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IP-Special: Quantel/Snell, Tim Felstead

Tim Felstead ist Head of Product Marketing bei Quantel/Snell, einem Unternehmen mit breiter Produktpalette, die über Postproduction-Systeme und Mischer, über Server und Kreuzschienen bis zu Signalwandlern reicht. Im folgenden finden Sie die vollständige Version von Tim Felsteads Antworten auf die Fragen von film-tv-video.de — in englischer Sprache.

IP for broadcast was amongst the hot topics at NAB and IBC. What is your opinion concerning this topic?

Firstly we need to define which bit of production we’re talking about — in Live, IP production is possible but not necessarily yet a good business decision unless you go with agreed, accomplished standards. Those standards have not yet been universally established or agreed, so there is a real business risk in investing extensively in IP production at present. Our view is that IP production is undoubtedly coming, but standards need first to be in place before it is adopted extensively.

We also don’t believe in an IP »big bang«. The move to IP routing in the broadcast production chain is a once in a generation change that will require IP and SDI to run side by side for some time to come; the reality is that SDI and IP will coexist alongside each other for probably a number of years yet.

What makes the most sense is a transition to IP production, starting with SDI equipment that can progressively be IP-enabled as the use of IP grows in production — a hybrid model. We have designed our switchers and routers to support this transition, enabling media organizations to progressively add IP I/O as needs grow, while retaining familiar control surfaces and GUIs that invisibly handle both IP and SDI signals without the operator needing to know what is being routed/switched.

Currently the industry discusses several standards and methods in IP based production and transmission, SMPTE 2022 and AVB being amongst them. Which standard does your company support — and why?

We are supporting multiple standards because there is no common agreement yet — so we support SMPTE 2022-6, lightweight RTP systems (VC-2) and also the Sony IP Live Production System. We are keeping ourselves open for IP standards, while making flexible, powerful technology that people can invest in today that will carry them into the future too.

Our preference would be for VC-2 – light compression that has many advantages, both operationally  —low latency, no degradation on multiple encode/decode cycles — and from a cost perspective because it’s open standard.

Which areas of the broadcast industry will be the first to adopt and implement IP based technology?

Many areas already have — servers, replay systems, control systems, talkback. With regard to SDI interfaces, this will accelerate when we have a commonly agreed standard.

What’s your companies IP based flagship project or product?

The Kahuna switcher range and Sirius range of routers have plug-in IP interfaces which support all of the above standards, as does our IQ Modular range of infrastructure products.

Critically whether they are handling IP or SDI signals, the operator uses the same interface. We are currently moving into proof of concept phase with customers, with a view to IP-enabled systems being generally available Q1 2016.

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