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Grass Valley’s DirectIP a game-changer in long-distance remote IP production

Having successfully implemented remote IP production for the broadcast of the 2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships last month, Grass Valley has achieved another milestone by delivering “uncompressed, ultra-low latency” video over a distance of 20,000km

Using its DirectIP connectivity solution, Grass Valley executed a remote link from cameras based in Telstra’s Tokyo office to an XCU base station in IMG Studios’ headquarters in London. This Tokyo-to-London link, according to Grass Valley, takes leverage on a Telstra Optical Transport Network (OTN)-based Ethernet service between Japan and London — marking the longest remote IP production connection to-date.

Tim De Marco, head of engineering, Live Galleries and Studios at IMG Studios, declared the trial as a “breakthrough” in extending the production company’s remote production capabilities as demonstrated with the ATP500 series, to events in Asia such as the Rugby World Cup.

“Only needing to bring cameras on-site with us and being able to keep the majority of the heavy lifting in London means we can improve the economics of world feed production,” he said.

“We also have a clear, tangible idea of how DirectIP enables effective remote production with greater flexibility and lower cost while maintaining high broadcast quality.

“This is a valuable market differentiation for us that we can apply to future live productions.”

The trial demonstrated an IP workflow between cameras, IP switches and XCU that supports HD, 3G, 4K/Ultra HD (UHD) and slow-motion feeds over long distances, affirming the ability of the DirectIP system to manage uncompressed signal distribution. Signals were transmitted via Telstra’s fibre link using the DirectIP configuration from two Grass Valley’s LDX 86N cameras in Tokyo to an XCU Universe UXF base station, with OCP camera control panels, in London.

Trevor Boal, head of Telstra Broadcast Services, said that the trial has confirmed that resolution and speed are not a barrier to remote production, and explained: “Getting signals from one side of the world to the other with low latency and assured quality over the Telstra network is now a reality.

“The transmission of remote signals via the Telstra network over such long distances between Grass Valley’s cameras and the production centre is a game-changer that will enable productions and workflows that were not previously possible.” 

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