“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
Building security into your infrastructure is more and more important for broadcasters with many now taking very seriously a topic which, only 6 years ago, was only just being discussed. Attacks on broadcasters like TV5 Monde have brought into focus that it’s not just copmanies who have high value rights who are ripe for breach – attacking a broadcaster is a high impact way of getting your message accross.
We have seen how the internet, which was built on very open and trusting protocols, has struggled in recent times to keep abuse to a minimum and to implement security to keep data safe and to keep out unauthorised persons.
And so AMWA is looking at its recent specifcations to ensure there is a clear and interoperable way of implementing security. The benefit of IP should be that that as an industry we can benefit from the work of other industries before us and here, having based these specifications on HTTP interfaces, we can do exactly that. Just like sites on the internet can implemnt HTTPS, we, too use the same mechanism of security certificates and TLS (colloquially known as SSL) encryption to ensure that not only is our data encrypted but also that no one can impersonate anyone else on the network.
Simon Rankine from BBC R&D explains the work he has been part of in defining this secure interface which not only protects from mal-intentioned actors, but also offers some protection from accidental mistakes by staff.
Simon gives a good intorduction to not only how this is a benefit but also how the underlying mechanisms work which are just as applicable to the NMOS APIs as they are to general websites.
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.