To broadcast from the future, you need the reliability of Carrier Ethernet and the agility of Internet
Media networks are heading in one direction: IP. The drivers are compelling to deploy IP throughout studios as well as wide area networks. In many cases, upgrade cycles and CAPEX discussions are what’s holding investments back. But there is also a degree of misplaced uncertainty from some broadcasters.
With SDI, broadcasters know exactly what they’re getting (and exactly what they’re not). With IP and Ethernet there is an uncertainty. How will their network and services behave? They don’t need to be concerned however – what they need are standards.
At Net Insight, we see MEF as the go-to resource for Ethernet transport standards when broadcast goes IP. They have outlined a set of standards for Carrier Ethernet that defines exactly what broadcasters can expect in terms of quality, characteristics and behaviors from service providers and equipment vendors alike.
But what Carrier Ethernet is today, is a shadow of what it will be in the near future. To meet emerging demands, networks will need to deliver not only the reliability and certainty of Carrier Ethernet, but also the flexibility and on-demand characteristics of the Internet.
This is something the MEF is addressing through their ‘Third Network’ vision. It is a set of standards that defines characteristics needed to deliver the flexible, high-quality broadcasting that IP can enable on a global scale. It’s about pairing the well-defined characteristics and the quality of Carrier Ethernet, with the reach and agile on-demand characteristics of Internet, and then putting the broadcaster in control.
The occasional-use nature of media services means that the combination of Carrier Ethernet quality and Internet reach is a perfect fit. File-based workflows, remote and distributed production and varying capacity needs, will require on-demand connectivity with assured performance.
When everything is IP, we expect MEF certified equipment and services to handle the majority of the world’s media transport. And networks built according to MEF’s third network vision will be the ones broadcasting from the future.