Production and post-production systems that use internet protocol (IP) throughout the digital workflow are going to be the next big transition the broadcast industry makes. This change is being made to enable broadcasters to improve content creation and distribution processes, including the monetisation of content via new internet-enabled platforms.
IT and IP technologies have led to a boom in the delivery of content connected devices such as PCs, tablets, mobiles and games consoles. Audiences now have more choice on how to watch their favourite television content – not only on different devices, but also using different services such as on-demand or live streaming.
As such, original content needs to be repurposed for different platforms and formats, which creates additional work for broadcasters and content owners at a time when they are seeing their main source of income – advertising – reducing as it is spread across more channels.
Typically, the broadcasters and content owners have responded by adding additional computing ‘silos’ to cater for these new formats but adding cost and complexity at post-production.
IT and IP technology can be deployed to alleviate these issues by enabling non-linear workflows, dramatically increasing efficiency and reducing costs. ‘Non-linear production’ will allow producers to create content once and distribute it across multiple platforms faster and more effectively than ever before.
To make best use of IP technology, broadcasters need to employ high performance keyboard, video and mouse (KVM) solutions, but these are just part of the answer as they can only extend access to one computer.
The real benefits come when multiple users can be connected remotely to multiple devices. By using the existing Ethernet many broadcasters have installed as standard, it is now possible to carry lossless DVI digital video and bi-directional audio along with keyboard, mouse and USB peripheral data, connecting an unlimited number of computers to an unlimited number of users.
The ability to connect any workstation to any processor creates a new flexibility in the way operations can be organised, giving the options to the people rather than being dominated by the technology.
A clear advantage for an IP KVM matrix with these capabilities is to keep working areas clear, calm and quiet, while also allowing valuable hard drives to be securely locked away from accessible studios whilst utilising a standard network infrastructure.
Devices such as the AdderLink Infinity and AdderLink Infinity Dual, the only real-time KVM over IP solutions on the market, allow broadcasters to not only realise IP workflows, but drive a range of other benefits.
For example, an ideal KVM solution enables a user to setup multiple workstations using the click of a button. This has great application in studio gallery scenarios where at different times of the day, different teams may be at work.
For instance, a news gallery delivering control for a prime time program will have a much larger team at work than the same gallery controlling news updates through the night. Presets deliver this customisation instantly and intuitively.
Studios looking to install such collaborative workflow systems are moving towards IP technology as the transport mechanism. Products such as the AdderLink Infinity deliver a total integrated solution using IP, the most widely adopted standard in the world.
Simon Clew is sales director at Adder Technology.
Simon Clew is sales director at Adder Technology