TranSPORT: IP production workflows lead conversation In front of packed house

The transmission, contribution and backhaul industry has enjoyed a year full of advances and innovation, and, at SVG’s November 10 TranSPORT event in New York City, more than 150 attendees and technology leaders gathered to discuss the latest challenges and best practices in satellite, fibre, and cellular transport, HEVC compression and 4K and multiplatform delivery.

The event was highlighted by a Keynote Case Study presentation by Pac-12 Networks’ Scott Adametz, director, system architecture and technology, and Michael Harabin, VP, technology and engineering, who pulled back the curtain on the network’s innovative IP-based production workflow. Based completely on an Internet 2 infrastructure, the production model has allowed Pac-12 Networks to produce more than 800 events live while reducing the need for large trucks and traveling production teams.

“We couldn’t live competing with resources like crews, satellite trucks, mobile units or fibre capacity, so we had to come up with an idea,” said Harabin. “We had two main objectives: reduce production costs while improving production values.

“Our goal is to honour the student athletes and make them look good,” he continued. “It’s not always achievable in the world of TV, but IP makes that a little easier.”

Before Adametz and Harabin took the stage to discuss Pac-12 Networks’ campus-to-campus fibre network, however, TranSPORT kicked off with an overview of the latest in satellite and fibre transmission and where sports and media organisations are choosing to spend their budgets. Top broadcasters and vendor execs weighed in on what data means to the industry today and how they expect that to change in the future.

With an eye on future-looking technologies, TranSPORT examined the role of HEVC in content distribution and contribution. A wide range of technology vendors debated the place of HEVC in contribution networks, considering the issues surrounding HEVC’s royalty rates and maturation, and touching on up-and-coming market-disrupting technologies and whether full-bandwidth HD-SDI would become the norm.

Next on the docket was IP and the growth of ‘at-home’ productions. Sports broadcasters clearly are ready to embrace IP production to enable at-home workflows, cutting costs and reducing onsite resources by connecting the remote production with the power of the broadcast centre. Panelists offered insight into how Big Ten Network, ESPN, Pac-12 Networks, SEC Network, TWC Sports, Univision, and many others are boosting their production capabilities by embracing

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