Setting up a 4k network using IP and SDI platforms

Two SMPTE-2110 or 12G-SDI IP platforms can be used to implement a 4K network. Choosing either of these two methods has its strengths and weaknesses that will be briefly mentioned.

Using the IP platform to transmit the 4K signal
One of the important issues in the broadcast industry is whether or not to move from the SDI platform to the IP platform. This is important because most Broadcast equipment manufacturers now market their products in such a way that the choice of both platforms is available for Broadcasters. One of the important issues in designing IP-based devices is choosing the right network equipment. By examining modular and fixed switches with SDN support and ensuring that the required features of an IP video transfer cycle are met, Leaf and Spine switches are selected based on the number of inputs and outputs required.

The difference between the price and the type of use of single-mode and multi-mode SPFs is one of the important issues that failure to pay attention to can significantly increase the cost of designing and implementing IP infrastructure. For this reason, in most cases where IP infrastructure is used, the construction of a new building by the desired IP infrastructure is essential.

In designing SDI-based systems, the main function of a Broadcast controller system is to communicate with the SDI router and other controllable equipment. As shown in the figure, in an IP-based system, in addition to communicating with potential SDI routers in the system, the Broadcast controller also needs to communicate with the SDN controllers of the network equipment and Edge devices.

Synchronization (Orchestration) servers are used to ensure proper coordination of this process and to monitor all the processes that will take place in the IP network. Using the concept of synchronization, it will be possible for different brands of products to work together. A coordinator will link all the operations together and adjust the work dynamically as you need. As a result, the media flow will be synchronized in any way you can imagine. This is done through resource control, control of network switches in the system, control of network equipment, and integrated midnight SDN controllers related to different brands and companies.

One of the important points in using the IP platform is to pay attention to the use of products that support the desired specifications of AMWA (Advanced Media Workflow Association) and NMOS (Network Media Open Specification).

According to the latest document recently submitted by the EBU, the issue of security is one of the serious challenges in systems development based on the SMPTE-2110 standard, which may not be resolved soon. As can be seen in the figure, the red sections are related to the issues of security and configuration, and monitoring of equipment in an entire IP network. Therefore, the parts of the pyramid marked in red have a security challenge, and the products on the market cannot meet this part of the needs of setting up an IP network.

Using SDI platform to transmit 4K signal

The specifications of the SDI signal for the use of its various standards are shown in the figure below. If the SDI-12G platform is used, the allowable range of cable length, return drop, jitter, etc. will change significantly and it is necessary to pay attention to this issue in the design of 4K systems.

Accordingly, various companies producing cables, connectors, patch panels, etc., have been widely marketing their UHD products for the past 5-years to meet the needs of broadcasters in launching TV stories in UHD format.

The following figure shows an example of how coaxial cables are in use to transmit the EDI-12G signal along with the signal loss path from source to destination.

As shown in the figure, the SDI-12G signal loss rate in the structure shown is 37.6 decibels, which according to the maximum allowable drop in the SDI-12G signal standard, in this configuration, the dropped margin will be equal to 2.4 decibels.

The drop rate of different cables, connectors, and patch panels in this figure for different parts is shown in the table. Values will change due to using more suitable cables. For example, if you use +PERCON VK 90 Silver cables, you can transmit the ADI-12G signal up to about 180 meters.