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TECHNOLOGY © Kerdkanno | Bruce Devlin Mr MXF Ltd. @MrMXF How to tell fact from fiction - IP transport Wandering around the endless corridors of NAB in 2016, you’ll hear much more talk of IP transport than in previous years. If you’re lucky then you’ll see a few GUIs that might show Software Defined Network (SDN) routings or channel allocations. You might see a GUI that shows the flows of essence, grains, packets or other networked “stuff”. If you’re really eagle eyed then you might even see some hardware. Yes, that’s right hardware – remember the metal boxes that we used to have to supply with electricity and the hook up in the days before cloud? I am certain that there is real hardware to be seen out there. NMOS (Networked Media Open Specification), you will hear about specifications, standards and working groups from the IETF, AES, VSF and SMPT. It will come as no surprise that the professional IP transport market hasn’t quite achieved those heady ideals in 2106, but in my opinion this is the critical year that will put us on the right track. You will see vendors promoting membership of AIMS (Alliance for IP Media Solution) and ASPEN and and tried this in practise will probably have someone around who can answer a few of those questions – even if it’s by email after the show. Other vendors will probably give you a software simulation and a data sheet. So, in all that noise and data overload – how do you tell fact from fiction? It comes down to the end goal of an interoperable set of equipment. I don’t, personally, believe that there will be one “winner” in the way that SDI became dominant. I believe that we will see many IP solutions tailored to different business applications with different market drivers but one single common factor – multi-vendor interoperability. So the key When considering the bigger picture, IP transport questions for your vendor community are: equipment is a bit like the telephone. Having a • Which other vendors do you work with? single unit is kind of cool. Having two units from • Which standards have tested against? the same manufacturer is a great demonstrator. • Which discovery and control systems have Having open choice of interoperable equipment you tested with? from many different vendors puts us in the position of having a genuine equipment market • Which network switches have you tested with? that allows traditional market dynamics to hasten the evolution of functionality along with erosion of • What issues did you have testing in a multi-vendor switch environment? equipment and service pricing. This seems to be a good thing in most people’s books. Any vendor that has rolled up their sleeves 36 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 112 APRIL 2016 Good Luck!