Collision of Video and Network Engineers.
Deploying IP over video production application involves combining the roles of a video engineer and network engineer. Video engineers are comfortable using SDI, coax, patch panels, black burst and tri-level for timing and signal quality. Therefore, the challenge for the video engineer is to build an understanding of IT technology and the impact of an IT infrastructure on the video. On the other hand, network engineers are familiar with IP Flows, Protocols, networks traffic, router configuration and precision time protocol and network time protocol for timing. Therefore, the network engineers biggest challenge is in understanding video technology and its impact on IT infrastructure. However, it is clear that there is a need for diagnostic monitoring and analysis tools that are usable for both video engineers and network engineers.
Application of IP Video Standards.
When carrying Video over IP in a live production environment, it is important to consider synchronisation and timing. When referring to video over IP, in the context of any video production workflow, the industry refers to the distribution of baseband or lightly compressed video over Real Time Protocol (RTP). These packets are time stamped and carry a sequence number making the measurement of packet delay variations. Therefore, IP has the advantage that many different traffic types can be carried across a network without synchronization difficulties. There is still a need for a precise timing standard to enable frame-accurate switching as well as synchronous video processing. For both IP and ethernet networks, this is provided in the form of PTP version 2. This has also been used as the basis for SMPTE ST2059 PTP standard, which has been specifically introduced for the timing and synchronisation of video transmitted over RTP networks. .
The second method for transporting video over IP networks is being standardized by SMPTE as ST2110. This differs from SMPTE ST2022-6 standard as it separates video, audio and metadata elements into separate IP flows using RTP/UDP. This can help users to avoid wasting bandwidth associated with only carrying video over SDI or IP. Broadcasters could also today use Evertz ASPEN format to carry video over IP and similarly this separates IP flows to carry video, audio and metadata elements. However, these dedicated elements are carried over an MPEG-2 Transport Stream over RTP/UDP.
The Future of IP Production.
The transition to IP is inevitable and many equipment vendors have IP enabled equipment at an early stage of development. This is because both broadcasters and content providers are producing content that is reliant on the availability of an accurate and reliable timing or synchronisation solution. The industry is at the beginning of a long-term transition to IT-based infrastructures. Those involved in the production or facility side of video currently have little experience with this new technology but are extremely experienced in using SDI. Furthermore, the investment in SDI equipment has been so considerable that the use of hybrid IP/SDI networks is likely for the foreseeable future and the transition will take pace gradually. Generally, most production facilities will require new equipment that is able to operate seamlessly in this hybrid environment. As a result, for an equipment vendor to provide equipment that meet these requirements, it will need to understand the challenges of a live production environment and the issues associated with the distribution of video over IP networks.