Interop and Integration
While Internet Protocol transport streams are the future to which broadcast systems will migrate, the technology is in the early phases of rollout. SMPTE standards 2022 and 2110 are vital building blocks on the path to transitioning studios and facilities over from SDI but implementation is yet to reach maturity. This was the challenge faced by Red Bee in pulling the project together.
“Working through interoperability issues especially around IP video was a major hurdle,” says Luggar.
NMOS is the key standard in this regard and one that Red Bee intended to adopt. Specifications body AMWA designed it to enable IP devices to connect together and orchestrate signals just as broadcast systems had routed signals over SDI.
“As is the case with new standards there are differences in interpretation and implementation. We were trying to connect four different networks to each site with different address spaces which we needed to integrate into the NMOS routing control at each end. But none of that functionality existed to the degree we needed at any supplier.”
That included Net Insight Nimbra which wasn’t optimized for NMOS in the way Red Bee required it to be. After surveying the market, Red Bee concluded that no other vendor had a better solution, and engaged Net Insight as its preferred technology partner.
Journey of registration and discovery
“We embarked on a journey to add the functionality we required to Nimbra specifically around support for NMOS routing and address translation,” Luggar explains. “This would enable us to translate multicast streams between the networks. The source stream would be translated onto the right target network. Those were the two pieces of functionality we worked with Net Insight to build and deliver.”
Development took place over six months to January 2021. Net Insight and Red Bee teams worked with AMWA testing tools to guide the NMOS integration and issues around interoperability with other supplier’s systems in Red Bee’s network.
It included the first deployment of Net Insight’s Media Pro Application, a fully programmable, adaptable, and scalable foundation for handling high data volumes of ST 2022 and ST 2110 IP video, audio, and data for the most demanding live events and production workflows.
Nimbra’s NMOS integration was tailored to work with Grass Valley Orbit as the Dynamic System Orchestrator for Red Bee’s networks. Since the Red Bee site has to be independently resilient, there are instances of Orbit at each location.
“Orbit bridges the worlds of broadcast and IP by allows native broadcast applications to control IP routing fabrics,” says Luggar.
“It also acts as our NMOS registry for all our devices including Nimbra. Nimbra advertise its resources to and accepts routing commands from Orbit. It’s an integral component of the workflow that has worked extremely well.”
He adds, “It has been, and continues to be, a very smooth and collaborative relationship with Net Insight.”