IP Video Delivery in Review

  • With Adrian Pennington

IP Video Delivery in Review

We asked select opinion formers to identify the key trend in IP Video Delivery in 2022 and to highlight the major issues for the industry with regards to IP video delivery in the year ahead. Here’s what they told us - by Adrian Pennington...

Carl Petch Chief Technology Officer, Telstra Broadcast Services
Over the last twelve months a key trend in IP video delivery has been the transition to hybrid delivery. This is being driven by a combination of fibre and Internet delivery; helping sate the global appetite for live content we are currently seeing. Hybrid delivery enables broadcasters to enjoy greater choice and flexibility - while still balancing the books in a way that all tiers of live entertainment and sports are pleased with. 

Next year will see the increasing adoption of cloud production tools. This is the continuation of what started eight years ago - when the industry started its journey to full end-to-end IP video delivery. However, security for video remains an issue for the entire industry. Moving forward, how we manage security in the video environment will be crucial. We are heavily focused on IT infrastructure, so the secure delivery of video and hand off of IP video content is seamless and protected 

Mark Horchler Marketing Director, Products & Solutions, Haivision
When it comes to live video, IP is not only being applied to end-viewer content delivery, but also to the entire video chain. This includes the first mile of live contribution and within production workflows, on-prem and in the cloud. All IP video workflows, from SRT and 5G for contribution, NDI and ST 2110 for production, and HLS and MPEG-DASH for delivery, with cloud in between, is finally becoming a reality as technologies become more interoperable and easier to deploy, including in the cloud.

IP technology is also enabling remote collaboration between talent, broadcast engineers, and producers. Born out of necessity during the past couple of years, remote collaboration using IP video streaming and cloud technology is bringing exciting new innovations to the way live content is being produced. In 2023 we can expect to see more exciting new live events being broadcast entirely with IP technology, from end to end. This will mean greater choice than ever before for consumers, including live sports, music, and comedy specials, which will be delivered across linear TV channels and OTT services alike. Being able to apply IP technology to mobile cameras and transmitters over extremely low latency 5G networks will also bring exciting new angles and viewpoints for viewers at home or on the road.

Steven Bilow Senior Product Marketing Manager, Telestream
“Our industry is evolving from SDI to IP.  But SDI isn’t going away anytime soon. Advances in switch technology are driving speed and reliability. Broadcasters can now replace SDI with IP at lower cost. But challenges remain, and millions of operational SDI products are still deployed worldwide. 

Most of the hurdles to making IP infrastructure a reality have been overcome. Facility designers are now versed in network design, using spine/leaf topologies instead of monolithic designs and planning for the bandwidth and expansion needs of 4K; and with it, more sources, destinations, and subtle anomalies. Proactive, exception-based monitoring and rapid problem resolution will become more critical.

With ST 2110 and ST 2022-6, plus compression like JPEG-XS, IP plays a bigger role in replacing SDI router systems. The trend to deploy products with native ST 2110 connectivity will continue, but ‘hybrid’ will remain the operative design concept in 2023.

Precision Time Protocol (PTP) is standard in IP media networks and serves facilities well. But the equally crucial SDI and analogue equipment must receive the same timing information via black burst or genlock. That need will be slow to diminish.

Finally, with scale comes complexity. The Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA) helps temper this complexity with specifications like Networked Media Open Specifications (NMOS). Looking ahead, cybersecurity concerns will grow. SDI signals had limited connectivity to the outside world and no access to IT infrastructure. IP-based media changed this. Facilities are now more vulnerable to security breaches so protection will become increasingly important.”

Per Lindgren Group CTO & Head of Sync, Net Insight
“More live content - more remote production sums up a key trend over the past year. The return of high-profile sports events, including the Beijing Winter Olympics and the World Cup Qatar, alongside growing consumer appetite for live content meant that media companies, production houses, and rightsholders had more sought-after content to work with. Industry players had to also cater to their audiences wherever, whenever, and however they chose to consume it, especially digital platforms.

Media organisations increasingly realise that satellite and dark fibre transmission is too costly and inflexible to meet the requirements of the fast-evolving media landscape. The shift to IP media delivery is already demonstrating its potential and will continue to drive new opportunities that will delight audiences and bring more revenue to the industry.

Looking to 2023: While IP and cloud media delivery will define the future of broadcasting, transitioning to IP transport workflows is a process that requires careful strategising and implementation. Completely overhauling existing workflows, processes, and infrastructures to transition to IP fully isn’t the most efficient and realistic option for many media companies. 

In 2023, we will be seeing more hybrid workflows that leverage the flexibility and scalability of IP while making the most of existing hardware and software investments. Over the next 12 months, media organisations will be planning their move to IP media delivery, bringing more innovation and expertise into their business. We also see IP media security with new functions, such as the IP media trust boundary will become critical. It’s the responsibility of media tech vendors to become the partners that will guide the media industry into its IP transformation journey.”

Matt Hughes Chief Commercial Operator, M2A Media
“The explosion of content continued in 2022, and with that came increased demand for cost efficient methods of delivery that are scalable and flexible.  At M2A we’ve seen an uptake in enquiries from sports rights-owners who are keen to move their video workflows into the cloud, because in doing so they are able to realise the full value of their live video content.  Delivery over public cloud can not only increase the number of video feeds an organisation can get to its takers across the globe, but when combined with an intuitive software solution that an Operations team can drive, it can help them scale without the need to increase engineering workload. 

The sports live streaming market is estimated to grow from $18 billion in 2020 to $87 billion by 2028 and with major sports rights deals being snapped up by Big Tech, it’s unlikely that we’ll see a decrease in these volumes of content. 

This is really driving innovation and collaboration in the public cloud space.  Once broadcasters and rights-owners adapt to using public cloud for acquiring, distributing and routing live video, they then want to do more in the cloud.  Transformations that were previously the sole preserve of on premise workflows, such as dynamic graphics, frame rate conversion, audio commentary and live capture, will really come to the fore in 2023 and we’ll continue to see a shift towards fully cloud-based, end-to-end workflows.”

Dr. Ciro Noronha Chief Technology Officer, Cobalt Digital
“First, let’s nitpick and set the stage here: video delivery over IP and video delivery over the Internet are not the same thing.  There is video delivery over IP, and the Internet is a special case of an IP network.  There are other IP networks, such as managed and dedicated networks, and corporate networks.  Video delivery over well-managed IP networks hasn’t been a problem (or even a question) since the late 1990s.  What we are talking about here is video delivery over the Internet, which is a much harder problem.

Let’s first talk about Internet video delivery for contribution: this has been possible for a few years now, and ramping up year-to-year.  Again, this is no longer a question of ‘is it a viable technology’, but a question of ‘what to use’.  If you are deploying this, there are many options - which is good.  My prediction is that the market will trend towards interoperable solutions using open specifications, as long as the performance and functionality is there.  The only solution in the market today that ticks all these boxes is the Reliable Internet Stream Transport (RIST) from the Video Services Forum.  I believe adoption of RIST will steadily increase in 2023.

The second part of this is delivery to consumers.  There, the main pain point is latency for live content, primarily sports.  Delivery over the Internet must not be 30 seconds or more behind an OTA broadcast.  I believe usage of low-latency consumer delivery protocols will steadily increase in 2023.”