Colin Mann | Euromedia Magazine | Sept/Oct 2017, Issue Pgs. 18-22
The late 90s saw the broadcast industry transition from analogue to digital transmission, with digital production increasingly common. In the mid-to-late late ‘noughties’, IP became the transmission protocol of choice for telcos and subsequently other service providers. Fast forward to the present day and IP is playing an increasingly greater role in the whole production and broadcast value chain, but what are the benefits it brings, and are these being shared equally among its players?
According to Greg Burns, head of media technology, Arqiva, being able to apply software-defined networking principles to video routing is very flexible. “New devices can be integrated into the signal path without the need for additional wiring and complex transmission chain re-builds,” he advises. “By using commodity computer processing power, we can leverage the advancements in hardware to provide more powerful software solutions. Broadcasters and content owners have uncertainty over the future of video consumption and need flexible solutions to ensure they can change approaches easily. Software-based systems, leveraging IP networks, virtualised infrastructures and pay as you go business models can help them achieve this.”
Roger Franklin, CEO and president of Crystal, suggests that the most basic benefit is the efficiency that a nation experiences when just one language is spoken there, instead of a half dozen. “Doing everything in IP eliminates re-coding over and over again, with its potential to introduce errors. It eliminates lots of hardware needed to support different standards and encode between them. And it leans into a future in which IP delivery will become the primary means of distributing video content.”