Understanding what IP can bring for you

Michael Cronk, chairman of the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), details the benefits that broadcasters are already beginning to enjoy off IP

Broadcasters have begun to see, and realise, the tangible benefits of moving to IP for live workflows, declared Michael Cronk, chairman of AIMS, and vice-president for core technologies at Grass Valley.

Writing in the APB June 2018 issue, Cronk said: “The much-needed standards are in place so people can deploy knowing they are not investing in dead-end technology.

“Furthermore, the advantages of IP are yielding economic benefits to those who make the transition. Therefore, to understand what is driving the adoption of IP, we need look no further than the benefits that broadcasters are experiencing with IP.”

He identified the “top three” benefits of moving to IP as scalability, flexibility and utilisation.

Cronk believes that a big driver for IP-based systems has been scalability. “Put simply, with IP, one can scale to much larger system sizes than is possible with SDI,” he added. “When it comes to 4K/Ultra HD (UHD), 12G-SDI routers cannot scale much beyond 288 x 288.

“Therefore, unless one moves to IP, the amount of signals one can route is severely limited for many applications.”

Another big benefit of IP-based systems is their format flexibility, or the ability to handle any format with the same infrastructure, said Cronk. “Unlike SDI routers, IP switches are agnostic to the data they carry. Furthermore, the new standards suite, SMPTE ST 2110, is designed to accommodate not only today’s frame rates and resolutions but can also handle future formats.”

Last but certainly not least, an additional benefit of IP is better equipment utilisation, or more efficient resource sharing. “Every signal on a facility’s network can be accessed, anywhere within the facility,” Cronk describes. “As a result, with IP, one can share a common set of processing resource in a pool, and this pool can in turn be accessed by any studio.”

To read Cronk’s full article, be sure to grab the APB June 2018 issue.

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