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Time to Build an All-IP TV Station

For TV stations, the era of omnimedia and Ultra-High Definition (UHD) has arrived. The emergence of 4K production and UHD display technologies has made cabling and transport bandwidths a critical issue for the production, transmission, and broadcast of digital TV signals. 4K/UHD signals are not compatible with existing technical architectures of video plants that are based on Serial Digital Interface (SDI) baseband interfaces and dedicated SDI digital video matrix switches.

Numerous Cables — Short Transmission Distances

There are advantages to SDI, as long as Standard Definition (SD) and HD continue to dominate TV standards; however, SDI signaling in 4K/8K UHD environments present the following issues:

  • Numerous Cables Equal Difficult Maintenance: SDI cables can number in the thousands. Migrating from HD to 4K multiples that number by four. When including the cost of terminal equipment, the process is too complex and expensive.
  • Limited Transmission Distance: SDI signals cannot exceed 100 meters without introducing error codes and image distortion.
  • Limited System Solutions: Specialized, niche market SDI-based HD products, transmission cables, and backend storage products are few and expensive.

All-IP TV Station — Disruptive but Inevitable

TV stations will launch all-IP signal transport solutions because IP platforms can provide wide coverage, mature compression and coding schemes, simple cabling, and re-use of existing devices.

Huawei and Sony Team Up

Huawei’s accomplishments in the field of media and television prompted Sony Television to select Huawei as a partner to develop an all-IP solution for TV stations. Sony selected Huawei server and storage components as well as its CE7850 and CE6850 series switches to meet strict delay and bandwidth requirements. Sony is providing the 4K camera sources, SDI-to-IP gateways, 4K live switchers, and LSM-100 audio/video screen management system.

Advantages of all-IP stations include the capacity of 10 Gigabit Ethernet cabling and IP interconnects that support long distance transit and local transcoding to SD-SDI, HD-SDI, and 3G-SDI signals. Simply adding IP gateways is all that is required to smoothly migrate from SD and HD to 4K/UHD.

Sony and Huawei will continue to collaborate to build competitive all-IP TV and media industry solutions as the 4K/UHD era becomes a reality.

By Deng Linwei

Industry Marketing Execution Department, Enterprise Business Group, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.