How does the RIST Suite of Technical Recommendations assist broadcasters?

We’re really proud and lucky to work with an amazingly talented team at Cobalt. As well as constantly developing our own portfolio to meet the growing needs of our customers, we also like to get involved with technical groups and associations to discuss the changing needs of the industry and what we can do to help affect that change.

The RIST Forum is a project that we hold very close to our hearts. Our EVP of Engineering, Dr. Ciro Noronha, is the President of the organization and it’s chaired by our SVP of Worldwide Sales and Marketing, Suzana Brady. Developed jointly by a group of experts from a variety of stakeholder companies, RIST, which stands for Reliable Internet Stream Transport, provides an open, interoperable and technically robust solution for low-latency live video over unmanaged networks. With RIST, interoperability is achieved through clear specifications, while vendors remain free to innovate within their own implementations.

How did RIST come about? Back in 2017 it was clear that device compatibility was becoming an issue. Many solutions were offering contribution quality, live video over the internet and yet the devices available to do this were only compatible with the receiving devices made by the same manufacturers. This incompatibility would clearly limit the practicality, and ultimately the success, of the technology. Following a Video Services Forum discussion during Vidtrans 2017, the RIST Activity Group was born. The organization is now recognized as a driving force behind the protocols emerging to support live contribution over the internet, and it’s growing quickly. Dedicated VSF and RIST members play a key role in solving the technical issues surrounding interoperability via the RIST Activity Group.

By developing various profiles to define levels of interoperability capabilities, we’ve made it easier for vendors to add RIST interoperability standards to their products and for users to identify product features. Vendors can create basic interoperability through adopting RIST Simple Profile. As the name indicates, Simple Profile is simple to implement, but includes powerful features such as ARQ-based packet loss recovery, multi-link support (for bonding and seamless switching), multicast, as well as baseline compatibility with SMPTE ST 20221 FEC. RIST Main Profile adds tunnelling (to simplify IT configuration) and security, which includes both encryption (to protect the content in-flight) and authentication. These days, authentication is a very important feature, to ensure that you know who you are talking to.

From Cobalt’s perspective, support for RIST’s certificate-based authentication enables our products to easily generate and manage security certificates, thereby assuring the validity of an incoming signal’s source and destination.

Don’t hesitate to contact Suzana to find out more.