MCI’s XMedia.Lab Shapes the Future of Broadcast IP Workflows With AJA IP Solutions
March 9, 2021
As the broadcast industry transitions from traditional SDI baseband infrastructures to hybrid IP/SDI and fully IP architectures, exploring best practices and evaluating evolving protocols is key to streamlining efficient and secure media distribution over networks. For the engineers of Studio Hamburg MCI, actively shaping the future of IP-based broadcast workflows through partnering with leading broadcast and IT manufacturers is an ongoing pursuit. MCI boasts more than 40 years of experience engineering and integrating state-of-the-art broadcast and ProAV systems, and in 2018, the company founded an IP lab to test the latest technical developments in broadcast IP. As a further development, the XMedia.Lab was established in 2020 to focus on practical applications of IP protocols and evolving hybrid workflows.
The primary technology standards leaders driving new protocols for media transport over IP are SMPTE in the United States and the EBU in Europe. In response to wider adoption of broadcast IP workflows, MCI founded the XMedia.Lab to test practical applications of SMPTE and EBU IP standards in real-world production scenarios. MCI’s engineers possess an acute understanding of the technical and creative challenges that broadcasters face, having specialized in professional broadcast solutions since 1977 as a subsidiary of Studio Hamburg, one of the largest television and film production studios in Europe. Today, MCI’s XMedia.Lab offers broadcasters and manufacturers a comprehensive environment to experiment with current IP solutions and explore future possibilities with the development of new IP-based tools.
To accurately stage and recreate real-world production environments, MCI incorporated a range of native SDI and IP solutions into the XMedia.Lab system. A selection of AJA’s IP-based I/O devices and converters aid in connecting SDI gear and products without native IP interfaces into hybrid workflows. “We’ve worked with AJA solutions for many years because of their production-proven reliability, and in designing the test lab, we chose to integrate AJA KONA IP and IP Mini-Converters to future-proof our workflow and see how they’d perform under experimental environments,” said Fabian Röttcher, Solution Architect at MCI.
MCI’s XMedia.Lab system includes AJA’s flexible KONA IP video and audio I/O card, which features support for up to 4K/UltraHD with SMPTE ST 2110, and AJA’s IPR-10G2-SDI converters for bridging SMPTE ST 2110 with 3G-SDI. During experiments in the test lab, MCI uses KONA IP and IPR-10G2-SDI to bridge legacy SDI products into hybrid IP workflows and solve workflow challenges to optimize efficient media delivery over IP. KONA IP’s further support for SMPTE 2022-6 and uncompressed 3G-SDI video, audio and VANC data makes the I/O device an ideal solution for testing workflows, while IPR-10G2-SDI powers high-end IP to SDI conversion to help the team manage different formats.
“As we aim to explore new possibilities in IP broadcast networks, our many years of experience working with AJA gear enables us to quickly find our way around each solution and optimize integration of each device,” said Röttcher in closing. “Our work is experimental, and when we need to develop workarounds to solve technical challenges, AJA’s IP tools are the precise bridge we need to map workflows.”
For more information on AJA’s full lineup of IP video solutions, visit: www.aja.com/family/ip-video.
About AJA Video Systems, Inc.
Since 1993, AJA Video has been a leading manufacturer of video interface technologies, converters, digital video recording solutions and professional cameras, bringing high-quality, cost-effective products to the professional broadcast, video and post production markets. AJA products are designed and manufactured at our facilities in Grass Valley, California, and sold through an extensive sales channel of resellers and systems integrators around the world. For further information, please see our website at www.aja.com.