SMPTE report: Flow Management in Professional Media Networks

The SMPTE – Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers announced the publication of a new report, which investigates current and future technologies for media content flow management.

SMPTE report: Flow Management in Professional Media Networks

SMPTE continues shaping the next generation of standards and providing education for the industry to ensure interoperability as the industry evolves further into IT- and IP-based workflows, and the new report now published is part of that effort.

The publication of the “Report of the Study Group on Flow Management in Professional Media Networks” by — SMPTE, the organization whose standards work has supported a century of advances in entertainment technology and whose membership spans the globe, paves the way for the future. The new, 52-page report, which can be downloaded freely, investigates current and future technologies for media content flow management in professional media networks (PMN), explores user requirements, examines potential transmission methods for management commands, provides an overview of existing standards and specifications now available to the professional media industry, and offers a series of recommendations to the industry including some for future work.

“The Study Group report delves into critical considerations for establishing effective, interoperable flow management across IP networks,” said Howard Lukk, SMPTE director of engineering and standards. “Based on the expertise of SMPTE Members and input from across the industry, the report offers a solid foundation on which to build future standards work — and thereby accelerate the industry’s shift toward more efficient, scalable, agile, and flexible IP infrastructures and workflows.”

Flow management is the mechanism for controlling how real-time media flows are guided through a fabric of Ethernet switches from senders to receivers with the appropriate functionality of media clean switching, reserved media bandwidth, and guaranteed required quality of service (QoS). Ideally, operators managing flows within internet protocol (IP) infrastructure should be able to use router panels and interfaces from the familiar serial digital interface (SDI) infrastructure, but the industry has yet to put forward the necessary underlying professional-grade protocols and mechanisms for this purpose. While work is already in progress within some organizations, open standards are not yet available.

The SMPTE report addresses the gap in existing standardization and ultimately makes recommendations for SMPTE standards work in the areas of QoS profile, congestion management, and authentication in PMN. It also discusses the need for harmonization of device control protocol standards currently available to the industry. Recommendations for the broader media industry include topic areas such as flow switching methods, software-defined networking (SDN) control, and anomaly detection.

The “Report of the Study Group on Flow Management in Professional Media Networks” is available now. Follow the link to request your copy.


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Jose Antunes

I am a writer and photographer living on the West Coast of Portugal, a place I tend to call the Atlantic Realm. An area of rugged cliffs and sandy beaches overlooking the sea, a coastal area sitting between the Atlantic Ocean waves and hills and forests with some of the most magical palaces, castles and prehistorical sites for you to visit and photograph. Little hamlets, vast fields, inviting you to a contemplative state of mind. That’s where I live, and the landscape surely makes you what you are.

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