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Low-latency encoding/decoding from SMPTE ST-2110 to SRT: Bridging the studio and the cloud

By February 5th, 2024 No Comments

It was not long ago that SMPTE ST-2110 was going to change the face of the broadcast industry and in many facilities it has done exactly that, forming the technical backbone of major events such as the Olympics and World Cup. But the juggernaut of the cloud is unstoppable and is tipped to be as important as on-prem facilities for television production.

Bridging the two worlds

The cloud provides many production benefits such as the ability to scale up and down as needs require, and most importantly, paid for as they are used. This means that large amounts of equipment don’t need to remain largely idle – for example sports games are generally on the weekend meaning its equipment remains idle during most of the week.

But the hundreds of Gigabits or even Terabits of connectivity needed to transport ST-2110 into the cloud, make uncompressed video in the cloud unusable at scale, not to mention numerous technical issues around processing these high-data flows in the cloud. Many cloud processing platforms take compressed inputs for this reason, often using the SRT protocol to handle the unmanaged nature of the Internet en-route to the cloud.

Solving the challenge

This is where encoders and decoders like our C-200 platform come in. A dense encode and decode solution allows broadcasters to ingest ST-2110 content using NMOS control, compress them to modest data rates of say 10-50 Mbit/s, transport them over the unmanaged internet with the SRT protocol and ingest them into cloud processing platforms. Once streams are processed in the cloud (e.g mixed and graphics inserted), they can be decoded back to ST-2110 for incorporation into a traditional ground based workflow.

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