A CCW-SATCON panel says using IP technology — whether that’s for the acquisition and transport of video or for distribution — instead of traditional SDI baseband video gear has a range of benefits. But, while they are moving forward with the new tech’s adoption, there are still risks involved — and will be until standards are established. “We need [IP proponents] to help us make the transition. The sooner the better,” PBS CTO Mario Vecchi said.
As broadcasters transition to IP-based workflows, industry leaders are calling on system backers — from vendors to investors — to step up efforts to make the technology more reliable, more available and more secure.
“We need them to help us make the transition. The sooner the better,” PBS CTO Mario Vecchi said, adding that once that’s done the benefits of IP-based solutions will foster more “vibrant innovation” among broadcasters using them.
“Hundreds of billions of dollars are being spent on IP and open systems and we need to leverage those,” he said.
Vecchi’s comments were part of a panel discussion exploring broadcasters’ move to IP-based infrastructures — the benefits as well as the challenges — this morning at the CCW-SATCON conference in New York.
He, along with CNBC’s Steven Fastook and Turner Broadcasting’s Michael Koetter, both of who are their companies’ SVPs of technology, said they are all for adopting IP solutions — so much so that they already are implementing the transition in their networks.
They say using IP technology — whether that’s for the acquisition and transport of video or for distribution — instead of traditional SDI baseband video gear has a range of benefits. Video is transported faster using IP systems, making it easier for broadcasters with multiple bureaus, like CNBC and CNN, to share and access content. It also can foster improvements in delivering content to consumers, too, they added.
But panelists said they still have concerns about switching entirely over to IP-solutions, primarily because there still are risks involved — and will be until standards are established.
Koetter said he would like the new CNN facility under construction to be entirely IP-based when it opens in 2018, but is not yet convinced the technology will be well enough proven by then. He said is concerned about a lack of training, troubleshooting methods, standards and security.
“The real question for us is when are we going to get to the point that we can make a deep and abiding commitment to IP infrustructure,” he said. “Is there enough reliability for us to move to that?”
Yet panelists said they already are getting a sense of the benefits of IP solutions. Fastook, for example, said integrating IP delivery systems has been a boon to CNBC bureaus. By the end of the year, 700 people around the world will be able to scan, access and use content when they need it, meaning that crews in, say, Singapore, will be able to access content for their morning broadcast that aired in the U.S. while it was midnight in Asia.
“This is huge for us,” he said.
Read more CCW-SATCON coverage here.