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Updated: April 2, 2024

What is the SMPTE ST 2110 Suite of Standards?

The SMPTE ST 2110 Professional Media Over Managed IP Networks suite of standards is a major contributing factor in the movement toward one common internet protocol (IP)-based mechanism for the professional media industries.* The foundation for SMPTE ST 2110 standards is Video Services Forum (VSF) Technical Recommendation for Transport of Uncompressed Elementary Stream Media Over IP (TR-03), which VFS agreed to make available to SMPTE as a contribution toward the new suite of standards. The SMPTE ST 2110 standards suite specifies the carriage, synchronization, and description of separate elementary essence streams over IP for real-time production, playout, and other professional media applications.

What is the status of ST 2110?

The SMPTE ST 2110 standards suite is multipart and was extended to support additional features since its release in 2017 – 2019. Most of the initial core documents were revised in 2023. The following is the current status of documents included in the suite.

The following documents are now available in the SMPTE digital library at library.smpte.org:

  • Addressing system concerns and uncompressed video and audio streams ·
  • SMPTE ST 2110-21 — specifying traffic shaping and delivery timing of the uncompressed video
  • SMPTE ST 2110-22 – allows the transport of Constant Bit-Rate Compressed Video ·
  • SMPTE ST 2110-31 — specifies the real-time, RTP-based transport of AES3 signals over IP networks, referenced to a network reference clock · SMPTE ST 2110-40 — maps ancillary data packets (as defined in SMPTE ST 291-1) into Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP) packets that are transported via User Data Protocol/Internet Protocol (UDP/IP) and enables those packets to be moved synchronously with associated video and audio essence streams
  • SMPTE ST 2110-41 - defines a flexible RTP payload framework for data items. The framework can be used to transport data items which are tightly time-associated with video or audio RTP Streams, or those that are independent of any video or audio RTP streams. (Pending Publication)
  • SMPTE ST 2110-43 – adds support for Timed Text Markup Language for Captions and Subtitles to the SMPTE ST 2110 standards suite

Several Recommended Practices (RPs) support and extend the core standards

  • SMPTE RP 2110-23 – specifies how a single Video Essence (with hight bitrate like UHD video) can be transported using multiple ST 2110-20 Streams
  • SMPTE RP 2110-24 – addresses special considerations for Standard Definition (SD) video in SMPTE ST 2110 systems
  • SMPTE RP 2110-25 - recommends nomenclature for measurements on SMPTE 2110 systems, together with their associated formulae.

Additional Resources: 

What will the adoption of the SMPTE ST 2110 suite of standards mean for the industry?

The impact goes beyond just replacing serial digital interface (SDI) with IP to the concept of having the flexibility to come up with a whole new set of applications based on, and leveraged off, information technology (IT) protocols and infrastructure.

The advantages of shifting to IP are comparable to those achieved when the industry moved from physical tapes to virtual files for content storage. Files were not treated as if they were just virtual tapes; rather, all the benefits of software and virtualized access have come to be realized with new workflows and functionality offered.

Another advantage is that intra-facility traffic now can be all-IP. Thus, rather than requiring two separate sets of switches — SDI switches for professional media and IP/Ethernet switches for general data — facilities can rely on one common data center infrastructure. Most operators will continue to separate traffic by priority; however, the newer switches do have the intelligence to prioritize real-time media streams.

Are there products on the market now that will support SMPTE ST 2110 standards?

Yes, products do exist now. The SMPTE ST 2110 Drafting Group includes representatives from many different manufacturers and SMPE ST 2110 products are widely available. At the IBC and NAB Show, many of those vendors regularly participated in the IP Showcase and demonstrate SMPTE ST 2110 standards interoperability and solutions based on the suite.

The industry embraced SMPTE ST 2110 and equipment for many applications is now available. A fully interoperable system will require additional areas to be addressed, tying up the standards suite.

Nevertheless, the SMPTE ST 2110 standards are already being adopted by the industry.

What is unique about how the ST 2110 standards suite handles ancillary data?

ST 2110 standards make it possible to separately route and break away ancillary data, as well as the audio and video. This change promises to simplify the process of adding metadata such as captions, subtitles, Teletext, and time codes, as well as tasks such as the processing of multiple audio languages and types.

All elements can be routed separately and brought together again at the endpoint. With ST 2110 standards, each component flow — audio, video, metadata —is synchronized to each other while remaining independent streams

How about Ultra HD, including 4K, 8K, and high-dynamic-range (HDR) imaging? Do SMPTE ST 2110 standards account for new and emerging formats?

Yes! SMPTE ST 2110 standards are video-format-agnostic and therefore support Ultra HD, HDR, and other new and emerging formats. 

Are there accessibility feature in SMPTE ST 2110?

Yes, SMPTE ST 2110 supports the inclusion of closed captioning and subtitles. This can either be achieved by using the traditional VANC carriage or through one of the profiles of TTML2 defined in W3C IMSC1.2 for online applications.