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Tuesday, 25 June 2019 11:43

Training offered on Internet Protocols within the AV industry

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Students train on Internet Protocols

As part of the Association’s drive for Continuous Professional Development, SACIA contracted Mike Dhonau of Training for TV Ltd (UK) to provide training on the use of Internet Protocols in the broadcast environment for its members.

The programme has been adapted from a 3-day theoretical course, run in 2018, to a more comprehensive 4-day course which includes practical components. Known as Practical IP for Broadcast Engineers, the courses focus on Broadcast Engineers and Technicians who need to deal with new IP based systems and covers the basics of IP networking – with plenty of hands-on practice using switches and routers.

The aims of the course are:

  • To give broadcast engineers confidence when working on IP based systems.
  • To improve communication when working with IP network specialists.
  • To provide a fundamental awareness of the issues around cybersecurity.
  • To increase understanding of new broadcast/production IP standards and systems.

It is unlikely that anyone planning a new broadcast or production system will not use IP for all, or at least most of it. This means that broadcast engineers need to update their IP networking skills, as well as learning about the new broadcast IP standards and make cybersecurity a central part of their thinking and working.

They will need to work closely with IP network specialists when planning and designing the broadcast and production centres of the future. The training allows delegates to create an IP network with VLANs and resilience, generate and receive multicast audio and video streams, and examine the system using network monitoring tools.

It goes on to look at the new broadcast standards such as SMPTE 2022, SMPTE 2110 and AES67, as well as IEEE1588 PTP and considers the design of networks to carry high bit rate streams.

“Internet protocols have been a vital element in the broadcast and production chain for years, even decades - initially in office functions and databases, then in broadcast control. Finally, real-time audio and video began to be carried over IP, but this was mainly for contribution and distribution and usually used compression to reduce the data rate. Meanwhile, telecoms backbones were also moving to IP,” explains Mike.

“In the last 2 years, new standards, such as SMPTE 2110, have emerged to replace traditional broadcast signals such as SDI and AES3 with real-time IP audio and video within studio and broadcast centres. This is usually uncompressed and has a high bit rate, requiring at least 10GB Ethernet, and in many cases, up to 100GB. At the same time, audio and video timing is moving away from traditional Black & Burst and moving to IEEE1588 PTP (Precision Time Protocol).

Moving to IP creates great opportunities for flexibility in hardware design and workflows, making systems less dependent on location.” “Since the new standards are media format agnostic, we will be able to upgrade to new formats and to mix formats – from SD SDR to Ultra HD HDR without changing the underlying infrastructure. And as we move more signals to IP, the opportunities to make more use of virtualisation and the cloud, both and off premises is growing. Of course, with the increasing use of IP comes the increasing need to think about cybersecurity in all its forms,” he adds.

The programme is run over 4 levels:

  • Introduction to IP in Broadcast and Media – 1 day,
  • IP for Broadcast Operations – 3 days with practical
  • IP for Broadcast Engineers – 3 days
  • Practical IP for Broadcast Engineers – 4 days with practical.

Three successful training programmes have been conducted so far in 2019, with an additional four to follow in the months of August and September (Aug 13th, Aug 20th, Oct 8th and Oct 14th).

Although the training is being given in Gauteng, there is potential for it to be rolled out nationally If there is enough demand within the other regions. SACIA will communicate final dates and venues closer to the time.

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