ASPEN solution from Evertz and Sony is deployed by NBC Sports

ASPEN solution from Evertz and Sony is deployed by NBC Sports

Since ASPEN's first release at NAB 2015, many leading broadcasters and equipment manufacturers are realizing the benefits of the ASPEN protocol for their leading edge IP facilities and products. Developed to meet the real world requirements of an IP-centric facility while leveraging proven MPEG2-TS standards, ASPEN offers a robust format for encapsulating uncompressed Ultra HD/3G/HD/SD over MPEG-2 transport streams (TS). The development of ASPEN has been a collaborative effort of Evertz and many broadcast industry leaders.

At this year's Sports Video Group (SVG) Annual Summit in New York City Evertz Microsystems announced a complete IP production deployment for NBC Sports in collaboration with Sony. The IP production solution is based on ASPEN, a framework that provides separated video, audio, and metadata IP flows for NBC Sports' HD production starting in February 2016.

ASPEN Community Members as of December 2015

Building the IP facility based on ASPEN gives NBC Sports greater flexibility and cost savings over an SDI replacement using SMPTE 2022-6. ASPEN allows for video, audio, and metadata to be on individual IP multicast streams. This flexibility gives NBC Sports complete control over sending specific video and audio signals to particular destinations without the need for costly external embedding and de-embedding devices. ASPEN also maximizes bandwidth utilization on the 10GbE interfaces to ensure NBC Sports is getting maximum throughput and efficiency in its IP core matrix.

The core of the facility is Evertz' Software Defined Video Networking (SDVN) solution which includes their EXE40-VSR, a 46Tb/s high capacity switch, 570IPG high density media gateways, and 3067VIP10G 10GbE multiviewers, all under Evertz MAGNUM SDVN Orchestration and Control. Evertz SDVN gives NBC Sports the flexibility to scale their facility to meet current and future needs.

"The collaboration with Sony for this NBC project is significant news for the industry as we move to IP-based production," said Eric Fankhauser, Vice President of Product Development at Evertz. "The use of ASPEN for individual multicast flows gives NBC Sports enormous flexibility in their production workflow. It allows NBC Sports to transition to IP with confidence that they are using a best of breed solution from two industry leaders."

Another core component of this IP production solution is IP-enabled products from Sony. Sony, a leading supplier of AV/IT solutions has been developing IP live production solution and its system cameras and production switchers that will be inter-operable in ASPEN workflow.

"Our collaboration with Evertz in IP-based workflow will satisfy the needs of media and entertainment industry customers," said Junichi Ogikubo, General Manager of Sony's Professional Solutions Group. "IP-based technologies are playing a significant role in live production and distribution and play-out, as the broadcast and production industries move to end-to-end IP-based networked workflows."

Tim Canary, VP of Engineering at the NBC Sports Group headquarters in Stamford, CT, commented, "We're pleased to see the interoperability and joint effort between Evertz and Sony. We are designing our control room based on various rapidly emerging IP standards from Evertz, Sony and others. Our expectation is that the vendors will quickly engage with each other to achieve cross vendor compatibility, and at the same time, allow for all of the increased functionality that IP Video and Audio routing offer."

NBC Sports, Evertz, and Sony are members of the rapidly expanding ASPEN Community which provides an open framework for building flexible, scalable, and highly efficient IP facilities.