The increasing amount of media production combined with the shift towards High Definition (HD)drives the bandwidth in contribution. Traditional satellite-based contribution is decreasing and is now primarily used for remote locations and occasional events. Fiber-based solutions are increasingly being used for campus, regional, national, continental and global contribution for live as well as non-live transport. Contribution feeds will span from low bandwidth audio, low bandwidth compressed signals up to uncompressed signals in HD and 3D format requiring multiple Gbps.
The infrastructure to support the next generation of contribution will be both private broadcast networks and service providers such as telcos and media operators offering services to the media companies. The shift towards asset-based production and IP/Ethernet-based video equipment combined with the telcos' migration towards an all IP infrastructure will require new ways of building next generation contribution networks. Production will be done both in real-time and file-based. For all these reasons, the contribution offering to the broadcasters must be truly multi service.
Broadcasters are also changing their workflows by demanding more automated ways of provisioning their contribution feeds to work on-demand and to more efficiently use the media assets and their facilities.
The major challenges for terrestrial contribution networks are:
- Quality of Service - Video and audio signals are very sensitive to jitter, delay and data loss whether transported as IP or in legacy format, quality is equally important. This is true for uncompressed and compressed signals. For uncompressed, the real-time are critical and for compressed, lost data affects the signals even more; higher compression levels make signals even more sensitive to lost packets.
- Multi service - Broadcasters are demanding multi service networks to attend all their needs in one network avoiding costly multiple network or network services. Consolidating everything into one infrastructure saves money and simplifies operations. The challenge is to maintain high quality video transport in a consolidated infrastructure.
- Migration towards IP - Broadcasters are shifting their operations to IP infrastructure with media equipment being equipped with Ethernet ports rather than legacy interfaces. Production is becoming more non-linear with computer-to-computer communication. To reach the broadcasters' locations, the IP transport capacity is often significantly less expensive than SDH or other type of connections, which is one of the reasons why IP video transport is a must for the future.
- Simplified network operations - Broadcasters do not have large staffs of network engineers, even though their system requirements are quite advanced. Telcos offering contribution and media transport services are facing increased network complexity due to the higher demand of video transport services, which increases the OPEX of the services. Network service providers need to simplify operations and offer easy to use configuration, network and service expansion and point-and-click service provisioning.
- Scalability - Contribution services can span from campus based point-to-point connections to content exchange between continents. Network solutions need to be highly scalable in order to handle such a broad range of site requirements.
- Network utilization - As the number of signals and the bandwidth of each signal is increased dramatically, the network solution needs to efficiently use the link capacity. Link capacity is expensive in nationwide, continental and global networks. Efficient usage of the available bandwidth is key to low overall operational cost.
Net Insight Solution
The Net Insight MSR solution is a multi-service IP platform also supporting SDH and Optical infrastructures with two levels of QoS mechanisms, lossless routing and packet priority. The lossless routing support transport of video signals with highest level of QoS possible. The lossless routing can be combined with priority for less demanding services such as Voice over IP, high quality computer-to-computer communication, and so on. This combination offers the broadcaster and the service provider excellent and consistent combination to mix very demanding media traffic with excellent and consistent content integrity,
The Net Insight Nimbra MSR has built-in video, audio, datacom and telecom interfaces. This eliminates the need for external media converters and lowers the CAPEX of the solution. It simplifies management and handling since the network equipment and the media interfaces are integrated into one system with a common management system. The Nimbra MSR supports the following service interfaces:
- HD-SDI (uncompressed and JPEG2000/J2K)
- 3G-SDI (uncompressed and JPEG2000/J2K)
- 10/100/1000 Base-T/X
The Nimbra platform offers a perfect way to migrate to IP since it has trunk interfaces for 10/100/1000 Base T and 10 GE which can be connected to existing IP infrastructure and it offers guaranteed IP transport. This means that it can be seamlessly integrated with existing IP infrastructure, all with guaranteed IP transport. You can seamlessly integrate the Nimbra MSRs into your existing IP infrastructure. It’s a completely risk free migration for the media traffic since it will have transport with low jitter and no data loss.
The Nimbra MSR platform has a built-in optical control plane which works with the Nimbra's network management system, NimbraVision. The Nimbra control plane assist the management system with auto configuration, service provisioning and fast protection/restoration. This makes the NMS more scalable and ensures improved system performance. The Nimbra Vision interface to the network equipment and the control plane offers point-and-click provisioning, centralized alarm management, tracing functionality, inventory, and much more.
The Nimbra MSR solution offers trunk capacities up to 10 GE and bi-directional switching capacities up to 160 Gbps in each element. Nimbra’s distributed switching architecture means you can scale the system up to handle multiple Tbps. The Nimbra system is also designed for large scale deployments with many network locations.
The link utilization of the Nimbra MSR platform is best on the market. The Nimbra MSR has very low transport overhead and, with guaranteed 100% QoS, you don’t need to overprovision capacity to ensure high quality media transport.
The major benefits of the Nimbra platform for contribution networks are:
- The Nimbra platform has state of the art QoS mechanisms with guaranteed transport to handle the most demanding media signals.
- The Nimbra platform is a multi-service platform with built in interfaces for video, audio, datacom and telecom interfaces.
- The Nimbra MSR platform is perfect for the migration towards IP media network because it has IP trunk interfaces, guaranteed transport for IP traffic with low jitter and no packet loss, and advanced layer 2 network functionality.
- The Nimbra MSR platform is highly automated with support for one-click service provisioning, auto configuration and centralized network management.
- The Nimbra MSR platform is scalable to high capacities with 10 GE trunks and bi-directional 160 Gbps capacity per network element which can be combined to form Tbps sites. The solution is also scalable to large installations with big number of sites.
- World class network utilization. Link utilization is very high and there is no need to over provisioning to obtain the high quality needed for video signal transport.