Rohde & Schwarz plots moves to IP-based future

Rohde & Schwarz is at the forefront of the transition from SDI to IP-based production, with its implementation of the first parts of the SMPTE ST 2110 suite of standards. SMPTE ST 2110-20 and 2110-30 have been implemented in the R&S PRISMON monitoring and multiviewer solution for broadcast and streaming media. Other products will follow.

R&S PRISMON first to market
R&S PRISMON first to market

The current SMPTE ST 2110 suite is a key prerequisite for flexible, efficient definition and implementation of broadcast workflows in IP-based environments. The basic idea of 2110 is it puts audio, video and metadata in separate streams for sending over an IP network. An additional timing component ensures that all related but separately transmitted elements can be reunited seamlessly and correctly synchronised at the receiving end. This is how 2110 differs from the previous SMPTE 2022 standard, which packaged all the elements together. Separating the elements gives you maximum flexibility in the pre-broadcast distribution chain.

R&S PRISMON first to market

The R&S PRISMON monitoring and multiviewer solution features a fully software-based, modular system architecture. This clever design feature allowed R&S PRISMON to be quickly and flexibly adapted while the ST 2110 draft was still evolving into its now final version, a result of ongoing standardisation work. Now with first parts of the ST 2110 suite formally approved by SMPTE, R&S PRISMON also officially supports these important specifications.

In the vision of a fully IP-based broadcast infrastructure with flexible, on-demand definition and implementation of (virtualised) workflows, SMPTE ST 2110 constitutes the essential foundation for transport layers. However, key building blocks on higher layers (e.g. AMWA IS-04 and AMWA NMOS for auto-provisioning) are still under development or in the draft phase. R&S PRISMON will therefore continue to actively participate in this important standardization work on topics such as future live interworking plug-tests, etc.

Rollout with other products

Rohde & Schwarz plans is to show a first 2110 implementation for its R&S VENICE media server at NAB 2018, with a full release of 2110 by the summer of 2018.

The same implementation of 2110 was demonstrated in the R&S AVHE100 encoding and multiplexing solution at IBC 2017, showing the potential is there for when the market demands it.

Posted by Chris Dickinson, technology journalist and editor of the Always On blog. 12th December 2017.