French broadcast company M6 Group has recently moved to an all-IP workflow, employing the SMPTE ST 2110 suite of standards for professional media delivery over IP networks. The two main playout channels and MCR have been already upgraded and the next few channels will be transitioned to the new core soon.
The M6 system comprises equipment from five different vendors (Evertz, Tektronix, Harmonic, Ross and TSL), all managed and controlled using the AMWA NMOS IS-04 and IS-05 specifications. Such interoperability is an inherent feature of SMPTE ST 2110 suite of standards allowing customers to focus on the operational workflows and flexibility that IP brings them. Centralised management and configuration of the system is provided through web interfaces which also allows for easy and automated addition of a new equipment.
Thanks to Software Defined Orchestration and intuitive touch screen interfaces information such as source paths, link bandwidth / status, and device details can be quickly accessed via a web GUI. As the system is based on IP network, it is possible to come in and out of fabric numerous times without the same costs implications that you would have in the SDI world. Every point of the signal chain can be easily visualised which enables broadcast engineers to maintain and configure the system with ease.
The Networked Media Open Specifications (NMOS) have been developed to provide a control and management layer along side the SMPTE ST 2110 transport layer. The idea behind NMOS was to deliver an open specification to provide the software layers that abstract a lot of complexities of ST 2110 and make it easy to interface with any control system.
The NMOS family of specifications began with projects for Discovery & Registration, Device Connection Management and Network Control, but has grown to include many other important subjects such as Event & Tally, Audio Channel Mapping and Interoperable Security.
In this video, Jed Deame discusses the latest advancements including IS-08, IS-09, BCP-002, BCP-003 and IS-10. These additions allows NMOS to surpass the level of control provided in SDI while also adding a layer of security.
The following Interface Specifications and Best Current Practices are presented:
IS-04 (Registration and Discovery) – new features: support for GPI over Ethernet (IS-07) and authorisation signalling for security layers BCP-003-02
IS-05 (Connection Management) – new features: MQ Telemetry Transport and WebSocket Transport, support for supplementary externally defined parameters
Andreas Hildebrand starts by introducing 2110 and how it works in terms of sending the essences separately using multicast IP. This talk focusses on the ability of audio-only devices to subscribe to the audio streams without needing the video streams. Andreas then goes on to introduce AES67 which is a standard defining interoperability for audio defining timing, session description, encoding, QOS, transport and much more. Of all the things which are defined in AES67, discovery was deliberately not included and Andreas explains why.
Within SMPTE 2110, there are constraints added to AES67 under the sub-standard 2110-30. The different categories A, B and C (and their X counterparts) are explained in terms how how many audios are defined and the sample lengths with their implications detailed.
As for discovery and other aspects of creating a working system, Andreas looks towards AMWA’s NMOS suite summarising the specifications for Discovery & Registration, Connection Management, Network Control, Event & Tally, Audio Channel Mapping. It’s the latter which is the focus of the last part of this talk.
IS-08 defines a way of defining input and output blocks allowing a channel mapping to be defined. Using IS-05, we can determine which source stream should connect to which destination device. Then IS-08 gives the capability to determine which of the audios within this stream can be mapped to the output(s) of the receiving device and on top of this allows mapping from multiple received streams into the output(s) of one device. The talk then finishes with a deeper look at this process including where example code can be found.
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.