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Transforming the TV production environment to IP: James Reeves, Director, EMEA - Media & Broadcast at Juniper Networks

by Juniper Employee ‎06-06-2017 03:57 AM - edited ‎06-06-2017 03:58 AM

NEP is the largest privately owned TV production company in the world. It provides the technology and know-how behind some of the world’s biggest events, from the Oscars to the Olympics, operating across every stage of the production cycle, from ‘glass-to-glass’ – meaning right from the camera lens to the viewing device.

 

Over the last few years, NEP The Netherlands evolved from a broadcasting company that used IT, into an IT company that was an expert in broadcasting. Recently, it needed to build a new CDN to help scale out the delivery of high-quality TV and VOD content. NEP The Netherlands also wanted to transform its production infrastructure from a traditional broadcast SDI (Serial Digital Interface) environment to IP. It needed technology that would be cost-effective to operate, but above all, it needed something that could meet the extreme demands of the broadcast environment, which means processing massive amounts of uncompressed data with zero tolerance for delays or glitches.

 

Juniper Networks was selected as NEP The Netherlands' technology partners, realizing that our service provider DNA was the ideal starting point for NEP's transformation from SDI to IP. As Gerbrand de Ridder who is Head of R&D and Lead System Architect at NEP The Netherlands explains, "We were looking for a high level innovation, like we have in our own business. Juniper were innovative and open to the discussions that matter to us. We have a lot of experience in the broadcast industry, which we could translate into the features we needed. Juniper understood this, committed to it and delivered it."

 

The pre and post-production environments run in a cloud environment built using Juniper Networks® QFX Series Ethernet Switches. The production environment needs to support applications that move hundreds of gigabits of uncompressed video. For example, a simple studio arrangement will send 80Gbps of traffic to the data center, with multi-view monitors requiring 150Gbps. Juniper’s portfolio allowed NEP The Netherlands to standardize on a single vendor, from security to backbone to campus, so now it can do everything with one vendor and a common set of operating procedures.

 

 

NEP The Netherlands began its transformation to an IP based environment more than two years ago and built the world’s first IP production platform.

 

Since then it has got more than 500 productions under its belt and delivered peak-time TV viewing for millions of people. It has been able to transform its business from SDI to IP, which has meant more flexibility, faster delivery and lower costs for NEP The Netherlands and its customers.

 

The Netherlands is known for its advanced television services, and the country has a reputation for creating innovative new TV formats, such as Endemol’s Big Brother show. The company delivered a new generation of TV services including Video on Demand services at 4K with ultra-high definition, created more interactive on-line experiences, with up to nine split screens and even been providing 360-degree Virtual Reality viewing for one of its customer’s reality TV shows.

 

De Ridder says, “TV technology transitions are moving faster and faster, so adaptability is critical for us. Soon all TV and video broadcast applications will run over standard open systems like those from Juniper. But now we can easily upgrade from HD to 4K to 8K, for example, and have all these formats work alongside each other, simply by adding more capacity, or a new compression algorithm, rather than having to rip and replace everything. That’s the beauty of delivering broadcast quality systems over IP.”

 

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