Round Table: The State of IP Broadcast
BBC Wales, in Cardiff, became a broadcasting pioneer when it decided to build IP into a facility from the ground up. As Head of Technology, Roger Crothers was there from the very beginning.
FEED had the opportunity to sit down with Crothers, as well as Gerhard Lang, Chief Technology Officer, VIzrt and Daniel Url, Head of Global Production Management, Vizrt, to talk about the IP production revolution – and what the future holds for the cloud.
The creative logic for this round table concept was driven by the fact that BBC Wales in Central Square in Cardiff decided to build IP into their facility from scratch. As Head of Technology, Roger who was there from its inception days, talks about the process of designing the facility and hows and why IP route was so critical to their infrastructure.
He is joined with Gerhard Land, Chief Technology Officer, Vizrt who highlights, “At Vizrt, we have been working with software-based tools since we were founded – and we started early with IP-based solutions. For us, it was always very clear that IP was synonymous with flexibility. And when it comes to formats, IP means that there is no limitation to what you can produce, or whether it’s compressed or uncompressed – all of that is history. Additionally, IP mixes with software much better than SDI.”
“With IP, We are now forward agnostic.” BBC Wales has been live now for about a year and we’re making live programmes on a regular basis using the IP infrastructure – it’s performing very well.” says Roger.
How is BBC Wales futuristic today?
“Another thing at BBC Wales with IP is we are now forward-agnostic. We can take feeds of any kind – HD, 4K, 8K, even 360 – and move that video anywhere. If we suddenly decide to do all our programming in 4K, we don’t have to rip out all the hardware and replace it. We might have to increase bandwidth on the network, but technically there’s nothing stopping us from doing it. It also allows us to be more resilient in how we work. We have something called dynamic allocation, allowing us to allocate cameras or equipment from one gallery to another. We have three galleries in the building and four studio floors – and we can drive any one of those studio spaces from any one of those galleries. That’s only possible because of IP.
Gerhard opinionates the flexibility you get with an IP infrastructure – whether it’s NDI-based or 2110 with NMOS – is a completely different beast. You have all the sources in your facility at your fingertips.
Cloud is an economic decision now; not a technological one.
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