In 2016, NBCUniversal began the project to design and build the new global headquarters for Telemundo Enterprises in Miami Florida. The facility that became known as Telemundo Center would feature 13 production studios and 7 control rooms supporting scripted episodic content, daily live news and sports programming, beginning with FIFA World Cup 2018. To support the scale and flexibility required for a facility of this magnitude, the key technical design consideration was the use of a software-defined video network infrastructure. At the time of launch in spring of 2018, Telemundo Center was home to the largest SMPTE ST 2110 environment in the world, consisting of over 12,000 unique HD sources and 150,000 multicast streams across audio and video.
This paper will explore the major considerations and challenges in building such a large scale, all-IP broadcast production facility. We will demonstrate design factors around switching of video flows, redundancy, control and orchestration, PTP master clock systems and handoffs to multi-manufacturer SMPTE ST 2110 devices as well as non-IP enabled devices. This paper will also discuss our experience and lessons learned with utilizing a Software Defined Network (SDN) control plane and routing commands that abstract the underlying physical and link-level connectivity.
Some key topics include approaches to pooled resources and management of centralized operations; gaps in existing standards, with strategies to overcome limitations; the promise and the peril of differing ergonomic and performance characteristics of SMPTE ST 2110 endpoints – support for redundancy, clean switching, and audio/video synchronization.
We will propose a reference architecture for supporting a GPS-sourced, large-scale PTP distribution to over 500 end points and explore some of the limitations and corresponding solutions encountered in PTP distribution at scale. Finally, we will demonstrate new software-defined infrastructure concepts such as virtual sources and virtual destinations which replaced legacy physical design patterns in this build.
Technical Depth of Presentation
Our presentation is of a fundamental-to-intermediate technical depth. We assume a broad familiarity with SDI-era broadcast facility design as a counterpoint to IP-era solutions. But discussion will primarily address system-level or application-level considerations without deep analysis of underlying standards and protocols.
What Attendees will Benefit Most from this Presentation
We intend our presentation to speak to a broad range of audience members, from C-Suite Executives to project and maintenance engineers.
Take-Aways from this Presentation
Our presentation will provide attendees with a practical road map for the large-scale IP production facility - not a comprehensive solution, but rather a set of key questions and considerations informing plant design. Ultimately, we seek to demystify IP to help drive adoption among the broadcast community.