Catalan broadcaster upgrades TV studio and control room at its 3/24 news channel from SDI to IP, benefiting from latest broadcast technologies and greater operational flexibility.
There came a point where the channel needed to upgrade to High Definition. That’s when the decision was made to make the transition to IP.
Specialist Engineer at CCMA
Corporació Catalana de Mitjans Audiovisuals (Catalonian Corporation of Audiovisual Media) is the public radio and television corporation serving Spain’s autonomous Catalan region. Headquartered in Sant Joan Despí near Barcelona, CCMA broadcasts seven Catalan-language TV channels and four radio channels.
CCMA had resolved to progressively upgrade the capabilities of its production facilities, via incremental evolution from SDI to an eventual all-IP infrastructure. Wishing to benefit from improved scalability and support for industry trends such as 4K and HDR, CCMA also required smooth integration with its current IP audio infrastructure, and between SMPTE 2110 and current NDI networks. Just as importantly the broadcaster wanted its IP transition to be effectively transparent to production staff, without the need for time-consuming retraining, unfamiliar operating practices or the replacement of familiar control surfaces.
The initial phase of the project centres on a studio and control room dedicated to CCMA’s 3/24 news channel. Delivered jointly by Nevion – a Sony Group Company – and local broadcast integration partner Unitecnic, the solution went live in July 2023. CCMA’s infrastructure upgrade is based on Sony and Nevion’s Networked Live ecosystem. This focusses on Nevion’s VideoIPath media orchestration platform that provides SDN (Software Defined Network) management of IP linkages between studio, control room and machine room areas, with control of studio equipment via NMOS.
Compliant with ST 2110 standards, the studio’s IP media transport network is built around Arista 7050 switches configured in a spine-leaf architecture. Connection of Sony HDC-series camera chains to the IP network is via Sony HDCE-TX30 camera extension adaptors.
CCMA has also been able to retain its existing broadcast control and monitoring system, allowing production staff to continue using familiar surfaces. VideoIPath similarly manages hybrid processing for a wide variety of SDI and IP equipment including vision and audio mixers.
We chose the HDCE-TX30 because it’s allowed us to accommodate both SDI and IP formats. This lets us make the most of all our facilities, enabling different types of productions as well as working with various standards.
Specialist Engineer at CCMA
Absolute reliability was naturally a key requirement for CCMA in its choice of Sony and Nevion as partners for the project. “On a 24-hour channel it’s a high-pressure environment, where there’s no margin for error” states Anna. “We saw what Sony had implemented at other television channels, and their track record was very convincing for us.”
“In the IP world, TV signals consume a lot of bandwidth” confirms Anna. “That means that our ‘information highways’ must be fast enough to carry all this data traffic that somehow needs to be managed and governed. A network orchestrator is essential in this kind of IP environment.”
“VideoIPath is a SDN orchestration platform – an IP connection manager that facilitates operations for broadcast technicians in their daily work” explains Oscar Garcia, Senior Solutions Architect at Sony. “Using VideoIPath provides flexibility in utilising this IP infrastructure. It also enables future growth, enhancing system stability for use across different locations with greater ease for all operators.”
In addition to providing the complete IP media network design, Nevion and Unitecnic delivered remote configuration of VideoIPath SDN orchestration software, together with remote integration with Arista switches and NMOS broadcast devices. Nevion is also providing complementary technical support for the finished solution, augmenting first-line support and training provided by Unitecnic.
“Very different manufacturers have come together on this project – some that CCMA already knew, and others that we knew” says Xavi Verd, CTO at Unitecnic and Head of the integrator’s Barcelona office. “So with a matter of time and effort we knew that this was going to work.”
“For CCMA this transition means we continue to be at the forefront of technology” confirms Anna. “The hard work has been worth it, because we can see the satisfactory results of the project and the success of our transition to IP.”