The morning of day one was dedicated to EBU activities. Future developments in the Eurovision contribution networks were touched on by Didier Debellemanière. Marco De Giorgi explained how the MusiPOP service is provided and how the support for it is organised. Hans Hoffmann updated the audience on the status of High Definition developments in Europe and the strategic technical issues still open.
These EBU activities are not of course the only EBU activities related to networking. Many of the speakers also participate in EBU Project Groups. One example of participants frequently involved in EBU work is VRT. At the seminar Marnix van de Kauter explained how the Belgium broadcaster together with Siemens developed an extensive monitoring & control solution. The system was also demonstrated in the foyer.
At day two, security of networks was the main topic. Much detailed information on how to protect broadcasting networks was provided by representatives from BBC, DR and SVT. Markus Berg detailed recent tests of firewall equipment. One of the interesting conclusions was that free software can perform very well, but does pose a considerable demand on training/set-up.
Another topic addressed in this context was the use of SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) for the control and monitoring of broadcast equipment. Here as well security is vital, as without it, the use of management data on common networks could lead to a highly vulnerable broadcast operation.
It was certainly interesting to hear the comment that the problem is not in IT equipment, but in the broadcast equipment (!). Due to the history of use in dedicated and thus inherently secure networks, broadcast equipment is not always built with security as a priority. Several broadcasters reported that this leads to considerable problems in building new IT-based facilities. For more on the latter, you may want to look at the work of the N/Security Project Group.