Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Technical Courses

Courses reflect the needs of the broadcast & media supply industry
Experts in their fields design and deliver training
Courses can be delivered on-site or in the classroom (restrictions may apply depending on current climate)

Broadcast Training Day
Prepare your whole team for working in the broadcast industry

Broadcast Technology Sessions
Format: Trainer-led, presented online via Zoom
Duration: 2x 0.5 days (scheduled as 4 hours timeslot with 2x 10-minute breaks)

This course is presented for a fixed price either virtually or at your premises. The training plan has been put together to provide a cost effective way to address the often overlooked basics of the broadcast industry and its technology whilst also having a positive impact on staff morale by encouraging back-office/admin staff to be included in the initial session(s). The course explains the market, its terminology and fundamental technologies and concepts.

All sessions are presenter-led with the 3rd ‘technology primer’ session being a lot less formal with scope for wider discussions and frequent tangential topics. There is no upper limit to the number of attendees for each session but the later technical one is more effective when limited to a maximum of 10 people to allow for questions to be adequately addressed.


The syllabus below details the main topics covered in each session. This is not an extensive list – some topics and areas of detail have been omitted for brevity. Slides make extensive use of animation to help explain concepts in an easily approachable way – no prior knowledge is needed for any session. Sessions are fast-paced and designed to cover a lot of topics (particularly in the afternoon ‘Technology Primer’ session). The intention is to give attendees an awareness of ‘what they don’t know’ and achieve some understanding of what makes broadcast special and the main concepts and operational and technological terminology.

Session 1: Broadcast Foundation

Introduces what is/isn’t the industry, explains the Broadcast chain and demystifies common vocabulary people may encounter. The session is suitable for ALL STAFF (admin/non-technical/engineering/developers/services/sales/management).

Setting the Scene

  • What is “The Broadcast Industry”
  • Adjacent industries that have crossover with broadcast technology/workflows
  • Industry Bodies & Organisations (SMPTE, AES, EBU, VSF, AMWA, DPP, IABM, AIMS, JT-NM, IBC, NAB...) 

The Broadcast Chain

  • The Broadcast Chain (Programme Lifecycle)
  • Production (Terminology, Acquisition types, Processes, The Players)
  • Post Production (Video & Audio Editing, Grading, Dubbing, Reversioning)
  • Playout:
    • What makes a channel? (Video, Audio, Graphics, Access Services, SI Data, Triggers, Reports)
    • Playout Architecture Evolution (Automation/CIAB/Edge/Cloud-based)

Broadcast Vs Consumer Technologies

  • Consumer Signals & Connections for Audio & Video (Analogue audio, SPDIF, DVI/HDMI, Display Port)
  • XLRs and Balanced Audio
  • AES3 Digital Audio
  • SDI – What is it and why do we use it?

The evolution of broadcast video and the rise of IP

  • Where it all started (analogue raster)
  • Analogue Video > SDI – lots of wasted space
  • Networking Basics
  • Packetising data & headers (layer model)
  • TCP/UDP protocols for sending data
  • IP Addressing
  • Multicast / IGMPv2/v3
  • PTP as the new Genlock
  • SMPTE 2022-6 (“SDI over IP”)
  • SMPTE 2110 (“Essence Based Flows”)
  • NMOS IS-04 Discovery & Registration
  • Traffic flow / packet pacing

Session 2 – Broadcast Technology

A fast-paced run-through the evolution of broadcast video and how technological decisions made in the early days still impact today’s migration to IP. The session also covers all the basics of IP in broadcast that all technical people should know. Suitable for all technical and semi-technical staff (or anyone with an interest in technology).

Essential Audio Concepts

  • A>D Sampling Theory (Sampling Frequency, Quantisation/Bit Depth, Coding)
  • PCM Audio & AES3 (‘Uncompressed’)
  • Balanced/Unbalanced Audio (recap) > Phase Reversal
  • Measuring and Visualising Audio (PPM/VU Meters, Loudness Measurement)
  • dB (Decibel) Scales
  • Audio over IP (Unicast/Multicast recap, Livewire, Dante, Ravenna, AES-67)

The rise of Multi-Channel Audio

  • Stereo Concepts and Surround Sound
  • 5.1 – LFE Concept
  • Broadcaster vs Consumer signals > Dolby E, Dolby Digital
  • Evolution:
    • Increasing the number of channels> 7.1, 9.1,
    • Adding height and the move to object-audio > x.1.2, x.1.4, Atmos, Next-Gen Audio
    • Beyond Dolby E/D > Commercial pressures, The rise of discrete PCM, Dolby ED2

Essential Video Concepts

  • CRT and the Analogue Raster > Interlacing (Frames & Fields, line numbering, PAL/NTSC frame rates)
  • Colour Television:
    • RGB (How we see colour, Additive Mixing)
    • Colour Space (SD: Rec.601, HD: Rec.709, UHD: BT2020)
    • Component Colour Video (RGB > YCbCr, ‘YUV’)
    • Colour Sub-Sampling (4:4:4, 4:2:2, 4:1:1, 4:2:0)
  • Digital Video (SDI):
    • 8/10-bit depth, Super-Black & Super-White (Limited/Full-range processing)
    • Ancillary Data (16-Ch Embedded Audio, Subtitles, Timecode, AFD, DPI Triggers)
  • System Synchronisation (B&B Distribution, Frame Synchronisers.)
  • Time Signals & Timecode (B&B/Tri-Level/DARS/LTC/BITC/VITC/NTP/PTP, Timecode, Drop-Frame)
  • Video Routing (SDI Routers – why IP is so attractive!)

Compression & Distribution

  • Compression Concepts (Lossless vs Lossy, Prediction, Audio compression)
  • Video Compression Concepts (Spatial: Macroblocks/DCT, Temporal: Prediction, Motion Vectors)
  • GOP Encoding (I-Frame vs Long-GOP, IBBP, Presentation vs. Transmission order)
  • Codecs and Wrappers/Containers (Common Codecs & wrappers, Transcode/re-wrap)
  • Video Scaling/Conversion (Up/Down/Cross, Standards/Framerate Conversion)
  • Video Encoding (MPEG-2/H.264/HEVC etc, Constant/variable bitrate, Levels and Profiles)
  • MPEG/DVB Transmission (Multiplexing/SPTS/MPTS, SI Data, ASI, MPEG-TS over IP)
  • Streaming over the Internet (TCP/UDP, Packet Loss, FEC, Re-Transmission, Zixi/SRT/RIST)
  • Adaptive Bitrate Video Streaming (Segmentation, Packaging, Bitrate Ladders, Technologies)
  • Streaming Architectures, (Origin servers, Cache Servers & CDN)