One of the big themes at NAB 2017 will undoubtedly be IP video. Over just a few years, we have seen the future of broadcast infrastructure go from the idea stage, to technology demonstrations, to interoperability tests, to shipping product - 2017 sees the technology ready for prime time.
During this time we have seen SMPTE 2022-6 give us a baseline for interoperability, 2022-7 give us redundancy and VS-04 and VS-03 further add features and flexibility. If the standards Gods are smiling on us, 2017 will finally see the standards converge as SMPTE 2110 (seriously this time). This will be a great thing; the multitude of standards being discussed and tested is part of the refinement of the technology as it evolves but has caused confusion when comparing systems.
But here is the interesting thing – as customers move from test islands to production deployments, early adopters are not being penalised as vendors update their products as the standards progress. This time, there is no change of switch required; in the IP world, standards can even run alongside each other. Using commercial off the shelf (COTS) networking technologies means that the hardware layer and main protocols for connectivity are constant.
The transition to IP will be significant – and not without some pain – but the result will be a far more flexible infrastructure that can be upgraded in much smaller increments as standards and formats evolve. The future's here, upgrade today.
Marc Risby, CTO, Boxer Systems