Sachin Agnihotri, Sales Director, TVU Networks

Although IP-based video transport traditionally focused on contribution of recorded and live news from the field, it has evolved into content distribution, switching, and routing. It breaks down the walls of discrete digital islands and improves workflow efficiency within a TV station. IP connectivity can extend to news production resources, such as news wires, graphics libraries, and scriptwriting tools to journalists on location where they now can work as if they were seated behind their desks. IP-based workflow enables stations and affiliates to quickly and efficiently share video content between each other and their viewing audiences.

Moving to standardize over IP has become a logical evolution for broadcasters. IP infrastructure is ubiquitous and large amounts of bandwidth are available throughout much of the world. However, despite the proliferation of IP, many broadcast facilities are still built with legacy infrastructures, requiring costly equipment to encode, decode, and transcode disparate analog, IP, and digital sources to SDI, so it can be ingested into the workflow and converted to a usable broadcast signal.

For a vast majority of broadcasters, one of the biggest challenges inherent in this internal device sprawl and network complexity is the challenge of sharing live video cost-effectively in real time. Because of the complex infrastructure and myriad video sources, broadcast stations have been forced to implement a siloed operational approach, which is especially problematic for stations affiliated with a larger station group or broadcast network. Until now, sharing live video in real time between stations has required additional encoding equipment and expensive satellite time, and has slowed broadcasters' ability to fully leverage existing IP infrastructures.

To that end, TVU Networks has developed TVU Grid to help broadcasters fully leverage the promise of IP and simplify their ability to share live video in real time cost-effectively. TVU Grid is an IP-based point-to-point and point-to-multipoint distribution, routing, and switching solution. It is a network of devices that allows a station to acquire live video from any source and instantly share live video streams with other broadcast stations.

The TVU Transceiver is the primary component of TVU Grid, enabling stations to share live video in real time. The TVU Transceiver sits in each television station and connects it to the Grid. The TVU Transceiver can accept video input from any source, whether it is from other stations connected to the Grid, from any TVU IP-based transmitter, or from any other SDI source in the station.

The TVU Transceiver works over any IP network with sufficient bandwidth. It can feed multiple streams to the Grid simultaneously, enabling television stations to upload live ENG shots as well as video from an SDI source in the studio at the same time with minimal latency. The Transceiver also enables stations to feed video to other locations in multiple video formats. As a result, they can push streaming video to other platforms beyond over-the-air broadcast, such as social media like Facebook Live, and content delivery networks.

TVU Grid's primary benefit is that it enables broadcasters to scale the number of stations connected to the Grid without dramatically increasing bandwidth requirements at each individual station. To save on bandwidth requirements at each location, TVU Grid employs an on-demand pull model, enabling stations connected to the Grid to see any available stream and request it with the click of a mouse.