Mike Strein – Karl Paulsen
Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
Abstract: People who began their careers in television broadcasting before the 1990s should have seen television and media technical infrastructures endure three significant transitions: standard definition (SD) analog to SD digital; SD digital to high definition (HD) digital; and HD digital to media carried over an Internet Protocol (IP) network in multiple formats. Each transition involved either an infrastructure replacement or a complete rebuild of their technical facilities. Most of the gear and much of the cabling likely had to be replaced, updated, or refined. As changes to the system were made, compressed video, storage, and data management adjusted accordingly. New terminologies evolved, sometimes heightened by “marketing hype,” that drove users to amend workflows, processes, and capital budgets like revolving doors in a hotel.
We live in an age of continual transformation where formats, transport methods, and delivery have moved in full strength to yet another dimension—the era of IP. Yet again the industry is being thrust into yet another significant change in infrastructure, which now includes cloud, realtime over-the-top (OTT) streaming, and virtualization. How does one design a facility for these kinds of transitions without needing a forklift upgrade every decade? These are serious topics that impact return on investment (ROI), timing, and capital versus operational alterations. This article examines new hybrid models for media production, explores their components, and gives examples of how to compose the media future for live production environments at the studio and enterprise levels.
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