IBC TV Brings Live News into the IP ERA
CUSTOMER PROFILE AND CHALLENGE
IBC TV is IBC’s dedicated news and information service for the live coverage of interviews, debates, conference sessions and other key moments of the annual trade show. The channel’s content is produced on-site and distributed in real-time across multiple platforms including IBC’s website, social media platforms and to screens throughout the RAI Exhibition Centre. The production infrastructure is re-built every year specifically for the show, using the most advanced and innovative technologies available, shaping the future of the broadcast and media industry.
True to its mission to educate and energize visitors to embrace change, IBC TV was one of the early adopters of IP for live broadcast. In 2016, IBC TV integrated IP into its live production with the EBU-VRT Live IP Studio solution powered by various partners including EVS. The next year, IBC TV took a step further and deployed a full IP workflow, using EVS’ technology as the core of its infrastructure.
Building on recent technology advancements and the publication of open standards, IBC TV aimed to further demonstrate that with the right knowledge, skill set and the right tools in place, production teams can overcome the challenges and complexities of IP to meet the need for ever more flexible live productions.
“Although we’ve seen a steady rise of IP in mainstream broadcast operations over the past couple of years, it’s still early days for the live environment and the prospect of deploying a fully IP-connected and remote production workflow seems like a daunting task for many” explained Gillian Kelly, IBC TV’s Producer.
As a long-time partner, IBC TV chose EVS’ robust technology to produce its high-quality live programming during the 2018 edition - relying exclusively on IP.
THE SOLUTION: SIMPLICITY, FLEXIBILITY AND CONTROL
Full IP-based live production
EVS implemented a full IP production infrastructure seamlessly integrating other suppliers’ IP technology. The live studio program was captured on Grass Valley LDX 86 cameras and ingested into EVS’ IP native XT-VIA live production servers with feeds archived as centralized files to EVS' XStore scalable central storage system. The production team used EVS’ IPDirector live PAM system for content production and asset management and editors used the IPLink plug-in for the Adobe Premiere Pro CC editor suite on HP workstations. Grass Valley’s GV Korona K-Frame V-series switcher and multiviewer were also deployed while Polar Graphics streamed the live content over IPTV. The overall solution was based on SMPTE 2110 protocol that ensured an interoperable and collaborative workflow between systems located in the various remote locations throughout the RAI.
Remote control and decentralized data center
The IP infrastructure gave IBC TV production teams – located in the master control room in hall 13 – full control over live video feeds transported from the two conference venues and the main studio. EVS’ XT-VIA servers and XStore central storage system were located in the datacenter at the EVS stand in hall 8. The recorded content was exchanged between the studio, the control room and the central datacenter via a fiber connection at 10Gbs/s and 40Gbs/s through an Arista IP spine and leaf network. The workflow also integrated technology from key partners including IHSE for KVM solutions and Embrionix with its emSPF SDI/IP gateway solution to streamline remote IP production.
IP routing & control system
To address the IP routing and flow complexities, EVS deployed SCORE MASTER, its IP infrastructure orchestration system. The SDN routing solution used per-flow, dynamic routing, for better control and monitoring of the content being transited through the Arista IP network. This allowed the IBC TV engineering team to orchestrate the different production flows through a simple web interface for better network visibility, bandwidth control and ease of use.
Interoperability – based on the SMPTE 2110 standard, the overall solution benefits from easier integration with partner and third-party systems for a faster production workflow.
Remote workflows – the full IP-based infrastructure makes it possible to produce the live broadcast remotely – delivering high-quality content for better efficiency and productivity.
IP routing and seamless flow management – with EVS’ software-defined SCORE MASTER flow orchestration system, IBC TV engineers have the ability to maintain a constant overview of the sources and end points across an IP-connected network.
Pared-down infrastructure – the virtualization that comes with IP means simplified setup and easy installation for IBC TV crews through reduced equipment and cabling needs.
Industry-leading reliability and speed – building on our solid technological know-how for over 20 years, every product EVS develops offers a unique level of speed and reliability that is crucial in live productions.
Powered by EVS’ solid and reliable technology, the IP infrastructure’s higher connectivity allowed for smooth and fast access to media between the different remote sites. IBC TV demonstrated the flexibility that comes with IP, with the simple configuration and change end points set up, able to cope with different production requirements - however complex they are. In addition, the overall system ensured IBC TV had full control of the content through the network, adding to the overall efficiency of the workflows: “The use of EVS’ SCORE MASTER was especially beneficial to us, as our operators could focus on better content creation without having to think about managing the infrastructure” said Matthew Tomkinson, Director of Technology and Events at IBC. Showing the world how IP can bring simplicity, flexibility and control to live productions is what IBC TV strived to achieve this year. With the help of EVS, IBC TV successfully delivered that promise. “We strongly value our partnership with EVS. Not only do they provide the most innovative and reliable technology in the market, they always make sure to go out of their way to support our crews on site” said Gillian Kelly.
SCORE MASTER – IP broadcast controller that uses SDN network control methods to guarantee efficient monitoring of live IP flows.
XT-VIA – the latest XT server natively supports the SMPTE 2110 standard for complete IP productions, enabling a seamless transition to the next generation of production infrastructures.
IPDirector – using EVS’ live content management system, IBC TV crews have instant access and efficient control of the live video content captured by the XT-VIA server.
IPLink for ADOBE– the IPLink plug-in panel gives Adobe Premier Pro CC editors direct access to the clip elements provided by the IPDirector, allowing for easy delivery and fast playout.
XStore – the scalable central storage system guarantees optimal levels of speed and storage capacity and allows editors to directly access content.
XTAccess and XSquare - XTAccess is a media processing engine controlled by XSquare for easy monitoring and control from a unique web-based interface.