How SMPTE ST 2110 can further drive IP adoption among businesses

In November 2017, we became a member of the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), an organisation that aims to help both broadcast and media companies move towards an IP-based future through the publication of open standards. The journey towards reaching that goal has been long and challenging, however the end of 2017 saw confirmation that the SMPTE 2110 had just been published.

This is because the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE) published its first standards within SMPTE ST 2110, a suite of standards for Professional Media Over Managed IP Networks. These standards have been long-anticipated by many in the industry — having heard they were first approved during IBC in September, many have been waiting in anticipation for ST 2110 to be published.

What are the SMPTE ST 2110 suite of standards? To look at the SMPTE ST 2110 standards suite on a technical level, it specifies the carriage, synchronisation and description of separate elementary essence streams over professional IP networks in real time for live production, playout and other professional media applications. Now that the first standards within SMPTE ST 2110 have been published, we are witnessing what is without doubt a significant step forward in the adoption of IP for businesses across a huge range of sectors.

Up until now, the story was drastically different. While the majority of businesses were aware of operating via an IP-based infrastructure, it was too logistically complex for many to take advantage of. If a broadcaster needed to use equipment from a wide range of different manufacturers to power its studio, for example, there was no guarantee that all of this equipment would be able to interact and ‘talk’ with one another over an IP network. There were individual standards for specific aspects, such as audio transmission, but nothing that pulled together all of the elements that needed to be transmitted.

With the standards in place, broadcasters can be confident in knowing that the equipment they choose to invest in will be able to interact with one another using a universal method of ‘language’, so to speak. This makes the transition from a legacy infrastructure to an IP-based one much smoother for any business, with a level of reassurance that couldn’t be guaranteed beforehand.

In turn, this is great news for high-performance, IP-based KVM solutions, which more businesses will be able to take advantage of and integrate seamlessly into their IP infrastructures. Whether it’s for a broadcast studio, a control room environment, a large installation or something entirely different, the ability to adopt high performance KVM solutions on a plug-and-play basis will deliver flexibility, scalability and improved ergonomics to those that need it most, as well as the important benefit of increased return on investment.

As a long-time advocate of IP technology and a proud member of AIMS, we are thrilled to see the SMPTE ST 2110 standards released, and are very much looking forward to seeing how this affects perceptions of IP technology throughout the business world.