IP NOC: Building the Foundation to Better Managed Workflows

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IP NOC

IP NOC: An [IP-powered network operations center] for future workflow management

As the media industry transitioned from baseband to IP in 2020, it became a revolution. Because of the global pandemic, studios were shuttered, broadcast operations centers were emptied, and OB trucks were no longer available, so streaming and broadcast productions were forced to focus on remote workflows and technologies. They embraced IP like never before, along with its game-changing efficiency, cost savings, and flexibility to meet rapidly changing requirements.

As IP continues to be a mainstream technology for video production, producers have identified some key requirements. As a result, they are giving up bulky, expensive hardware in favor of more flexible, cloud-based software solutions and lightweight field gear such as bonded cellular backpacks.

IP streaming solutions need to be easily incorporated into production workflows with the ability to ingest non-baseband sources. Broadcast operations need a wide range of IP-based protocols, and in some cases several at once during the same production. In addition, to efficiently manage assets and distribute them, they must transcode streaming media quickly and frictionlessly.

A network operation center (NOC) that combines the state-of-the-art in IP-based signal acquisition and cloud-based media asset management (MAM) addresses these needs effectively. Due to these enabling technologies, IP NOCs can change the way broadcast operations are done from traditional broadcast operations centers and satellite trucks to smaller and more agile transmission gear, cameras, and capture devices.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the IP phenomenon, the elements of an IP NOC, and IP workflows’ future.

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IP NOC is a powerful evolutionary step

A traditional broadcast system using SDI requires dedicated router switchers, video monitors, and ingest hardware. Even though they are reliable and high quality, they are inflexible and limited in terms of the number of inputs and outputs they can handle without additional hardware routing switchers. Adding output formats for playout, MAM and edit are equally cumbersome.

By contrast, IP-based systems can acquire signals from a virtually unlimited number of inputs by utilizing a wide range of protocols (SRT, WebRTC, HLS, RTSP, etc.). This output is then transcoded in real-time for publishing, distribution, and retransmission with a switch.

The good news is, broadcasters taking a phased approach to IP migration don’t have to give up SDI altogether. With an IP NOC topology, IP streaming, NDI, and SDI can coexist.

Similarly, the IP revolution is having an impact on on-location news gathering and outside broadcasting. In the past, remote broadcast teams have relied on OB trucks, large antennas, and lots of logistical and technical wrangling just to get a signal back to the broadcast operation center. A bonded cellular transmission radically simplifies remote production and live participation. The device can be carried around in your pocket or, at most, worn in a backpack, eliminating the need for expensive uplink trucks and bulky antennas.

Camera companies and producers can couple 10x 1Mbps upstream SIM cards to achieve 10Mbps of throughput, more than enough to deliver HD streams without the use of satellites.

A CLOUD AND MAM IN IP NETWORK OPERATING CENTERS

With Mobile Asset Management (MAM), geographically dispersed teams can store, access, produce and manage their media assets and collaborate on projects from anywhere. Using a phased approach to the cloud, the solution can either replace or supplement an existing MAM installation on-premises, or it can be used as a hybrid solution that can provide long-term benefits.

The IP NOC offers the following MAM capabilities:

  • It provides real-time playback and search capabilities for all production assets and associated metadata, both within and outside the facility.
  • Compatible with major editing software (Adobe Creative Cloud, Apple Final Cut ProX, DaVinci Resolve), allowing video, sound, graphics, and effects teams to collaborate from anywhere.
  • Production teams can then work with IP files and streams, as well as audio and video sources.
  • It is possible to archive and restore content to a local or cloud-based archive from anywhere and across multiple storage tiers.
  • Continual, end-to-end technical support and monitoring 24x7x365, handled by a fully-staffed NOC.

An IP-based network operations center: the future

Streaming and broadcasting will continue to be done through traditional broadcast operations centers, but IP provides endless possibilities. However, many organizations have begun making the transition now as a result of the unprecedented events last year.

With IP-based video acquisition and cloud-based MAM solutions integrated into IP NOCs, video operators can meet their current needs while positioning themselves for the future.

Employers of NOCs can benefit from the Field Engineer platform

NOC technicians apply, maintain, and resolve IP switching, remote access protocols, routing, and firewalls. A specialist’s job is to maintain reports on bandwidth usage, server utilization, uptime, and other vital information.

You can find freelance NOC Technicians at Fieldengineer.com/business-signup, where we help you find candidates seeking freelance work. Over 60,000 engineers on this platform are based in 195 countries, so employers can hire people from this platform for specialized roles.https://texttopics.com/business-continuity/