Securing streams is a cat-and-mouse game and this is the latest move to keep content secure.
In order to maximise returns on content, the right to show the content is usually limited to certain geographies and sometimes streaming rights are sold separate to broadcast rights. This means it’s common to geo-lock streaming services whereby each IP address requesting content is checked against a database to see in which country that computer is located. This system isn’t perfect, but it tends to work fairly well.
The key, then, for people wanting to access content from outside the geography is to use someone else’s IP. You can do this by renting time on a computer such as in AWS, Digital Ocean or other similar providers where you can select in which country the computer you are using is located. However the IP addresses owned by these providers are also in the databases and are often blocked from access.
The determined viewer, therefore, needs a VPN which uses residential addresses from within that location. The OTT providers can’t block legitimate IP addresses, therefore access will be given. Access is provided to these addresses by VPNs which offer free use of their service in exchange for them being able to route traffic via your computer.
Detecting this kind of use is difficult, and is what Artem Lalaiants discusses in this talk from SMPTE 2018.
“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
With all the talk of IP, you’d be wrong to think SDI is dead. 12G for 4K is alive and well in many places, so there’s plenty of appetite to understand how it works and how to diagnose problems.
In this double-header, Steve Holmes from Tektronix takes us through the ins and outs of HDR and also SDI for HDR at the SMPTE SF section.
Steve starts with his eye on the SMPTE standards for UHD SDI video looking at video resolutions and seeing that a UHD picture can be made up of 4 HD pictures which gives rise to two well known formats ‘Quad split’ and ‘2SI’ (2 Sample Interleave).
Colour is the next focus and a discussion on the different colour spaces that UHD is delivered with (spoiler: they’re all in use), what these look like on the vector scope and look at the different primaries. Finishing up with a roundup and a look at interlink timing, there’s a short break before hitting the next topic…HDR
High Dynamic Range is an important technology which is still gaining adoption and is often provided in 4K programmes. Steve defines the two places HDR is important; in the acquisition and the display of the video then provides a handy lookup table of terms such as HDR, WCG, PQ, HDR10, DMCVT and more.
Steve gives us a primer on what HDR is in terms of brightness ‘NITS’, how these relate to real life and how we talk about it with respect to the displays. We then look at HDR on the waveform monitor and look at features of waveform monitors which allow engineers to visualise and check HDR such as false colour.
The topic of gamma, EOTFs and colour spaces comes up next and is well explained building on what came earlier. Before the final demo and Q&A, Steve talks about different ways to grade pictures when working in HDR.
SMPTE Timecode, created in the 1970s, has been a tremendous success – so is there reason to reinvent it? SMPTE says yes, and SMPTE Fellow Peter Symes explains why.
SMPTE Timecode is in constant use globally in the broadcast industry, but also in many other industries. The standard SMPTE ST12 is still much he same as the first version of the standard, but it has been updated over the years to deal with new frame rates and to adapt to new technology. However there are limits to what it can achieve without being re-defined and some of the original technologies and restrictions that originally guided the way it was created are outdated and superseded.
Peter Symes explains the TLX project which is in progress to create a successor to ‘SMPTE Timecode’. The new requirements pushing the TLX project forward are moving away from ST 12’s audio-based format, supporting any frame rate, having no 24-hour duration limit and work with the legacy timecode.
TLX stands for Time Label Extensible and is delivering on its promise of an extensible standard – as so many are nowadays – and already has ways of working with ST 2059 (PTP synchronisation) and ST 2110 (for uncompressed video over IP).