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Switching uncompressed HD over IP

Arista Networks announced today a joint proof-of-concept with FOX Networks Engineering and Operations (FOX NE&O), which will be shown at the annual SMPTE conference in LA this week. The paper and demonstration will examine a solution for frame-accurate switching of uncompressed HD-SDI video over IP (SMPTE 2022-6) using Arista technology.

In addition to the demonstrations, Arista’s Chairman and Chief Development Officer Andreas Bechtolsheim will co-present with Thomas Edwards, Vice President of Engineering & Development at FOX NE&O a joint paper entitled “Video Processing in an FPGA-enabled Ethernet Switch.” 

The paper and demo will pay special attention to the requirements of the protocols, the flexibility of IP deployments and the key architectural issues at the firmware level. This proof-of-concept will highlight both the capability of embedding video processing functionality within cloud networking, and the commitment of Arista and FOX NE&O’s to innovation within the Media & Entertainment industry.

“FOX NE&O believes that professional media networking is the future of the broadcast plant, including the networked transport of our uncompressed high-definition live video streams,” said Thomas Edwards of FOX NE&O. “We believe that converging our video streams onto the Ethernet infrastructure will provide enhanced agility and flexibility to our business, and also it may potentially bring savings by allowing us to purchase more COTS hardware and thus benefit from economies of scale. The broadcast industry is at a very early point in this technological transition, so FOX NE&O greatly values Arista Networks’ contribution to this proof-of-concept to help test out some of the basic video processing requirements of professional media networks.”

Towards new network topology

There is considerable interest in the broadcast industry to migrate legacy digital video interfaces (SDI - Serial Digital Interface) to reliable transport over Ethernet and IP based networks. The benefits include greatly simplified cabling plants, far greater efficiency, ease of signal routing and processing, and significant cost savings utilizing a shared infrastructure. Two popular standards being developed for this purpose are IEEE Audio Video Bridging and SMPTE 2022-6 HD-SDI over IP. Furthermore, a myriad of video processing capabilities - including frame-accurate switching - that exist today in the world of legacy SDI must now be evolved to packet-based networks. This offers significant advantages over niche purpose-built add-on overlay elements that increase cost and complexity.

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