Video: Benefits of IP Systems for Sporting Venues

As you walk around any exhibitions there seems to be a myriad of ‘benefits’ of IP working, many of which don’t resonate for particular use cases. Only the most extraordinary businesses need all of the benefits, so in this talk, Imagine Communication’s John Mailhot discusses how IP helps sports venues.

John sets the scene by separating out the function of OB trucks and the ‘inside production’ facilities which have a whole host of non-TV production to do including driving scoreboards, displays inside the venue, replays and importantly has to deal with over 250 events a year, not all of which will have an OB truck.

We see that the scale that IP can work at is a great benefit as many signals can fit down one fibre and 2022-7 seamless switching can easily provide full redundancy for every fibre and SFP. This is a level of redundancy which is simply not seen in SDI systems. With stadia being very large, necessitating cable runs of over 500m, the fact that IP needs fewer cables overall is a great benefit.

John shows an example of an Arista switch only 7U in height which provides 144x 100G ports meaning it could support over 4000 inputs and 4000 outputs. Such density is unprecedented and for OB trucks can be a dealbreaker. For sports venues, this can also be a big motivator but also allow more flexibility in distributing the solution rather than relying on a massive central interconnect with a 1100×1100 SDI router in a central CTA.

TV is nothing without audio and the benefits to audio in 2110 are non trivial since with the audio being split off from the video, we are no longer limited to dealing with just 16 channels per video and de-embedding from a video frame any time we want to touch it.

Timing is an interesting benefit. I say this because, whilst PTP can end up being quite complex compared to black and burst, it has some big benefits. First off, it can live in the same cables as your data where as black and burst requires a whole separate cable infrastructure. PTP also allows you to timestamp all essences which helps with lip-sync throughout your workflow.

John leads us through some examples of how this works for different areas finishing by summing up the relevant benefits such as scalability, multi-format, space efficient, and timing amongst others.

Watch now!
Download the slides

John Mailhot John Mailhot
CTO, Networking & Infrastructure,
Imagine Communications

Video: SMPTE Technical Primers

The Broadcast Knowledge exists to help individuals up-skill whatever your starting point. Videos like this are far too rare giving an introduction to a large number of topics. For those starting out or who need to revise a topic, this really hits the mark particularly as there are many new topics.

John Mailhot takes the lead on SMPTE 2110 explaining that it’s built on separate media (essence) flows. He covers how synchronisation is maintained and also gives an overview of the many parts of the SMPTE ST 2110 suite. He talks in more detail about the audio and metadata parts of the standard suite.

Eric Gsell discusses digital archiving and the considerations which come with deciding what formats to use. He explains colour space, the CIE model and the colour spaces we use such as 709, 2100 and P3 before turning to file formats. With the advent of HDR video and displays which can show bright video, Eric takes some time to explain why this could represent a problem for visual health as we don’t fully understand how the displays and the eye interact with this type of material. He finishes off by explaining the different ways of measuring the light output of displays and their standardisation.

Yvonne Thomas talks about the cloud starting by explaining the different between platform as a service (PaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and similar cloud terms. As cloud migrations are forecast to grow significantly, Yvonne looks at the drivers behind this and the benefits that it can bring when used in the right way. Using the cloud, Yvonne shows, can be an opportunity for improving workflows and adding more feedback and iterative refinement into your products and infrastructure.

Looking at video deployments in the cloud, Yvonne introduces video codecs AV1 and VVC both, in their own way, successors to HEVC/h.265 as well as the two transport protocols SRT and RIST which exist to reliably send video with low latency over lossy networks such as the internet. To learn more about these protocols, check out this popular talk on RIST by Merrick Ackermans and this SRT Overview.

Rounding off the primer is Linda Gedemer from Source Sound VR who introduces immersive audio, measuring sound output (SPL) from speakers and looking at the interesting problem of forward speakers in cinemas. The have long been behind the screen which has meant the screens have to be perforated to let the sound through which interferes with the sound itself. Now that cinema screens are changing to be solid screens, not completely dissimilar to large outdoor video displays, the speakers are having to move but now with them out of the line of sight, how can we keep the sound in the right place for the audience?

This video is a great summary of many of the key challenges in the industry and works well for beginners and those who just need to keep up.

Watch now!

John Mailhot John Mailhot
Systems Architect for IP Convergence,
Imagine Communications
Eric Gsell Eric Gsell
Staff Engineer,
Dolby Laboratories
Linda Gedemer, PhD Linda Gedemer, PhD
Technical Director, VR Audio Evangelist
Source Sound VR
Yvonne Thomas Yvonne Thomas
Strategic Technologist
Digital TV Group

Video: User Requirements Beyond SMPTE ST 2110

Work on ST 2110 continues although the main elements of it have been standardised for well over a year now, but many companies are thinking beyond ST 2110.

The EBU’s Willem Vermost presents the wider picture of next generation broadcast facilities charting the need and desires of public broadcasters in Europe. We look here at the need for many broadcasters to move buildings and the problems they face doing so – only one of them being implementing a ST 2110 infrastructure.

The talk then goes on to the problems that broadcasters face and the need for a way of working which defines some common approaches. This has arrived in the form if a document with the lengthy title JT-NM TR-1001-1:2018 which outlines many practical approaches to making ST 2110 work. Many are simple, such as using DHCP but without an agreed set of practices, incompatibilities will come in.

Willem talks about the interoperability tests for this, the results of which are publicly available rather than previous closed-door tests. And before rounding off the talk with questions, he looks at the increasingly well-known EBU Pyramid which shows the availability of different parts of the IP ecosystem; media transport being green, configuration and security being red.

For more information about JT-NM, look at this talk from SMPTE and Imagine Communication’s John Mailhot which covers it in much more detail.

Join Willem at IBC to find out more about ST 2110 at a panel from IET Media discussing ST 2110 and NDI. NDI provides video over IP and is more widely supported than ST 2110, yet major broadcasters seem blind to its benefits. Is this because NDI doesn’t meet the needs of these broadcasters or are there other reasons? What are the use cases where both can be used together?

Join Willem Vermost, The Broadcast Knowledge Editor Russell Trafford-Jones, Marc Risby CTO of Boxer and Liam Hayter from Newtek/NDI to find out more at IBC, IABM Theatre, Future Zone. Friday 13th 15:00-15:45.


Willem Vermost Willem Vermost
Senior IP Media &Technology

Video: TR-1001 Replacing Video By Spreadsheet

Here to kill the idea of SDNs – Spreadsheet Defined Networks – is TR-1001 which defines ways to implement IP-based media facilities avoiding some typical mistakes and easing the support burden.

From the JT-NM (Joint Taskforce – Networked Media), TR-1001 promises to be a very useful document for companies implementing ST-2110 or any video-over-IP network Explaining what’s in it is EEG’s Bill McLaughlin at the VSF’s IP Showcase at NAB.

This isn’t the first time we’ve written about TR-1001 at The Broadcast Knowledge. Previously, Imagine’s John Mailhot has dived in deep as part of a SMPTE standards webcast. Here, Bill takes a lighter approach to get over the main aims of the document and adds details about recent testing which happened across several vendors.

Bill looks at the typical issues that people find when initially implementing a system with ST-2110 devices and summarises the ways in which TR-1001 mitigates these problems. The aim here is to enable, at least in theory, many nodes to be configured in an automatic and self-documenting way.

Bill explains that TR-1001 covers timing, discovery and connection of devices plus some of configuration and monitoring. As we would expect, ST-2110 itself defines the media transport and also some of the timing. Work is still to be done to help TR-1001 address security aspects.


Bill McLaughlin Bill McLaughlin
VP Product Development,
EEG Enterprises