In 2017, the early days of SMPTE ST 2110, the NFL began planning for the buildout of the brand new NFL LA facility in Inglewood, CA. Our goal was to construct a strong facility using the most recent technology to permit for format agnostic, agile broadcast workflows.
The ability would have six production control rooms, six audio control rooms and 4 stages. It will be home to the NFL network, NFL.com and NFL Redzone entities. The positioning would encompass 74,922 sq. ft. of studio and studio-support space. It is a component of the brand new Hollywood Park neighborhood, built on the old racetrack, and is adjoining to SoFi stadium, home of the LA Rams and LA Chargers, with interconnectivity between locations.
NFL LA acts as the first news outlet for the NFL. The business revolves around delivering fast, accurate and reliable information from every team. Inherent delays in systems quickly add up over the gap of a workflow, and we were determined as engineers to eliminate as much as possible.
SNP-MV, the multiviewer personality of Imagine’s popular Selenio Network Processor (SNP) platform, allowed our in-house staff to speak to the sphere crew and coordinate changes in real-time. These workflows require real time monitoring tools to enable our production teams to do their jobs effectively. On the core of those monitoring systems can be our next-generation multiviewer.
In 2019 we were testing as many vendors and multiviewer solutions as possible. We were in search of low latency processing across formats, resiliency to failure, ease of configuration, and with error alerting and tally integration. In our proof-of-concept interoperability lab we found many platforms that achieved some but not all of those requirements.
When Imagine introduced the SNP-MV personality, we were excited to run the system through our POC testing gauntlet. We were already accustomed to the SNP platform, having evaluated its performance in comparison with its competitors available in the market. The SNP quickly became one in every of our primary selections for frame synchronizers and for SDI to ST 2110 conversion.
The SNP is exclusive since it is capable of turning into a format converter, a frame synchronizer, or a 2110 encapsulator quickly and intensely reliably. It became known in our shop because the Swiss army knife, for its ability to simply change configurations to suit a lot of workflows.
Because the 14th century scholastic philosopher William of Ockham theorized; ‘entities mustn’t be multiplied beyond necessity’. A principle at the basis of the NFL LA project stemming from one in every of the unique design engineers. In our world this translates to vendors, but more specifically to databases. We knew our architecture would have a routing database, a tally database, and an audio control database, so we preferred not so as to add a multiviewer database.
Engineers reading this may not be surprised at how easy it’s, within the IP world, to have bloated databases that require manual synchronization. I’ve spent many a sleepless night concerned about all of the ways unnecessary databases compound points of failure. It was for that reason, that the concept of using a single device interchangeably and increasing this to our multiviewers, was extremely appealing.
In our testing, the SNP-MV personality went above and beyond our initial expectation. It achieved consistent low latency processing, provided ST 2110 error alerting, possessing a well-known design GUI for layouts, integration with industry leading tally vendors, and seamless redundancy failover.
It’s now 2022, and we’ve got a full NFL season under our belt from our recent NFL LA facility. The buildup of years of labor has brought us to the belief of our goals. We house Imagine’s SNP-MV as our primary solution for low-latency, high-priority production workflows. Super Bowl LVI was held at SoFi Stadium, and the half time show was produced in-house at NFL LA leveraging the ability of the SNP-MV.