IP in sport broadcasts forces industry to go for Precision Time Protocol says Artel

Artel Video Systems has announced the release of a new whitepaper focused on IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP), for ensuring accurate timing all along the signal-processing path for AES67 audio and SMPTE ST 2110 video.

Titled, It’s About (Precision) Time, Artel is driven by the fact that timing drives every aspect of signal delivery, particularly when synchronising video to audio to achieve lip sync. Rafael Fonseca, vice president of product management at Artel Video Systems, commented on why this protocol is important for the sports broadcast industry: “With the emergence of IP in sport broadcasts, the need to maintain and improve synchronisation among end points, devices, and processes across a broadcasters’ network is critical. This is of most importance in live sports broadcast productions.”

Rafael Fonseca, vice president of product management at Artel Video Systems

With the transition to IP networks for all aspects of the signal-processing path, accurate timing has become more difficult due to the fundamentally asynchronous, non-deterministic nature of packet-based networks, the company said. PTP solves that problem and is now required by today’s media standards, including SMPTE ST 2110 for IP video production and AES67 for IP audio.

When used properly, PTP can synchronise device clocks to within nanoseconds across a large network with hundreds of nodes. When those clocks are derived from GPS signals, PTP can provide a very accurate and stable time base for all types of signals within multimedia operations.

“Precision Timing Protocol (PTP) is the backbone of an IP live sports broadcast as it enables the integration of audio and video in the time and phase domain, allowing for effective media processing,” continued Fonseca. “By leveraging the networking flexibilities of IP and combining it with a sound implementation of PTP, sports broadcasters could cost effectively introduce novel workflows, resulting in an improved and unique viewer experience. In addition, it allows for leveraging the efficiencies of media essence integration, remote production, and the ubiquity of IP networks to deliver live content of second and third-tier sports production. PTP is the foundation upon which sports broadcasters can build automatic processes, creative workflows, and innovation.”

He went on: “As IP video and audio technology moves rapidly into the domain of IP networking, IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol will become essential to all facets of media production. That’s because it permits hundreds and even thousands of devices to work together in absolute synchronisation to support all the timing relationships that are so critical to properly formatted media signals. Through this white paper, readers will gain a better understanding of PTP and the many ways it can work for a media facility, especially when the right equipment is in place.”

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