Do Broadcasters and Media Facilities Understand IP’s Impact on Digital Media Workflow?

AmberFin CTO, Bruce Devlin, to lead SMPTE European Seminars - “Digital Media: Production to Distribution Using IP”

“For broadcasters and media facilities, the migration toward information technology (IT) based production and distribution architectures is radically changing the way media is managed, moved, and manipulated, but do the people that run these businesses understand the implications of this rapid evolution of infrastructure and a shift toward Internet protocol (IP) architectures,” questions Bruce Devlin, Chief Technology Officer at AmberFin, SMPTE International Sections Director, and co-author of the SMPTE-sponsored MXF specification. “Freed from their reliance on physical media, the workflows employed in production, post-production, and distribution no longer need be time-intensive, expensive, and inflexible.  However, this progression represents a quantum change in the broadcast industry’s enabling technology and broadcast executives need to understand this new way of working.”

Recognizing the need for further education on these topics, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) has developed a Regional Seminar program designed to advance the industry in managing issues related to the shift toward IP-based handling of media. Providing educational opportunities to industry members is one of the three pillars of SMPTE’s mission, and to this end the Society is bringing its “Digital Media: Production to Distribution Using IP” seminar to the U.K. in February.
Led by Bruce Devlin and his AmberFin colleague, Ben Davenport, the U.K. Regional Seminar will address the use of media over IT infrastructure in both streaming and file-based workflows.

On February 11 in London and February 12 in Salford, this one-day regional seminar will give those working in film, television, or digital media a valuable opportunity to gather with other industry professionals for an interactive and educational discussion of IP technology and communications as they relate to media. This information will be useful for all operational staff, whether from an IT or broadcast/media background, as well as other key personnel, including those who design systems. Attendees will gain the working knowledge they need to create and deliver content for any platform most effectively as IP-based environments grow.


“As increasing numbers of content creators and distributors adopt IT-based solutions, they gain access to devices, technologies, and techniques that never could have been developed economically by the broadcast community alone,” explains Bruce Devlin. “The arrival of the interconnected content creation and distribution workflow is changing not only the technologies being used, but also the business models and strategies embraced by media companies.

“Globally distributed and collaborative production and post-production processes are increasingly being implemented by content producers, distributors, broadcasters, and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs). The changing nature of digital content also drives the IT migration, as next-generation broadcast technologies such as Ultra High Definition (UHD) require rapid evolution of infrastructure and a shift toward IP architectures,” Devlin concludes.


The seminars will begin with a brief history of the technology and an overview of fundamentals. After examining the many efficient, cost, and production-quality advantages afforded the entertainment media industry by adoption of IT networks, the seminars will move on to look at how these technologies and techniques can be adapted to achieve efficiency throughout the full media life cycle, from acquisition though production, playout, archiving, contribution, and distribution on multiple platforms. Topics will include an overview of the IP-based facility and workflow, the elements of a successful migration to IP, and roadmaps for workflow transition to IP in live production, contribution, and post-production.

Professional content producers will walk away understanding the impact and implications for their work if, for example, SDI were to disappear tomorrow. Systems and facilities designers will gain a clearer understanding of IP architectures and how to assure that, at the end of the day, they work as they must to support content creation and distribution.
This seminar has generated enthusiastic feedback in North America and Europe, and it should prove to be highly informative and interesting to all variety of professionals within the media industry. Further information about the seminars, as well as the full U.K. section program of meetings and activities, is available at