I remember when I was a junior studio broadcast engineer learning the intricacies of the analog waveform monitor and vectorscope back in the 1980s. For video engineers, these were the tools of the trade, and they were essential for a broadcast station to stay in compliance of very stringent analog signals. Fast-forward a few decades, and the signals that were once based on pulses have been replaced by digital SDI signals — and soon, those SDI signals will be replaced by Ethernet packets. With the new SMPTE ST 2110 standard for uncompressed IP video and audio about to come online, it’s incumbent on engineers to understand all they can about the standard called Ethernet.
While Ethernet has existed in television studios for years, it has mainly been confined to configuration and control networks. More recently, Ethernet has also provided a vehicle to carry compressed transport streams, introducing a new way of thinking and a departure from the older pulse-based streams for carrying compressed video using Asynchronous Serial Interface (ASI).
This primer is intended to give a good overview of Studio Video over IP (SVIP) in the uncompressed domain using Ethernet, with the goal of making these concepts a bit easier for engineers to understand and, more importantly, to command.