Event participants and employees of EBU Members can access the NTS 2018 presentations and videos here. Q&A sessions are excluded. A free EBU account is necessary to access this content.

The voice of the broadcast production community was heard loud and clear at last week’s full-to-capacity EBU Network Technology Seminar. While live IP production has taken great strides forward, making the leap from traditional SDI-based setups remains far from straightforward.


Key enabling standards from SMPTE (ST 2110 for carrying elementary streams) and AMWA (IS-04 and IS-05 for connecting devices to networks) have been finalized, but vendors are still not offering a full stack solution. It’s a call that came from several quarters, including keynote speaker Thomas Edwards of Fox and CBC/Radio-Canada’s Félix Poulin.

The 170+ participants (some watching via live stream) heard updates from five different pioneering new building projects. This sharing of experience is highly valued but also provided further evidence that the ecosystem of standards, and their implementation, is far from complete.

NTS 2018 speakers and participants interviewed:


Voices from among the delegates at NTS 2018 expressed frustration at a perceived lack of openness with regard to the results of interoperability testing. While such tests have been attracting high levels of participation from the vendor community, the failure to publish information about how the various implementations performed acts as a brake on progress, according to some.

A clear need emerged for tools to measure and bridge the knowledge gaps between broadcast, network and software engineers. The EBU, along with bisect, has created a tool that can help to address that need: LIST is the Live IP Software Toolkit, allowing users to easily measure and visualize the fundamentals of live IP facilities. The focus of one of the six tutorials, LIST attracted a huge amount of interest during and after the event.NEWSFLASH: ENTERPRISE PROFILE

One positive development – made possible by the fact that NTS brings together many of those at the life IP standards coalface – was the announcement at the event that the Joint Task Force on Networked Media (of JT-NM roadmap fame) will immediately start work on an Enterprise Profile for the SMPTE ST 2059, ST 2110, and AMWA NMOS specifications (IS-04, 05, and, depending on the use-case, 06). It is hoped that this will help to facilitate industry progress towards full stack solutions.

Serving Members by sharing knowledge – the delegations of TDA, Algeria, and SNRT, Morocco, at NTS 2018:


Looking beyond live IP production, the other main theme at NTS 2018 was cloud-based production. Several use cases and demonstrations showed what can already be done. EBU Member SWR ran a proof-of-concept throughout the event, using a best effort WAN for contribution of live footage of the event. The setup was remotely operated from Geneva, with virtualized signal processing and encoding done at SWR’s data centre in Baden-Baden.

However, while the possibilities are evolving all the time, Alex Rawcliffe of BBC R&D sounded a note of caution on moving into the cloud. The approach should not, he said, be to simply “lift and shift current implementations”. Rather, cloud-based production systems should be built from the ground up with the new platforms and distribution models in mind.

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