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The Way forward for Broadcast: The All-IP Olympics

This summer time, we witnessed the way forward for broadcasting, and it wasn’t the primary time the Olympics had been concerned. When the Video games had been first held in Tokyo in 1964, it made historical past for being the primary stay televised broadcast. Fifty-seven years later, with the assistance of 6,700 items of Cisco tools, NBC Olympics was capable of ship greater than 7,000 hours of protection throughout a number of platforms. The ingenuity behind the scenes was Cisco serving to energy the primary all-IP manufacturing within the host metropolis for NBC Olympics’ protection of the Video games.

IP networking is a confirmed and sturdy expertise, as evidenced by the IP-based enterprise networks that assist so many companies and organizations. The large advantage of IP is that it allows new workflows that merely aren’t attainable with legacy video expertise. These new workflows allow broadcasters to basically rework how they create and ship content material whereas reducing their working bills. And so they can do that with out negatively impacting the reliability or real-time supply of content material.

Enhancing Capabilities & Visibility

Take into account a workflow like distributed manufacturing (see Determine 1). Historically, all members in a stay broadcast, from these being filmed to these doing the filming, needed to be in the identical location. With distributed manufacturing, every group might be in its personal location. A host or commentator could possibly be on one continent whereas athletes are on one other, and the manufacturing crew is but once more some place else. This enables for a lighter onsite crew and for manufacturing groups to work of their dwelling manufacturing studios with full entry to all of their common instruments and tools.

Determine 1: A distributed manufacturing workflow permits manufacturing, members, and commentators to be situated wherever on this planet.

This was more true than ever for NBC Olympics due to COVID-19. Manufacturing was cut up between crews in Tokyo and workers again at NBC Olympics’ studios in Stamford, New York, Englewood Cliffs, Miami, and Sky Sports activities within the UK. There was elevated significance on with the ability to ship content material again to the video crew for enhancing and post-production earlier than being distributed. Reliability, all the time vital, was much more important because of the scale of those Video games.

Delivering Reside Manufacturing

To ship stay manufacturing, the IP community on the IBC needed to assure dependable transport of uncompressed video (SMPTE 2110). Cisco’s Nexus 9000 switches, deployed in a hybrid spine-leaf community, made this attainable working with Cisco’s modern Non-Blocking Multicast (NBM) expertise. NBM offers end-to-end bandwidth ensures for all multicast flows with out counting on the standard “equal price, multipath-based” load balancing of stream. The flexibleness of IP ensured that each one flows throughout the IBC had been dependable whereas assembly the capability calls for. Together with NBM, the Nexus 9000 switches distributed timing at scale utilizing Precision Time Protocol (PTP). This ensured all endpoints had been all the time in sync with nanosecond precision.

As well as, Cisco Nexus 9000 switches powered by Cisco’s Cloud scale ASICs, supplied granular visibility into essential points of the community, together with monitoring the bitrate of each multicast stream and following stream paths as indicators travelled by means of the community and streaming all of this info real-time utilizing software program and {hardware} telemetry to Nexus Dashboard Material Controller (see Determine 2).

Figure 2: Flow analytics track the bitrate of every single flow in the network.
Determine 2: Circulation analytics monitor the bitrate of each single stream within the community.

Simplification and automation had been essential given the stay nature of the Olympics. There wasn’t time for a tech to log right into a change and scan a session log to determine a difficulty. Utilizing the Nexus Dashboard and Cisco Nexus Dashboard Material Controller (NDFC) gave NBC Olympics a single pane of glass strategy to community administration. Mixed with the granular visibility of Cisco Nexus 9000 switches (see Figures 3 and 4), NDFC supplied real-time insights into community efficiency, all the best way to the appliance degree. This permits NBC Olympics to establish and resolve points earlier than they turned issues that may affect the standard of broadcasting.

Figure 3: The Cisco Nexus Dashboard provides flow information.
Determine 3: The Cisco Nexus Dashboard offers stream info.
Figure 4: Monitoring precision time protocol performance on Cisco Nexus 9000 switches.
Determine 4: Monitoring precision time protocol efficiency on Cisco Nexus 9000 switches.

Along with growing reliability and simplifying administration, NBC Olympics additionally acknowledged substantial operational financial savings with an all-IP distributed manufacturing strategy. Whereas COVID-19 necessitated a diminished crew on the bottom in Tokyo, the expertise enabled groups in several international locations or areas to do their work from their dwelling base.

The flexibleness of all-IP manufacturing additionally allows community and manufacturing funding for use in several occasions around the globe. This reduces the general carbon footprint of the whole business and create long-term operational financial savings whereas optimizing workflows.

“The expertise itself, the community, the connectivity, the bandwidth—all of it labored flawlessly. It was not one thing we needed to troubleshoot. We had been capable of give attention to the product. In Video games previous, there’s often been some type of anomaly or one thing that’s impacted us, that’s hampered our skill to give attention to different points of the manufacturing. Our Cisco applied sciences, providers and assist labored flawlessly in these Video games.” — Dan Robertson, VP NBC Olympics IT




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