IBC - The Aftermath
Three days on the floor at IBC is not quite enough to see everything, but it certainly is a good way to accumulate a large number of steps, if you are the kind of person who like to quantify things. I was encouraged by the spread of IP technology throughout all the product offerings, but I can't help but think that the tipping point when most new video installations use mainly IP instead of SDI for live production is still a few years away. I say this because, while the IP product announcements were everywhere you looked during IBC, there remains a huge amount of work to be done in order to make IP as easy and as reliable as SDI to deploy and use. The ability to distribute timing across networks is coming along nicely, but as the attached diagram shows on the second trace from the top, non-PTP switches may not be suitable for transmitting timing, especially if there is a heavy load of traffic on the network. I'll be interested to see the Interop at the SMPTE ATC (Annual Technical Conference) to see how all this progresses.
Bottom line: IP is going to work, and work well, but it's going to take a lot of hard work and a lot of industry cooperation to make installations easy for broadcasters.