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Sony: Cracking 4K live over IP

14 September 2014

Live production is the largest missing piece of the SDI to IP jigsaw but Sony has pieced together an end-to-end IP system demonstrated at IBC transmitting live 4K.

“The future is that any product will have a network connection allowing the audio, video and metadata to be sent straight into a standard IP router and back to a studio facility for remote operation,” said Olivier Bovis, head of AV Media at Sony Professional Europe.

The demonstration consists of a 4K 50p live stream from the Luxembourg HQ of service provider Broadcasting Center Europe, routed over 700km of fibre to the RAI with a two frame delay. The signal is taken out of a F55 camera into a SDI-IP converter board and piped to Level 3’s content delivery network. Signal quality is managed by a software layer called IP Live System Manager.

“IP gives a fundamental infrastructure cost benefit,” said Bovis. “An IP router is a tenth the cost of SDI and the cost of cabling is next to nothing in comparison. IP also offers incredible flexibility in production.”

While the conversion board will be needed to transition legacy equipment into IP, Sony is developing a Networked Media Interface for its products and those of third parties under licence.

Sony products outfitted with the interface are due around Q2 2015. Ten companies have signed to support the effort to create compatible chipsets and modules including Cisco, Evertz, Juniper Networks, Imagine, Vizrt, Matrox and Rohde & Schwarz DVS.

As part of this interface Sony is developing its own compression technology to support 4K 60p transmission over 10 Gbps Ethernet. The creation of a SMPTE Registered Disclosure Document for this codec technology is currently in process.

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