by John Smith Issue 107 - November 2015
Live sports broadcasting is one of the most technically challenging tasks for any production team. Multiple signals in multiple formats need to be transmitted around the sports facility. In addition, signals need to be integrated with feeds from other locations to create a complete broadcast stream. As a result, remote production over IP has recently become a much discussed topic! The possibility of simplifying networks by consolidating all media traffic onto a common platform, and taking advantage of the increasing availability of video devices that natively support IP could solve many challenges. However, recent advances which bring together both broadcast and telcos technology means we are now seeing the transportation of established broadcast signals over IP across established internal and external networks become a reality.
The advantage of using established telcos networks to transport encoded traditional 3DHDI/SDI broadcast signals is that hitless switching and therefore zero data loss is achievable. This is of particular interest as it enables signals to be transmitted from numerous remote venues such as football stadiums or other sports facilities, over established telcos networks, to a central location permitting remote live production. Remote production over IP, is now more than a potential workflow, it is a viable option.
Media Links enables the process through the implementation of its IP gateways which work by allowing traditional 3DHDI/SDI broadcast signals to be encoded into an IP data stream. Sync is ensured with IP Genlock over multiple points on the network, using IEEE 1588V2 Precision Time Protocol. This space and time coding means our broadcast clients can now achieve signal transport and clean switching over both local and also, more importantly, wide area networks.
Using this model means broadcasters no longer need to carry the high cost of producing live events on-site. The technology is available now, to enable broadcasters and network providers to convert and move the complete suite of broadcast signals - whether video, audio or data - onto their multi-service IP/Ethernet networks. By using this remote production model, both 4k/60P, HD-SDI/3G-SDI camera feeds and data traffic can be sent from the remote venues directly to the studio, where all production and editing can take place.
The Media Links MD8000 video over IP media transport and switching solutions, together with our NetGazer Network Management System provide video over IP transmission which is an efficient, seamless and highly reliable way of moving content between shooting locations and the broadcast studio. As a result, utilization of bandwidth is enhanced and media connectivity can be maximized over the entire IP network and over long distances with zero dropped video packets during event productions.
The Companys solutions are currently deployed globally by broadcasters, and major telcos and recently have been used to provide live content contribution for the Sochi Winter games and World Cup soccer, experiencing 100% uptime and zero packet loss. In fact, Media Links has provided the backbone technology behind many major events around the globe, learning from each one. We are now ready to share our knowledge and expertise with the EMEA Market. We are already contracted to deliver a complete remote production system for one of Japans largest broadcasters to enable the organisations established broadcast signals to be transported over across established internal and external networks in this way, making remote production over IP become a reality for the broadcast world.