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 – Ready, Steady, Go!

We have NMOS IS-04,-05, 6, 7…all the way to 10. Is it possibly too complex? Each NMOS specification brings an important feature to an IP/SMPTE ST-2022 workflow and not every system needs each one so life can become confusing. To help, NVIDIA (who own Mellanox) have been developing an open-source project which allows for quick and easy deployment of an NMOS test system.

Kicking off the presentation, Félix Poulin, explains how the EBU Pyramid for Media Nodes shows how SMPTE ST 2110 depends on a host of technologies surrounding it to create a large system. These are such as ‘Discovery and registration; channel mapping, event and tally, Network control, security and more. Félix shows how AMWA’s BCP-003-01 gives guidelines on securing NMOS comms. How IS-09 allows nodes to join the system and collect system parameters and then register itself in the IS-04 database. IS-05 and IS-06 allow end-points to be connected either through IGMP with IS-05 or by an SDN controller, using -06. IS-08 allows for audio mapping/shuffling with BCP-002-01 marking which streams belong to each other and can be taken as a bundle. IS-07 gives a way for event and tally information to be passed from place to place.

There’s a lot going on, already published and getting started can seem quite daunting. For that reason, there is an ‘NMOS at a glance‘ document now on the NMOS website. Gareth Sylvester-Bradley from Sony looks at the ongoing work within NMOS such as finalising IS-10 and BCP-003-02 both of which will enable secure authorisation of clients in the system and explains how AMWA works and ensures the correct direction of the NMOS activity groups with sufficient business cases and participation. He also outlines the importance of the NMOS testing tool and the criteria used for quality and adoption. Gareth finishes by discussing the other in-progress work from NMOS including work on EDID connection management as part of the pro AV IPMX project.

Finally, Richard Hastie introduces the ‘Easy-NMOS’ which provides very easy deployment of IS-04, 05 & 09 along with BCP-003-01 and BCP-002-01. Introduced in 2019, Mellanox – now part of NVIDIA – developed this easy-to-deploy, containerised set of 3 ‘servers’ which quickly and easily deploy these technologies including a test suite. This doesn’t move media, but it creates valid NMOS nodes and includes an MQTT broker. One container contains the NMOS Registry, controller and MQTT broker. One is a virtual mode and the last is an NMOS testing service. Richard walks us through the 4-line install and brief configuration ahead of installing this and demonstrating how to use it.

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Speakers

Félix Poulin Félix Poulin
Director, Media Transport Architecture & Lab
CBC/Radio-Canada
Gareth Sylvester-Bradley Gareth Sylvester-Bradley
Principal engineer,
Sony EPE
Richard Hastie Richard Hastie
Senior Sales Director, Mellanox Business Development
NVIDIA

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: Introduction to IPMX

The Broadcast Knowledge has documented over 100 videos and webinars on SMPTE ST 2110. It’s a great suite of standards but it’s not always simple to implement. For smaller systems, many of the complications and nuances don’t occur so a lot of the deeper dives into ST 2110 and its associated specifications such as NMOS from AMWA focus on the work done in large systems in tier-1 broadcasters such as the BBC, tpc and FIS Skiing for SVT.

ProAV, the professional end of the AV market, is a different market. Very few companies have a large AV department if one at all. So the ProAV market needs technologies which are much more ‘plug and play’ particularly those in the events side of the market. To date, the ProAV market has been successful in adopting IP technology with quick deployments by using heavily proprietary solutions like ZeeVee, SDVoE and NDI to name a few. These achieve interoperability by having the same software or hardware in each and every implementation.

IPMX aims to change this by bringing together a mix of standards and open specifications: SMPTE ST 2110, NMOS specs and AES. Any individual or company can gain access and develop a service or product to meet them.

Andreas gives a brief history of IP to date outlining how AES67, ST 2110, ST 2059 and the IS specifications, his point being that the work is not yet done. ProAV has needs beyond, though complementary to, those of broadcast.

AES67 is already the answer to a previous interoperability challenge, explains Andreas, as the world of audio over IP was once a purely federated world of proprietary standards which had no, or limited, interoperability. AES67 defined a way to allow these standards to interoperate and has now become the main way audio is moved in SMPTE 2110 under ST 2110-30 (2110-31 allows for AES3). Andreas explains the basics of 2110, AES, as well as the NMOS specifications. He then shows how they fit together in a layered design.

Andreas brings the talk to a close looking at some of the extensions that are needed, he highlights the ability to be more flexible with the quality-bandwidth-latency trade-off. Some ProAV applications require pixel perfection, but some are dictated by lower bandwidth. The current ecosystem, if you include ST 2110-22’s ability to carry JPEG-XS instead of uncompressed video allows only very coarse control of this. HDMI, naturally, is of great importance for ProAV with so many HDMI interfaces in play but also the wide variety of resolutions and framerates that are found outside of broadcast. Work is ongoing to enable HDCP to be carried, suitably encrypted, in these systems. Finally, there is a plan to specify a way to reduce the highly strict PTP requirements.

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Speaker

Andreas Hildebrand Andreas Hildebrand
Evangelist,
ALC NetworX