French national broadcaster Radio France has undergone a fundamental technical transition to hybrid SDI-over-IP and ST 2110 environments, having just completed a 4-year technological migration.
Work started, in fact, when Radio France decided it was time to overhaul its legacy MADI audio switching systems in 2017. Simultaneously with that decision, SMPTE released the ST2022-6 and ST 2110 standards, which includes PTP for timing accuracy. Publication of these critical standards were regarded as a catalyst for wider change throughout the company’s broadcast operations.
“Our intention is to invest for the future and not use a legacy processes and systems,” said Etienne Roulette, Project manager at Radio France. “This is a key aspect of the digital plan for Radio France, and the main driver for making this change is remote production. 2017 was the starting point, with trials and proof-of-concept in 2018, followed by the tender in 2019. We will be ready to go on air later this year.
“It has been a long path with lot of learning. Because we are broadcast engineers, it isn’t always obvious to us which is the best way to integrate audio/video systems into an IT environment. It’s a new experience in terms of both operations and security.”
When a broadcaster takes an entirely new direction, as Radio France has, it is essential that it maintains a sound, continuous understanding of how its workflows and networks are functioning in the new environment. To this end, system monitoring across the network is a critical feature of the system, along with precise timing.
“As 2110 is a new standard, having effective and efficient monitoring is a key pre-requisite,” said Pierre Gras, Audio-Video Engineer at Radio France. “We need to be 100% sure of the robust operation of the data stream across our national network and its ability to meet our special requirements.” Telestream monitoring and test and measurement equipment is integrated within the core broadcast infrastructure at Radio France.
The combination of Telestream’s PRISM waveform monitors and Inspect 2110 monitors protects hybrid SDI over IP and ST 2110 environments throughout the migration, now underway.
Inspect 2110 monitors the entire broadcast network, and is employed to monitor the key programs. It gives an overview of all streams, while PRISM is positioned at the end device, using ST 2022-7, connected to both networks. PRISM can be accessed through the Inspect 2110 user interface for in-depth analysis when required.
Historically, instruments like spectrum analyzers and waveform monitors have operated inside media production and distribution facilities, and the network diagnostics and troubleshooting tools have been used in IT data centres and elsewhere. As broadcasters and content creators move from legacy SDI to hybrid IP, and more recently to SMPTE ST 2110 mezzanine or un-compressed video, audio and data, new types of audio-video quality assurance and monitoring tools are required.
Telestream PRISM is based on Tektronix Video’s experience in SDI video and waveform analysis, and Inspect 2110 uses IneoQuest’s expertise in video-over-IP quality assurance and distributed monitoring. With these tools, combining broad and deep analysis and monitoring of live content, creatives can take better advantage of current and emerging options to enhance live production and make more efficient use of video and audio assets.
Having been used throughout Radio France’s POC trials, Etienne Roulette believes that the Telestream monitoring system and the information it generates help their team to work more effectively. “It is also quite easy to remotely access the information and monitoring data that we need both from PRISM and Inspect 2110,” he said. “We are much more efficient in our daily work.” www.telestream.net