Following the acquisition of three channels-in-a-box servers for OTT programs, RTL II decided that all the routing in the new environment should be exclusively IP-based, using SMPTE 2022-6/7. All new devices also need to be free of traditional SDI-BNC connections.
In order to achieve this, RTL II chose a solution from Nevion consisting of its eMerge 10G IP switches, Virtuoso software-defined media nodes and VideoIPath network management and service orchestration software. The eMerge switches handle the routing, while the Virtuosos provide the bridge between the SDI and the IP environments. The equipment is under the control of VideoIPath, which provides the OpenFlow-based SDN control and monitoring. Users interact with VideoIPath both through its web GUI and a classic CP Touch panel.
The infrastructure is fully redundant (including the use of SMPTE 2022-7) and designed to accommodate future requirements: currently it is used for HD 1080i signals, but it is expected to handle UHD in the future.
Nevion and Logic delivered the solution in August 2017. Further extensions to the solution are planned, including an integration of Rohde & Schwarz’s Prismon content monitoring and multiviewer with VideoIPath to enable automated switchover of SMPTE 2022 signals based in the Prismon’s alarms.
Dirk Kolditz, Deputy Head of Broadcast, RTL II, explains: “As our requirements grow in the future, the use of OpenFlow should make it much easier for us to handle video in an IP environment. The solution will be steadily expanded in the coming years and will eventually replace the existing SDI infrastructure at RTL II. The current set-up is still relatively small, but has been built with full redundancy.”
Haci Cengiz of LOGIC, who architected the solution, adds: “The key to the success of a project like this one is to create a solution that will stand the test of time and evolve with the customer’s needs, but is designed to meet the business and commercial realities of the present requirements.”
Thomas Heinzer, founder and Head of Strategic Projects, Nevion, concludes: “This particular project is an excellent illustration of a pragmatic approach to progressive migration to IP, addressing new requirements with the latest technology while still maintaining traditional SDI where there is no immediate business need for upgrade or replacement. It serves as good blueprint for the industry as a whole.”