The view from the floor: IP at IBC

IP workflow solutions got their first major airing at NAB and have continued gaining traction ever since, with NewTek continuing to expand their NDI lineup, Sony partnering with manufacturers and standards bodies to develop their own solutions portfolio, and production kit manufacturers releasing IP ready kit.

We knew IP was going to be a big deal at IBC, but we had no idea just how IP based the show was. As we’re primarily an IT reseller, this was right up our street.

Some of our team attended the IP Interoperability talk with the likes of AIMS/Grass Valley and SMPTE, and the theme was very much how the industry is working together to advance IP workflows, although the standards are still yet to be ratified.

One thing we gathered was that there are still a lot of questions about how IP workflow is going to affect the industry – for example, how do manufacturers differentiate themselves if the industry has agreed everyone will do the same thing with so many IP standards?

Sony demo live IP workflows

Despite these questions, it’s clear that IP-ready technology has taken a massive leap forward since NAB. We went to the Sony hall to look at their highly impressive range of IP-ready mixers and switchers, and learned that the signals can be sent to a mixer the other side of the Netherlands with only a two frame delay.

Sony has been pushing the IP discussion since 2012, starting from the Joint Taskforce for Networked Media (JT-NM), later joining the ASPEN and AIMS alliance groups, and more recently the AMWA NMI incubator project, driving the development of the NMI (Networked Media Interface) framework.

As well as providing us with exciting new acronyms in an industry that definitely doesn’t have enough of them, this has allowed Sony to develop a series of really interesting Networked Media Interface-based products, many of which were on show at IBC. They included:

NXLK-IP45F, a new AV Multiplexer/DeMultiplexer board enables you to multiplex and de-multiplex video and audio over IP signals, with an SDI signal output that includes embedded audio.

NXL-IP4F, an SDI-IP Converter Unit ideal for 4K/HD standalone source or destination to integrate with an IP-based Production System.

HKCU-IP43F, an NMI board for HDCU-4300 camera control system enables easy connection to the IP Live System network.

XKS-Q8111 and XKS-Q8166, an NMI supported QSFP+ I/O board (output) for XVS switchers that allows the direct connection to the core switch of an IP Live System network using 40Gbps fiber link.

PWA-MV1N, Multi-viewer Software enables a very efficient monitoring solution into an IP Live Production Infrastructure, reducing drastically the video matrix resources used for monitoring.

NewTek extend NDI range

NewTek’s new IP series range is a massive push forward for NDI and the interoperability between IP, hardware and software. At the heart of their IP workflow is the IP Series Video Mix Engine, which lets you mix up to 44 input sources then output 35 output signals over IP, all of which you can configure independently using NewTek’s software. Significantly, it is compatible with other IP standards including ASPEN and SMPTE 2022, so if you decide to move away from a purely NDI workflow further down the line, it won’t turn into a very expensive brick.

Like all the best NewTek products, it comes with its own control panel, this time a four-stripe model with 72 crosspoints per stripe, so you can make the most of all those input channels. It works exactly the same way every other NewTek control panel does, so if you’ve already spent time with TriCaster, making the move over to working with the Video Mix Engine won’t be hard.

Bridging the gap between your existing workflow and an IP-based one are the Input Module and Output Module, both of which sit on your LAN. The Input Module accepts SDI/HDMI inputs and outputs, and converts them into NDI signals, while the Output Module takes your NDI signal and converts it into something that can be understood by traditional video infrastructure, so you can enjoy the benefits of an NDI workflow in-house, even if your final delivery system isn’t capable of handling the end result.

NewTek also announced they’d be collaborating with Wowza to create a the Media Distribution System, which is a fantastic tool for editing audio and video in realtime, and then live streaming this over four independent, simultaneous streaming channels. Better still, it has integrated NDI technology supporting input and output over IP.

BirdDog Studio

And lastly, BirdDog Studio. I’ve gone on about this a lot, but that’s because it’s a super affordable way to start your transition to an IP workflow. For £560 ex VAT, you get a box that can convert your existing camera’s SDI/HDMI input into an NDI output, rendering it IP-compatible.

BirdDog Studio can also act as a format convertor for monitor loop out, and display tally onboard or externally. And it accepts power of Ethernet, so you don’t need to worry about lugging round an extra set of batteries and chargers. You can only use one BirdDog with one camera at a time, so you’ll need one for each camera you plan to shoot with simultaneously. However, there is a central, browser-based control panel for configuring and controlling all your BirdDogs in one place, so it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.

For more on the latest IBC releases, take a look at our roundup post, give us a call on 03332 409 306, email or pop your details in the form below. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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