Overcoming the challenges in real world deployment of large scale virtualized IP playout solutions

Vortrag 18: Karl Mehring, Stefan Geradts – SAM

This paper looks at Data Centre based Playout solutions. The goal is the software defined channel that does not depend on any proprietary hardware. It draws on SAM’s experience in real world implementation of such complex solutions. We will explore the challenges, technological hurdles and lesions learnt to provide useful insight into how to successfully create reliable software defined IP playout solutions at any scale. The paper will use a recently completed 100+ channel implementation as an practical example.

There is no doubt that the nature of “broadcasting” is changing dramatically. Where once it was a single, common output to all, today content owners are expected to deliver in a number of formats and business models, to a large number of viewing devices. The rigid requirements of broadcast television demand that every frame of video is delivered on a real-time basis with absolute metronomic reliability.

So on the one hand we have to maintain traditional broadcast standards of availability and reliability, and on the other we have to develop a methodology for delivering multiple versions to multiple platforms. The IT industry has come to our rescue. Continuing development of computers – in this context often referred to as COTS for commodity off the shelf hardware – has achieved processing power fast enough to carry out much of the video processing required for broadcast quality service.

Other branches of the IT industry have driven the need for high speed Ethernet connectivity with deterministic switching. Up to 100 gigabit Ethernet switches are now widely available and attractively affordable. The logical conclusion, therefore, is to build IP video delivery systems based on COTS hardware, taking advantage of the economies of scale of the IT industry. This could operate in a broadcaster’s premises, or in a data center environment. For pay as you go or short term usage such systems can be deployed in the public cloud.


Über Karl Mehring

Karl Mehring is the Director of Product Management for Content Delivery at Grass Valley, with responsibility for managing the product management team and the lifecycle of the highly utilized playout product portfolio, including iTX, Morpheus and ICE. Having worked in the broadcast industry as a supplier since 1991, Karl Mehring began his career in the design and delivery of custom control systems with Pro-Bel. Following this Karl assumed a number of customer facing leadership positions throughout the company’s evolution, through Snell, SAM and now to Grass Valley.