How automation can drive down OpEx

August 12, 2013 - 12:03pm

The average video transport environment is comprised of hundreds, if not thousands, of devices necessary for maintaining optimal video signal quality. As multichannel distribution continues to be a driving force in the video industry, further diversifying infrastructure demands in the process, there's an evident need for more sophisticated backhaul solutions that can keep operating expenses from becoming unwieldy.

Keeping each and every digital turnaround component properly configured, updated and monitored on a device-by-device level is far beyond the capacity of any company that wants to stay in business. Automation solutions enable broadcasters and providers to effectively manage their system parts and address any vulnerabilities before the degenerate into significant issues. In a recent interview with Broadcast Engineering, video transport expert Rush Beesley stated that the traditional way of thinking entailed extensive segregation of automation tasks and applications onto different computers, in the idea that a stratified effort would be the easiest to manage. However, as the number of complex devices increases and broadcasters and viewers alike place a greater emphasis on video quality, this strategy may only serve to drive OpEx up.

"Technology has evolved exponentially in terms of computing power, memory allocation and management, bus speed, process and thread interaction, and networking capability," he stated. "All this translates into support for multitasking at virtually every level."

It's crucial that video transport systems utilize products with interfaces that can be fully integrated into the overarching network. Examples of such interfaces include SNMP, HTTP and console. Solutions like modular receivers, which can be managed through multiple IP interfaces, are able to provide the flexibility and signal agnostic capabilities necessary to maintain peak automation capacity. For linear broadcast needs, a video transcoder can be fully automated in a system sized from a single-channel per box up to sixteen channels. As Automation World contributor Jim Pinto recently wrote, conventional automation systems are likely insufficient in the support of increasing system complexity. It's crucial that devices be optimized for multiple IP interfaces so that they can be remotely managed at all times.

Digital Turn Around
Signal Quality
Video Monitoring