Wide Area Networks for ST 2110 Workflows
Published on 25 Jul 2022
SMPTE ST 2110 supports both uncompressed and compressed video, allowing it to be utilized in live production processes for the material of both high and low value. Even though the entire production quality spectrum will use the same set of standards, it is difficult to construct a Wide Area Network (WAN) that meets the quality requirements of at-home and distributed high-end live production while also accommodating the price pressure of lower-end live productions. In the end, the ability to combine private and public network infrastructure smoothly is crucial.
Variations between high-end and low-end workflows from a network point of view
Technically, the distinction between high-end and low-end live production workflows is the acceptable level of output quality. Still, the true difference lies in the content value and, therefore, the acceptable level of production and infrastructure costs. When shifting from high-value to low-value content in order to fulfill reduced cost point criteria, quality is the only criterion that must be modified.
High-end live production processes are often uncompressed or employ lossless compression (such as JPEG 2000, VC2, or TICO), while low-end live production workflows are typically substantially compressed (using for example, MPEG4 or HEVC). Therefore, high-end workflows use much more bandwidth than low-end workflows, resulting in greater infrastructure expenses along the whole chain, from the local network to the Wide Area Network to archiving and storage.
A system that enables both advanced and basic processes.
As described above, high-end operations need the WAN to offer assured bandwidth, low latency, and on-path PTP support. Also, on top of the infrastructure that is not PTP-aware. Additionally, it should handle uncompressed and weakly compressed material.
In contrast, low-end processes need low-bandwidth, low-quality connections through public infrastructure and adequate media transport quality. This necessitates that the WAN accommodate substantial compression with quality-enhancing methods like retransmission.
The key is to seamlessly combine private and public infrastructure.
Designing and constructing a WAN that satisfies both the quality requirements of at-home and dispersed high-end productions and the cost requirements of low-end productions is difficult. As explained throughout this work, the fundamental difference in quality and acceptable cost level necessitates the deployment of vastly distinct technological solutions.
This combination must be smooth to avoid introducing operational complexity. Operations must be as uniform as feasible regardless of the infrastructure or technology used. And although this may be achieved in part via orchestration, the more that can be reused from the technology and product stack across all infrastructure and technology kinds, the better.
In the end, really smooth and straightforward operations can only be achieved with solutions that provide a consistent appearance and equivalent operating capabilities across all workflow types.
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