IP Showcase at IBC 2019: The next step in the IP future

Michael Cronk, chairman of the board, Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), and VP, core technology, Grass Valley, talks about what to expect at the IP Showcase at IBC 2019 and why it matters in sports.

A few things are going to stand out at the IP Showcase at IBC 2019. Among them are the number of IP media installation around the world that we are able to highlight and the number of actual user case studies being presented in the IP Showcase Theatre; both illustrate the fact that IP is gaining more and more traction.

AIMS/Grass Valley’s Michael Cronk: “The IP Showcase at IBC will be a great place to get up to speed on the TR-1001-1 specification.”

Thirteen case studies are being presented in the theatre this year, with six specifically about sports applications, including FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, the largest uncompressed IP remote production to date; Eurosports’ Technology Transformation, which will provide two private clouds using SMPTE ST 2110 and AES67 for playout of hundreds of live channels in 22 languages; and Telstra’s advanced IP-based live–sports-production network stretching across Australia. SVG Co-Editorial Director Ken Kerschbaumer is participating in the theatre, hosting a discussion with NEP Netherlands and its ongoing deployment of IP media technologies.

Of particular interest on the technical side of the IP Showcase is the rollout of JT-NM TR-1001-1, which began around the time of NAB 2019 and is starting to accelerate. TR-1001-1, a new specification from the Joint Task Force on Networked Media (JT-NM, which comprises AMWA, EBU, SMPTE, and VSF), enables much more streamlined and straightforward configuration of SMPTE ST 2110-based systems.

For a bit of context on why TR-1001-1 is important in sports applications, it’s instructive to look at where we are with SMPTE 2110 today. Major IP media installations are running on every major continent now, and many high-profile events, including major sports events, have been broadcast with IP-based systems for remote production. SMPTE 2110 laid the foundation and is delivering the benefits of format flexibility, scalability, and resource sharing, among others.

SMPTE ST 2110 has enabled trucks with larger signal counts and UHD but, in the process, has also increased the complexity of setup. Although ST 2110 has been key in enabling multi-vendor transmission and reception of video, audio, and ancillary data, a number of system-level parameters and device-discovery mechanisms make multi-vendor implementation of ST 2110 systems harder than anyone wants them to be.

It’s much like the old days of computer networking. Remember when one had to type in IP addresses and subnet masks just to connect one’s computer? Today, we hardly have to think about connecting all our devices to a Wi-Fi network. That’s because the IT industry agreed on a common set of discovery and configuration protocols to automate the process. SMPTE ST 2110 by itself doesn’t address such issues, and that’s where JT-NM TR-1001-1 comes in.

JT-NM TR-1001-1 simplifies the process of installing and configuring ST 2110 equipment on a network, leading to a measurable reduction in setup times. In outside-broadcast production, as we all know, setup time really matters, so this is a major development.

Because JT-NM TR-1001-1 is relatively new, most vendors are still in the process of implementing it. But it is something that broadcasters and OB-service providers are going to want to pay attention to. It promises to help deliver the benefits we are seeing with ST 2110 with greater simplicity and easier and faster setup.

The IP Showcase at IBC will be a great place to get up to speed on the TR-1001-1 specification. We’ll have static and live displays as well as experts on hand to discuss the specification in detail.

The IP Showcase is located in Rooms E106/107 at the RAI Amsterdam and will be open throughout IBC 2019.

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