IP connectivity made simple

Choosing a control system is probably the most important decision you can make when you’re designing an IP facility or test installation...

It dictates what devices you can work with, and the type of workflows that will sit on top of that control system. So, it is vital that you can trust your vendor to deliver the performance, security, and reliability you need with such a key component of your infrastructure. Here at Pebble we have 22 years’ experience in automation, from our beginnings controlling VTRs, cart machines and routers to our current suite of solutions which control networked devices. This experience, together with our highly skilled dedicated R&D team who have been immersed in broadcast control development within the industry for many years, combine to bring you Pebble’s new IP connection management solution.

Democratising IP with Pebble Control Free

We are your expert partner when it comes to your IP transition and are on a mission to democratise IP! We know that the broadcast community are looking for solutions to match control systems to an IP environment. And we responded to this challenge by creating our latest solution, Pebble Control. And now we’re going one step further by introducing Pebble Control Free.

What can you do with Pebble Control Free?

You can make 15 concurrent input and output connections in total. As shown in the example IP workflow below you could connect 4 cameras, 1 multiviewer and 1 monitor. You can also have up to 50 active inputs and outputs from multiple devices, running on one host with one software panel. For those of you working with legacy devices we include a Legacy Router Emulation feature in the form of a virtual router that sits on top of all the inputs, outputs and containers (consumers and providers) and allows you to map resources into sources and destinations like you would do in a normal router.

Example IP workflow using Pebble Control Free

Pebble Control: The backstory

The broadcast and media community is increasingly making the transition to IP, and more and more uncompressed IP devices are becoming available, from cameras to playout servers. Adopting these standards brings clear benefits, however, the challenge of routing and switching in the world of uncompressed IP is a complex one to solve and can deter adoption for all but the largest broadcast and media enterprises.

Making IP connectivity as simple as SDI

In the baseband world you simply run a coax cable from a playout server to a router, tell the router that – say – input 27 is the output of the server, and you’re in business.

There is a lot more to consider in the world of IP, but secure device management is a key building block for IP environments.

And this is where Pebble Control can help.

We know there is still some uncertainty around IP assignment and the way that broadcast engineers can connect and disconnect devices to IP-based broadcast networks. In IP, there are several vital stages that have to be completed. Connecting devices to a switch might be relatively straightforward, but each device requires an IP address so that it’s visible to the network. Then, for each output on each device, a multicast address and a multicast port for video, for audio, and for ancillary data need to be allocated. In an IP environment it’s also more difficult to lock and synchronise all these sources together, requiring PTP (precision time protocol) parameters to be set for each device.

This is why we developed Pebble Control; to solve these problems and do it in a way that is independent, cost-effective, retains interoperability and does not require any lock in to a specific manufacturer’s ecosystem. This makes Pebble Control a connection management system that assists in the transition to becoming a vendor agnostic IP facility!

Key features

  • Designed to operate with IP deployments of all scales, from small test ‘IP islands’ to enterprise systems
  • Connecting IP devices is as simple as SDI, thanks to Pebble Control’s container logic
  • Simple to configure and deploy
  • Guaranteed to keep pace with IP technology, thanks to Pebble’s commitment to comply with the latest standards as they
    are released, including NMOS
  • Integration with Nevion’s VideoIPath orchestration and SDN (software defined network) control
  • Simplifies the discovery, location and organisation of IP devices to save time and fit workflows
  • The ability to set Favourites enables quick and reliable connection management for the most frequently switched devices
  • Alerts and alarms give actionable information
  • Inbuilt compatibility checking prevents invalid connections being made
  • Flexible choices for hardware or software panels
  • User rights management for custom authentication requirements and authorisation profiles to suit each use case
  • Ensuring the highest levels of security thanks to an advanced user permissions scheme on top of the HTTPS protocol secured by TLS 1.2 encryption
  • Flexible redundancy and hosting options

SMPTE ST 2110, NMOS and IP Networks

SMPTE ST 2110 has been a game-changer for the rollout of uncompressed IP networks in broadcast and is invaluable for the way that it specifies how to transport and synchronise video, audio, and ancillary data. But it doesn’t cover how devices on a network can be discovered or connected, which is where the NMOS suite comes in. We are seeing an increasing amount of proprietary approaches in the market, but the goal has to be to make interoperability simpler rather than putting barriers in the way, which is why NMOS and Pebble Control make such a compelling argument for broadcasters looking to establish IP native workflows.

Pebble Control Free

Your self-contained, scalable and easy to configure IP connection manager, all for free!

Looking for More?

Talk to us and discover how we can be your expert partner as you make the transition to IP. We will listen to your requirements and show you how Pebble Control can help deliver what you need.

Product Comparison

Feature FreeLiteEnterprise
NMOS IS-04 support
NMOS IS-05 Connection Management
NMOS BCP-04-01 Receiver Capabilities support
VideoIPath connection management
Logical container creation and connection management
Control inputs
Virtual components
Legacy router emulation
Software panel (SW Pnl) 1 Yes (*)Yes (*)
SW Pnl: Connection Management action
SW Pnl: IS-07 action
Multi host support Yes (*)
Concurrent user sessions 1Yes (*) Yes (*)
Active IOs 50Yes (*)Yes (*)
Concurrent IO connections 15Yes (*)Yes (*)
Maximum control inputs Yes (*)Yes (*)
Maximum virtual components Yes (*)Yes (*)

*number subject to license agreement

Looking for Even More?

Talk to us and discover how we can be your expert partner as you make the transition to IP. We will listen to your requirements and show you how Pebble Control can help deliver what you need.

Who is Pebble?

Brilliantly delivering world class automation, playout and management solutions to the broadcast community.


Since its formation in 2000, Pebble has grown to become a world leader in the highly specialised and mission-critical field of broadcast automation. We are committed to maintaining and enhancing our excellent reputation for technical innovation, high reliability and exceptional customer service.

Check out other Pebble Solutions