SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Peter Silva, Kevin Jackson, Jessica Qiu, Dana Gardner, Dan Stolts

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Arista Networks and FOX Networks Engineering & Operations Showcase Next-Generation Broadcasting Technology at NAB 2014

Booth SL12707 -- Arista Networks announced today a new demonstration of next-generation broadcasting technologies at the annual National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show. The demo, a joint effort with FOX Networks Engineering & Operations (FOX NE&O), will showcase technology to support the migration of legacy broadcast plants to packet-based Ethernet networks, allowing broadcasters to benefit from Ethernet and Data Center economics.

FOX NE&O has developed a concept for performing seamless switching of uncompressed, broadcast-quality HD video through the use of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) Ethernet switches. Arista supports a wide range of SDN technologies in its Arista EOS (Extensible Operating System) software. This demonstration, called “Source-Timed SDN Video Switching,” uses Arista’s DirectFlow technology to perform dynamic steering of network flows and facilitate precisely timed, automated control of real-time media streams.

The Arista / FOX NE&O demonstration shows frame-accurate, seamless switching of uncompressed HD video carried over SMPTE 2022-6 IP Multicast streams. The ability to perform frame-accurate switching is a requirement of broadcast networks and should be supported in a packet-based infrastructure for migration to the next-generation Ethernet broadcast plant.

“FOX NE&O believes that the broadcast plant of the future will look more like a modern data center with lots of servers and network switches, instead of the legacy plant which has miles of unidirectional point-to-point SDI cables and expensive, custom AV hardware,” said Thomas Edwards, VP of Engineering and Development at FOX Networks Engineering and Operations. “The flexibility and potential economies of scale obtained with a modern infrastructure based on commercial off-the-shelf data center equipment is extremely compelling,” added Edwards.

Additionally, Arista is announcing support for the IEEE Audio Video Bridging standards (known as AVB) in several of Arista’s Ethernet switch product lines with demonstrations of video transport over AVB with AXON and audio transport over AVB with Riedel Communications. AVB allows high-quality real-time media to be reliably transported over Ethernet networks with accurate time synchronization.

Legacy media networks were built using point-to-point connections such as Serial Digital Interface (SDI) for video and AES3 digital audio. Such legacy networks have massive and complex wiring plants, cross point switches with limited flexibility and are very expensive due to a limited market size for the technology. AVB allows professional media to be reliably transported over an Ethernet network with the benefits of a packet-based infrastructure: greatly simplified cabling, great flexibility in signal routing and processing, and the advantage of extremely low costs due to the ubiquitous nature of Ethernet.

AXON is very pleased that Arista is helping to broaden the ecosystem for building AVB solutions,” said Jan Eveleens, Chief Executive Officer of Axon Digital Design. “We believe that AVB is an important set of standards for allowing Ethernet technology to be widely applied to the world of broadcast.”

About Arista Networks

The company was founded to deliver software-driven cloud networking solutions for large data center and computing environments. Arista’s award-winning 10/40/100GbE switches redefine scalability, robustness, and price-performance, with over 2000 customers and more than two million cloud networking ports being deployed worldwide. At the core of Arista’s platform is Arista EOS, an advanced network operating system. Arista Networks products are available worldwide through distribution partners, systems integrators and resellers. Additional information and resources can be found at: http://www.aristanetworks.com

About Fox Networks Group

Fox Networks Group is a primary operating unit of 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) and consists of Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX), FOX Sports Media Group, the company’s national and regional cable programming services, FOX International Channels and Fox Networks Engineering & Operations. These units produce, program and transmit much of America’s most popular entertainment, sports and information content via 44 owned-and-operated and joint venture TV networks, video on demand and other media platforms. FOX is America’s most popular network; Fox Networks Group cable channels span FX, FXX, FXM, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo Mundo, FSN and 22 regional cable sports networks, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, FOX Soccer Plus, FOX College Sports, FOX Deportes, FOX Life, Baby TV, BTN (co-venture with the Big Ten Conference), additionally digital extensions including BTN2Go, FOX Sports GO, FXNOW, and Nat Geo TV. FOX International Channels features U.S. Spanish-language broadcast net MundoFox, in addition to more than 300 networks delivered in 48 languages across Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The division also includes Fox Sports Enterprises, which manages interests in sports franchises and leading statistical information provider STATS, LLC.

ARISTA, EOS and Spline are among the registered and unregistered trademarks of Arista Networks, Inc. in jurisdictions around the world. Other company names or product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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