VoIP is a technology for transmitting high-definition video over IP networks in nearly real-time, sufficient for seamless video switching. There is growing interest within the video production and broadcast industries in producing not only HD, but also 4K and 8K content live, and IP technology can provide the needed capacity and flexibility to achieve and distribute this. Panasonic Corporation has been taking part in VoIP standards groups, developing products with this technology, and conducting trials on it for years, working towards a convergence of established broadcasting and IT/IP communication workflows.

Panasonic's position is that an open and flexible approach to the use of IP technology in the field of video production is absolutely essential to furthering VoIP for the whole industry. Specific initiatives have included collaboration with Grass Valley (announced at IBC 2015) and officially joining the Alliance for IP Media Systems (AIMS) in March 2016. Panasonic is committed to collaboration with industry-leading companies, each bringing the technologies in which they excel to establish interoperability.

Panasonic has been collaborating with Canon on VoIP trials in anticipation of 4K/60p transmission. At NAB, a 10Gb Ethernet cable will connect the Panasonic (C3607) and Canon (C3627) booths. Each booth will have a 4K camera, and the Panasonic booth will also have a 4K video server. Together, the booths will exhibit a system using the VoIP Gateway in which users can select video to display from the server, with support from switching software.

The VoIP Gateway converts 4K/60p baseband signals into IP packets and uses TICO compression to enable transmission of up to three channels of 4K/60p on a single 10GbE cable. It enables two-channel 4K/60p signals or eight-channel HD signals in a 1U size complying with SMPTE 2022, SMPTE 2059 and SMPTE RDD 35, as well as time-synchronization through the IP network.

Lightweight video compression makes 4K video transmission realistic, and to achieve this Panasonic is partnering with intoPIX, a company that has developed the TICO codec. TICO, supported by a growing alliance of companies, is an excellent lightweight, visually lossless compression technology. It offers high stability with with a minimum, fixed delay as low as one line, all making TICO especially well-suited to IP transmission and enabling realistic 4K VoIP for a variety of applications.

In the future, Panasonic anticipates building the VoIP gateway functionality directly into products, allowing video production equipment to seamlessly connect by VoIP.