On December 8, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) publicly announced the publication of the first standards within SMPTE ST 2110, for Professional Media Over Managed IP Networks. SMPTE ST 2110 is the highly antipicapated new standards suite that specifies the carriage, synchronization, and description of separate elementary essence streams over professional internet protocol (IP) networks in real-time for the purposes of live production, playout, and other professional media applications.
Adoption of the new standards is expected to further cement the role of IP as the dominant format for broadcast production. So far the impact of IP has been more in the realm of signal transport but it can now be expected to be more widely adopted in TV studios for live video production and distribution.
Imagine CTO for Networking, John Mailhot, a SMPTE Fellow serving as Drafting Group Editor for ST 2110 said in a blog post that "these standards cover the most essential parts of the television infrastructure — video, audio and timing — and specify core capabilities for moving separate essence streams across IP networks."
"Professional media is a uniquely challenging field because of its real-time nature and high quality-of-service requirements, both of which consumers may take for granted," said SMPTE President Matthew Goldman, senior vice president of technology, TV and media at Ericsson. "The standardization of SMPTE ST 2110 documents provides broadcasters, producers, and media technology suppliers with the tools they need to meet these requirements while working in the IP realm."
With SMPTE ST 2110 standards, intrafacility traffic now can be all-IP, which means that organizations can rely on one common data center infrastructure rather than two separate facilities for SDI and IP switching/routing. SMPTE ST 2110 standards make it possible to separately route and break away the essence streams — audio, video, and ancillary data. This advance simplifies, for example, the addition of captions, subtitles, and teletext, as well as tasks such as the processing of multiple audio languages and types. Each essence flow may be routed separately and brought together again at the endpoint. Each of the component flows — audio, video, and ancillary data (there may be multiple streams of each type) — is synchronized, so the essence streams are co-timed to one another while remaining independent.
The new SMPTE ST 2110 standard suite was a primary focus of the IP Showcase in the Centennial Exhibit Hall at SMPTE 2017, where SMPTE joined with the Audio Engineering Society (AES), Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA), European Broadcasting Union (EBU), IABM, Media Networking Alliance (MNA), and Video Services Forum (VSF) to support the event. The IP Showcase featured the latest advances in IP technology for the professional media industries and demonstrated how the SMPTE ST 2110 standard suite adds value. Numerous interoperability demonstrations assisted broadcast/IT engineers, CEOs, producers, and others in understanding how they can leverage the benefits of SMPTE ST 2110 standards.
SMPTE is currently developing a dedicated course on ST 2110 for its Virtual Classroom which will be offered beginning in March 2018.