The JN-NM Roadmap of Networked Media Open Interoperability has proven to be effective in guiding and driving our industry towards the current reality of IP-based production and beyond, says the European Broadcasting Union.
By Willem Vermost
The use of IP-based networks has long ago infiltrated the broadcast environ-ment. As more bandwith became avail-able, more broadcast services were moved to this common technology.
What once was a technology to move files around, or to control the state of equipment, has moved step-by-step into the very core of the production process. The last piece of the workflow puzzle (live production) still uses a specialised niche technology known as SDI. What slowly started as a rebellious slogan during IBC2013, “SDI must die!”, is becoming reality. IP-based production has become a widely adopted industry goal in the past 12 months and European broad-casters have added several new projects to the growing list of IP-based facilities to be built. There is even a completely up-and-running facility as we speak, using a full IP backbone.
The momentum to deliver with IP is huge. How can we be reassured that all the flexibility that is made possible with IP networks will converge into real, working, inter-operable systems using open standards?
The JT-NM roadmap update
The JT-NM Roadmap of Networked Me-dia Open Interoperability shows which standards and specifications enable the JT-NM Reference Architecture, how the range of underlying technologies is ex-pected to evolve, and when it is expected that an interoperable multi-vendor sys-tem can be built around standards and specifications. The roadmap is updated bi-annually to reflect the currently known present state and to adapt the forward-looking assumptions with the latest industry insights.
The update prior to IBC2017 will bring some clarification to layer IV (dematerialised facilities). The Oxford Dictionary defines this intriguing verb, ‘dematerialize’, as: “become free of physi-cal substance”. If we think about it, this is nothing new. A recent article I saw put it this way: “It is not about what is coming, it is about what is fading away”.
To give a tangible example, sending a letter from A to B is demonstrably dema-terialised. When was the last time you had to ink paper in the form of a letter, fold it into an envelope and go to a post box or office? Nowadays, email has replaced most paper-based communication.
Another example of dematerialisation is the way we deal with money; now, it is merely about some numbers on an ac-count and a small piece of plastic called a credit card.
What has happened to other indus-tries will happen to our industry as well. Increasingly, physical and dedicated boxes with knobs and tons of intercon-necting cables will disappear and run as a piece of software on a server or even somewhere on a public cloud.
Public media services want to benefit from rapid deployment, the economies of scale and the instant scalability to ac-commodate peak moments as and when they arrive, for example, in the case of big events. Cloud technology is all about optimally sharing resources and being able to accommodate peak moments.
I think we can all agree on the fact that there is a big gap between what can be controlled on a physical server in your own data centre, a local cloud, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) or even Software as a Service (SaaS).
The further the solutions are pushed towards service providers, the less indus-try-specific the solution can be. The chal-lenge is to use common or non-media- specific technologies in combination with the capabilities provided by most of the current cloud providers.
The JT-NM will have a hard task to define what exactly dematerialisation implies in our industry. It probably will not be a simple black or white answer; it is much more likely to be a greyscale!
We are looking forward to the up-date, as this roadmap has proven to be effective in guiding and driving our industry towards the current reality of IP-based production and beyond. The W new version will be shown during IBC2017 at the IP showcase.
The IP Showcase
IBC is building on last year’s highly ap-preciated IP Interoperability Zone with a new ‘IP Showcase’ for the 2017 show, set to take place from September 14-19 at the RAI Amsterdam.
More than 50 vendors will work together to dem-onstrate real-world IP interoper-ability based on the “to be” SMPTE ST 2110 standard suite and AMWA NMOS specifications — a single set of common IP inter-op standards and specifications that are enabling the flexibility and ef-ficiency of IP in real-time media. With more companies demonstrating their IP-based products, and great progress having been made in formalising and universally adopting the SMPTE ST 2110 suite, the IP Showcase is set to be a major destination for visitors to IBC2017.
The integrated IP Showcase theatre, curated by IABM, will be running a non-stop series of presentations covering the full range of knowledge for real-time live IP production. This demonstration is brought to you by: AES, AIMS, AMWA, EBU, IABM, MNA, SMPTE and VSF. Visitors will be able to learn a great deal about the current state of implementa-tions, real existing deployments of live IP production facilities and talk to the experts. What is really exciting to know is the fact that a demonstration like this is well prepared up front. All manufacturers are working together to get their latest products and demonstrations up and running. If you are about to make an in-vestment in your broadcast facility, the IP showcase is a must see at IBC2017.