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On-demand production is in incubation

One of the key players in the creation of the IP IBC opening today is BBC R&D, with two major show demonstrations.

“With the EBU we are showing end-to-end IP working which involves both IP studio technology in the capture side, and then downstream using a media access API to pull out objects or chunks of media,” said Peter Brightwell, lead engineer for IP studio at BBC R&D. “We then use those for personalisation and web-based distribution.”

This reflects technology exploitation that has come out of the AMWA Networked Media Incubator Project, which Brightwell chairs.

“That is a big part of our work, as we take stock of where we are now in the IP world and the expected evolution,” said Brightwell. “We are working within the Incubator group on the next generation of APIs for the industry.”

In the Interoperability Zone – covering transport, timing, and discovery and registration – BBC R&D has the third element. “What we are doing is showing the discovery of lots of different vendors’ devices on an IP network using the Networked Media Open Specifications (NMOS) protocol,” said Brightwell.

“In terms of acquisition, for the EBU and JPNM demos we will show capture from cameras and then live encoding into uncompressed video over IP according to the T303 spec for elemental video streams.”

Visitors will see “a strong early start”, based on first generation technology focused in the main on putting SDI directly over IP. What still has to happen?

“We are seeing IP-based facilities coming closer and there is a lot of progress on the wire formats. But there is still a lot required to make an IP facility fully practical,” said Brightwell. “A lot of this is about automation and monitoring.

Things that have not happened yet are a common standard for joining flows between different devices in different areas, and common approaches to device control and configuration. But we are progressing towards the goal of having on-demand production.”