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IPMX is Interoperability

IPMX is built on SMPTE ST 2110 and is supported by a large base of manufacturers. Critical announcements from some new adopters of IPMX have now been showcased in live demonstrations, showcasing capabilities not possible with any other AV-over-IP protocols.

At the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), most of our members have been in the broadcast and Pro AV markets for many years. So, it was a natural step for our organization to support a proposed set of open standards and specifications to enable the carriage of compressed and uncompressed video, audio, and data over IP networks for the pro AV market. The result of that work is IPMX (Internet Protocol Media Experience), which builds on foundational work from SMPTE ST 2110 (professional media over managed IP Networks suite of standards),  AWMA (Advanced Media Workflow Association), and VSF (Video Services Forum) to ensure accessibility and ease of use in the implementation of AV-over-IP workflows and operations.

However, as we reached out to the Pro AV, we realized that we need to show the standards in a pro AV context. InfoComm 2022 gave us a chance to put IPMX in front of people to prove how useful open standards could be in the field. The results were fantastic.

Here is a recap of key IPMX demo highlights from InfoComm 2022 as well as some examples of common Pro AV pain points solved by the smooth interaction between production and presentation workflows and devices.

IPMX Demonstrates Interoperability
Because IPMX is built on SMPTE ST 2110, it is already supported by a large base of manufacturers, and that number has grown at a good clip since it was first introduced. ISE in May 2022 and InfoComm in June 2022 marked critical announcements from some new adopters of IPMX and showcased live demonstrations of capabilities simply not possible with any other AV-over-IP protocols.

That is why AIMS decided to use InfoComm to feature equipment from a dozen manufacturers that showed IPMX working perfectly in live production and presentation workflows, while also interoperating seamlessly with synchronized ST 2110 systems. During the show, a SMPTE ST 2110 network operating with broadcast facility-grade specifications ran alongside two asynchronous enterprise AV-over-IP networks, one for uncompressed media while the other was running sub-frame latency AV-over-IP content on a 1Gb/s network.

At the center of the demonstration, a Unilumin LED wall was powered by a Megapixel VR dvLED wall processor. The LED wall showed uncompressed IPMX sources from each vendor, sending perfect 4K computer (PC) desktop as well as live 4K camera content through a mixed Cisco and Arista Networks infrastructure.

PTP (Precision Time Protocol) on the SMPTE ST 2110 network was powered by an Arista switch, while devices such as the Ross Video NEWT and Matrox Vero produced SMPTE ST 2110 signals into the system. An Intel server handled the conversion of the uncompressed IP media into JPEG-XS while sustaining the incredibly low latency necessary to keep the entire series of networks operating with sub-frame latency.

The second interconnected network was running on NETGEAR M-Series Pro AV switches. The JPEG-XS content from the Intel server on the SMPTE ST 2110 network was sent to the NETGEAR Pro AV switch operating an asynchronous IPMX environment. The IPMX senders and receivers on this network consisted of both hardware and software endpoints. The compressed pro AV network showed IPMX content on Macnica and Nextera Video hardware aimed at developers. Macnica also showcased a laptop running the IPMX media on its software toolchain and displayed the content in a window on a Microsoft Windows OS and intoPIX showed a NUC running an nVidia GPU and powering the IPMX demo in software decode, as well.

As an important bonus, the compressed pro AV network featured a HDBaseT to/from IPMX gateway demo. The AIMS booth demo showed this gateway acting as an AV-over-IP receiver with an HDBaseT output. The HDBaseT Alliance booth showed this gateway acting as an HDBaseT capture to AV over IP sender.

Finally, for control, the equipment in all three interconnected networks leveraged IPMX’s Networked Media Open Specifications (NMOS), and two NMOS system controllers from different vendors controlled the NMOS endpoints: one in a dedicated application, and one in a browser-based application.

More to Come
This demonstration of interoperability among so many different systems was validation of the power of IPMX to enable the pro AV media flows of the present and future.

Just as we at AIMS had hoped and planned, the development of an open standards-based protocol has not only simplified implementation and interoperability issues, but also freed manufacturers to deliver IPMX-ready products and solutions to support AV-over-IP workflows. We’re seeing the momentum grow, and we’re confident the benefits to the pro AV market will continue to increase, as well.

Author’s note: This demonstration included contributions from AIMS members Arista, Cisco, intoPIX, Macnica, Matrox, and Ross. Guest contributors included Intel, MegaPixel VR, NETGEAR, Nextera Video, and STAGENET.

Samuel Recine is the Pro AV Working Group Chair for the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), and the Vice President of Sales for the AV/IT Group Americas & Asia Pacific at Matrox Graphics Inc. Recine joined Matrox in 1997 amidst the rise of PC-based standards and surging PC sales. He has held commercial and product management roles at Matrox and is currently focused on contributing to the growth of performance media over IP markets.


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