Earlier this week, Lawo announced that it added SPS to its latest radio console update, so we caught up with Lawo Senior Product Manager for Radio Michael Dosch to learn more about the SMPTE standard that defines the technology and why radio engineers should care.
Radio magazine: What is SMPTE 2022-7?
Michael Dosch: It’s part of a set of standards developed in response to TV broadcasters’ desire for greater stability and reliability from IP network infrastructure. Taken as a whole, the entire ST 2022 standard defines best practices for sending digital signals over IP networks, and outlines how they should cope with, and heal from, unexpected conditions.
2022-7, or “Seamless Protection Switching,” has to do specifically with stream redundancy. It defines a standard for transmission of two identical packet streams over separate network routes, so that if packets from one route are lost, the data can be reconstructed using packets from the second stream. It’s called “seamless” because switching between streams is instantaneous and doesn’t impact content. You might also hear it referred to as “hitless merge.”
Radio: Why is the standard relevant for radio broadcast engineers?
Michael Dosch: Because there’s no such thing as too much uptime, and radio has just as much to lose as TV if critical programing goes dark. Every bit of dead air means lost money. ST 2022-7 helps make certain that program loss doesn’t happen.
Radio: Why did you incorporate SMPTE 2022-7 into Radio Software v6.0? And why now?
Michael Dosch: Lawo clients operate mission-critical operations, and they are always looking to harden them even further against the unexpected. We debuted Seamless Protection Switching in our mc256 audio production consoles earlier this year. It seemed natural to integrate it into our newest radio mixing consoles, as well.
Radio: How will this update change workflows for Ruby and Power Core console users?
Michael Dosch: It won’t change the workflow at all. Existing users can apply the Radio v6.0 update with no alteration of the way they work. The addition of SMPTE 2022-7 simply means that engineers, if they wish, can add double-redundancy to that critical link between console engine and AoIP network — whenever their schedule permits.