Case Study: NFL LA Leverages the Power of SNP-MV

In 2017, the early days of SMPTE ST 2110, the NFL began planning for the buildout of the new NFL LA facility in Inglewood, CA. Our goal was to build a robust facility using the latest technology to allow for format agnostic, agile broadcast workflows.

The facility would have six production control rooms, six audio control rooms and four stages. It would be home to the NFL network, and NFL Redzone entities. The site would encompass 74,922 sq. ft. of studio and studio-support space. It is a part of the new Hollywood Park neighborhood, built on the old racetrack, and is adjacent to SoFi stadium, home of the LA Rams and LA Chargers, with interconnectivity between locations.

NFL LA acts as the primary news outlet for the NFL. The business revolves around delivering fast, accurate and reliable information from every team. Inherent delays in systems quickly add up over the distance of a workflow, and we were determined as engineers to eliminate as much as possible.

SNP-MV, the multiviewer personality of Imagine’s popular Selenio Network Processor (SNP) platform, allowed our in-house staff to communicate to the field crew and coordinate changes in real-time. These workflows require real time monitoring tools to enable our production teams to do their jobs effectively. At the core of these monitoring systems would be our next-generation multiviewer.

In 2019 we were testing as many vendors and multiviewer solutions as possible. We were looking for low latency processing across formats, resiliency to failure, ease of configuration, and with error alerting and tally integration. In our proof-of-concept interoperability lab we found many platforms that achieved some but not all of these requirements.

When Imagine introduced the SNP-MV personality, we were excited to run the system through our POC testing gauntlet. We were already familiar with the SNP platform, having evaluated its performance compared to its competitors in the market. The SNP quickly became one of our primary choices for frame synchronizers and for SDI to ST 2110 conversion.

The SNP is unique because it is capable of changing into a format converter, a frame synchronizer, or a 2110 encapsulator quickly and extremely reliably. It became known in our shop as the Swiss army knife, for its ability to easily change configurations to fit a number of workflows.

As the 14th century scholastic philosopher William of Ockham theorized; ‘entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity’. A principle at the root of the NFL LA project stemming from one of the original design engineers. In our world this translates to vendors, but more specifically to databases. We knew our architecture would have a routing database, a tally database, and an audio control database, so we preferred not to add a multiviewer database.

Engineers reading this will not be surprised at how easy it is, in the IP world, to have bloated databases that require manual synchronization. I’ve spent many a sleepless night concerned about all the ways unnecessary databases compound points of failure. It was for this reason, that the idea of using a single device interchangeably and extending this to our multiviewers, was extremely appealing.

In our testing, the SNP-MV personality went above and beyond our initial expectation. It achieved consistent low latency processing, provided ST 2110 error alerting, possessing a familiar design GUI for layouts, integration with industry leading tally vendors, and seamless redundancy failover.

It’s now 2022, and we have a full NFL season under our belt from our new NFL LA facility. The accumulation of years of work has brought us to the realization of our goals. We house Imagine’s SNP-MV as our primary solution for low-latency, high-priority production workflows. Super Bowl LVI was held at SoFi Stadium, and the half time show was produced in-house at NFL LA leveraging the power of the SNP-MV.

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