Marketplace standards for AV over IP

There’s little doubt that product standardization offers benefits to users and increases the adoption of a technology.  The telephone, the PC, and Ethernet are all examples we know.  As consultants, we’re watching networked audio coalesce around AES67, and for broadcasters, SMPTE ST 2110 is rolling out.  But the Pro-A/V industry still has a distance to go.

The ability to send video over Ethernet has been around for a while, and has taken off recently as costs have dropped.  It’s now routine to see this in larger projects, but we’re immediately presented with a problem.  Which manufacturer, and which products, do we use?  Many of the systems running at 10Gbps employ SDVoE technology, nominally interoperable, though problematic if we look at proprietary extensions for things like system control, image compositing, and KVM distribution.  And at 1Gbps, manufacturers have each developed their own closed technologies from the ground up.  Once committed to a manufacturer, we’re locked in.

But there’s recently been some progress with products at this lower speed.  The Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS) has proposed a set of standards they’re calling Internet Protocol Media Experience (IPMX).  The goal is to bring order to mainstream A/V, and their website provides some information.  Details are thin, and there’s no assurance of market acceptance.  But it’s a start, and one we should encourage.  Open standards benefit us all.