Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

100GbE To Slash the Cost of Producing Live Television

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the ever-smoother-tubes dept.

Networking 180

New submitter danversj writes "I'm a Television Outside Broadcast Engineer who wants to use more IT and Computer Science-based approaches to make my job easier. Today, live-produced TV is still largely a circuit-switched system. But technologies such as 100 Gigabit Ethernet and Audio Video Bridging hold the promise of removing kilometres of cable and thousands of connectors from a typical broadcast TV installation. 100GbE is still horrendously expensive today — but broadcast TV gear has always been horrendously expensive. 100GbE only needs to come down in price just a bit — i.e. by following the same price curve as for 10GbE or 1GbE — before it becomes the cheaper way to distribute multiple uncompressed 1080p signals around a television facility. This paper was written for and presented at the SMPTE Australia conference in 2011. It was subsequently published in Content and Technology magazine in February 2012. C&T uses issuu.com to publish online so the paper has been re-published on my company's website to make it more technically accessible (not Flash-based)."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

post you own paper day on /. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41285475)

danversj looks very similar to the Danvers Flett

Re:post you own paper day on /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41285519)

And not to mention that, in the last year or two, it's become 'Any Crappy So-Called Story From-Or-About Australia Will Do day' on Slashdot.

sour grapes (4, Funny)

cas2000 (148703) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285835)

You're just jealous because Australia is a significant source of crappy stories, and some of them are extremely low quality.

Our crappy stories per capita ratio is truly astounding.

hmmm. i should write an article about this. I'm sure I can get it published.

Re:sour grapes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41285991)

I can see your new low quality video now, , "Hi, my name is Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma Max Headru ru ru ru ru ru oom"
Are we looking at this wrong? Maybe we should be exploiting the undocumented video effects and transitions due to apathy and shitty underpowered infrastructure? I notice the hip hop movement loves scratched discs, so much it's even emulated with software, the most successful pop vocalists, love voice damage, singing in a sewer pipe or vibrato hell?

Oh yeah on your book, maybe you should upgrade your infrastructure first.

Now, John, our beloved Prime Minister
Has an Internet stance far from love,
But he's quick with a frown if the link should fall down
While he's mailing to whitehouse-dot-gov.

He says, "Obama, I believe you've been screwing us,
You're stifling our country's success;
I would think that Australia deserves a bit more
Than thirty-two Mbps."

Tastefully stolen, slightly modded (one word), from Spammer's Paradise 2000

Re:sour grapes (2)

Sasayaki (1096761) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286393)

As an Australian author (book in sig)... Ow! (truth hurts?)

It is going to be awhile (4, Interesting)

zbobet2012 (1025836) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285483)

100GbE is huge demand for core infrastructure people due to backbones being strained everywhere by the explosion of online video usage. Tier 1 providers are simply at a demand level that current foundries can't even come close to providing. Thus no one has an incentive to slash prices.

Re:It is going to be awhile (1)

Meshach (578918) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285493)

100GbE is huge demand for core infrastructure people due to backbones being strained everywhere by the explosion of online video usage. Tier 1 providers are simply at a demand level that current foundries can't even come close to providing. Thus no one has an incentive to slash prices.

That is the main notion I got from the summary: I have an idea for a cool technology but it is a long way from becoming reality. Same fate as interplanetary travel and zero-calorie beer.

Re:It is going to be awhile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41286613)

That is the main notion I got from the summary: I have an idea for a cool technology but it is a long way from becoming reality. Same fate as interplanetary travel and zero-calorie beer.

Not only that, but it's assuming 1080p as a standard for hi-def broadcast.

By the time this tech becomes a reality, they'll need to start worrying about 4k HD (or even 8k), and they'll need another jump in bandwidth to keep up.

There is another issue and it is a constant one (5, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285809)

Replacement tech rarely catches up. 1080p signal? Please, that is so last year. 4k is the new norm. No TV's for it yet? Actually, they are already on sale which means that if you are not recording your repeatable content right now in 4k, you will have a hard time selling it again in the future. That is why some smart people recorded TV shows they hoped to sell again and again on film and not video-tape. Because film has a "wasted" resolution in the days of VHS video tapes but when DVD and now Blu-ray came out, these shows can simply be re-scanned from the original footage and voila, something new to flog to the punters.

I don't know how much data a 100GbE link can truly handle but the fact is that trying to catch up to currect tech means by the time you are finished, you are obsolete. the 4k standard created by the Japanese (and gosh doesn't that say a lot about the state of the west) isn't just about putting more pixels on a screen it is about all the infrastructure needed to create such content. And you better be ready for it now because if you are not, you will be left behind by everyone else.

The future may not be now, but it sure needs to have been planned for yesterday.

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (2)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285851)

...the 4k standard created by the Japanese (and gosh doesn't that say a lot about the state of the west) ...

That the West is pretty great? Same as if United Kingdom or Canada created the standard. I mean, you're defining "The West" based on political and economic philosophy, not on some arbitrary lines on a map, right?

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285943)

Clearly, Japan is not a western country: http://www.justworldmap.com/maps/asia-pacific-centric-world-map-3.jpg [justworldmap.com]

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41286131)

Japan is "The West" because like "West Germany" it is a capitalist US client state.

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41286449)

No it isn't. Did you lot seriously not understand that the "what does that say about the west" was a disparaging comment? The poster was implying that the japanese are so far ahead of 'the west' and that the western state of infrastructure and tech is far behind the japanese.

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41287001)

And the reply is a disagreement.

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (1)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286751)

I can't tell on the map, are longitude lines renumbered? Or did they just stay with the international standard and rotate it around?

If you turn a map upside down, that doesn't magically make the north south, and vice versa. It just means north is in a different direction then normally expected. Likewise, re-centering the map doesn't make the far east not in the east. It's just not in the east on that map.

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (5, Informative)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285905)

I work in film, we usually scan 35mm 3 perf at 8k and 2 perf at 6k. Output after offline edit is usually 4k or 2k. Punters are going to be flogged re-released videos that cost the studios nothing. 1080p is more than enough for most people, unless you are going to have to have a screen large than 100 inches from 10 feet away, most people have a 32 inch TV at 15-20 feet.

TV does not work in 1080p anyway, still stuck at 1080i. Only your high-end dramas are captured with 1080p, 2k, 4k if digital (Sony F35, F65, Arri D21, Red if you don't mind downtime) or on 35mm (I haven't worked with 35mm in drama for over 5 years now).

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286251)

There are many broadcasters the world over broadcasting 1080p over the air.

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41286465)

Who? Where? Not much use unless you tell us examples.

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286553)

Who? Where? Not much use unless you tell us examples.

No ATSC ground based broadcasters over the air in the USA. ALL the "small dish" satellites deliver 1080p "over the air" technically for pay per view, etc.

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286657)

Who? Where? Not much use unless you tell us examples.

The BBC for one.

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41287115)

This applies to live, remote broadcasts. You are correct, Dish and Direct certainly broadcast video to you in 1080p. However, what is coming from the television trucks on site is 1080i at best. Also, even if you are receiving 1080p or 1080i signal to your house it is so compressed that you aren't really viewing 1080 quality. You are only going to get that from a Blu-Ray player.

People on here are really over-simplifying how remote broadcast television works. It is a very complex beast and not nearly and easy as people are making it out to be here.

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 2 years ago | (#41287043)

To be fair, I have a 1080p projector at 10 feet from my seating position, and while there are rare occasions (mostly in video games) where I wish I had better resolutions, 1080p is still quite good enough at this distance. At 6-8' you'd definitely notice though.

Speaking of 1080i dramas, with the amount of compression artifacting I get from the limited bandwidth each show gets on satellite, I'd rather see compression improved (or higher bandwidth options) than higher resolutions for television.

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#41287645)

At 6-8' you'd definitely notice though.

I don't think it's ever going to matter at 6-8'. 6-8cm, is probably more likely.

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 2 years ago | (#41287977)

If the projected screen size is greater than 45", it should be noticeable at 6-8'. If it is greater than 75", it should be obvious. You're right for 4k screens at "normal" sizes, though.

http://s3.carltonbale.com/resolution_chart.html [carltonbale.com]

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (4, Informative)

psmears (629712) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285911)

I don't know how much data a 100GbE link can truly handle

It's actually very close to 100 gigabits per second. (The encoding overhead is already accounted for in the 100Gb figure, and the protocol overhead is very low: if you're using jumbo packets - and you'd probably want to - then it's easily less than 1%).

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (2)

kasperd (592156) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286005)

4k is the new norm.

I tried to do the math. I don't have all the numbers, but I can still do a reasonable approximation. Assuming 8k*4k at 24bits per pixel and 100 frames per second you get 8*4*24*100Mbit/s=76.8Gbit/s. So it should be quite feasible to push a single uncompressed 4k stream over 100Gbit/s. There may very well be other issues such as what sort of hardware you need to process it, and maybe you need multiple streams over the same wire.

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (5, Informative)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286145)

More realistically, 4096 * 3072 * 60 Hz * 20 bits (That's 10-bit 4:2:2 YCbCr, like HD-SDI today) = 14 Gbit/s. You could push 6 of those streams over 100GbE.

lots of wasted bits in SDI (1)

mozumder (178398) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286605)

Raw sensor frames only need 14-16 bits per pixel, with the added bonus of increased dynamic range.

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#41287605)

You could push 6 of those streams over 100GbE.

Why do people in this industry need 6 simultaneous unbuffered streams? TFS said that cost isn't really an issue, so a 4-port link aggregation of 10Gbps ought to be widely deployed by now if three of these streams were good enough. There are switches ($$$) that can handle that kind of backplane traffic.

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (1)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | more than 2 years ago | (#41287755)

They need it to backhaul multiple sources from studio to vision mixer. They're wanting to use 100Gbe instead of whatever super-high-def SDI type solution they're currently using that is probably distance limited. If you can trunk 4/5 camera sources over one cable instead of multiple cables, you've got a simpler infrastructure.

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (3, Interesting)

swillden (191260) | more than 2 years ago | (#41288099)

Why do people in this industry need 6 simultaneous unbuffered streams?

A typical broadcast studio has dozens, if not hundreds of simultaneous streams. Several editing suites running at once, a few people reviewing incoming feeds and selecting content from a variety of other sources, a couple of studios with 3-4 cameras each, plus actual output streams for each of the channels being produced, with large master control panels mixing the inputs to make them.

I spent a couple of years working for Philips Broadcast Television Systems (BTS), which makes equipment to run these systems. I worked on the router control systems, a bunch of embedded 68K (this was almost 20 years ago) that control big video and and audio switchers, many with hundreds of inputs and outputs (technical terms: "gazintas" and "gazaoutas"). It's unbelievable how many video and audio streams even a small studio manages, and the wiring to support it all is massive, as in foot-thick bundles routed all over under the raised floor. It makes your typical data center cable management problem look like child's play.

Besides just cabling costs, I could see packet-switched video enormously simplifying the engineering effort required to build and maintain these facilities. And it would also eliminate the need for lots of very expensive hardware like the switches BTS sold. Even with 100GbE, I'll bet large studios will still end up with cable bundles and link aggregation, but it would be vastly better than what can be done now.

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (1)

kasperd (592156) | more than 2 years ago | (#41287857)

More realistically, 4096 * 3072

They switched to measure the width of the image instead of the height? Did they think 3k didn't sound impressive enough and then named it 4k instead?

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286019)

Having the spec is a long way from convincing fabs to manufacture it. Where is Samsung in their capital equipment depreciation cycle on their current fabs? Where are they in their current build plan? What about the other 3 panel manufacturers? Considering how FED/SED has vanished into a black hole, I think we can safely assume they're years away from running out those investments and ongoing investments.

Consider for a moment that a bigscreen OLED TV is $10,000, if you can buy one at all. They're going to milk that for the next 5-7 years, no problem. 4k, by whatever implementation, is gonna have to wait in line.

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286535)

Vizio came out of nowhere and drove the prices down on LCD TVs by offering televisions with a low-processing mode, contrary to what it was believed the market desired, pleasing gamer nerds who help drive purchasing decisions for friends and relatives, and anyone not too discriminating about what the final image looks like without much cash in their pocket. If any new players get into manufacturing OLEDs you'll see their price change rapidly, too.

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41286591)

>I don't know how much data a 100GbE link can truly handle

We got 98Gbps transfer rates on a 400km p2p network with two Alcatel-Lucent adapters. Plus, the 100GbE only uses one carrier wave and thus can be multiplexed in the future.

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (2)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286809)

That is why some smart people recorded TV shows they hoped to sell again and again on film and not video-tape. Because film has a "wasted" resolution in the days of VHS video tapes but when DVD and now Blu-ray came out, these shows can simply be re-scanned from the original footage and voila, something new to flog to the punters.

Maybe some people did, but most of them didn't. Ironically, American TV dramas from the late-80s onwards moved from being entirely shot and edited on film, to being shot on film but edited (and postproduced) on video. Standard-def crappy NTSC video, that is.

This probably didn't matter at the time, because as their primary audience was only going to be viewing the programme via an NTSC video transmission anyway. 20-25 years on, shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation look like fuzzy crap because they were done this way, and they're having to tediously re-edit and remaster the whole lot from the source footage (where they still have it) to get a "hi-def" version. Many of the effects will have to be redone because they were only ever done on SD video.

Same applies to a lot of other shows made up until the early-2000s. They definitely *weren't* planning for a hi-def Blu-Ray future. The reason those shows were even shot on film in the first place (rather than native video) is- I assume- because film-sourced footage still looks different (and more "respectable") compared to footage entirely shot on traditional interlaced video- even once converted to crappy NTSC resolution.

Re:There is another issue and it is a constant one (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#41287555)

something new to flog to the punters

I'm honestly curious where this phrase is used. It means as much as "something new to fish to the ketchup" to me - a verb and a noun, obviously, but I can't figure out the meaning of the words in context.

Re:It is going to be awhile (3, Insightful)

kasperd (592156) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286013)

Thus no one has an incentive to slash prices.

But then they have incentives to ramp up production.

train shaped birthday cake in my anus (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41285517)

and it feels good.

blow out your candles

did you make a wish

no, i came.

Why? (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285543)

Im sorry but i fail to see any reason to throw around uncompressed footage. Considering the abysmal quality of HD content once it reaches the viewer it seems overkill. Until we get a lot better signals out to the homes its just wanking because a normal HD picture is compressed around 96 times. That the footage at the broadcast is uncompressed does not help one tiny bit.

Re:Why? (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285555)

I don't think this is for broadcasting to home users. This newfangled 802.1Qav protocol requires compatible hardware at every hop, and for the broadcaster to know the MAC addresses of the recipients ahead of time.

Re:Why? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286561)

Unless you're broadcasting, doesn't ethernet always require you to know the MAC addresses of the recipients ahead of time?

Re:Why? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#41287725)

and for the broadcaster to know the MAC addresses of the recipients ahead of time

Oh, jesus, are they trying to work some impossible DRM dream into an IEEE protocol?

Re:Why? (4, Informative)

ustolemyname (1301665) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285563)

A summary of reasons (From the fine article):
  • Dominant reason is latency. Throwing around compressed video forces latency of at least 1 frame, in an industry where latency is measured in fractions of a scan line (single horizontal line in a frame)
  • Would need encode/decode hardware at every endpoint, this would add a lot of cost.
  • Compressing, uncompressing, recompressing video increases artifacts, can smooth/blur out the footage.

As well, not everybody viewing HD footage has a shitty provider, and giving providers the excuse "it comes that way" won't help anybody.

Re:Why? (0)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285719)

The latency problem i can understand, but that will be a problem regardless of compression or not.
Encoding and decoding will not add that much cost compared to the network.
Compressing/uncompressing only destroys the pic if its lossy. There are numerous lossless codecs that should do the trick and save tons of money in the process.

Unless you have a straight feed to your provider, your HD footage is pretty lousy compared to whats at the station. Just as we looked and awed at Zelda when it came out and had such impressive graphics, we dont see the difference until we have something to compare to.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285771)

The latency problem i can understand, but that will be a problem regardless of compression or not.
Encoding and decoding will not add that much cost compared to the network.
Compressing/uncompressing only destroys the pic if its lossy. There are numerous lossless codecs that should do the trick and save tons of money in the process.

I know it isn't cool to read the headline anymore, but this is about production not watching. Yes, a frame of latency makes a big difference when you are *inside* the studio, and need to keep things sync'd to within less than a frame so that you can do live switching without flickers or delays. If you try to do live switching to take between two cameras, and you have a few frames of latency in the encoder of the sources, and the decoder in the switcher and the buffer in the switcher the sync the frames, etc., you can make the process of doing live Television appreciably worse than it is today, which isn't something anybody would spend money on. You can only sell new gear to people if the new system isn't worse than the old.

Re:Why? (2)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285903)

You can only sell new gear to people if the new system isn't worse than the old.

Unless this new gear makes operating costs much lower. Some time ago I visited the production company that handles almost all of Dutch TV programming; these guys made the switch to an all-digital post-production system. According to them, the new (and hugely expensive) system didn't really offer any new or improved functionality, but the reduction in operational costs and time required to do post production was astounding.

Out of curiosity, what is the big deal would be with such a small latency? I can understand that in an analog system you need to keep everything synced up nicely to allow seamless switching, but in a digital system, it should be easy enough to switch between unsynced video streams. Or is the latency an issue with keeping video and audio synced up? (I can imagine that video an audio are separate streams for quite a while in the process).

Re:Why? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286581)

You can only sell new gear to people if the new system isn't worse than the old.

the new (and hugely expensive) system didn't really offer any new or improved functionality,

which does not at all address the statement that the new system must not be worse than the old.

Out of curiosity, what is the big deal would be with such a small latency?

Because it doesn't take many frames before the human eye can perceive the difference, and if you're trying to be slick you don't want any perceptible glitches. Because if you have a little latency here and a little latency there you eventually wind up with a bunch of latency.

Re:Why? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#41287411)

Yes, a frame of latency makes a big difference when you are *inside* the studio, and need to keep things sync'd to within less than a frame so that you can do live switching without flickers or delays.

With causal differencng and a fixed Huffman, Golomb or exp-Golomb compressor, you can basically compress a pixel as soon as it arrives, at the bitrate of the source. Of course you'll almost certainly have to wait for the next pixel until the symbol for the previous one gets pushed out, but given that this is about going over ethernet, you have to wait to fill up a packet anyway.

As long as you're not trying to compress noise, you can usually get around a faxtor of 1.6 to 2 compression.

That's the problem, however. If you rely on that for headroom, and are watching a bunch of high frequency sources, then you might find that you've over saturated your links and have to start dropping packets which will be much worse.

It could be used with care if costs are really tight, but it's almost certainly not worth it, because of the unpredicable nature of it.

Re:Why? (4, Informative)

psmears (629712) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285973)

The latency problem i can understand, but that will be a problem regardless of compression or not.

The trouble is that the more effective codecs tend to require an entire frame before they can do any compression (so that they can compress more effectively by taking the whole frame into consideration). So if you have a series of pieces of equipment processing the video (camera, distribution, control desk(s), effects etc), then each one has to wait until it's received the last lines of a frame before it can even start sending out the first lines of that frame - so each element in the chain adds a whole frame's worth of latency. Whereas if you do it uncompressed, most equipment can start sending out the first line of a frame before it's even received the second line.

Encoding and decoding will not add that much cost compared to the network.

That's dependent on a lot of factors. 100Gbps Ethernet has the potential to reach much bigger economies of scale than broadcast-quality codec hardware (though it has a long way to go before reaching that far as yet).

Compressing/uncompressing only destroys the pic if its lossy. There are numerous lossless codecs that should do the trick and save tons of money in the process.

The trouble with lossless codecs is that they can never guarantee to make a frame smaller - mathematically there must be some frames that are uncompressible. Over the course of a long video, the codec will win on average, but when working with live streams, if you get just one frame that doesn't compress nicely (or worse, a few in succession) then your network has to be able to handle that bandwidth - so you might as well not use the compression in the first place.

Re:Why? (1)

smpoole7 (1467717) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286303)

> if you get just one frame that doesn't compress nicely ... your network has to be able to handle that bandwidth

Or, your system has to *insert* latency in the form of elastic buffers to give the stream time to "catch up." Either way, your point is valid. :)

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41287003)

Dirac Pro was made for exactly this. Latency of only 8 scanlines.

Re:Why? (2)

psmears (629712) | more than 2 years ago | (#41287185)

Dirac Pro was made for exactly this. Latency of only 8 scanlines.

That's true, but to do that it has to sacrifice a lot on compression ratio (and to guarantee the latency you have to give up losslessness). That's great for squeezing, say, a 1080p signal into a channel designed for 1080i, but when it comes to having multiple 1080p streams from the different cameras in a studio you'll likely need the higher bandwidth Ethernet can provide anyway. And of course the potential market for fast Ethernet hardware is much bigger than for a codec that is only used within a particular industry - so the economies of scale are potentially much better there.

Re:Why? (4, Informative)

tysonedwards (969693) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285589)

The intent here is to replace so much of the specialized cabling for lighting controls, audio, video, camera control systems, etc. with a single, multi-purpose system that can handle uncompressed data, thereby supporting existing models of data acquisition. Each level of re-compression and transcoding results in a loss of quality.

Re:Why? (5, Informative)

smpoole7 (1467717) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286331)

> The intent here is to replace so much of the specialized cabling

Yup. I'm glad I work in radio, where we've been ferrying oversampled, high-quality audio over IP for some years now.

The digital switching and input assignments are a dream as well. Not that many years ago, if someone came into Engineering and said, "sorry, forgot! We have a paid ballgame going on at 4PM!" ... my assistants and I would literally grab a punch tool and some Belden wire and start frantically running cables. Many was the time we'd put something on air by literally throwing a pair across the floor with gaffer's tape. "Watch Yer Step!" :)

Nowadays, any source in our facility can be assigned to any input on any mixer in any control room. Run once, use many times. Ah, it's a beautiful thing. I can move an entire radio station from one control to another literally in a matter of minutes. It takes longer for the staff to physically grab their coffee cups and lucky charms than it does for my staff to move the signals.

My poor brethren in TV just have entirely too much data. If we'd all go back to RADIO drama, see, this wouldn't be a problem, now woodit? :D

Re:Why? (3, Informative)

realkiwi (23584) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285597)

Because before compressing the video you have to move it from the camera to the editing system. The less often you compress the better the quality of the final compressed product. Once the live broadcast has been edited it will be compressed just once before delivery to the end viewer.

Re:Why? (5, Informative)

snicho99 (984884) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285605)

Well that's a failure of imagination. I'll admit technically speaking it often is *somewhat* compressed, - eg. 422 Subsampled chroma at least. But there is a massive difference between a delivery codec and a signal you're still working with. To start with H264 and their ilk are computationally expensive to do anything with. A single frame of 1080p is a pretty big dataset, and it's painful enough doing basic matrix transforms, but adding a bunch of higher level computations on top of that?... For example just cutting between two feeds of an inter frame compressed codec requires that the processor decompress the GOP and recreate the missing frames. Several of orders of magnitude more complicated than stopping one feed and starting another. And generally speaking the uncompressed feed you have in broadcast situation you're doing *something* oo. Switching, mixing, adding graphics, etc. But the biggest question is one of generation loss. Even one round trip through one of those codecs results in a massive drop in quality (as you rightly point out). You don't want to be compressing footage out of the cameras any more than you can, because you KNOW that you're going to be rescaling, retiming, wiping, fading, keying etc etc etc...

rectal races (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41285553)

ever lick a stranger's anus?

Re:rectal races (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41285967)

ever stick your tongue in a full wave rectum fire and sniff the magic white smoke?
Ever dumpster dive for high voltage electronics, then experiment with electric shocks on your body, gradually increasing the current?

Try it, you'll like it.
Satisfaction Guaranteed

Is the Network really the bottleneck? (1)

caferace (442) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285567)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the bottleneck in broadcasting isn't necessarily network speeds, but dealing with the disparity in ingest formats. Loads of non-interoperable formats come in, and broadcast teams have to transcode them into something that works, and quick, especially in live mediums. 10Gbe is fine for that. It's the hardware that does the transcoding that is holding things up. Finally, there are some companies that are using GPGPU boxes to speed it up..

Re:Is the Network really the bottleneck? (4, Interesting)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286061)

this is about live TV. Live TV is a different. The infrastructure relies on point-to-point circuit switching. One video signal is sent down one coax cable. 8 cameras is 8 coax cables, now have 1km of cable that's 8km just for the live camera feeds to the OB truck. 100GbE means one cable. 8km of coax or fibreoptic isn't cheap, and usually requires a truck and a team of sparks to transport all these cables.

Back to caferace's conversation. It is a bottleneck indeed for content that is not live. Digitising rushes to intermediate codecs takes time, tape is usually played back at normal speed or double speed, output via HD-SDI from the deck and the workstation that transcodes on the fly in realtime. Tapeless workflows speeds the process up as you can import faster that 1-2x but still takes time to transcode. However, having this slow down is not a problem, the rushes have to be logged, while they are converting this logging process can be done manually.

Cinematic filming have the workflow sorted to some extent. High end cameras shoot direct to an intermediate codec, a DIT works on set and logs as the footage is shot, and sound and continuity departments can log electronically to the same system now too. The problem at the moment is it is not one system but many have to come down to one. I work in the sound department in film as an assistant. One of my responsibilities is keeping time-code correct on set, I have to go round each department times a day* and "jam" each system, recorder, slate, camera etc so they are correctly in time so when all the data is put together by the DIT. One day they will get unified

Logging while shooting cannot be done for news or reality TV as everything happens too quick.

* Three times a day because Sony can't make a $100,000 camera that doesn't have an internal clock that doesn't drift by +/- 2-3 frames a day.

Re:Is the Network really the bottleneck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41286443)

"Live TV" is only "live" in the sense that it purports to broadcast an event as it is happening. In fact, there are timing differences today between a "live" event I am receiving on an the ATSC OTA signal, HD signal over cable, and SD signal over cable. It really doesn't make a difference for the viewer if a "live" entertainment event is delayed for a second or ten to get the signals from all the sources tied together. It should be trivial to coordinate any digital signals long as the various signal sources are synced to the same timing source.

Re:Is the Network really the bottleneck? (2)

isorox (205688) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286961)

this is about live TV. Live TV is a different. The infrastructure relies on point-to-point circuit switching. One video signal is sent down one coax cable. 8 cameras is 8 coax cables, now have 1km of cable that's 8km just for the live camera feeds to the OB truck.

You run co-ax over a mile?

8 cameras is 8 cores of a single fibre cable.

One of my responsibilities is keeping time-code correct on set, I have to go round each department times a day* and "jam" each system, recorder, slate, camera etc so they are correctly in time so when all the data is put together by the DIT.

I guess you don't distribute B&B + VITC then?

Logging while shooting cannot be done for news or reality TV as everything happens too quick.

It certainly can, we do it all the time on important feeds using our own system wrapped around a Quantel sQ system. EVS are particularly good at the interface for logging things like sports matches too. It's essential to log feeds that come in in realtime, otherwise you may as well throw them away.

Now getting editors to log rushes in overseas offices, where there's no librarian, and always a pressing need to move onto the next story, there's the challenge.

What's the point in this submission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41285673)

Seriously, initially it reads like an Ask Slashdot, but it isn't because later on it doesn't ask about it but advertises a paper about it. If there's a story in there, it is well hidden in the writing.

well written, detailed and interesting (4, Interesting)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285687)

You don't see that all the time on slashdot.

Great article.

I think many are getting confused here and think that this article is about reducing the cost of producing live TV on a shoestring. The figures in this article are very high, but for professional video production, existing figures are also very high.

If you take into account that this could allow production trucks to shrink in size a bit (RG6 takes up a lot of space), the price of this new way could be even lower.

Re:well written, detailed and interesting (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285799)

RG6 isn't a factor, since HD-SDI can run over fibre as well. The real savings comes from running many signals over a single ethernet cable (which at 100 GbE speeds would undoubtedly be fibre). That said, this study seems to ignore all cabling costs. It looks like their conclusions can be summed up as "An equivalent ethernet-based system has the same port costs as HD-SDI systems today, and the ethernet price will come down in the future, producing cost savings."

Re:well written, detailed and interesting (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285881)

Please excuse my extreme ignorance in the matter, but wouldn't it be an order of magnitude cheaper just to use MTP fiber at 10Gb and split signals rather than push everything on to a single 100Gb link?

A first step in afordable digital broadcasting (2)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285693)

Newtek's Toaster was one of the first steps into cheap digital broadcasting. In was an all in one digital switching and titling system. There are afordable 1080P display cards finally. I ran into that problem years back when I had to edit a 1080P film. The display cards we had were high end but they still couldn't handle that much information. There are three critical elements to actually handle 2K content. Your hard drive array has to be fast enough, your busses and cabling have to be able to handle that much information then your display cards have to be powerful enough. Obviously your need fast enough processors and enough ram as well. Anyone of the elements that's not fast enough and you have a bottle neck. They might want to look into firewire networking. It's been around a long time but hasn't been widely adopted. The speed should be adequate for what he's quoting. It blows away Ethernet.

Re:A first step in afordable digital broadcasting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41285761)

They might want to look into firewire networking. It's been around a long time but hasn't been widely adopted. The speed should be adequate for what he's quoting. It blows away Ethernet.

I'd like to see more figures. From my research 9pin firewire will net you 800Mbps, while I use gigabit. As to do 1394 networking you are running ip packets (not quite ethernet) over firewire, I doubt the protocol would add any speed difference unless you are comparing to wireless, or have a lot of network traffic.

Re:A first step in afordable digital broadcasting (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285765)

The latest Firewire spec tops out at 3.2Gb. A single 1080p30fps video feed is 1.5Gb. Not going to be very good for routing multiple streams

Re:A first step in afordable digital broadcasting (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286545)

Newtek's Toaster was one of the first steps into cheap digital broadcasting. In was an all in one digital switching and titling system.

Yes, and it used analog sources and had an analog output, it's not until the flyer that you take steps into digital broadcasting, the toaster gave digital editing. (And, of course, there's LightWave 3D.)

They might want to look into firewire networking. It's been around a long time but hasn't been widely adopted. The speed should be adequate for what he's quoting. It blows away Ethernet.

Firewire, 800Mbps. Ethernet, 1000Mbps, costs $10 per node or so and you can now get an 8 port switch for forty bucks or something fancier with management and supporting many ports for only hundreds. And again, that's just cheap Ethernet, 10GbE is in relatively broad use now and as stated, 100GbE is around the corner.

Re:A first step in afordable digital broadcasting (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286919)

It blows away Ethernet.

Do you have a source for that claim? because it seems to me you are remembering articles from the early 2000s that are no longer relavent

Afaict both firewire and modern (full duplex switched) ethernet are low overhead. So it's reasonable to compare them on the basis of their headline data rates

In the early 2000s firewire 400 was starting to appear on desktops and laptops (macs first IIRC but other vendors soon followed because of the digital video craze which at the time was firewire based) while gigabit ethernet wasn't. At this time if you wanted faster networking than 10/100 ethernet then firewire may well have been a good choice. However in the mid 2000s gigabit ethernet started to become readily available. Firewire 800 showed up soon afterwards roughly equalising things but did not see wide adoption outside of macs.

Fast forward to today, gigabit ethernet is standard on pretty much every computer sold. 10 gigabit ethernet is common in core networks of moderate sized providers though it's still too expensive for desktops or regular servers. 100 gigabit is in production with the big carriers but is still a very new thing. Meanwhile firewire seems to have stagnated (1600 and 3200 speeds exist in theory but do not seem to be available in practice) and apple (historicially it's main supporter) seems to be moving away from firewire towards thunderbolt (though they do offer an adaptor for those who want to keep their firewire gear).

wet and ready SheMALE (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41285703)

i wish my showerhead would just spray me with urine and feces, urine and feces and my toilet would overflow quickly and blast my urine and feces into my rectum and i would dance around the toilet and showerhead singing about the coffee enema i plan to have later but first i must shave my penis with a straight razor.

It will become affordable... (1, Insightful)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285769)

It will become affordable right around the time 1080p is obsolete and replaced by 10Kp (or whatever is next), requiring 1TbE networking to handle the bandwidth...

Re:It will become affordable... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41285869)

SDTV has another good 20 years left in it.

1080i and 1080pSF will continue to be a preferred interchange format until a serious stepchange warrants it, e.g. tele-holography.

CK.

Re:It will become affordable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41286267)

From the paper

While video bandwidth requirements are increasing, Ethernet capacity is increasing at a much faster rate.

Please RTFA next time.

Re:It will become affordable... (1)

Zuriel (1760072) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286351)

There's more to life than pixels. Specifically, bitrate and codec. Or are broadcasters in my area the only ones who broadcast HD material that looks terrible with blockiness all over the screen whenever the camera moves?

There's a lot of room for improvement before we reach the limits of 1080p.

Re:It will become affordable... (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286405)

How many stupid sub channels are they broadcasting in addition to their primary HD feed? All OTA broadcast stations get 6Mhz of spectrum here in the US, its just a matter of what they do with it.

GMAT (-1, Troll)

multisoftlearning (2707759) | more than 2 years ago | (#41285919)

Multisoft Learning is the oldest institute in India and perhaps the best of its kind, which offers comprehensive classroom preparation programs for tests such as GMAT, GRE. SAT, TOEFL and IELTS. At Multisoft Learning, the most trusted name in India for education abroad, we help you give shape to your career and dreams. Founded in 2002, Multisoft Learning attempted to fill the information gap on education abroad. Back then, the only information available on education abroad was through friends and family living or studying abroad. Thus, only a small percentage of interested students had access to information. Multisoft Learning attempted to fill this information gap. Now when we in 'Team Multisoft Learning' reflect on the past few years, we see thousands of our students on the thresholds of careers that would not have been possible without the right guidance at the right time. Multisoft Learning known for its thorough research and professionalism, is a one-stop shop for education abroad. Divided into three heads namely, Training, Admissions, and Visa, the institute makes the entire process of studying abroad - from preparing to actually joining a foreign university, a smooth process. In recent years, the inclusion of several value-added services such as discounted couriers, educational loans, pre-departure orientation, etc. has made Multisoft Learning Education Pvt. Ltd. a one-stop solution centre for all your study abroad requirements. Address-: B-125, SECTOR-2 NOIDA, NEAR SECTOR-15 METRO STATION PHONE-: 0120-2540300/400 MOBILE-: 09810306956 EMAIL-:info@multisoftlearning.com WEBSITE-: http://www.multisoftlearning.com/ [multisoftlearning.com]

double the bandwidth or half the price (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41285923)

If one wanted to double the bandwidth or half the price, reject the HD crap from 1080p and trim it down to 720 x 480 SD, no you can play two smaller videos, or reduce the cost by half.

Before I get an ear-full, I know I know I know 1080 / 2 doesn't equal 720 , that there's a 180 point mathematical difference alone, ignoring the "progressive crap", it's CLOSE enough though, where two sd's can replace one bloated hd video. If one video is black and white, they fit right in the hole. The whole problem here is content now being produced since the switch from analog to digital. Producers crank out 1080p video now. Even the after effects tutorials reflect this change, as some of their templates don't even come in SD anymore. Even with common 1.5/384 dsl connection, these movies are unwatchable, you have to download it to get an un-glitched stream. Take something high end like Sports and the high end copyrighted fucking HD crap they do, the storage space alone would make you want to break out into a cold sweat. So you have all this heavy high end copyrighted content, and 24 hours in a day, as daily people in droves are unplugging that fucking television, and getting news from alt sources online. Frankly I don't give a shit about their commercial broadcast expenses, they don't report real news anymore anyway, so the sooner they go bankrupt raiding public CAFR's, and losing commercial ad space, I simply don't give a shit, let the fucking CISPA, SOPA, TPP, and whatever the fuck else they dream up in secret, keep hidden from the public, and then fuck over with, burn to the ground. Let them burn. They are parasite whores begging engineers, tech's and nerds to bail out their fascist crap with free technology. Music was originally free back when there were no electronics, they survived just fine. Well now their engineers work for the president at the FCC, for them, they report the propaganda, the fcc washes their ass. It's inbred sex with your sister at it's best! It's no wonder it took em this long to build up their infrastructure to move media and specifically live media around. At the FCC they're keeping busy their engineers to turn fascist profits on spectrum, they've completely lost their original mission statement. Now its about getting a cheap mobile phone to track people with. There's no logic until you see where the money comes from. Oh that's right, that shit is dreamed up, secret, with no public oversight too. No wonder everything is fucked up.

But you go ahead and pretend things are great. It's not so much I think this is bad technology as it's another tool to fuck the people over with. In the good old days you had to dump a tape and edit your video. Most of the cocksuckers now couldn't even run their own show, let alone a website on top of it. Pour in the fact that the content people don't even know what the copyright laws actually are. It's the same pattern, senator's don't know what the Constitution is either. Secretary's of State don't know what the vote count is. Banksters don't know what their balance is (ah but the FBI sure tracks every penny you have sheep try moving 5 grand.) The FDA doesn't know that GMO's are bad. The CIA doesn't know there's no WMD's. It's their pattern!

Even your local city council (ICLEI Members) ask them about ICLEI and they clam up, they pretend they don't even know what it is, THEY'RE MEMBERS FOR FUCK SAKES! It's their pattern!

I notice a bunch of 911 people getting pissed off about people calling the Pentagon's "white streak" a missile. Well, fuck you, they have a zillion fucking taxpayer paid cameras and the ONLY FUCKING ONE the public can see is a white streak. What the fuck do you expect the dialog to be on that shit? It really doesn't matter though does it. The problem is the after effect, the complete oath breaking, and gutting of the Constitution and monetary system. Who did it. Still not answered, still not held accountable, all the wars and other bullshit just a side show..

1080p for TV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41285925)

I bought a Blu-ray player last year. After buying a few movies in the blu-ray format, I just wasn't impressed with the difference in quality to upgrade my DVD collection (granted that nearly all of them are old films and would require expensive restoration processes). I use internet TV catchup services from time to time which is in youtube quality format and see no difference in quality when watching on my 32 inch LCD TV. For me, DVD quality on both mediums suits me. When you look at most TV content, is there a need for HD quality video? Would reality shows benefit from HD? Even if you look at average big-budget drama, there isn't that much scope for long location shots where it would simply look better on HD. I would say that the only TV content that would benefit from HD is sport and nature programmes.

Use 10Ge and channel bonding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41285979)

For end devices 10Ge already has the bandwidth, and is available now. There is 40Ge if you really need some extra speed.

10Ge runs over CAT6 something 100Ge may never do. But I don't know why CAT cables are desireable when low latency is the aim.

For switch to switch links channel bonding will give you as much bandwidth as you need.

Waiting for 100Ge for lan traffic seems to be a waste of time and opportunity.

And why is broadcasting circuit switched? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41285999)

Because it needs quality of service. Something ethernet has historically shunned.

100GbE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41286107)

That's 1x10^11 copyright lawyers per second for those who don't know phy.

Professional Broadcasting (4, Informative)

JumboMessiah (316083) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286123)

Insightful write up. Getting rare here on ./

For those not RTFA, they are referring to using Ethernet in professional live broadcast situations. Aka, newsroom or outdoor sporting broadcasts where cable [stagbroadcast.co.uk] bundles are still common. I believe they are imagining a world where a broadcast truck rolls up to a stadium and runs a few pair of 100Gbe fiber vs a large coax bundle. This could save considerable time and money. Some interesting bw numbers:

SD 270 Mbit/s
Interlaced HD 1485 Mbit/s
Progressive HD 2970 Mbit/s

Re:Professional Broadcasting (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286599)

I believe they are imagining a world where a broadcast truck rolls up to a stadium and runs a few pair of 100Gbe fiber vs a large coax bundle.

I don't see how that's cheaper - because the cost of labor is the same, regardless of what's under the cable jacket. The OP is also missing the difference between the one-time cost of the hardware, and the ongoing costs of... well, pretty much everything else.

Re:Professional Broadcasting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41287031)

Sorta... Ethernet tends to get cheaper. As there are many uses for it. Point to point video feed has 1 maybe 2 uses.

What do I mean? Simple as others start using it you can buy off the shelf hardware. I can buy the same switches as the guy running a datacenter is running. Instead of going to a specialty boutique hardware manufacture. Make it a software problem and you can do a lot more...

The labor involved is probably a wash. Or could even trend downward as instead of having to hire a guy who knows how to run p2p audio/vid cable you can get a IT sort of guy who can do more ...

Re:Professional Broadcasting (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 2 years ago | (#41287131)

And just as they get their 100GbE put in, they'll be trying to upgrade equipment to handle 4k resolutions instead ...

Price is a little inaccurate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41286235)

The $55k item linked in the description is the price of one CFP module .. and you need 2 - one for each end. Then you need the line card to plug the CFP modules into, those will run you about $250k. Then you need the chassis/supervisor modules to plug the line card into (plus the power supplies/etc).

100Gb is VERY expensive :) Reassuringly expensive.

10 GigE should be enough for most situations... (4, Insightful)

quetwo (1203948) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286341)

In the last studio upgrade we did, we retrofitted everything with Ethernet -- 10G switches. Cameras are all ASI -> GigE (MPEG-2 Multicast), switchers, and final outs.

Uncompressed, at full rate, an ASI feed uses 380 MB/s. An uncompressed 1080p melted feed is 38 MB/s.

You need to do careful network planning, but remember these are switches -- you shouldn't see traffic you didn't request. Right now we usually have about 8 cameras, plus the mixer, plus the groomer, plus the ad-insert. It then goes right out via the internet (Internet2 -- FSN is also a partner so we can send right to them), and a satellite truck as a backup. Our plan next year is not to have the satellite tuck on site anymore.

This is for a live-sports studio that feeds about 300 cable / satellite providers, reaching about 73M homes.

The problem with Ethernet is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41286363)

You can't guarantee things come out in the same order you put them in, or with nice predictable latency between point A and B. Not much of a problem for shifting shed loads of data between servers but it sure is when your piping live uncompressed video to your head-end.

Re:The problem with Ethernet is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41286649)

Please RTFA, they have a whole section dedicated to the latency issue.

From the article

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), publishers of the Ethernet standard (IEEE 802.3) has created the Audio Video Bridging (AVB) Task Group to work on standards to "provide the specifications that will allow time-synchronized low latency streaming services through IEEE 802 networks".[15][16][17]

Miscitation? (1)

phizi0n (1237812) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286415)

For reference, a typical video production switcher, the Grass Valley Kalypso HD, has an autotiming window of +/- 6 microseconds in 1080i/60 mode[14]. This means that source video signals received by the switcher must be synchronised to within 12 microseconds of each other. That is, the start of each frame of video from each video source must be received within 12 microseconds of a frame from any other video source in the switcher.

In citation 14 I don't see any mention of 1080i/60 autotiming. In table 10 and table 33 it lists several delays and the 1080i/29.97/30 autotiming is +/- 6.16 s but 1080i/60 should be even lower if it were supported.

Ethernet or TCP/IP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41286417)

Quoth the article: "Ethernet’s 'natural' or designed tendency in its basic form is to slow down all traffic flows to enable fair bandwidth sharing if the medium becomes saturated with traffic. It also has guaranteed delivery mechanisms whereby lost packets are retransmitted."

uhhh

IT and Broadcast TV Is not CS it's more trade (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286875)

IT and Broadcast TV Is not CS it's more trade like and needs lot's hands on skills with the equipment.

I predict a drop in reliability. (4, Informative)

Above (100351) | more than 2 years ago | (#41286901)

Network Architect here, who's worked on many varied systems. I predict what the consumer will see is a drop in reliability.

Real time communication is just that, real time. Gear of old (5ESS switches, TDM networks, Coax analog video switchers) were actually built around this notation from the ground up, and many design decisions were made to keep things operating at all costs. Of course, this added cost and complexity.

Packet based networks were built on the assumption that losing data was a-ok. Packet drops are how problems are signaled. Protocols are just barely in some cases starting to figure out how to properly deal with this for real time situations, and largely the approach is to still throw bandwidth at the problem.

So yes, running one 100Gbe cable will be cheaper in the future, but it's going to introduce a host of new failure modes that, no offense, you probably don't understand. Heck, most "Network Architects" sadly don't understand, not knowing enough about the outgoing or incoming technology. However I've seen the studies, and it's not pretty. VoIP is not as reliable as circuit switched voice, but it's pretty darn close as it's got more mature codecs and low bandwidth. iSCSI is laughably unreliable compared to even fiber channel connections, much less some kind of direct connection methodology. The failure mode is also horrible, a minor network blip can corrupt file systems and lock up systems so they need a reboot. Of course, it's also a straight up redundancy thing; when you're covering the Super Bowl having every camera feed leave the building on a single cable sounds like a great cost and time reducer, until it fails, or someone cuts it, or whatever, and you lose 100% of the feeds, not just one or two.

With the old tech the engineering happened in a lab, with qualified people studying the solution in detail, and with reliability as a prime concern for most real time applications. With the new tech, folks are taking an IP switch and IP protocol, both of which were designed to lose data as a signally mechanism and who's #1, #2, and #3 design goals were cheap, cheap, and cheap and then multiplexing on many streams to further reduce costs. The engineering, if any, is in the hands of the person assembling the end system which is often some moderately qualified vendor engineer who's going to walk away from it at the end. It's no wonder when they fail it's in spectacular fashion.

I'm not saying you can't move live TV over 100Gbe (and why not over 10Gbe, even 10x10Gbe is cheaper than 100Gbe right now), but if I owned a TV station and my revenue depended on it, I don't think that's the direction I would be going...

Re:I predict a drop in reliability. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41287537)

I don't think they'd ever have something as large as the super bowl on a single line, anyway as always it's understanding the technology and designing for failures. There is a lot of live TV that doesn't have 30 million people watching it at once that would benefit from reduced cabling and costs. The engineers that you're talking about are expensive and there simply isn't enough of them for the amount of information produced daily. Use your high paid team where it matters and save costs elsewhere. I'm not disagreeing with what your saying, it's just that cheap wins in the end.

carli (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41287479)

thanks for details. http://www.harbioyuncu.com

Numbers seem VERY wrong (4, Interesting)

Controlio (78666) | more than 2 years ago | (#41287595)

HDSDI uncompressed video is 1.5Gb/s. That is the standard for moving uncompressed video around inside a TV truck, whether 720p or 1080i. It rises to 3Gb/s if you're doing multiple phases of video (3D video, super slo-mo, etc). Within that 1.5Gb/s is still more than enough headroom to embed multiple datastreams and channels of audio (8 stereo pairs is the norm, some streams do up to 16). So I fail to see why 100Gb/s is necessary to transmit uncompressed video.

It's also a chicken-and-egg scenario. I'm a broadcast engineer and audio specialist. I had Ma Bell contact me about 7 years ago asking about how important uncompressed video transmission was, as they were trying to gauge a timeframe for a network rebuild to allow for uncompressed video transmission. My answer hasn't changed much in 7 years, because although moving uncompressed video from site to (in the case of Fox) Houston and then back to your local affiliate would be nice, it's completely unnecessary because by the time it reaches your house your local cable or satellite operator has compressed your 1.5Gb/s signal down to between 4Mb/s and 10Mb/s typically, making the quality gains negligible.

It will solve one problem, which is image degradation due to multiple passes of compression. Think about it... the 1.5Gb/s leaves our TV truck and gets ASI compressed into 270Mb/s (best case scenario, satellite transmission is significantly lower bandwidth, and most networks don't use an entire 270M circuit, they use less). It then arrives at the network hub, where it gets decompressed. If it's live it then goes through several switchers and graphics boxes, then gets re-compressed to ASI and sent either to another hub or to your local affiliate. (If not live, it gets put into a server which re-compresses the video even harder before playout.) Your local affiliate then decompresses it, it passes through more switchers and graphics boxes, then it gets either broadcast using 8VSB, or it gets re-compressed and passed on to your cable or satellite provider, who then un-compresses it, processes it into MPEG or some other flavor, and re-compresses it into its final 3-12Mb/s data stream for your receiver to decompress one final time.

This would eliminate several compression steps, and mean a better final image quality because you're not recompressing compression artifacts over and over and over again. A real 1.5Gb/s video frame looks like staring out a window compared to the nastiness you see when you hit pause on your DVR during a football game (also a best-case scenario, most cable/broadcast/sat providers ramp up the bitrate to the max for live sports and then set it back down shortly thereafter).

But the 100Gb/s makes no sense to me. Are you (crazy) overcompensating for latency? Are you sending 100% redundant data for error correction? Why in the world would you need that much overhead? I can't imagine it's to send multiple video feeds, the telco companies don't want you to do that because then you order less circuits from them. Plus you'd want at least two circuits anyways in case your primary circuit goes down for some reason.

(Side note: The one benefit to a TV truck using Ethernet as a transmission medium is the fact that these circuits are bi-directional. Transmission circuits nowadays are all unidirectional, meaning you need to order more circuits if you need a return video feed, meaning higher transmission costs. The ability to send return video or even confidence return signals back down the same line would be huge for us and a big money saver.)

Already here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41287903)

My company is doing 100GE client interfaces. Tell the router guys to drop the prices, the transport layer is in, and most providers are upgrading or in the planning stage to support it.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?