2 days of presenting the SMPTE Seminars in the UK with the excellent Ben Davenport and we can announce that it’s conclusive. Broadcast loves IP:
The SMPTE seminars in London and Manchester were well attended and generated a lively debate on the merits of using IP and IT technology in broadcast workflows. Much of the comment and debate centred around the replacement of SDI links with Internet Protocol (IP) links. It was no surprise that the topic of end-to-end synchronisation took up a lot of discussion with the issues of delay and latency around audio links being high on the list of topics for which no-one had a perfect solution.
IP gives great flexibility within a workflow compared to SDI, and today, the economics look more and more attractive, the further from the camera and microphone you are. We spent a lot of time talking about the visibility of errors within an IP network and how the extra layers of complexity when compared to SDI can hide problems within the system.
A lunchtime interlude today was filled by Alex Rawcliffe who gave a compelling talk about BBC R&D’s IP studio project. It’s encouraging experimentation and thinking of radically different ways in which IP technology all entertainment to be created and distributed. Fascinating stuff and makes you wonder if the migration to IP in order to reduces capital and operational costs might, at some stage, result in new forms of television distribution that rely on the two-way communications with the public that end-to-end IP make possible. A key take away from the talk and a recurring theme throughout the two days was the importance of accurate metadata. It’s the key to making it all work.
After 2 days of lecturing, I was looking forward to a nice beer on the train on the way home. Unfortunately, a massive storm hit Manchester and all trains were cancelled, motorways closed and even the football match was cancelled! (that’s how serious it was). We found a hotel and were grateful that we weren’t flying to Manchester airport. At least sleeping will be peaceful.
All in all a great couple of days and many re-enforcements of the ideas put forward in our Enterprise white paper. No-one in the audience was able to predict the future of broadcasting, but everyone agreed that Internet, IP and IT technology are important parts of that future. Love it.
Happy Valentine’s day to all.