The future and diversity of media production are based on IP technology. This demands another major leap forward in infrastructure development: the introduction of standard IT components in the production area.

The IP-based production environment promises a more flexible and mobile workplace design, a seamless transition between production areas without media discontinuity and recoding as well as an efficient and controlled allocation of resources. New media formats can be integrated more easily and quickly and established IT protection mechanisms can be used. In addition, a quick, mobile integration of external reporters into the network as well as a fast and effective display of playout paths becomes feasible. In addition, the possibilities can be implemented on a uniform infrastructure and easily expanded.

At times, completely IP-based production is still a long way off. Before this can happen, standard IT components will have to be introduced instead of specialized broadcast equipment. The entire migration to the pure IP environment requires the completion of relevant standards, the implementation of the standards in products and the development of new workflows.

IRT deals with open construction sites and considers the requirements of broadcasting, within the framework of the EBU, in scientific work, in the development of analysis tools and as a source of ideas.

IP in the studio - production and studio networks

In the course of the introduction of IP-based broadcast production, broadcasters and media houses are preparing for complete IP networking, including live production. Critical real-time applications, proprietary approaches, missing building blocks in standardization and different clock concepts are the challenges on the way.

In order to master the technical as well as the personnel and organisational challenges of introducing IP-based transmission in studios and production environments, IRT provides advice and support in concept and risk assessment, preparation and execution of feasibility tests, interoperability studies and technical recommendations. In addition, IRT offers qualified measurement services such as proof of concepts, pilot tests, interoperability investigations, and complete network tests up to acceptance measurements of new networks in studio and production.

Full-Stack solution for All IP

In the vision of the future of IT-based broadcasting, there is no longer any specialized technology for broadcasting applications. Standardized IT equipment is to be used and media-specific workflows are to a large extent implemented using software. A so-called full-stack solution could unite all interests in the future.

With SMPTE 2110, in which the protocol parts for "media transport" are standardized, a first step has been taken. Parts of the superior intelligence, i.e. the control and management systems in general (e.g., discovery, registration, connection management) are sometimes not an integral part, but are already under development (e.g. the NMOS work at AMWA).

IRT works closely with broadcasters, manufacturers and standardisation bodies to develop a full stack profile for complete, end-to-end IP-based broadcasting production. The continuous validation of the standards is pursued by testing the production standard IT components. Furthermore, missing quality parameters for new standards will be identified in the interest of broadcasters and in cooperation with the EBU, and the associated measurement methods will be developed and evaluated.

Contribution nets

High-speed networks have become an indispensable part of contribution, feed and distribution and have long since become reality. Mobile contribution and feed via the Internet are finding more and more areas of application. Modern network technologies make it possible to connect external reporters, external teams and OB vans to the studios of radio stations. Journalists can transfer their reports to the RFA via mobile or xDSL. LTE and WLAN Hot Spots (in future also 5G) offer video journalists the opportunity to deliver their current contributions quickly and from anywhere. Thanks to the constantly increasing quality of audio/video apps on smartphones, mobile reporters have completely new possibilities. In the IRT suitability investigations were accomplished to performance and quality of the different techniques for the alternative binding of external reporters/OB vans. Further investigations deal, among other things, with the security of this connection via (telecommunications) networks.

IRT advises and supports in the use of telecommunications networks to connect external teams - be it in the context of joint pilot installations and field trials, concrete project planning and implementation or in the neutral evaluation of already planned and applied usage scenarios. In addition, IRT has been investigating the performance of various network technologies for contribution networks for several years, supporting broadcasting in planning and commissioning and providing measurement services from pilot studies to final acceptance measurements.

Inhouse communication

Inhouse communication networks for the transmission of audiovisual data are becoming increasingly important in editorial and production departments as well as in the home sector - with smartphones, tablet PCs and SmartTV. IRT investigates the performance of various technologies, supports broadcasting in planning and commissioning and advises on developments in the home sector.

In the area of audio and video streaming via WLAN, IRT follows the latest developments and different techniques for avoiding data jams in the transmission of broadcast and multicast streams and tests their practical suitability, especially with regard to broadcasting applications.

WLAN illumination

With regard to cell planning for a stable WLAN supply in buildings of all kinds, IRT offers network-specific consulting services, net throughput measurements with professional measurement software and spectral analyses with regard to planning a stable WLAN supply for all types of access points. Thus, improved demand planning in the 2.4 / 5 GHz band can be achieved and the number of access points can be minimized while meeting lighting requirements.

Consulting and testing services

IRT's services cover the entire spectrum from studio/production inhouse networks to wide area contribution networks - consulting and support in planning and tendering, preparation of expert opinions and studies, testing and analysis of networks and equipment with the following main topics:

- Audio/Video Contribution over IP

- Contribution nets (e.g. ARD HYBNET-Neu®, HYBNET III)

- Production networks, studio networking (SMPTE 2110, SMPTE 2022, PTP, NMOS etc.)

- Inhouse communication networks (e.g. IP/Ethernet, WLAN)

- Mobile networks: eMBMS/MBSFN or the connection of external reporters (e.g. via LTE/5G)

- Network management, network monitoring

- Software Defined Networking (SDN)

- IPTV networks: Evaluation of network parameters

IRT's measurement services (acceptance tests, proof of concepts, troubleshooting, etc.) cover measurement technology across all layers - from the application to the lowest network layer (e.g. audio/video, HD-SDI).

Furthermore, IRT offers device tests - preferably already during the prototyping/development phase - as well as joint product developments within the scope of bilateral cooperations and conducts workshops and training courses on the aforementioned topics.

Touch & Switch

In cooperation with Net Insight, IRT has developed a software-based touch-screen application for their Nimbra product line for convenient switching of Nimbra networks.

Net Insight