Texas A&M’s 12th Man Productions Makes Move to IP with Cisco, Imagine Communications

Texas A&M University’s (TAMU) 12th Man Productions has made the transition from legacy standard digital interface routing technology (SDI) to an IP-based infrastructure with the help of Cisco’s IP Fabric for Media in alignment with SMPTE’s ST 2110 suite of standards. Imagine Communications Selenio Network Processors sit at the four heaviest load venues and are networked back to two Cisco Nexus 9000 C9336C-FX2 spines and three Nexus 9000 C93180YC-FX leafs, allowing for more content, rich media experiences, and 4K and 8K video.

Texas A&M’s 12th Man Production is using Cisco and Imagine ST 2110 gear to make the move to IP.

12th Man Productions is the broadcast, in-stadium, and post-production house for the TAMU Athletics Department. It provides post-production coverage for every NCAA athletic team the university hosts, as well as in-stadium productions for seven different sports across five different venues. The team also produces a majority of the TAMU athletics’ broadcasts for ESPN and more than 100 live events every year.

In an IP-based infrastructure, a single cable has the capacity to carry multiple bi-directional traffic flows and can support different flow sizes without requiring changes to the physical infrastructure. In 2018, SMPTE announced a new suite of standards, ST 2110, to define how video, audio, and ancillary data are carried over IP. In order to move its live production to IP within this new set of standards, 12th Man Productions needed a workflow that would offer reliability, flexibility, and control over all aspects of its network and signals.

“We knew that we only had one chance to get this transition right, and Cisco was the obvious choice for us to make it happen,” says Zack Bacon, Chief Broadcast Engineer, 12th Man Productions, Texas A&M University Athletics. “After researching the ST 2110 standard and its protocols and prerequisites, the hardware requirements were clear. Cisco easily met our requirements, while also giving us a path for growth and insight to prepare for real-time situations.”

“The 12th Man Productions team at Texas A&M sought after a networked media fabric that offers reliability, flexibility and control of its network with signals that could be expanded as facilities moved to a native ST 2110 workflow,” said Sunil Gudurvalmiki, Product Marketing Director, Data Center Switching, Cisco. “Cisco’s IP Fabric for Media offers a highly reliable, scalable and secure network to transport ST 2110 signals, giving the broadcast team peace of mind to trust that the network will be able to scale and deliver richer media experiences with low latency to its viewers.”