LOGIC media solutions advise NDR on technical migration and IP-based infrastructure

Broadcasters are in a constant process of change in their technical infrastructure. However, the ubiquitous shift to an IP-based infrastructure in the industry represents a paradigm shift that causes many questions: What do future-proof types of contribution look like to efficiently transport real-time audio and video signals within and between broadcast centres? How can such a fundamental project be implemented optimally, efficiently and resource-saving, and what must the result look like? These were just a few of the questions and considerations that LOGIC media solutions discussed with German public broadcaster NDR (Norddeutscher Rundfunk) during a consulting project dealing with the modernisation of NDR’s central control room in Hamburg, and from which recommendations were developed.

During the project phase, which lasted almost a year, LOGIC accompanied NDR to explore the possibilities of modernising the main control room and formulate recommendations. In NDR’s main control room in Hamburg, investments and modernisation measures are planned over the next few years to make it future-proof and to replace end-of-lifecycle technology. One part of LOGIC’s considerations cover whether SMPTE ST 2110, combined with SDN, can help streamline or simplify the contribution at NDR and break down the individual silos (TV, radio, online). LOGIC implemented the project with the help of its agile framework PORTAL. Within PORTAL LOGIC uses the PORTAL.skillset unit to support media companies in implementing complex media infrastructures or, as in the case of NDR, to carry out consulting projects as part of a change process.

In this specific case, LOGIC set up a multi-stage project that began by interviewing and documenting the current processes and workflows within the NDR and, in a further step, critically questioning the current state. In the next part of the project, LOGIC developed possible new infrastructures, considering the current and potential future functions. The aim and conclusion of the consultancy project were to hand over recommendations for future infrastructures and the necessary organisational structures that can modernise the NDR in the long term.

An essential result of the project was that there is only limited added value in migrating individual areas, such as the main control room, to IP (ST 2110). The full potential of the new technology is realised when organisations don’t focus on the areas as singular “islands” but look at the interfaces or the network between the areas and implement the changes here. Haci Cengiz, SDN Consultant at LOGIC, explains the project: “To elicit such a process and formulate recommendations comprehensively, we take a broad look at the current circumstances. We needed to involve the NDR employees from the beginning in taking stock of the current situation and formulating a recommendation. From our experience, it is clear that such change processes can only be successful when considering the people that work with the infrastructures, occupy the workflows and operate the technology.”

Felix Scheuer, Solution Architect at LOGIC, adds: “Beyond the purely technical and infrastructure recommendations that were part of our consultancy, we hosted workshops, informed the NDR staff about the possibilities of IP-based production and established a knowledge base. This common knowledge base regarding the possibilities of future IP-based infrastructures is, in our understanding, essential to define goals and formulate recommendations.”

For more information on the PORTAL framework from LOGIC media solutions, click here:

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