Can Cities Use Existing I-Nets as Low-Cost Private IP Video Transport Networks?

Updated: Apr 10, 2024

A professional film camera set up at a city council meeting for live streaming on multiple platforms

In the dynamic landscape of video production and broadcasting, local governments and municipal communications teams are searching for ways to maximize capacity and reach with their existing infrastructure. The last installation of our Connected Communities Summit shed light on this transformative approach, particularly focusing on how cities can leverage their Institutional Networks (I-Nets) for a cost-effective IP Video transport workflow that even the NFL would envy.

How I-Nets Emerged and How They Have Evolved

I-Nets have long been a backbone for secure internal data transport in cities, connecting the various municipal venues around town. However, with evolving technology, there's a pressing need to transition these networks for contemporary use like video transport from City Hall or other remote locations for live-streamed event coverage. Nick elaborates on this evolution, recounting the shift from SDI video workflows to today’s methods.

The Shift to IP Video Workflows

Nick’s key takeaway is the feasibility of converting existing I-Nets into private networks capable of transporting IP video. Professional sports networks famously adopted this workflow years ago, deploying local crews to game sites that send the video back to a remote production facility. Given that many cities already have this infrastructure, the cost of entry to adopt these workflows can be significantly lower than what private commercial operations pay and ultimately might mean huge long-term cost savings for cities switching from existing SDI workflows. Utilizing IP Video workflows also allows for seamless delivery of live municipal meeting coverage to modern platforms like over-the-top streaming boxes (OTT), mobile streaming apps and live streams on social media platforms.

Benefits of Transitioning to IP Video Workflows

The move to IP video workflows offers numerous advantages for local governments and municipalities. As previously mentioned, using Institutional Networks in this way allows for centralized control of video production. Operators can manage government meetings and other broadcasts remotely from a central control room, enhancing efficiency and reducing the need for on-site operation. This centralized approach, as Nick points out, is becoming an industry standard, enabling high-quality production without the necessity of on-site production trucks. This flexibility is particularly great for municipalities with multiple venues that are already connected via the I-Net, allowing them to streamline their video production processes on a fast, secure connection.

Real-World Applications and Future Prospects

From broadcasting city council meetings to covering community events to offering useful video feeds like traffic cams, city video specialists can repurpose their existing I-Nets to significantly enhance their capacity, security, reach, and align with the new centralized production model that is becoming industry standard.

Gearing Up For Your IP Video Workflow

Wondering what to do next? Ensuring that your headend video playback server can ingest IP video streams natively is a great place to start. Cablecast VIO video servers ingest the most commonly used IP video network protocols with no additional hardware needed. Cablecast also enables IP distribution of your content to neighboring towns via our RTMP service and HLS streams via a Cablecast LIVE or Cablecast VIO OMNI. Get in touch with our team (add link) to learn how to build your IP video workflow with Cablecast.

Government Video Digest

Connected Communities Summit: Can Cities Use Institutional Networks (I-Nets) For Secure IP Video Transport?

Wondering if your city can leverage existing infrastructure to modernize government service delivery? Nick Brandt explores the use of I-Net for IP Video Transport to live stream City Meetings.

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