What is the VSF (Video Services Forum)?

The Video Services Forum was founded in 1998 to provide forums to identify issues related to video networking technology and foster resolution of issues common to the video services industry
promoting interoperability by contributing to and supporting development of standards by national and international standards bodies

What this meant is that they worked together with a number of organisations and individuals to create the first specifications to bring video into the IP world. Whilst proprietary solutions had already been available, the VSF brought a number of separate players into the same, open, arena which laid the groundwork to bringing their specifications TR-03 and TR-04 to SMPTE for standardisation within the SMPTE 2110 suite of standards.

The VSF is now the centre of activity for the development of the RIST protocol, Reliable Internet Stream Transport. The easiest way to explain RIST is by saying it’s an open version of SRT or Zixi as most people are more familiar with those technologies. Both are well known for their ability to make the internet into a reliable medium for connectivity for contribution. SRT was created by Haivision, and both Zixi and Haivision are part of the Rist activity group to create the specifications needed for RIST which will be deployed in three phases: Simple, Main and Advanced. The first two have already burst forth as free-to-access specifications that anyone can implement.

If you’ve ever read the agenda of the VidTrans meetings which happen every year around February, you’ll understand how much of the detail and, I would say, the complexity, the VSF and delegates deal with, process and, by implementing the specs appropriately, deal with on behalf of the rest of the industry. Last year’s agenda is here https://vsf.tv/about_vsf.shtml

To conclude, some of the industry’s most forward-looking people are part of the VSF activities laying the groundwork now for the work that broadcasters will want to do in only a few years’ time.