The LiveIP Project, initiated by Belgian broadcaster VRT, in partnership with the EBU and 10 vendors under the VRT technology acceleration program Sandbox+, is one of the must-see wonders at IBC.
A landmark achievement in terms of interoperability, it uses SMPTE 2022/6, AES67, and PTP to transport broadcast feeds via an SDN, and highlights sharing resources, remote production and automation.
“We demonstrate it is possible to build a multi-vendor system using open standards,” said Felix Poulin, EBU senior project manager, networked media production. “Broadcasters are wondering when IP will be mature enough for business critical applications. Whilst there are multiple system offerings on the market, we have not got much hard evidence yet on the feasibility, performance and cost benefits of making the transition,” he added.
Two improvement areas have been identified. “The support of PTP/SMPTE 2059 for time and sync is not yet implemented by all vendors. We hope to use it more extensively in the next phase,” said Poulin. “Another challenge is the lack of proper monitoring tools to provide immediate visibility on all the flows on the network.”
Regarding the hybrid transitional period from SDI Poulin said: “This will happen in multiple evolutionary steps. SDI over IP is the first solution — reproducing current workflows. It has the benefit of making the transition very smooth.
“Early adopters will deploy islands of production using IP technology. What we learn from them will inform further standards developments through the EBU/SMPTE joint taskforce on network media,” he added. “Once there is a network infrastructure in place, since IP is scalable contrary to SDI, we will see a modular evolution, where part of the system can use different formats.”