Discussion continues on next-gen interface innovation

September 19, 2013 - 2:19pm
Any improvement on SDI would need to offer optimal flexibility for live broadcast video streams.

As the variety of broadcast streams continues to grow, some industry leaders are talking consolidation. In a potentially bold move, a task force jointly established by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the Video Services Forum (VSF), will evaluate the potential benefits and drawbacks of eliminating serial digital interface (SDI) from the broadcast format pantheon, according to the IBC. 

Felix Poulin, EBU project manager, said that the limitations of SDI within interoperable video broadcast systems makes the format a candidate for extinction, the IBC reported. The joint task force is currently working with broadcasters and technology developers to develop a concrete picture of the challenges facing video transport. Their findings, slated for publication in a report in November, will make inroads into discussions focusing on Internet delivery over wide area networks.

However, SDI remains a foundational component of broadcast transmission for the foreseeable future. It may make more sense to continue to innovate within the widely-used interface than to embark on a costly and resource-intensive process of replacing it altogether. Expanded specifications like the serial data transport interface (SDTI) build upon the capacities already offered by SDI by enabling transport compressed video streams like MPEG over SDI infrastructure. This has allowed for video transport of multiple video streams in the same amount of time over one cable. While continued technological advancement is key to continued growth in the industry, there's still a lot of opportunity to be had in the traditional interfaces.

Sencore's DekTec solutions offer broadcasters state-of-the-art input and output technology that can be individually configured for maximum requirement flexibility. They can be used to monitor transport streams like MPEG-2 and digital video streams like SDI, as well as for transport stream video multiplexing. Contact us today to learn more.

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