SMPTE® Publishes First Two Parts of Standard Enabling Deployment of PTP-Timed Equipment in Existing SDI Plants

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SMPTE ST 2059-1 and ST 2059-2 Facilitate Manufacture of New Equipment “Timed” in Traditional Manner to Interoperate Properly With Existing SDI Infrastructure

Alan Lambshead

, there are nontrivial technical difficulties associated with making the switch from traditional SDI-based systems to IP-based systems

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®), one of the worldwide leaders in motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, media, entertainment, and technology industries, today announced its publication of SMPTE ST 2059-1 and SMPTE ST 2059-2 These are the first two parts of a new multipart document suite standardizing the use of IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) to provide time-aligned signal generation, thus permitting the interoperable use of IP-based media equipment with conventional genlocked SDI equipment.

“While there has been considerable interest in the topic of media — video, audio, and data — delivered over IP, there are nontrivial technical difficulties associated with making the switch from traditional SDI-based systems to IP-based systems,” said Alan Lambshead, standards vice president at SMPTE. “Chief among these challenges is that of timing new equipment so that it can interconnect with existing infrastructure. Directly addressing this issue, SMPTE ST 2059-1 and SMPTE ST 2059-2 are foundational standards that will permit interoperable products to be built and allow users to begin incorporating ‘islands’ of PTP-timed equipment into their existing SDI-based facilities.”

SMPTE ST 2059-1 is titled “Generation and Alignment of Interface Signals to the SMPTE Epoch,” and SMPTE ST 2059-2 is titled “SMPTE Profile for Use of IEEE-1588 Precision Time Protocol in Professional Broadcast Applications.” Although PTP is widely deployed in many sectors, these documents describe a specific media-based PTP profile required to use PTP-based equipment in the professional media industry. The first part of this standard provides standard algorithms that enable users to align existing signals to PTP, permitting interoperability with existing infrastructure. Recommended Practices and Engineering Guidelines for the SMPTE 2059 document suite are now in the process of being drafted.

In addition to representing a major advance in enabling IP-based transport of media, the publication of SMPTE ST 2059-1 and ST 2059-2 also underscores SMPTE’s partnership with the IEEE. The documents build upon IEEE 1588, a widely deployed and supported technology in other industries, and bring the benefits of PTP to the media and entertainment industry.

The standard is now available in the SMPTE Digital Library: library.smpte.org. Further information about SMPTE is available at http://www.smpte.org.

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About the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®)
The Oscar® and Emmy® Award-winning Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®), a professional membership association, is one of the leaders in the advancement of the art, science, and craft of the image, sound, and metadata ecosystem, worldwide. An internationally recognized and accredited organization, SMPTE advances moving-imagery education and engineering across the communications, technology, media, and entertainment industries. Since its founding in 1916, SMPTE has published the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal and developed more than 800 standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines.

More than 6,000 members — motion-imaging executives, engineers, creative and technology professionals, researchers, scientists, educators, and students — who meet in Sections throughout the world sustain the Society. Through the Society’s partnership with the Hollywood Professional Alliance® (HPA®), this membership is complemented by the professional community of businesses and individuals who provide the expertise, support, tools, and infrastructure for the creation and finishing of motion pictures, television programs, commercials, digital media, and other dynamic media content. Information on joining SMPTE is available at http://www.smpte.org/join.

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