Broadcast Beat Magazine September, 2015 - Page 68

VIDEO OVER IP – WHAT DOES IT MEAN AND DOES IT MATTER? by Paul Turner

Broadcast executives of a certain vintage will remember those halcyon days when decisions revolved around whether a video signal was component or composite and digital or analog. Today, so much IT-centric terminology has entered the broadcast vocabulary, but has the broadcast community kept up with this extended terminology? In this opinion column, Paul Turner, VP of Enterprise Product Management, Telestream and a veteran of more than 30 IBCs seeks to dispel some of the mystery surrounding IP parlance, while highlighting its importance in modern day broadcast operations.

At NAB this year, there was a lot of discussion about “Video over IP.” So much so, that some confusion was generated in the process for more than a few visitors. We all know that IP stands for “Internet Protocol”, and that IP is the backbone for how the internet and almost any network delivers data. However, in the broadcast industry, most people associate Video-over-IP as either:

Live video “signals” being pushed over Ethernet as a replacement for baseband SDI.

OR

File-based media that has been created or captured and is then transferred between systems, over a network, as individual frames, clips or programs.

Pushing live video signals around via Ethernet is still a new concept for many, while file-based workflows are pretty much the norm for acquisition and all media workflows that follow. This is noteworthy since we need to be clear about which of the two is intended when we mention “Video-over-IP” as they are quite different.

For file-based workflows, many content creators and owners are deterred by the sheer volume and complexity of video media files that must be processed. There’s never enough storage, and due to the variety of formats and qualities, it can stretch resources to breaking point. As such, companies struggle to find a way to best utilize available resources, whether they are human or computer based.

Can computers ever replace humans?

Humans and computers should definitely stick to what they do best. Computers are great at performing repetitive tasks, but they need to have a clear set of instructions. Humans are great at creating those instructions, creating templates and work orders, and implementing final QC.

Until fairly recently, it could be argued that software and hardware based systems were under-utilized when it came to reducing the burden of these complex file-based workflows. Systems and processes were siloed, disconnected, and required too much human intervention to keep the media pipeline flowing.

That’s all in the past now. Modern file-based cameras record rich metadata, which in turn allows automated systems to make intelligent decisions for how to handle the media. Enterprise video platforms, such as Telestream Vantage, can fully automate processes from ingest all the way to the delivery of multi-format assets with little or no human intervention required. Files can be ingested automatically, and video editors can seamlessly add content knowing that it will end up in the right place and in the right formats for distribution.

Demystify and exploit the potential of IP

In many ways, IP is the new digital, HD and 4K all rolled into one. It offers fantastic potential for increased efficiency in core broadcast operations, and indeed entirely new revenue streams that can positively impact an organization’s bottom-line performance.

BROADCAST BEAT MAGAZINE

IBC Issue September 2015

68