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France Télévisions deploys IP production technologies

A new type of production control room, two OB Van and a mobile control room are currently under study at France Télévisions.

This is a real technological breakthrough: SDI, which was until then the standard dedicated to the transport of digital video, is replaced by IP (Internet Protocol). Our tools will therefore evolve in the coming years towards the next market standard.

At France Télévisions, IP is not a new technology. From 2015, the company has studied and evaluated these new technologies by regularly organizing proofs of concept (2015, 2016 and 2018). These technologies are now mature for deployment within the company.

Three projects :

An all-IP control room

At the head office of France Télévisions, in the Valin building, there is a set where the program “La grande Librairie” is producted. Until then, this set had been usually used with an OB Van. The project to build a control room to produce programs in virtual settings is launched.

This control room will be based on an entirely IP infrastructure. Most of the signals exchanged will be IP signals based on new software and hardware technologies. These technologies allow faster maintenance, optimized operation and simplified updating.

The European call for tenders was published on November 12, 2020, the choice of supplier will be final in April 2021 for an “on air” release in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Two OB Vans

The company Broadcasting Center Europe (BCE) was selected in 2020 following a European call for tenders for the renewal of two OB Van.

These new vehicles will be equipped with hybrid technology (IP and SDI). Particular attention was paid during the study phase to the ergonomics of the operation and to cyber security.

The Engineering and La Fabrique (FranceTV Production) teams are working together on this project with a view to delivering the first OB Van for the 2021 Telethon and the second medium during 2022.

A mobile IP control room

Supplied by the company BCE, its delivery is planned for 2022.

What it will change

The IP revolution is underway. This change in technology is accompanied by new ways of working. We are seeing a gradual convergence between the worlds of broadcasting and IT.

New skills will be required, such as network administration, management of IT infrastructures or cybersecurity. France TV’s IT department will thus make a major contribution to these new projects.

These first fixed and mobile control rooms are an important first step. They will enable us to clearly identify the issues at stake, to assess the technical and human consequences as accurately as possible, and to calmly tackle future renewals of our production facilities at headquarters or in the regions.

By Olivier Jouinot

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