May 10, 2018
With IP standards finally taking effect across the industry, the proverbial floodgates are now starting to open for the world of broadcast production. Our partners at the Sports Video Group held an IP Production Forum in midtown Manhattan to cover what this “green light” means for the production companies’ workflow. Our team of attendees included Sales Professionals Tim Finnegan and Mike Bogen, Technology Development Manager Joel Guilbert, and Marketing Director Eric Eldredge.
The daylong event began with a panel, called “The Transformative Nature of IP”, moderated by SVG’s Ken Kerschbaumer. Panelists included Pamela Dittman from Evertz, Johannes Kuhfuss from Lawo, Deon LaCointe from Sony, Scott Rothenberg from NEP, and Jason Taubman from Game Creek Video. The Q&A mostly revolved around how IP has allowed broadcasters unprecedented flexibility in bringing events to viewers. An eye-opening example was the real-time NEP broadcast of an Australian football tournament from Perth to Sydney – over a whopping 3000 miles!
The panel was immediately followed by a case study (featuring Joop Janssen from Aperi) about how virtualization can greatly streamline workflows by lowering latency, eliminating and consolidating hardware platforms, and greatly increasing operational flexibility.
Current SMPTE President Matthew Goldman (from Ericsson, at left) then came up and delivered a “state of the standards” address, focusing on broadcasting’s biggest digits for 2018: 2110. Offering a vision of a broadcast equipment center in 2020 while showing a room of server racks, he began to offer a roadmap for how IP is much more than just a mode of transport. He sees 2110 opening doors to IP becoming the means for improved contribution, live production, and playout.
The morning’s agenda closed out with another panel, “The Right Route: Tips on the Transition to IP Routing”. Hosted once again by Kerschbaumer, he was joined by Ammar Latif from Cisco, Fernando Solanes from Evertz, and James Stellpflug from EVS. After so many developments in the world of routing post-NAB Show, the panelists discussed the latest developments in routing for IP based systems and some of the challenges being met. The segment again ended with a case study from the Australian tournament.
The first session in the afternoon was “Virtualization, SaaS, and the Future of Production”, moderated by GHO Group’s Gary Olson. Panelists included Chris Burgos from NewTek, Saurabh Gupta from Google Cloud, Mark Hilton from Grass Valley, Joop Janssen from Aperi, Grant Nodine from the NHL, and Jonathan Solomon from Aspera. The panel mostly centered how virtualization and SaaS (software as a service) can provide both benefits to operations while at the same time presenting challenges that didn’t exist before. A virtual environment can effectively provide you a different setup for each production as you need it, without having to swap hardware.
The second session tackled one of the most serious issues facing this entire transition – security. Called “Network Security: Tips and Techniques” and moderated by SVG’s Karen Hogan-Ketchum, the panel was comprised of Vaishali Ghiya from Juniper Networks, Shane Keats from Akamai, and Michael Korten from Cisco Systems. The transition of broadcast and live production networks brings with it the risk of attacks, hacking, and hijacking of streams. The panelists described how such threats have been addressed in other industries and how similar measures can be applied to IP networks in this medium.
The final panel of the day, “At Home Productions: What’s Next”, was moderated by SVG’s Jason Dachman, and included Brad Cheney from Fox Sports, Robert Erickson from Grass Valley, Joshua Liemer from VISTA Worldlink, and Richard Wolf from The Switch. IP based production now has greatly increased the idea of “at home” setups, which centralize most of a network’s resources at their facility and minimizing infrastructure at the remote location being broadcast (trucks, satellite uplinks, etc). The panelists gave some real-world examples and shared some thoughts on the ways this will greatly change the way broadcasts are handled.
Joel Guilbert shared some of the concerns discussed at the event: “As IP technologies are being ever more leveraged for broadcast used; a chasm between traditional IP needs and broadcasters requirements is being exposed. A lot of necessary elements being developed for broadcast IP now are common sense approaches; and will unfurl their own set of challenges - we're just at the very beginning of this new world.”
We would like to thank our friends at the Sports Video Group for having us, and to all of the panelists and experts for their valuable information!
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