Column: The road to a true IP is paved with interoperability


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Since the start of the migration to IP workflows, the buzzword “interoperability” has been the ultimate pursuit of the spread. Engineering teams are driven by the promise of replacing proprietary media networks with format-independent workflows.

To achieve true IP workflows, interoperability is key to unlocking the benefits of using standard IP network technology to route signals from any source to any number of destinations over a network.

But before we go ahead with our next broadcast lesson, it’s important to take a refresher vocabulary lesson. We need to understand the definition of interoperability and, more importantly, what it is not, not only in terms of automated delivery, but for many systems that a broadcaster can assess. This makes it easy to understand why interoperability is so important in the context of automation.

Interoperability describes the ability of an application or device to meaningfully interact and exchange information with another separately developed application or device.

There is a difference between open protocols, proprietary protocols, and closed protocols. Some companies add their own protocols, which can increase the difficulty of integrating devices. For interoperability with multiple vendors, standards and best practices are essential.

Investing in interoperable solutions enables integration with other third party products and systems, which offers a range of short and long term benefits. Interoperability allows broadcasters to take advantage of the best features of each manufacturer’s technologies, combining it all into a seamless, highly customizable and adaptable workflow. Interoperability also opens the door to the highest levels of flexibility and scalability to accommodate future growth.

Two industry standards help accelerate IP deployments: SMPTE ST 2110 (the set of SMPTE standards for sending digital media over an IP network) and the Networked Media Open Specifications (NMOS) protocol suite. Together, these two advancements improve the way IP networks transport media, including uncompressed video, PCM audio, and ancillary data that are routed through separate routable streams, as well as the management of device connections over one. network.

IP networking is a complex area and can seem daunting for broadcasters as they transition to new technology. While there are still many proprietary approaches on the market, the goal should be to simplify interoperability rather than putting barriers in the way.


More and more manufacturers, Pebble included, are using SMPTE and NMOS to simplify the establishment of native IP workflows. This is done by developing solutions and applications that provide broadcasters with standards-based interoperability for IP installations and workflows. These new solutions meet the needs for ease of use, interoperability and reliability, while allowing the extension of IP systems to more complex COTS network architectures.

Interoperability also requires working with existing and current systems and in this case compliance with industry protocols is a key factor. The ability to emulate arrays or routers based on legacy indexes means that any I / O or container can be connected using the general router protocol SW-P-08, for example.

Now you have seamless backward and future compatibility, regardless of the scale and scope of your organization. It’s the perfect solution to move forward, essentially giving you a Swiss Army Knife for your broadcast operations, allowing full interoperability between anything you have in your studio or broadcast workflows.

All of this work is done with the understanding that efficiency, reliability, and durability are essential to establishing an IP workflow with end-to-end interoperability.

For more information on the importance of interoperability in IP environments, visit our website. The next article in this series will focus on IP and hybrid infrastructures.

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