Euro Media Group Chooses Imagine Communications' Selenio Network for Live Production Backbone
Euro Media Group (EMG) has taken a unique, modular approach to implementing standardized IP technology across its organization with the development of diPloy (formerly Objective 2020). Designed with the largest sports events in mind, diPloy allows EMG to quickly create powerful, scalable live production architectures from preconfigured IP modules.
Central to the design of the EMG platform is the Selenio™ Network Processor (SNP) from Imagine Communications, widely recognized as the most flexible standards-based IP media processing platform available today. Each SNP provides four independent processing blocks that can be software-reconfigured in each deployment ― all in a space-saving 1RU chassis with a consolidated 100GBE network interface. In some diPloy modules, SNP works as a gateway to bridge EMG’s legacy SDI equipment to the SMPTE ST 2110 network on which diPloy depends. In other modules it works as a processor, adjusting visual parameters of camera signals or performing HDR conversions.
“Our operations have grown rapidly, not least through acquisition,” said Timo Koch, Director of Operations of Euro Media Group (EMG). “The Group owns a vast amount of legacy equipment that still needs to be integrated in a future-proof system. In 2017, we started on our internal initiative to develop our transition to IP in a managed way, respecting our investment in legacy equipment like cameras and replay servers, but seizing on the flexibility and scalability of software-defined technology.
“The diPloy project is fully 4K and HDR Ultra HD enabled,” Koch added. “Ultimately, the vast array of these preconfigured IP modules enables us to build facilities for the biggest productions with much reduced engineering time, advanced functionality and very high reliability. Imagine’s SNP is a key building block in our architecture. It offers the perfect performance capabilities for the live market in a compact, powerful and agile device.”
The EMG platform uses multi-level, high-speed networking to provide fully redundant connectivity and a controlled network for video and audio signals, as well as for system timing, leveraging Precision Time Protocol (PTP). Onto the network, different functionality modules are attached as required, providing specific functionality from stage boxes to replay. Each module is contained in standardized rack unit ― many of just 9RU ― with some demanding very high processing density.
The 1RU Selenio Network Processor (SNP) provides this high density. A single SNP can, for example, provide 32 channels of conversion between 3G-SDI and IP, including synchronization, audio management, and color processing on every signal path. In a different production, the same SNP can process 8 channels at 4K resolution.
In diPloy, the SNP also provides up/down/cross conversion between HD and Ultra HD in HLG, PQ, and S-Log3 through its own sophisticated color processing pipeline with dozens of user adjustments. In productions that require matching to a specific LUT, the SNP will allow customer-uploaded LUTs, including dynamic adjustments in tandem with the LUT and dynamic contextual switching between the LUT and the pipeline, choosing the appropriate conversion on-the-fly. Other SNPs provide all frame synchronization outputs back to SDI, with full phasing and delay adjustment from the network PTP feed, and audio processing including MADI and AES67 audio integration.
“Building an IP infrastructure from preconfigured modules is a unique concept, and EMG is leading the industry,” said Mathias Eckert, SVP & GM EMEA/APAC from Imagine Communications. “The systems architects at EMG have brought together the very best of breed in IP connectivity and video production. While they looked at the whole market, they found that the only product that could deliver all the processing they required, with the agility that the diPloy concept demands, was the Selenio Network Processor, which is why they have utilized our product so fully in the initial deployment. In a close cooperation over the last 10 months, we have refined and added many new features to further improve the product for the benefit of both parties.”
The diPloy platform was developed and built for use in major international sporting events originally planned for the summer of 2020. After the initial programme, now slated for summer 2021, diPloy will be retained as a modular flight-case solution for other remote productions and will form the basis of upgrades to EMG’s fleet of outside broadcast trucks and fixed production facilities, both on-site or at remote operations centers.