Leading Broadcast Suppliers Launch Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS)
A group of broadcast and media industry suppliers including Grass Valley, Imagine Communications, Lawo, Snell Advanced Media, and Nevion have collaborated to form the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS). This new, independent trade association’s mandate is to bring IP solutions to market that offer complete interoperability, are based on open standards, and integrate seamlessly into media workflow environments to foster industry innovation and efficiency. The group’s efforts will be focused on promoting the adoption, standardization, development and refinement of open protocols for media over IP, with an initial emphasis on VSF TR-03 and TR-04, SMPTE 2022-6, and AES67.
As broadcasters and other media companies look to use IP workflows to speed and streamline the movement and management of increasingly complex content and adapt their businesses to better compete with other content options such as over-the-top (OTT), open standards are the key to protecting current investments and ensuring long-term interoperability.
Specifically, AIMS will prioritize three key strategies:
- Initiatives that facilitate the education and adoption of open standards
- Facilitation of activities that accelerate the development of solutions that support these open standards
- Nurturing the creation of new standards by supporting standards bodies with participation and testing in real-world environments
“The mission of the Alliance for IP Media Solutions is to endorse open standards and protect the choice that broadcasters and media companies must have when selecting the right solution for their particular needs,” notes Steve Reynolds, CTO, Imagine Communications. Mike Cronk, senior vice president of strategic marketing, Grass Valley, adds, “Our intent is to avoid perpetuating a future where suppliers push their proprietary technologies only to lock media companies into technologies that don’t work well with other systems or are not easily scaled and upgraded.”
Andreas Hilmer, director of marketing and communications with Lawo, continues, “AIMS’s support of open standards and technical recommendations such as TR-03, TR-04 and AES67 afford us an opportunity to eliminate the fragmentation of implementations that our industry has endured over the last 20 years—our chance to avoid repeating expensive and time-consuming mistakes of the past.”
Tim Thorsteinson, CEO of Snell Advanced Media (SAM) adds, “In this transition to IP, we need one set of standards that become as ubiquitous as SDI. SAM is throwing its weight behind AIMS because it supports the only set of standards for IP that have been collaboratively developed and that meet the needs of future business models.”
Open standards work for the IP transition is already underway by the 74-member Video Services Forum (VSF), with the support of organizations such as SMPTE and the EBU. AIMS endorses the work of the VSF and will continue to lend support in the development of a standard approach to IP. More than 30 broadcast equipment manufacturers are actively testing and validating the VSF’s approach today.
AIMS provides specific guidance in its bylaws to its members and to the media industry via the AIMS Roadmap. The organization endorses an IP transition plan that includes support for SMPTE 2022-6, AES67, and VSF recommendations TR-03 and TR-04.
A number of solutions are already on the market to help media companies begin the transition by introducing IP components to an SDI workflow. The transition represents a significant investment and will not happen overnight. An open standards approach allows media companies to implement the technology over time and transition at the pace that makes sense for their businesses.
“The rate of change in broadcast and media is unprecedented, so it is critical that the industry rapidly aligns with open standards to the benefit of all—from suppliers to end users,” says Brad Gilmer, executive director of VSF. “The approach that AIMS is endorsing is already enjoying broad industry support and is well suited to the industry’s future, providing IP’s enhanced flexibility and cost efficiencies by leveraging the huge investments being made in off-the-shelf IT technology.”
Membership in AIMS is available to all individuals and companies that support open standards and share a commitment to the group’s founding principles.