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IP: Is It Finally Here?

We’re only now seeing true implementations of all-IP broadcast infrastructures, but the industry’s interest in IP is nothing new. Looking through my Wall Street Communications agency files, I see client press releases going all the way back to 2001 that reference the use of IP networks to connect broadcast equipment for tasks such as monitoring and control. A release from 2003 touts a complete broadcast delivery system supporting transmission of secure digital video and video-on-demand programming over IP-based networks from headend to consumer.

Though it has taken some time for IP to become viable for more demanding in-studio aspects of broadcast production, the benefits of leveraging IP networks were already clear to manufacturers and media facilities — 15 years ago!

Today, most of our clients have made major announcements about solutions and deployments that facilitate the broadcast industry’s migration to IP-based operations. Some of those clients, such as SMPTE and AIMS, are paving the road to IP by completing vital standards work and offering educational initiatives.

In its own words, AIMS is committed to “facilitating the industry's transition from SDI to IP through industry standards and interoperable solutions that enable the rapid evolution to open, agile, and versatile production environments,” and agency clients including Utah Scientific, Riedel Communications, PHABRIX, ChyronHego, Calrec Audio, and Artel are working as part of the alliance to further that goal.

These and other Wall Street clients are taking part in the immensely popular IP Showcase events occurring at industry trade shows around the world, and my Wall Street colleagues in attendance have reported standing-room-only crowds during demos and presentations. SMPTE’s new ST 2110 standards suite for Professional Media Over IP has been a focal point during many of these events, as it enables the interoperability that will be critical to the success of IP adoption.

First-of-a-kind installations are likewise making news these days as numerous clients provide IP-capable systems to organizations and media facilities looking to transition gracefully to IP. (I remember the same kind of turning points with the industry’s shifts to digital, file-based, and HD, and I’m seeing it now with 4K and UHD. With ATSC 3.0 on the horizon, we’re in for a great deal more change.)

Already, video experiences are available to consumers on a wide range of platforms, both linear and nonlinear, and on a countless number of devices. The industry’s migration from SDI to IP will open up a whole new realm of possibility for content creators and distributors. I look forward to watching these possibilities become realities from my front-row seat here at Wall Street Communications.


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