Italian television broadcaster Tv2000 carries Roman Catholic themed programming, and is now building the foundations of an IP infrastructure. Located close to Vatican City in Rome, Tv2000’s studio and transmission centre is migrating toward IP connectivity in a project led by Sony and systems integrator Allyn.
The move is expected to help Tv2000 operate with more flexibility, which is particularly important since remote production has become an important factor in keeping the media industry active. It also opens the potential to undertake UHD and UHD HDR production in the future.
With a considerable investment in SDI equipment, including major components such as production equipment and cameras, Tv2000 wanted to design a system that would allow a managed transition instead of a wholesale changeover to IP. Imagine Communications proposed an architecture that incorporated SDI and IP connectivity ― that is, making use of legacy equipment in a system that can also bring the advantages of flexibility and agility from IP.
Leading the Tv2000 technical team that worked with Imagine and Allyn engineers are IT Manager Romano Storelli and Technical Manager Vinko Vukoja, resulting in an integration between the broadcast and IT environments. Imagine Communications supplied two critical system components for Tv2000 - a signal processor and orchestration software.
First, the Imagine Selenio Network Processor (SNP) forms the gateway between SDI and IP operations. As an all-IP media processing platform, it allows transition from SDI to pure-IP networks with three modes – IP to SDI, SDI to IP and IP to IP – and adheres to SMPTE ST 2022-6 and ST 2110 standards. High-density and scalable, the SNP runs four independent video processing engine paths in one 1RU device, supporting up to 32 1080P or eight UHD signals concurrently, including uncompressed UHD based on ST 2110.
SNP synchronises and integrates signals into the production environment, setting up interoperability with other standards-compliant equipment. Through interoperability with Imagine’s other UHD- and IP-ready products and also with commercial off-the-shelf IP switches, Tv2000 has the flexibility to work with the variety of hardware and software vendors needed to build a complete production workflow.
Imagine Communications Magellan SDN Orchestratorand Selenio Network Processor
A second key component is Imagine’s Magellan SDN Orchestrator (SDNO) software-based orchestration control, which Tv2000 will use to handle the complete system, whether the underlying hardware uses SDI or IP connectivity. Users can build workflows and operate complex hybrid systems without factoring in the interconnectivity or technical limitations as their transition to IP continues.
Using existing infrastructure, COTS IP switching and up-to-date IP routers, Magellan SDNO opens a practical path from SDI to IP and UHD. Its router control system manages SDI and IP matrices simultaneously, and it can support numerous of Imagine and 3rd-party IP end-points through native and open APIs.
Magellan Live Manager visualises the system using two views. PathView presents a dynamic signal-path display for the SDI and IP routing environments that the SDNO is managing. AlarmView shows a tree-view of all those devices, with visual indicators to show IP end-point availability, connections and alarm conditions.
Magellan SDNO client software
Remote Networked Operation
SNP supports NMOS IS-04 discovery and registration, and NMOS IS-05 device connection management. CEO of systems integrator Allyn Maurizio Maroli noted, “The Tv2000 installation is a challenging application of NMOS, allowing remote, networked operation of major pieces of equipment like Sony production switchers. Magellan SDNO delivers the continuous level of control and orchestration required to manage this hybrid, multi-vendor workflow.”
Mathias Eckert, SVP & GM EMEA/APAC at Imagine Communications said, “The challenges of the past year have brought into focus certain advantages of IP connectivity and software-defined systems, such as remote capabilities and flexibility to share assets between productions. At the same time, organisations must plan phased investments that respect existing capital investment.
“With SNPs creating the gateways and Magellan SDNO serving as top-level system orchestration, broadcasters can move from legacy to hybrid to IP at their own pace, as commercial and operational demands arise.” The new IP core at Tv2000, which was built and installed under managed conditions during the COVID-19 restrictions, went on air at the end of October 2020. www.imaginecommunications.com