NAB 2016

It's NAB time again and the Boxer team are packing their bags, finding their passports and wondering if their ESTA is still valid. As always there will be much to talk about and we will be publishing updates and sharing everything that's new in the run up, during and after the show here and via @boxer_systems

If you are attending the show and would like to arrange an appointment or a demo of please call 01582 466 100 and we'll make it happen.

See you in Vegas! 

AES67 - All you need to know from Wheatstone

How much do you know about AES67? Our friends at Wheatstone breakdown what you need to know.

AES67-2013 may be the new IP audio standard that everyone’s talking about, but it didn’t take long for the various brand permutations to suck up all the oxygen in the room. These aren’t standards per se. They are IP audio network systems, WheatNet-IP included, that incorporate AES67 as a subset among other functions and connectivity options. So while you will have to forgive us for proselytizing our respective brands, it’s important to understand the significance of so many audio networks adopting and sharing this interoperability standard.

AES67 is everywhere. It’s in every major audio network, including our WheatNet-IP, which means that you’ll be able to transport audio between all these systems and other devices and peripheral gear that are connected to them. This IP audio transport standard was ratified in 2013 by the AES X-192 task force, of which Wheatstone was a member.

But, AES67 is by no means a complete interoperability standard. It doesn’t provide for discovery and control, both of which are needed for any kind of inter-functionality to take place. These standards are in the works, but in the meantime, turning devices on and off, controlling peripheral gear from the console, signaling when a source is ready for air play, and controlling the playout system with a fader – these are all functions of WheatNet-IP and similar audio networks. In the case of WheatNet-IP, for example, a single Ethernet cable carries the real-time audio stream as well as network and device control messages and other metadata. AES67 covers the audio streams only.

With all this in mind, here are straightforward answers to the more common questions our engineers receive on AES67.

Why do we need AES67?

IP networking is easily one of the most ubiquitous technologies found in the world today. IP audio network manufacturers are able to take advantage of, and share in, many, many proven standards as a result. So, why do we need one more standard? Because the rules of IP packet distribution are not friendly to real-time audio. Synchronizing large amounts of data is the biggest problem. In the IP network, packets aren’t necessarily routed based on which packets were created first. That works fine for a typical office network, but without some sort of deterministic routing for the heavy traffic loads of the audio network, packets can become jumbled and delayed. This can cause jitter and packet loss or dropout. Audio network makers have had to work around this problem with tools like buffering and QoS to assure continuous audio transport. No two manufacturers solve this problem the same way, which has made it difficult for them to exchange audio between them.

What does AES67 do?

Almost all audio networks use a standard IP protocol called RTP (Real-Time Protocol) to create the proper packet order. RTP provides identification in the packets about their creation time and order but, for all the reasons stated above, it has been up to the IP audio network manufacturer to extract this information and to recreate the audio data and timing. Each differs in the specific packet loading, timing and synchronization mechanisms within the protocol.

AES67 has come along to provide the common synchronization, clock identification, session description and other interoperability recommendations we can all share. AES67 adapted the PTPv2 (Precision Time Protocol - IEEE 1588-2008) standard as the master clock reference, so we can more easily transport audio between our various systems without jitter, delay and data dropout. Check out this AES link for a full description: 

Does AES67 provide for discovery?

No. AES67 does not provide for a standard way to find and add devices to a network. Discovery is left up to each individual manufacturer, although most of the major players take a similar approach to finding and labeling components in the network. Most designate extra packets on the network to communicate discovery data and display it seamlessly to all users with signal names and other information easily created and recognizable to broadcasters.

Does AES67 provide for control? 

No. AES67 is an audio transport standard only. Another standard or other standards are needed for full interoperability of the control features of various audio networks. The AES-X210 task group, of which Wheatstone is a part, was formed for this reason. We recognize that gaining access to hundreds of channels of audio on a network is useless if you can’t route them, turn them on or off, fire their playback, or turn an ON AIR light on when needed. Currently, to accomplish this, IP audio network manufacturers use packets to communicate command and control. Each system is different, and sometimes an ancillary PC is used for this and sometimes the intelligence is built right into the network devices, as is the case for our WheatNet-IP system.

Control is built into each WheatNet-IP connection point that is shared with other IP connection points across the network, giving you access to all sources at once as well as the presets and any associated logic that go along with each feed for controlling mic ON/OFF, changing remote mic settings for IFB, and processing and other parameters. (There we go again!)

Does AES67 pay it forward? 

Yes. AES67 is extensible, meaning that you will be able to add to it as situations change. Any standard that results from AES-X210 or a similar group will add on to, not replace, AES67.

So long and thanks for all the Flips

Today is the last day that Telestream's FlipFactory transcoding software can be purchased and I did not want to let this milestone pass without some comment. 

In 2000 the broadcast world was a totally different place. Broadcast servers had only baseband I/O, video on the web was in its infancy and certainly not a revenue earning activity, and a 'cloud' was something that spoiled picnics. But, at this time, Telestream saw where things were heading and the future was file. After successfully helping to change how media was delivered with their ClipMail product, Telestream moved focus to making transcoding an enterprise, server based activity that could be automated and was designed for volume and FlipFactory was born. 

FlipFactory sales were initially modest in the UK but as the product matured and as our customers’ workflows (we didn't call them workflows then) evolved, FlipFactory found its place creating content for the web, for production dailies and soon for moving content to transmission servers. Many customers created their own control and workflow systems alongside many MAM, DAM and automation vendors adopting FlipFactory as their transcoder of choice. As newsrooms went filebased FlipFactory enabled filebased delivery from news wires and remote bureaus to edit systems, paving the way and aiding adoption of the standards and practices that our customers rely on today. When baseband play-in of commercials ended FlipFactory was used by many to revolutionise the process delivering the ad directly to the tx server. 

As customers grew and applications evolved it became clear that FlipFactory needed to change too. It needed to scale larger, to embrace new developments in IT hardware and interfacing methodologies and it needed to add layers of resilience necessary in what had become such an import component in the customer's workflow chain. And so the transition began to the next platform: 'Vantage'. 

Today is a huge milestone in that transition. Whilst FlipFactory is still supported, our customers have made, or are finalising, their transitions to the new platform and (the now mature) Vantage product continues to go from strength to strength, offering many new features and enabling new levels of performance for the next generation of file-based production. 

Thank you to all our customers and integration partners for your support over the last 15 years - FlipFactory we salute you! 

Marc Risby 

What will deliver the fidelity for those extra UHD pixels and at what cost?

Interesting UHD blog from Renne Varro at Harmonic.

The premise that more pixels doesn’t mean better pixels is now well recognized amongst those broadcasters and content aggregators contemplating launching UHD services. There have already been too many comparisons with “TrueHD services” to make the case that resolution alone doesn’t guarantee success for UHD! If we make the claim that we offer TrueHD services delivered using 10-15 Mbps, which is currently the upper limit for HD premium sports delivered using H.264, we can quantify fidelity at access bitrates appropriate for typical DTH or broadband delivery.

Read more here

WakaWaka to donate 2000 solar lights to emergency relief in Nepal.

At Boxer we love the good things done by the chaps at Waka Waka and we wanted to take a moment and highlight their work to our lovely customers and suppliers.

WakaWaka ('Shine Bright' in Swahili) develops high-tech low-cost solar powered lamps and chargers that are indispensable products both in the developing world and in developed markets. Using the latest in patented solar technology the WakaWaka Light and WakaWaka Power are true lifesavers for those without electricity. Currently there are over 100,000 WakaWakas in use in crisis areas in Syria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Haiti and the Philippines.  

In the wake of the devastating earthquake that has already claimed over 2,500 lives and caused widespread destruction in Nepal, large parts of the country have been plunged into darkness. Access to light and power is critical for survivors and emergency response teams. WakaWaka will donate 2000 solar lights to emergency relief efforts and with your help we can do more.

Would you like to get involved? Find out more here 

  • 1
  • 2

About Boxer

We are a UK solution provider for the Video, Film and TV markets located in Harpenden, Herts supplying Broadcast and Post-Production equipment and integrated systems for over 25 years... More

Latest News

Leader Joins Alliance for IP Media …

Leader Electronics Corporation has joined the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS). A globally active producer of high-grade test and... More

United Keeps The Grand Tour 4K-Alig…

Hilversum, Netherlands, November 24, 2016: Hilversum-based video systems specialist United has chosen Leader's LV5490 as the test and measurement core... More

NewTek IP Series Event

As you will now be aware, Boxer Systems are representing the Newtek IP Series of products announced earlier this year... More

NewTek release NEW IP Series of pro…

NewTek release NEW IP Series of products The IP Series is built around the same fantastic technology and core engine but... More

Telestream has acquired Vidcheck Lt…

Telestream Acquires UK-based QC Specialist Vidcheck Integration of best-in-class Vidcheck file-based QC technology enhances Telestream’s product portfolio Nevada City, California, 5 September... More

Newsletter Signup

Contact Us

Boxer Systems
4 Allied Business Centre
Coldharbour Lane
Harpenden,
Herts. AL5 4UT

Mon - Fri: 9am - 5:30pm
01582 466100