RIST Main Profile Description

RIST solves a problem by transforming unmanaged networks into reliable paths for video contribution in an interoperable way. RIST not only improves reliability through re-requesting missing packets, but also comes with a range of features and tools, not least of which is tunnelling. Cobalt Digital’s EVP of engineering, Ciro Noronha explains how the protocol works and what’s next on the roadmap.

Ciro starts with a look at the RIST Simple Profile covering the ARQ negative acknowledgement (NACK) mechanism, link bonding and seamless switching. He then moves on to examine the missing features such as content encryption, authentication, simpler firewall configurations, in-band control, high bitrates, NULL packet extraction. These features define RIST’s Main Profile.

Tunnelling and Multiplexing is a technique to combine Simple Profile flows into a bi-directional tunnel, providing simpler network and encryption configuration. Using a GRE (RFC 8086) tunnel, RIST provides a full, protocol agnostic tunnel and a UDP-only reduced overheard mode which only requires 0.6% data overhead to implement. Ciro explains a number of setups, including one where the connection is initiated by the receiver – something that the Simple Profile doesn’t allow.

Authentication and Encryption are covered next. DTLS us the UDP implementation of TLS which is the security mechanism used on secure websites. This provides security to the tunnel so everything which travels through is covered. Ciro explains the pre-shared key (PSK) mechanism in the Main Profile.

The talk finishes by covering NULL Packet removal, also known as ‘bandwidth optimisation’, header extension which extends RTP’s sequence number to allow for more in-flight packets and questions from the audience.

Watch now!
Speaker

Ciro Noronha Dr. Ciro Noronha
Executive Vice President of Engineering,
Cobalt Digital