Paul Druce, lead systems engineer, Australia and New Zealand, Arista Networks: “Broadcasters in Asia-Pacific are embracing opportunities to migrate to IP-based solutions. The best example of this is what NEP Australia has designed and implemented with its remote live broadcast hub implementation.” (Arista Networks is providing the core network infrastructure to NEP’s Andrew Hubs.)

Edging closer to the IP horizon

The transition to IP is beyond just replacing every capability of SDI equipment. It also involves new operational workflows and skillsets that are required to build new applications and systems, as well as the need to be cost-effective to deploy.

The media and entertainment industry has already been transformed by several waves of digital transformation. These technological changes have been driving players in the industry to continuously innovate and develop new approaches to reach out to their audiences. And the most vital change taking place in today’s media landscape is the IP transition, which promises to provide more flexibility and agility for the design of broadcast facilities.

While it may not be time yet for broadcasters to discard their legacy SDI equipment, a hybrid concept of SDI co-existing with IP has already begun to emerge, and is likely to stay for a period of time. Arguably, the end-game is not solely about IP — it is about empowering broadcast facilities in the next wave of technological transformation.

One media company which has spearheaded the area of IP-based production is NEP Australia. In December last year, NEP Australia delivered a live-to-air, uncompressed HD remote production using SMPTE ST 2110 in conjunction with Fox Sports Australia.

The broadcast of the Hyundai A-League football match between Brisbane and Perth, held at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, was produced and directed 920km away in the Andrews Hub, NEP’s centralised production facility in Eveleigh, Sydney. Connecting 29 sporting venues via a high bandwidth network, NEP’s IP-enabled Andrews Hubs supports multiple concurrent outside broadcasts (OBs).

“The consumption model of broadcast is changing massively,” Stephen Edwards, head of technology for Fox Sports Australia, said in a video interview with NEP. “People want anything, everywhere, all the time. In order to keep pace with that, we cannot silo operations and be limited by who can be there and when they can do it.”

The full article can be found in the APB June 2018 issue.

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