NEP Group, the leading media technology partner for content creators worldwide, announced today that its software-defined network (SDN) product, TFC Link, is a winner at the 2023 NAB Show Product of the Year Awards in the IT Networking/Infrastructure & Security category. This official awards program recognizes some of the most significant and promising new products and technologies showcased by exhibitors at the 2023 NAB Show.
TFC Link is NEP Group’s software-defined network (SDN) product designed to seamlessly configure and manage network flows within consumer-off-the-shelf (COTS) infrastructure and between broadcast facilities. A meta-aware control system, TFC Link orchestrates end points, supervises the fabric and constantly feeds metrics back to the network controller to optimize workflows. TFC Link’s software defined network also helps our customers bridge the gap between traditional baseband facilities and native IP facilities through a single demarcation solution. Because it runs from the same platform as broadcast control, it allows for direct native communication between broadcast systems and network infrastructure, providing a powerful tool for our industry.
NAB Show Product of the Year Award Winners were selected by a panel of industry experts in 15 categories and announced in a live awards ceremony at NAB Show on April 18. To be eligible for an award, nominated products had to come from companies exhibiting at the 2023 NAB Show and be delivered within the 2023 calendar year.
“We are honored to have our TFC Link product recognized at this year’s NAB Show Product of the Year Awards,” says Dan Murphy, Vice President of Product Management, NEP Core, and one of the founders of NEP’s cutting-edge TFC broadcast control application.
“Our suite of TFC-supported products, including TFC Link – built and designed to meet our clients’ needs to help them bring their content to life – has been a passion project within NEP for many, many years, and we are delighted to share this recognition with the many developers, engineers and clients across the world that helped bring this broadcast solution to the industry.” Murphy adds: “The continued adoption of IP-based 2110 technology has unlocked a new world of opportunity – allowing the broadcast industry to utilize remote workflows, scale their productions and adopt new software and cloud-based technologies. However, along with these opportunities has come a significant increase in complexity that is challenging broadcast engineers as they navigate new systems, new technologies and an increased reliance on networking infrastructure. Through smart use of software and automations, TFC Link eases this complexity for engineers, allowing them to harness the potential of IP, without the time and specialty skill that would normally be required to manage network infrastructure.”
Neil Smith, Technical Product Manager and one of the other founders for NEP Group, says: “Having TFC Link recognized for Product of the Year at the 2023 NAB Show – the ultimate marketplace for next-generation technology in the broadcast industry – is incredibly impactful to our global company, and brings the journey of our next generation TFC application full circle.”
Smith adds: “TFC Link is an easy-to-use tool that harnesses the potential of IP technology, and provides broadcasters with greater flexibility, scalability, and security for managing their networks and delivering their content – making it a critical new technology for the broadcast industry.”
Eric Trabb, NAB SVP and Chief Customer Success Officer, says: “During our centennial year, NAB continues to recognize the products that are transforming how content is being created, connected and capitalized throughout the broadcast, media and entertainment industry. Congratulations to NEP Group for winning the 2023 NAB Show Product of the Year Award in recognition of TFC Link, a product that has demonstrated its ability to help storytellers face the challenges of the present and future by revolutionizing a critical stage of the content lifecycle.”
TFC Link Harnesses the Potential of IP Technology
Purpose-built for the broadcast industry, TFC Link was developed by a team of NEP’s new generation engineers, strengthened by the company’s four decades of experience supporting live productions around the globe. That experience led the vision for an SDN tool that was hosted from the same platform as broadcast control which provides a completely symbiotic relationship between broadcast systems and network infrastructure; making TFC Link a powerful tool uniquely suited to meet industry needs.
These insights can be seen in key features, most notably, the easy-to-use TFC application – which allows routine tasks to easily be managed on site by any broadcast engineer, not requiring specialty network skills or knowledge. In the backend, it relieves the complexity of IP network infrastructure through intelligent use of software design and system automations.
Due to its smart use of IP infrastructure, coupled with powerful software, TFC Link allows for many efficiencies during deployment. Its capacity to automate load balancing and manage network flows ensures the most efficient use of bandwidth. This allows for great reductions on the volume of cabling and other networking infrastructure commonly needed to manage large broadcast compounds.
TFC Link has several key network security features built in, including robust monitoring services. It allows for priority flows to be tagged and automatically protected during live broadcast, mitigating risks should there be a link failure during the show. Although it auto-detects and configures new devices added to the network, it quarantines until they have been authenticated by an authorized engineer before their switch ports are enabled for routing.
TFC Link proved its value during major sporting events in 2023, including NBA All-Star Weekend.
Visit nepgroup.com to learn more about NEP’s live production and connected solutions.