The LiveIP project being conducted by Belgian public broadcaster VRT and the EBU with the cooperation of multiple vendors has demonstrated after 18 months that IP in live television production is viable, says the effort’s project manager.
Speaking Sept. 8 at the EVS press conference during IBC 2016 in Amsterdam, Karel De Bondt reported that the LiveIP project has succeeded in delivering live television produced using IP to viewers and most recently delivered for the entire summer of 2016 a children’s channel produced out of its IP production facility, which includes a studio, production control room and data center tied.
“Every day, we went fully on-air with an IP studio that reaches households and people were watching us,” he said of the children’s channel.
“To us that is the ultimate proof that IP can make real TV that people are watching at home.”
The project, which began about 18 months ago — before the AIMS alliance was formally announced, has been aimed at determining if IP is suited for television production where interoperability between equipment from multiple vendors is desired to set up a best-of-breed installation.
When it comes to IP protocols and standards, the project has relied on SMPTE 2022-6 for video, AES67 for audio, the Precision Time Protocol (PTP) for synchronization, SDM for network management and the OpenFlow protocol, said De Bondt.
Among the milestones achieved by the VRT-EBU effort are live single camera production, live multi-cam production with four cameras and the regular broadcast of the children’s channel.
At IBC 2016, the LiveIP project is being integrated into the IBC Interoperability Zone with the help of EVS, said De Bondt.
“We are [producing] one fixed segment of 10 minutes during the [IBC News] half an hour broadcast [four times a day],” he explained. “So they cut to our studio.”
The VRT-EBU project has located its control room and studio floor for the show in the IP Interoperability Zone in the top corner of Hall 8. Its data center is located in the EVS booth in Hall 8, and an additional control room to control the project’s cameras is located downstairs in Hall 13, he said.
“To do all of this, we only need three small fiber optics[cables],” said De Bondt. “Everything goes over these fiber cables.”
That sort of simplicity is a major benefit of relying on IP for signal distribution in TV production, he said.
“SDI can only go 80 meters,” he said. “You only have one signal per cable and in only one direction, which makes you bump into a lot of obstacles right away. With IP, we want to overcome that. [IP is] a lot more scalable, agile. You can do many things you couldn’t before [with IP], like remote production. You can send all kinds of signals over the same cable.”
The VRT-EBU LiveIP project has been shortlisted for an IBC 2016 Innovation Award, he added.