IP Technology for Broadcast Audio Routing Systems


Tom Knowles TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
Download PDF
Download PDF

As the AoIP debate continues to confuse and delight in equal measure, what is clear is different scenarios require specific solutions. So is there a solution that encompasses open standards and existing proven AoIP technologies to the benefit of all?

Introduction

By definition, network infrastructure (switches, routers and cables) is protocol and technology agnostic, it carries data. This is one of the primary reasons to use IP technology in a broadcast facility, the same infrastructure can carry different formats of video and audio data. Key to developments are open standards, ensuring the widest potential future interoperability. Key to real-world installations are system requirements and technology choices driven by the application, or specific usage case. The market share of AoIP technology stacks is also an important factor to consider for interoperability. At this point on the standards adoption curve for audio, the use of licenced AoIP technology stacks provides the widest guaranteed interoperability and greatest functionality when considering audio specific routing requirements.

Solid State Logic’s (SSL) System T broadcast audio platform utilises Audinate’s Dante technology stack, including the Dante API managing audio routing of SSL Network I/O and over 2000 third party AoIP products directly in the console GUI, including automatic discovery. The exact same hardware interfaces on their Tempest processing engines and Network I/O devices, simultaneously support Dante and the transport standards - AES67 or ST 2110-30 - providing the widest possible interoperability.

Stacks of Standards

Media over IP systems can be broken down into layers, the layers make up what is referred to as a stack. Within each layer different standards perform different functions. At a network level these standards are managed by the IEEE and IETF. Within the broadcast industry SMPTE and AES standards, plus the more recent AMWA specifications, have been developed for media specific network requirements. It is commonplace for standards to use other standards (ST 2110 uses RTP), specifications to use standards (NMOS IS-04 uses mDNS and/or DNS-SD) and technology packages to use standards (Dante uses mDNS and DNS-SD).

The benefit of an IP network is that both the technology packages and broadcast standards plus specification approaches use the same underlying network standards. To the network infrastructure all media and control traffic is simply data. Another network benefit is that evolution of technology and standards can be accommodated because the underlying network standards are respected.

The choice is not between using a specific technology package or standards, the choice is where is it appropriate to use a specific technology or standard? Looking at the user requirements will inform this choice.

Other factors to consider include the total cost of infrastructure. For the audio-only section of a system, lower cost 1GbE switches (perhaps with a 10GbE uplink) may well be suitable. Using 10GbE or higher bandwidth ports that are required for the video stream for every audio device will be extremely wasteful and costly. SSL have installed System T projects where over 6000x6000 Dante audio signals have been deployed on Cisco’s small business range of SG350 and SG500 series switches.

Security

The best thing about media over networking technology is that everything can be seen by everything and options are limitless, the worst thing is also, that everything is available everywhere.

Audinate’s Dante Domain Manager provides a security layer for the Dante technology stack. DDM acts as an authorisation server that allows routing clients access to devices to make changes. Dante controller is a routing client that uses the Dante API, the SSL System T control software is also a routing client that uses the Dante API.

DDM provides the toolkit to centrally manage PTP settings and stream announcements for ST 2110 on Dante devices. The manual configuration aspects of ST 2110 require a significant level of understanding when adjusting settings, particularly PTP parameters and manual configuration of multicast addresses, where duplication would cause system issues. Using DDM provides a secure way to make changes. There is the added advantage that when configuring a large system, a single interface can change all of the PTP settings on many devices at the same time.

System Engineering

Coming back to the usage requirements, consider who is performing audio routing within a broadcast facility. Obviously there are variations between different facilities, but typically this can be split into audio routing performed by the console operator and audio routing driven by engineering staff, typically using a routing control system.

The Dante API includes many key features to allow mono routing that would traditionally have been a function of TDM routing inside a processing engine. The Dante API includes automatic stream creation when routes are made and unicast possibilities, both are advantageous when dealing with the relatively bandwidth light but high channel count requirements of audio relative to video

Conclusion

IP routing systems have significant advantages, specifically the flexibility of the underlying infrastructure. Networks deal with data, data of any format, protocol or standard as long as it respects the IEEE and IETF standards. As with any system design, user requirements and intended applications are the primary concern. SSL’s System T broadcast audio production environment uses both Dante and ST 2110/AES67 transport standards. The advantages of Dante provide mono audio network routing capabilities directly from the console GUI, with auto discovery and connection management of thousands of available devices. Plus, transmitting and subscribing to ST 2110 or AES67 streams on the same Dante interface, opening up interoperability to many more devices including IP video systems. With System T you can have the best of both worlds as the audio routing is already performed on COTS network hardware, not proprietary TDM audio routing hardware.

Solid State Logic will be presenting their broadcast audio solutions at IBC 2019: Stand 8.D83


Tags: iss139 | aoip | ssl | solid state logic | system T | dante | audinate | aes67 | st2110 | domain manager | Tom Knowles
Contributing Author Tom Knowles

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Download PDF
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • SSL Dante AoIP with System T from Solid State Logic at IBC2019

    SSL Dante AoIP with System T from Solid State Logic at IBC2019

  • PARADISO Lite commentary unit from Glensound at BVE 2018

    PARADISO Lite commentary unit from Glensound at BVE 2018

  • Telos Alliance at BVE 2017

    Telos Alliance at BVE 2017

  • Wohler at IBC 2016

    Wohler at IBC 2016

  • Solid State Logic at IBC2011

    Solid State Logic at IBC2011

  • Gekko at IBC2011

    Gekko at IBC2011

  • AES3 to Dante / AES67 converters from Glensound at NAB 2019

    AES3 to Dante / AES67 converters from Glensound at NAB 2019

  • Glensound Beatrice Dante Intercom at ISE 2019

    Glensound Beatrice Dante Intercom at ISE 2019

  • Glensound Anthens 2 Dante Turntable Pre-Amplifier at ISE 2019

    Glensound Anthens 2 Dante Turntable Pre-Amplifier at ISE 2019

  • Glensound Dante Intercom System at IBC 2017

    Glensound Dante Intercom System at IBC 2017

  • Glensound Dante at IBC 2014

    Glensound Dante at IBC 2014

  • Virgil OB headphone amplifier from Glensound at NAB 2018

    Virgil OB headphone amplifier from Glensound at NAB 2018

  • 32 Keypanel Intercoms from Clearcom at NAB 2017

    32 Keypanel Intercoms from Clearcom at NAB 2017

  • Live Sports Broadcast Commentator from Glensound at NAB 2017

    Live Sports Broadcast Commentator from Glensound at NAB 2017

  • Glensound at IBC 2016

    Glensound at IBC 2016

  • Glensound at NAB 2016

    Glensound at NAB 2016

  • Intercom over AES67 with V-Series IRIS from Clear-Com at IBC 2018

    Intercom over AES67 with V-Series IRIS from Clear-Com at IBC 2018

  • Glensound show Beatrice the AES67 Network audio intercom beltpack at IBC 2018

    Glensound show Beatrice the AES67 Network audio intercom beltpack at IBC 2018

  • PixelPower offers ST2110 Streamaster and Gallion at IBC 2019

    PixelPower offers ST2110 Streamaster and Gallion at IBC 2019


Articles
On Stage At Festival Beauregard
KitPlus Set in the majestic grounds of the Chateau de Beauregard, and in its eleventh year, the festival is an eclectic mix of homegrown French talent and international artists spanning pop, rock, punk and dance. We made the hop across the channel to find out more.
Tags: iss140 | blackmagic | atem | hyperdeck mini | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read or download PDF
Complex Live Streaming At Scale
KitPlus On Saturday September 14th in the Content Everywhere Hub Theater at IBC, Zixi hosted a panel featuring partners and customers who have integrated with and utilized the Emmy-winning Zixi software for contribution and distribution of live video over managed and un-managed internet connections.
Tags: iss140 | zixi | streaming | video transport | ip | zen master | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read or download PDF
Live Streaming Workflows Examined
Bryce Button In today’s hyperconnected world, audiences expect accessible, high quality content across the displays they see every day, whether at home or on the go, at a concert or church service, or even in the board room. There are a number of approaches professionals can take to deliver live content, but each workflow ultimately varies depending upon the delivery platform and the type of display that it’s intended for. There is no one-size fits all approach.
Tags: iss140 | aja video | espn | rtmp | helo | h.264 | nesn | wallcast | fido | Bryce Button
Contributing Author Bryce Button Click to read or download PDF
Solving Rigorous Digital Workflow Challenges
Michael Urban

Headquartered in New Zealand, The Rebel Fleet offers digital workflow services to top film and television production companies. Clients address broad creative needs and retain total image control across multiple shooting units with fast turnarounds. Recent projects include The Meg, Adrift, Ash vs Evil Dead, and The Shannara Chronicles.

The company was on the hunt for a scalable, high-performance storage solution that would meet the rigorous demands of a large-scale live-action film project for a major Hollywood studio.

Tags: iss140 | rebel fleet | alexa 65 | nas | quantum | stornext | qxs | storage | mam | Michael Urban
Contributing Author Michael Urban Click to read or download PDF
IBC 2019 Question Time
Jon Finegold

The media and entertainment industry is in an exciting period of transformation and innovation, and Signiant is thrilled to be in the midst of it. Nowhere was this energy more apparent than at this year’s IBC conference, where we had the opportunity to speak with a wide range of organizations, vendors, and thought leaders to better understand where M&E businesses are at, where they’re going, and what they need.

Now with IBC 2019 in the rearview mirror, we’ve been reflecting on everything we’ve learned, and Jon Finegold, Signiant’s CMO, has taken the time to share his experience from the conference, and how that might affect Signiant as we charge toward 2020.

Tags: iss140 | signiant | ott | streaming | media shuttle | Jon Finegold
Contributing Author Jon Finegold Click to read or download PDF