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Broadcast Network Environment

The New Generation of 8K-ready LIVE PRODUCTION Networks

The Set-Up: Typical LIVE PRODUCTION environment with production site, data center and control room. The Transmission: Signals from the production site (audio, visual, metadata) are transported, monitored and processed in between the three locations. The Issue: Timing is mandatory for LIVE PRODUCTION, and today’s formats (4K, 8K) call for immense data transmission capabilities. A set of open standards is important to manage myriad operations. The Solution: The STORDIS Advanced Programmable Switches address the requirements of LIVE PRODUCTION infrastructures, delivering high performance, redundancy, low latency, flexibility and agility.

The graphic shows the typical set-up of a LIVE PRODUCTION environment of a TV station or content producer with production sites (e.g. remote sports events, news production studios), data center and control rooms. It demonstrates the interconnectivity between the different sites, which is established with our Advanced Programmable Switches (APS).

 

The Production Site, where content is produced. Typically studios or similar venues, sometimes operated from local control rooms or OB trucks, and sometimes from remote control rooms.

 

The Data Center, where the audio, video and processing equipment is deployed and technical support ensures maintenance, functionality and performance.

 

The Control Room, where operators supervise the data transport and manage all processes (e.g. monitoring the signals with multiviewers, mixing audio and video, streamlining the usability and flexibility of the productions and installations).

 

In this example of a typical LIVE PRODUCTION environment, every  location is producing or monitoring content (audio, video, metadata).

 

The Spine-Leaf architecture allows for a fully redundant connectivity and supports the expected broadcast standards and specifications.

 

The Controllers are on top of everything and control every device in the network infrastructure:

 

  • The SDN controller is managing all network devices, but it is not broadcast aware
  • The Broadcasting Controller is broadcast aware and commands the SDN controller

 

The PTP Grandmaster controls the timing, which is mandatory in the production environment.

 

The use of Open Standards delivers a better performance, flexibility and interoperability of the system.

The Obstacle

LIVE PRODUCTION is still the most demanding subject when it comes to broadcasting network infrastructures. Due to the immense amounts of data to be handled (e.g. UHD can´t be transported with SDI without introducing compression and latency) and the need for additional features, there have not been any major breakthroughs so far, but it is definitely on the move. The most essential capacities for solving those issues in TV LIVE PRODUCTION are:

 

  • High bandwidth
  • Time synchronization
  • Programmability on open standards
  • QoS (e.g. metering)
  • Seamless switching

The Solution

 

Beside delivering first-class solutions for distribution, contribution and post-production networks, the STORDIS Advanced Programmable Switches (APS) are purpose-built for broadcasters by broadcasting experts to address requirements which are particularly critical for LIVE PRODUCTION environments:

  • Based on Barefoot Networks’ fully P4-programmable Tofino ASIC
  • Based on open standards (e.g. OpenFlow, SMPTE, P4, ONS, Video over IP, etc.)
  • High throughput (2.0 Tbps & 6.4 Tbps) to comply with the requirements of next-generation formats (HD, 4K, 8K) and handle massive real time data traffic
  • Built-in IEEE 1588v2 PTP boundary clock to provide time relevant information
  • High-performance components including Intel 8-Core CPU, 32GB SD-RAM, 128GB SSD in bare metal switches designed to meet future requirements
  • Seamless switching of video streams directly within the switch
  • Power redundancy for mission-critical use cases
  • 1GbE support to connect to the existing IT infrastructure
  • Deliver connectivity, flexibility and agility to the environment
  • Less cabling: the APS transport all audio, video and meta data on the same infrastructure (bidirectional, multidirectional)
  • Compressed and reusable architecture delivers cost-efficiency
  • Dedicated SDN controller ports
  • Define the forwarding plane to create customized use cases
  • Built by broadcasting experts

The Broadcasting Network Environment

To leverage LIVE PRODUCTION networks, STORDIS designed the APS together with leading industry partners providing broadcast controllers. Their logical environment builds a groundwork to implement a complete and most efficient solution for the broadcasting industry.

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