The shift to IP within broadcasting is well under way. The multiple benefits afforded by IP networking, coupled with technology advancements and new capabilities to control quality and manage IP processes nearly to the degree you can in point-to-point networks, make this drive to IP all the more inevitable. This shift is coinciding with an astounding proliferation of connected devices that is causing a disruptive change in video and content consumption.
As we move to a converged media environment, how people consume their media will drive the market. Adopting proven IT practices and deploying IP technologies may well be the most significant path to long-term success and future revenue opportunities.
Consider IP’s appeal from a core technology perspective. From a single interface, broadcasters and service and content providers can securely transport video signals to one or more receivers in a network without having to dig trenches, move cables, or add encoders or decoders at the network edge. They can also set up or add connections or take them down on demand — quickly and easily. This is powerful stuff and critical in today’s broadcasting environment, which is increasingly driven by live streaming media — whether live events from a “traditional” broadcaster or streaming programming to a connected device. Broadcasters could view IP as one big virtual video router that spans the globe and runs on IP instead of traditional equipment.
Yet IP isn’t just suited for the big scale. A considerable share of IP solutions in the professional video realm consist of simple networks such as studio-to-transmitter links. IP’s technology allows easy and reliable connections, and when combined with Ethernet, is a universal solution for small systems to large, complex networks. IP networks are scalable, cost-effective, inherently flexible and available at a range of bandwidths, including 10Mb/s, 100Mb/s, 1Gb/s and 10Gb/s. Yet, in the broadcast world, however, IT/IP processes/signal transport must be highly protected and securely managed.
Video and IP: A merger completed
Adopting proven IT practices and deploying IP technologies offers several advantages. IP technologies:
- Enable broadcasters and content providers to more easily and economically deliver content to where it is needed, when it is needed.
- Scale easily to individual needs and budgets.
- Protect investment by providing a flexible video networking system that embraces evolving architectures and services.
- Reduce operational costs and complexity through built-in intelligence.
- Ensure high-quality standards with integrated end-to-end management capabilities.
- Offer substantial OPEX savings through multiple services on a common infrastructure, with benefits multiplying as more services are migrated to IP.