IP-Testlab at MCI

In June 2019 MCI staged an IP-Testlab to show a migration from an SDI to an IP-based structure. It was based on the current SMPTE /EBU IP roadmap with a focus on NMOS integration. This was preceded by a test lab in 2018, also oriented to the roadmap, but here the focus was still on the proof of the SMPTE-2110 “standard” and was initially to be understood as a 1:1 replacement of a classic baseband structure.

A project team carried out various use cases on the basis of a test setup with components from different manufacturers and presented the results. On this basis the practicability, potential and problems of a network-based infrastructure were discussed with customers.

The IP-Testlab 2019 was made possible by the active support of the vendors and companies Cisco, Computacenter, Grass Valley, Lawo, LOGIC, Nevion, Phabrix, Plura, Riedel, Ross, Sony, Studio Hamburg Postproduction, Studio Hamburg IT-Services and TSL Products.

The IP-Testlab, 2018 as well a 2019, creates a space for IP and broadcast to meet and experiment freely. In the discussion 2019 not only the technical point of view was taken, but the implementability of an IP-based structure was also considered holistically, e.g. with regard to service and workflow structures. Concurrent the currently achieved possibilities were compared with the roadmap for the development of the SMPTE standards ST-2110 and ANWA NMOS-IS-04/IS-05.

Fabian Röttcher, MCI project manager for the IP-Testlab, was satisfied with the results: “Video and audio over IP can already be used technologically today, for example as a replacement for a classic router. However, we deliberately posed the question of the workflow of the future. It has not yet been possible to answer all the questions here.”

In total, progress was visible compared to last year. However, new challenges were also emerging, especially with regard to the integration of new workflows and error analysis. These will have to be worked on further in the future. The large number of participating customers from universities and public broadcasting companies who appeared were also satisfied.


“We are convinced that we have taken an important path with our questions to be able to develop the true advantages of the technology together with our customers and not simply migrate existing infrastructure to IP. There are many questions that go far beyond pure technology. That’s why we deliberately called it Testlab and not Showcase,” says Max Below, Managing Director of MCI.

In order to be able to answer open questions and further develop existing approaches, MCI is already planning another edition of the IP-Testlab in 2020. If you are interested in the IP-Testlab, the project team can be contacted directly at testlab@mci.de.