Video: BBC Cardiff Central Square – Update

It’s being closely watched throughout the industry, a long-in-the-making project to deploy SMPTE ST 2110 throughout a fully green-field development. Its failure would be a big setback for the push to a completely network-based broadcast workflow.

The BBC Cardiff Central Square project is nearing completion now and is a great example of the early-adopter approach to bringing cutting-edge, complex, large-scale projects to market. They chose a single principle vendor so that they could work closely in partnership at a time when the market for ST 2110 was very sparse. This gave them leverage over the product roadmap and allowed to the for the tight integration which would be required to bring this project to market.

Nowadays, the market for ST 2110 products continues to mature and whilst it has still quite a way to go, it has also come a long way in the past four years. Companies embarking similar projects now have a better choice of products and some may now feel they can start to pick ‘best of breed’ rather than taking the BBC approach. Whichever approach is taken there is still a lot to be gained by following and learning from the mistakes and successes of others. Fortunately, Mark Patrick, Lead Architect on the project is here to provide an update on the project.

Mark starts by giving and overview of the project, its scale and its aims. He presents the opportunities and challenges it presents and the key achievements and milestones passed to date.

Live IP has benefits and risks. Mark takes some time to explain the benefits of the flexibility and increasingly lower cost of the infrastructure and weighs them agains the the risks which include the continually developing standards and skills challenges

The progress overview names Grass Vally as the main vendor, control via BNCS having being designed and virtualised, ST 2110 network topology deployed and now the final commissioning and acceptance testing is in progress.

The media topology for the system uses an principal of an A and a B network plus a separate control network. It’s fundamentally a leaf and spine network and Mark shows how this links in to both the Grass Valley equipment but also the audio equipment via Dante and AES67. Mark takes some time to discuss the separate networks they’ve deployed for the audio part of the project, driven by compatibility issues but also within the constraints of this project, it was better to separate the networks rather than address the changes necessary to force them together.

PTP timing is discussed with a nod to the fact that PTP design can be difficult and that it can be expensive too. NMOS issues are also actively being worked on and remains an outstanding issue in terms of getting enough vendors to support it, but also having compatible systems once an implementation is deployed. This has driven the BBC to use NMOS in a more limited way than desired and creating fall-back systems.

From this we can deduce, if it wasn’t already understood, that interoperability testing is a vital aspect of the project, but Mark explains that formalised testing (i.e. IT-style automated) is really important in creating a uniform way of ensuring problems have been fully addressed and there are no regressions. ST 2110 systems are complex and fault finding can be similarly complex and time consuming.

Mark leaves us by explaining what keeps him awake at night which includes items such as lack of available test equipment, lack of single-stream UHD support and NMOS which leads him to a few comments on ST 2110 readiness such as the need for vendors to put much more effort into configuration and management tools.

Anyone with an interest in IP in broadcast will be very grateful at Mark’s, and the BBC’s, willingness to share the project’s successes and challenges in such a constructive way.

Watch now!

Speaker

Mark Patrick Mark Patrick
Lead Architect,
BBC Major Projects Infrastructure

Video: ST 2110 Based OB Production Solution

This case study focuses on NEP UK’s ST 2110 based OB solution (Broadcast Centre and two IP UHD trucks) that was designed to support large sport events. We have already published a few posts related to full IP vans (e.g. Building a Large OB Truck Using SMPTE ST 2110 and ST 2110 – From Theory to Reality), but this design is slightly more innovative.

The most complex part of this solution is Broadcast Centre built for very large premium UHD productions (routing capabilities of 2000×2000 UHD IP feeds, 4 vision mixers). Such large productions take place only a few time a year, so for all the other times the same hardware can be reconfigured into smaller flypacks that can do multiple independent productions at different places around the world. All devices in Broadcast Centre are installed in mobile racks, so you can simply wheel them in and out of different sports venues.

These flypacks can also be used to extend capabilities of IP OB vans – the only limit is the number of ports available on the switches. A truck can be put in any location and connected to multiple IP systems, creating fully scalable and large broadcast system – the kind that you would only previously find in a fixed studio set up.

The case study covers lessons learned from this COTS based system which leverages SMPTE ST 2110, SMPTE 2059, and adaptive FPGA based edge processing. Maurice Snell focuses on advantages of ST 2110 IP design (massive simplification of wiring, use of COTS equipment, audio breakaway possibility, signal agnostic capabilities, flexibility, scalability) and describes the challenges (operators shouldn’t need to know or care if they are routing SDI, IP or a hybrid mixture of the two, importance of unified facility monitoring and configuration and a new approach to fault finding for engineers).

You can download the slides from here.

Watch now!

Speaker

Maurice Snell
Senior System Consultant
Grass Valley

Video: IP For Media Webcast Part II

Following on from last week’s post part II is here. Wes Simpson looks at use of IP in Remote Production/Remote Integration (REMI) and finished with a panel discussion including Newtek and Grass Valley, a Belden brand.

This video talks about:

  • Why Broadcasters need networking?
  • Typical Live remote sports broadcast roles
  • Overview of video & audio Signal types
  • HDR & Wide Colour Gamut (WCG)
  • Data (metadata, scripts etc)
  • REMI – Remote Integration, AKA ‘Remote Production’ in Europe.
  • Overview of what tasks can be done at base, what still needs to be done ‘on-site’
  • Uncompressed formats summary (SDI, 2022-6, 2110)
  • Slice-based compression
  • Mezzanine compression
  • TR-01 for carrying JPEG 2000 & audio
  • Bonded Cellular
  • Packetloss & FEC (Forward Error Correction)
  • 2022-7 – route diversity
  • Typical delays
  • Plus a panel discussion

 
Watch now!

Speakers

Wes Simpson Wes Simpson
President,
Telecom Product Consulting
Tom Butts Tom Butts
Content Director,
TV Technology

Video: IP for Media Webcast Part I

TV Technology talks to Wes Simpson to find out build up full view of IP from the basics of ‘why are we moving to IP’ up to thoughts on network architecture and cloud infrastructure.

This is the first of two videos and will leave you with a broad understanding of the basics of how IP is used and implemented in broadcast covering audio and compressed and uncompressed video.

Wes’s extensive topic list:

  • Why people are moving to IP
  • Applications for IP Video
  • Pros and cons
  • Standards available
  • New workflows available
  • Mixing IP and SDI
  • OTT delivery, ATSC 3.0 delivery
  • Network basics & architectures
  • Multicast
  • Timing and Synchronisation (PTP)
  • Cloud concepts
  • CDNs
  • Ad Insertion

 
Watch now!

 

Speakers

Wes Simpson Wes Simpson
President,
Telecom Product Consulting
Tom Butts Tom Butts
Content Director,
TV Technology