IP-enabled production and playout models promise cost savings and increased flexibility. And once content flows through a data center, artificial intelligence and machine learning can be used to generate metadata and direct the future distribution, repurposing and archiving of that content.
Despite the many advantages of new IP tech for covering news from the field, especially during disasters, savvy broadcasters know it’s also valuable to have some tried-and-true gear in reserve. “If there’s another Superstorm Sandy, I would be very grateful that I still have satellite trucks, and I would be grateful that I still had satellite phones, even if I haven’t fired them up in five years,” says Peter McGowan of WCBS-WLNY New York. (Photo: Jill Altmann)
NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations group, after rolling out a new plant in Philadelphia without an SDI router that uses as much IP as possible, will be creating a virtualized architecture for KLBR, its Telemundo station in Las Vegas, in which most of the back-end equipment used to run the station, including news production, will be located at a data center in Dallas. And then there’s the new facility NBCU is building in Boston, which will include six control rooms and six studios and accommodate four separate NBCU businesses. A big driver is increased support for the 2110 IP standard from the broadcast vendor community. (Photo: Wendy Moger-Bross)
A Grass Valley Global IP Barometer finds a strong industry desire to invest in open IP based solutions with 43% percent of media industry respondents reporting IP deployments underway. The need for improved infrastructure flexibility is the leading business priority driving IP migration.
Under Mark Harrison, the U.K.-based Digital Production Partnership has been instrumental in extending the use of SMPTE’s Interoperable Master Format (IMF) standard for broadcast and online applications and focusing vendors’ attention on cyber security. He talks about how his group is helping broadcasters keep up with consumers’ ever-changing content demands. “We are, in effect, democratizing IMF.”
Marcy Lefkovitz, VP of technology and workflow strategy at the Disney/ABC Television Group, will moderate the panel “Live News Over IP” featuring Brad Plant, director of technology and operations at NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations; Tony Plosz, VP of engineering and operations at WCAU and WWSI Telemundo62 Philadelphia; and Matt Keiler, VP North American Sales at TVU Networks.
While the move from SDI to IP continues to pick up speed, more development — and better cooperation among key stakeholders — is still needed to improve advertising technology and deliver better measurement in order to complete with digital competitors like Google and Facebook.
The new WCAU-WWSI facility, set for a grand opening sometime this fall, is IP-centric and is designed to not only give the two stations a more efficient space with a common technology infrastructure, but to give their personnel new flexibility in creating content for today’s multiplatform world.
The buzz around the IP transition, the cloud and AI was so loud at this year’s IBC that the walls were practically humming with it. Although frequency of that buzz may be too future-pitched to fully resonate with many broadcasters, the conversation about how to manage such a major transition continues to gain clarity.