Video: NMOS Technology: A User’s Perspective

Bringing you discovery, registration, control, audio remapping, security and more, the open NMOS specifications from AMWA make using SMPTE’s ST 2110 practical. Most importantly, it makes using 2110 open meaning that different equipment can co-exist in the same ecosystem without being many different drivers being written to translate between each vendor.

Led by Wes Simpson this video talks about implementing NMOS from the perspective of a user, not a vendor with Willem Vermost> from Belgium’s public broadcaster, VRT. One drawback of IP-based solutions, they say early on, is that there are so many options on how to deploy. This, potential, choice paralysis goes hand in hand with trying to adapt to the new possibilities which come with the technologies. For instance, identifies Willem, says engineers need to adapt their thinking just to design differently knowing that, now, multiple signals can now flow in both directions down a cable. It’s not like SDI’s point to point, unidirectional nature.

Any large plant can get busy with thousands of signals. The question is how to control this massive number of streams; not forgetting that in 2110, an SDI video stream is split up into at least 4 streams. To help put this in to perspective, Willem looks back to the original telephone exchange and considers the different workflows there, They work, certainly, but having people present plugging in each individual call doesn’t scale well. In our IP world, we want to get beyond the need to ‘type in an address’ as we want to capture the ease at which cameras are connected

The telephone exchanges worked well but in the early days, there were many exchange manufacturers which, when calling from Berlin to New York all had to work. Willem suggests this is why telecoms acted upon what the broadcast industry is now learning. The last point in this analogy is the need to stop your links between exchanges becoming over-subscribed. This task is one which NMOS can also be used to deal with, using IS-05.

NMOS is fully available on GitHub and whilst you can take that software and modify it to your needs, Willem says it’s important to maintain interoperability between vendor implementations which is why the JT-NM Tested programme exists to ensure that it’s easy to buy on the market solutions which say they support NMOS and when they do, that it works. Getting an NMOS test system is easy with open projects from Siny and NVIDIA which are ready for deployment.

Willem ends is talks saying that ST 2110 is easier now than it was, including a recent experience when the en/decoder worked ‘out of the box’. He then answers the question “How do I start out?” Saying you should try something small first, perhaps even an island project. Once you have done that, gained the experience and the concepts, you can take it from there.

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Speakers

Willem Vermost Willem Vermost
Design & Engineering Manager,
VRT
Wes Simpson Wes Simpson
Owner, LearnIPVideo.com

Video: The 2020 EBU Pyramid of User Requirements

There’s a lot more to IP-based production than just getting your video and audio streaming between devices. You need configuration tools, you need timing, there’s the management of the devices to consider and, critically, security. the problem is, working in IP is still new and many of the solutions are yet to mature. This means we still don’t have all the tools we need to realise the full promise of live production IP systems.

Back in 2018, the EBU embarked on a project to focus the industry on the gaps: The Technology Pyramid. This pyramid shows that although we, as an industry, had largely succeeded in defining essence transport over IP, this was only the ‘top of the iceberg’, so to speak, in what needed to be done. also known by its full name, “The Technology Pyramid for Media Nodes 2018”, it shows that everything is underpinned by security, upon that is configuration and monitoring, with discovery and registration built on that.

One important aspect of the pyramid is the green – yellow – red colour coding. When initially released, the only green was the transport layer, but this talk looks at the 2020 edition of the pyramid which shows that the time & sync, as well as discovery and connection, have improved.

We’re joined by Willem Vermost and Félix Poulin to discuss the problems the industry has faced to date and the progress made in making the pyramid green. Both previously with the EBU and now both with early-adopter broadcasters who are going live with IP systems, they are perfectly placed to explain the evolution on of the market.

Not only has the colouring of the pyramid changed, but the detail of what each layer constitutes has evolved. The industry has reacted with a number of specifications such as JT-NM TR-1001-1 and AMWA BCP-003. Willem and Félix explain the hidden necessities that have come out of the woodwork as the early adopters have fought to make everything work. PTP is a good example, being able to free-wheel without a PTP clock for 5 minutes and then join back without a glitch has been added to the list of requirements. Time stamping and lip-sync have proven tricky, too. Intermediate processing steps place their timestamps over the original timestamp of when the media was captured. If you are trying to sync audio and video which have gone through processing, you need the original timestamps which have now been lost. This problem is being addressed but until it is, it’s a big gap.

Overall we can see the power of focussing people’s attention in this way. Whilst there is much more detail in the talk itself, just from the extracts in this article, it’s clear progress has been made and with plenty more broadcasters starting their IP projects, there is all the more motivation for the vendors to implement the requirements as laid out than there was before.

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Speakers

Willem Vermost Willem Vermost
Design & Engineering Manager,
VRT
Félix Poulin Félix Poulin
Direcor – Media Transport Architecture & Lab
CBC/Radio-Canada

Video: Where can SMPTE 2110 and NDI co-exist?

When are two video formats better than one? Broadcasters have long sought ‘best of breed’ systems matching equipment as close as possible to your ideal workflow. In this talk, we look getting the best of both compressed, low-latency and uncompressed video. NDI, a lightly compressed, ultra-low latency codec, allows full productions in visually lossless video with a field of latency. SMPTE’s ST-2110 allows full productions with uncompressed video and almost zero latency.

Bringing together the EBU’s Willem Vermost who paints a picture from the perspective of public broadcasters who are planning their moves into the IP realm, Marc Risby from UK distributor and integrator Boxer brings a more general view of the market’s interest and Will Waters who spent many years in Newtek, the company that invented NDI we hear the two approaches of compressed and uncompressed complement each other.

This panel took place just after the announcement that Newtek had been bought by VizRT, the graphics vendor, who sees a lot of benefit in being able to work in both types of workflow, for clients large and small and who have made Newtek its own entity under the VizRT umbrella to ensure continued focus.

A key differentiator of NDI is its focus on 1 gigabit networking. Its aim has always to enable ‘normal’ companies to be able to deploy IP video easily so they can rapidly benefit from the benefits that IP workflows bring over SDI or other baseband video technologies. A keystone in this strategy is to enable everything to happen on normal, 1Gbit switches which are prevalent in most companies today. Other key elements to the codec are: free, software development kit, bi-directionality, resolution-independent, audio sample-rate agnostic, tally support, auto-discovery and more.

In the talk, we discuss the pros and cons of this approach where interoperability is assured as everyone has to use the same receive and transmit code, against having a standard such as SMPTE ST-2110. SMPTE ST-2110 has the benefit of being uncompressed, assuring the broadcaster that they have captured the best possible quality of video, promises better management at scale, tighter integration into complex workflows, lower latency and the ability to treat the many different essences separately. Whilst we discuss many of the benefits of SMPTE ST-2110, you can get a more detailed overview from this presentation from the IP Showcase.

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This panel was produced by IET Media, a technical network within the IET which runs events, talks and webinars for networking and education within the broadcast industry. More information

Speakers

Willem Vermost Willem Vermost
At the time, Senior IP Media Technology Architect, EBU
Now, Design and Engineering Manager, VRT
Marc Risby Marc Risby
CTO,
Boxer Group
Will Walters Will Waters
Formerly Vice President Of Worldwide Customer Success,
Now Head of Global Product Management,
VizRT
Russell Trafford-Jones Moderator: Russell Trafford-Jones
Exec Member, IET Media
Manager, Support & Services, Techex
Editor, The Broadcast Knowledge

Video: How CBC/Radio-Canada Tested Media-over-IP Devices to Build its New Facility

Moving video production to IP has been ongoing for over 5 years using both SMPTE ST 2022-6 and now ST-2110 but we’re still in the ‘Early Adopter’ phase, explains the Willem Vermost speaking at SMPTE 2019. Willem is the EBU topic lead for the transition to IP-based studios and he is tracking the upcoming projects with public broadcasters.

Willem talks about what’s motivating these Early Adopters. In general, he explains, they have a building move project and they are faced, as CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) was, with being the last to install an extensive SDI infrastructure – and be stuck with that for 7, 10 or more years to come – or the to be one of the first to use IP. Increasingly, they can’t justify the SDI workflow and IP, for all its risks and uncertainties, is the way forward.

CBC/Radio Canada needs to be ‘on air’ in 2020 so they put in a place a risk mitigation plan to test all the equipment before putting it in. Willem outlines what this test plan looks like and what it covers: AES67, ST 2110-40,-7, -30-, -20, EBU r148 security etc. Testing was also brought up by the BBC’s Mark Patrick when he discussed his work in bring in the BBC’s Cardiff Square building on-air. They found that automated testing was key in project delivery so that testing was quick and consistent to ensure that software/firmware patches were correctly accepted into the project.

Willem talks us through the EBU’s famous Technology Pyramid which shows to what extent each of the technologies on which media-over-IP requires has been defined and adopted by the industry. It shows that while the media aspect has been successfully deployed, there is a lot to do in, for example, security.

Difficulties arose due to different interpretations of standards. To aid in diagnosis of such issues, the LIST project has created a 2110 analysis tool and other related tools. This is created within the EBU and Willem highlights some key parts of what it does. He then shows how that connects in with the automated test programs and explains the underlying structure of how the software is built.

The talk finishes with mention of the JT-NM test plan, a summary and questions lead by Arista’s Gerard Phillips.

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Speakers

Willem Vermost Willem Vermost
Senior IP Media Technology Architect
Topic Lead, Transition to IP-based Studios
EBU
Gerard Phillips Moderator: Gerard Phillips
Systems Engineer,
Arista