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Major Vendors Launch AIMS in IP Standards Push

A number of major vendors have joined together to create a new trade association that will push for the adoption, standardization and development of open standards to help broadcasters make the transition from SDI to IP.

The newly created Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS) trade association is backed by Imagine Communications, Grass Valley, Snell Advanced Media, Lawo and Nevion.
The development is notable because the transition to IP has been one of the hottest topics in broadcast technologies.

While the shift to IP opens up a number of opportunities for broadcasters and promises to provide them with a much more flexible infrastructure that can adapt faster to technology changes, it also poses a number of issues in the area of standards that AIMS hopes to address.

The backers say that AIMS’ initial focus will be on VSF TR-03 and TR-04, SMPTE 2022-6 and AES67 and that it will work to help develop interoperability based on open standards between technologies.

“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,” noted Steve Reynolds, CTO, Imagine Communications in a statement.

In another statement, Mike Cronk, senior VP of strategic marketing, Grass Valley, added that, “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.”

“In this transition to IP, we need one set of standards that become as ubiquitous as SDI,” noted Tim Thorsteinson, CEO of Snell Advanced Media (SAM) in a statement. “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, the group noted in a statement.

AIMS members also stressed that they endorse the work of the VSF and that more than 30 broadcast equipment manufacturers are actively testing and validating the VSF’s approach.

The organization also noted that it endorses an IP transition plan that includes support for SMPTE 2022-6, AES67 and VSF recommendations TR-03 and TR-04.