Testing broadcast applications with impairments

5 mins read

Testing Broadcast Applications with Impairments

Serial Digital Interface (SDI) has, until recently, been the preferred transport mechanism for broadcast transmission. Its main advantage is that it provides a consistent and predictable delivery of data which is ideal for audio/video transport. However, networks in the broadcast industry are now in a state of flux. Increasingly there is a shift away from single-purpose legacy systems like SDI, and a shift towards multi-purpose IP-based networks. The change has come about due a variety of reasons, including:

  • Ubiquity of IP networks and infrastructure.

  • Wider expertise in general IP-focused networking, therefore less specialist training required.

  • Multi-purpose equipment can be redeployed or change of use.

  • Broader choice of components.

  • Smaller size of equipment reduces the hardware footprint in the data centre.

While these are valid reasons for the move to IP, it’s not without challenges. Foremost among these is that IP networks bring an unpredictability and inconsistency of performance. In real terms this means elements such as latency, jitter and packet loss now impact on data transmission in ways that were not experienced in the SDI world. Video is particularly sensitive to such conditions and risks Quality of Service (QoS) unless appropriate steps are taken.

Learn more about the vital role test equipment can play with the technical primer: Testing Broadcast Applications with Impairments.