The Future of Documentation: Unified System Design
Date & Time
Monday, October 24, 2022, 4:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Lukas Odhner
Broadcast engineering documentation has been around a long time. Originally drawings, drafted by hand, served the function of capturing the intended state of a system or design. Software started playing a role in the design process in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s. AutoCAD has since been the tool of choice for broadcast documentation through the transition from analog to digital (SMPTE 259M), and the transition to HD (SMPTE 292M). However, the shift to IP video has been more challenging to document than any standard that proceeded it. MPEG-TS, ST 2022-6, and ST 2110 are fundamentally different from SDI standards that have a clear correlation between signal and cable. For IP-native standards, when it comes to the relationship status between the physical and the logical… It’s complicated. For instance, there could be hundreds of video and audio signals on a single cable. Those signals are likely going in both directions and are likely serving multiple points on the air-chain. Line drawings, used for decades to document signal flow, no longer tell the whole story. VLANs and multicast IPs generally don’t fit or belong on a drawing. Industry approaches to documentation need to evolve.
• Drawings of physical connections do not meet the documentation requirements of a modern, IP-based media infrastructure. Different tools and new approaches are needed. Excel isn’t cutting it.
• Network automation is an approach to network design and configuration that forces documentation before deployment. These methods are being broadly adopted in enterprise networks but have yet to make their ways into most media network deployments.
• New tools, including some open source projects, provide a framework that are, first and foremost, built to document networks on a logical level.

This session will include real-life case studies and introduce some proven approaches to address growing gaps in system documentation.
Location Name
Salon 2
Take-Aways from this Presentation
• Signal flow-based documentation tools such as AutoCAD need to be re-evaluated from the perspective of the logical and the network. • Methods for maintaining integrations with existing documentation libraries (e.g. drawings) are key to success. • Business Units in a single organization (such as “Broadcast” and “Corporate IT”) may have different approaches to documentation. Bridging the gap between these BUs will help align the business and increase operational efficiency • Documenting systems accurately using the right tools, speeds deployment and increases engineering productivity and system resiliency.