This section is where you set up all the communication video, audio and control links between different Stageboxes in your network. It is also where you manage your sync, metadata and ident. It is important to enter settings carefully and accurately to ensure the correct funtionality of all the Stagebox features in your setup.

There are 8 tabs each one shown below with explanation of key fields

Send

In this section you set the parameters used by this Stagebox to send signals over IP.

Options are available to enable / disable sending of video and audio. These setting can be disabled to reduce network traffic if required. The default is enabled.

  • Destination IP Address
    • Stagebox wraps Video, Audio, Camera Control and Tally into one media stream which is sent to a destination IP which can be a multicast group address. Note that a Stagebox will automatically send to a multicast address if a valid address is given. For a Stagebox to receive a multicast stream, multicast must be enabled in the receive tab.
  • Base Port
    • Different stream elements are located on seperate ports, starting from a specific Base Port. This will normally be set to AUTO but can be changed to accomodate certain software requirements. A receiving Stagebox must use the same Base Port as this Stagebox and it can be automatically detected (see receive tab)
  • RTCP Name
    • Stagebox uses standard RTP streams which define the use of a stream or RTCP name. This allows receiving equipment to identify the media stream and RTP end point.
  • Packet time-to-live
    • Time to live (TTL) or hop limit is a mechanism that limits the lifespan or lifetime of data in a network. In computer networking, TTL prevents a data packet from circulating indefinitely.

MediaStream_send

Receive

In this section you set the parameters used by this Stagebox to receive signals over IP

There is an options to enable / disable receiving of video and audio. This setting can be disabled to reduce network traffic if required. The default is enabled.

If you are using this Stagebox to receive from a multicast group and in all applications where PTP timing is to be used, receiving from multicast group must be enabled.

  • Source IP Address
  • Enter the IP address of the Stagebox that will be sending signals to this Stagebox

The setup information you have entered for a Stagebox and its associated IP stream can be used to automatically identify its multicast address group and base port number. If the far end Stagebox is live on the system, click Find media stream settings to populate the following two dropdown boxes automatically.

  • Receiving media stream’s multicast group address
    • To receive signals from a Stagebox that is multicasting you need to enter its IP address and multicast group address. The IP address has already been set, enter the multicast group address here.
  • Receiving media stream’s base port
    • Stageboxes send different stream elements on seperate ports, starting from a specific base port. In order for this Stagebox to read off those elements correctly you need to enter the same base port as the sending Stagebox here.

MediaStream_receive

Video

SDI video is encoded and decoded by Stagebox using a light compression based on the H.264 I frame only standard and encapsulated in a RTP stream for transmission over a Gigabit Ethernet network. Tha advantage of this approach is that quality is maintained using a native editing format and timing information is maintained with every frame of compressed video being assigned a Time Code.

In this section you set what version of CODEC is used and from where the Time Stamp information is derived. You also have a number of loop through options which are useful for checking the video through this Stagebox.

The Encoding profile options are shown below

  • Encoding profile
    • AVCi 100
      • Standard CODEC format common to most editing systems
    • H.264
      • Expanded toolset for quality improvement and bandwidth control

Time Code can be inserted into the RTP stream in two ways

  • Time Code Source for encoded video
    • Use network clock
      • Timecode will follow network time stamps
    • Use SDI input
      • Timecode will follow connected devices

MediaStream_video

Audio

Stageboxes are able to handle up to eight stereo pairs of audio embedded in the SDI stream and also have a high quality analogue auxillary audio pair available, which can be used in a 4-wire talkback system.

All audio is bi-directional.

The full eight SDI audio pairs are currently only available on the unidirectional build, with the bi-directional build being limited to two stereo pairs plus auxillary.

The audio matrix in this section will allow you to route audio as required by checking the appropriate boxes.

Notice that the default for the aux audio is to be received on the auxilary channel, but it can also be embedded into the SDI signal. Likewise embedded audio from the sending Stagebox can be de-embedded and played out on the aux channel.

MediaStream_audio

Metadata

A powerful feature of the Stagebox is the ability to send metadata along with the media content. This allows a receiving Stagebox to display information regarding the production on top of the received video. It is important to note the metadata is not embedded into the content so the clean feed is preserved.

A number of standard fields are provided to describe the content of “This Stagebox” , such as location, date, camera operater etc.

The information entered here can be requested and displayed by a receiving Stagebox.

MediaStream_metadata

Camera Control and Tally

Stagebox camera control enables IP streaming of camera control data in a variety of different formats and for most common camera manufacturers.

Camera control is bi-directional and a receiving Stagebox can be configured to receive its camera control from a multicast address which is different to that of the media stream. This mean that multiple Stageboxes can be controlled by a single controller without affecting the video routing.

The physical interface technology for the camera control input and output can be one of the following:

  • RS232
  • RS485
  • Lanc

Each of these serial transport streams are fundamentaly the same, and in the Camera Control tab you will need to select the combination of speed (BAUD rate), number of bits, parity and stop bits. These options are avaialable from the drop-down-box Camera Control Format where the parameters are show as follows:

  • speed / number of bits / parity / stop bits
    • eg. 24000 8N1
      • Baud rate = 24000
      • Number of bits = 8
      • Parity = Even
      • Stop Bits = 1

If you are receiving the camera control data from one specific IP address you should check that box. If you are receiving camera control from a multicast address you must check the appropriate box and enter both the IP address you want to receive from AND the mutlicast group address.

In this section you can also switch the Tally lights on or off.

MediaStream_control

Sync

Synchronisation is an important feature of Stagebox, which is one of the only products avaialble to implement the Precision Time Protocol (PTP) timing method for video systems. Based on IEEE1588-2 and the upcoming SMPTE2059 standards, Stagebox accounts for the variability and uncertainty in network time delays to produce a stable and accurate video clock. This means that in a Stagebox network, video synchronisation is preserved and traditional video interfaces like Genlock and LTC can be used.

Stagebox also uses a media stream format that adds a time stamp for every frame of compressed video, making it very straight forward to ingest multiple Stagebox streams into your editing software whilst maintaining frame accuracy.

In order to use all the features of Stagebox you need to run in PTP mode, this will allow you to multicast video audio and control signals across the network leading to a very flexible setup. Some IT infrastructures will however limit the possibility of using PTP, for example certain switches and routers in a layer 3 network will not handle PTP, or complex layer 2 networks will not give reliable PTP performance. In these situations you will need to use the Source Synchronous mode where two point-to-point Stageboxes synchronize between themselves without relying on the network clock.

Synchronisation in video systems is important and can be complex, so each dropdown box is described below and please click on the box for more detailed information.

MediaStream_sync

Ident

Each local Stagebox can output ident information on its SDI output. This inofrmation can be requrested from the sending Stagebox, so that it’s associated metadata can be displayed on the screen and it can be generated locally by using the user defined text field. If avaialble in the system, ident will also display the time code.

Options are available to switch ident on or off and to ouput just the Stagebox logo.

MediaStream_ident