Calrec IP Primer Part 3: PTP

Welcome to the third in an eight-part series of articles on AoIP!

Over the next six weeks, we will be releasing an IP chapter every Wednesday as part of Calrec’s latest IP Primer. The IP Primer will build up your knowledge of IP and will enable you to create reliable AoIP networks to meet the needs of your desired workflow without defining or compromising operations.

We’ll look Precision Time Protocol (PTP), Bandwidth, Latency/Jitter, QoS, Switches and Network Design. This week we dive into PTP in more detail.

Every broadcast environment must have digital audio devices which are in sync. In an IP environment we use a protocol called the Precision Time Protocol, or PTP. Not only is it part of SMPTE 2110, but it’s perfect for IP networks as it removes the need for a separate synchronization infrastructure. This chapter of Calrec’s IP Primer looks at PTP in more detail, including the merits of different kinds of boundary clock, our first look at the BMCA, and PTP messaging.

Kane Rawnsley-Odd

Kane Rawnsley-Odd

Customer Support Engineer at Calrec

Calrec IP Primer Part 3: PTP

In this chapter of Calrec’s IP Primer we look at Precision Time Protocol (PTP) in more detail.

PTP refers to PTPv2, the 2008 revision of IEEE1588. In an IP network it removes the need for separate synchronization infrastructure, and it in fact mandated as part of AES67 and SMPTE ST2110.

We look at what is acceptable and what is unacceptable when it comes to accuracy. We will discuss the pros and cons of ordinary, transparent and boundary clocks and how they affect scalability and Quality of Service, and we talk about port states.

We will also take our first look at the Best Master Clock Algorithm (BMCA). The BMCA decides which NICs and switchports should operate as a specific PTP port state, and BMCA management is an important part of defining network characteristics – we will look at this again in the Network Design chapter.

Finally, we look at PTP messaging; how it works, message intervals and default profiles for AES67 and SMPTE2059-2 – and how they affect BCMA events.

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