SDNsquare orchestrates first Dutch live broadcast based on SMPTE2110 IP infrastructure

For the first time in Dutch TV history, a live programme has been remotely directed using fully-fledged SMPTE 2110 IP infrastructure orchestrated by the GRID software-defined network controller from SDNsquare.

United, one-stop supplier of television and multimedia production facilities, last month directed Talpa’s Koffietijd (Time for Coffee) and 5 uur Live from its Remote Centre in the music pavilion at the Media Park in Hilversum. The recording of the shows took place in the studio of the National Postcode Lottery building in Amsterdam.

“For some time now, we have provided remote live direction for a number of programmes, among them RTL Late Night. What makes the present project unique is that we have now used a fully-fledged IP infrastructure,” said Walter van Dorst, manager OB trucks and studios at United. “With this approach, we don’t need to use SDI baseband connections. All video footage was sent uncompressed via fibre optic cable.

“This is a next step in our United Anywhere proposition; we can offer remote production and video editing anywhere in the world, no matter where the recording takes place. We, in fact, decentralise the hardware, which enormously benefits logistics and our sustainability goals,” said van Dorst.

During the broadcasts United made use of spine-leaf-topology. “This ensures that our Remote Centre is flexible, reliable and scalable,” said Paul van den Heuvel, technology manager at United. “The technology, managed by the GRID from SDNsquare, is modular and centres around several small switches and calculates the capacity needed for different applications. Thus it essentially functions in the same way as the data centres of large technology companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon.

“We ensure that the hardware may be located where it is needed; entirely according to the United Anywhere concept, which we developed ourselves,” added van den Heuvel.

GRID technology encompasses a technology and a methodology to enable guaranteed data flows with effective QoS in any IP network: studio network, post production network and a data centre network.

“GRID’s software transforms and orchestrates the IP network and the data flows to be fully predictable, non-blocking and 100% reliable. As a result, the network is also used much more cost-efficiently,” said Henry Alexander, CEO of SDNsquare. “Furthermore GRID also provides several wizards to make configuration and management of the network easy and intuitive for the broadcast engineers.”

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