February 2018

Having recently completed the conceptualisation, design and build of a pioneering, uncompressed end-to-end video-over-IP broadcast facility, the dB Broadcast Engineering team takes the opportunity to reflect on the experience, and offers guidance to those considering a move to an IP based approach.

State-of-the-art production facilities were completed for Bloomberg Television in London and feature cutting-edge, IP based technology that supports uncompressed end-to-end video-over-IP workflows, and provide a flexible, dynamic and future-proof platform.

Q: Should you build on IP?
“In general terms, yes. This is a sufficiently mature and relevant technology. You need to balance requirements, scope, budget, time and value.

“At dB Broadcast we take care to assess each project on its own merits, and propose solutions that provide tangible business benefits, rigorously assess risks and adopt mitigation strategies where necessary. The transition to LiveIP is not without risk, and careful moves are required.”

Q: What specific pointers should you keep in mind?
“ST 2110 and NMOS IS-0X standardisation is going great, but implementations are bedding in and some are more mature than others. Look around and you’ll see that many vendors are still finishing off ST 2022 implementations.
– With the push towards leaf / spine, ensure that you fully understand what the implications are if you go down this route.
– The control and monitoring side of things is also still evolving. Pay a lot of attention to this area. At Bloomberg, we partnered with our principal routing control and endpoint vendor to define a suite of simple, open protocols for control and telemetry reporting.
– Open standards do not result in open architecture. Be careful that the architecture and control paradigm of your principle endpoint vendor does not preclude the simple integration of all other vendor products. Think carefully before outsourcing important design decisions and responsibilities. If your project necessitates this, make sure you understand the implications of any decisions.
– Learn all about ST 2110, ST 2022-7, ST 2059, PTP, multicast and network configuration / logical design.”

Q: So are we there yet?
“The transition to LiveIP has some way to go. Plan with this in mind and employ strategies to manage and accelerate the process. And of course, engage with dB Broadcast who’ve built systems with this technology!

“Great progress has been made, but there’s still much to do, and experience makes the process much easier. Learn about the standards and network design, but be aware that this alone won’t provide all the answers. We’re not yet at the plug and play stage. There’s a fair chance that you’ll be targeting roadmap product features. You need to engage with vendors with this mind set.”

dB Broadcast has accumulated unique experience in designing and implementing IP solutions for broadcasting.