Guides & Articles
Frequently Asked Questions About IPMX
- What is the IPMX standard, and what are its main features?
- Why are standards important?
- Why is an open standards-based solution important?
- What are the practical benefits of IPMX?
- How significant is IP, and what does it contribute?
- Is there a need for new standards as Broadcast and AV converge?
- What are the main infrastructure issues arising from the convergence of broadcasting and AV?
- How is IPMX different from NDI?
What is the IPMX standard, and what are its main features?
IPMX (Internet Protocol Media Experience) is a set of open standards and specifications created by AIMS (the Alliance for IP Media Solutions) to provide a consistent and interoperable way to transport AV over IP in the ProAV industry. The industry’s diverse needs—from live events to installations—are all addressed by IPMX.
IPMX is IP based so it can work on 1 Gbps to 100 Gbps networks and beyond, including wireless. This is made possible by the support of a standard compression scheme which enables ultra-low latency while maintaining excellent quality. It can also support full true uncompressed quality, if needed. IPMX can transport any resolution up to 8K and beyond, in 4:4:4 10-bit color or target a 4:2:2 color space to remain consistent with other quality sources and elements in the workflow. To keep up with the ever-changing security landscape, IPMX has a growing security solution and supports HDCP 2.x for protected content support, which is essential in many ProAV workflows.
Why are standards important?
Standards allow for the focus of energy to be placed on value added. With a standard like IPMX, the foundation and interoperability are already defined, which reduces the risk of technical issues for manufacturers, installers, and end customers alike. Manufacturers can focus their freed energy on adding value with better features, quality, or performance. Installers can focus on learning one standard and building their expertise, making them faster and more efficient. It also provides them with a large range of products and tools to pull from, and additional security from having multiple interoperable vendors. The end users can now focus on getting their work done because they have security of supply, stronger features, and more competition which drives innovation. Driving innovation means better products in every way, expands markets, creates more, and ultimately benefits all industries.
Why is an open standards-based solution important?
IPMX is designed to deliver interoperability between vendors and ease deployments. The problem with the ProAV industry today is that it has too many proprietary solutions, and none of them are interoperable. If you buy a solution from vendor A, you are stuck with that solution. When you deploy an open standards-based solution like IPMX, you can choose from multiple vendors and mix the best-in-class product from vendor B with the best in calls product from vendor C. This allows you to implement a unique solution that can better meet your needs.
What are the practical benefits of IPMX?
For the ProAV markets, IPMX delivers a flexible, high-performance platform upon which manufacturers can build almost any solution. IPMX is error resilient, effective performance, and easy to use.
- Flexibility: IPMX allows flexibility through its ability to function with a wide range of networking gear at maximum compatible speeds, catering to the level of precision that the user needs. The solution will adapt to the network setup, so the end user doesn’t need to.
- Error Resiliency: IPMX offers three different levels of error resiliency to make sure that you can choose the right level for your needs. From a fully redundant solution, a mid-level solution, and a solution that relies on network protocol and equipment.
- Performance: IPMX offers HDR, HFR, 4K, and 8K support, at 4:4:4, and 4:2:2.
- Ease of use: IPMX can be deployed in almost every scenario because it offers the ability to drive a solution whether it’s with complex and expensive equipment, or simpler network equipment.
- HDCP: A true HDCP specification was released in Spring 2021 by the HDCP organization to help guarantee interoperability and maximize compatibility with protected content. Of course, HDMI and EDID are supported features that allow for automatic display setup and resolution support. No standard can claim easy without having thought through how to automatically support the best resolution considering the source and the display. For more information on HDCP specifications, click here.
How significant is IP, and what does it contribute?
Internet Protocol (IP) in IPMX is responsible for the exchange of data packets between devices in a network. It uses packet-switched technology that allows for data to be routed through a network without the need for a physical connection between devices. This makes it an important part of IPMX, as it allows for media to be exchanged between devices in a more efficient and reliable manner. As a result, it is often used in situations where real-time communication is required, such as in broadcast applications.
Is there a need for new standards as Broadcast and AV converge?
Standards have a time and a place. In most situations, starting with a proprietary solution allows for a much more rapid response to a problem at the cost of lock in and is typically very limited. Once the proprietary solutions have hit the market and a basic understanding is obtained, we start to understand what can be accomplished. This is when we begin to craft the standards.
Before IPMX, Broadcast paved the way with standards like SMPTE ST 2110 and NMOS. A group of like-minded companies got together and, through AIMS and other organizations, drove the development of the set of open standards that represents the existing IP standard in broadcast today. Then, based on their findings, IPMX was born.
IPMX is ST 2110 and NMOS based, but with some additions to meet the requirements of ProAV workflows. The result is an IP standard that allows for the command and control of AV content over an IP network. What is perhaps even more valuable is that it’s highly interoperable between Broadcast and ProAV, which means there is even more energy driving the development of these open standard solutions.
What are the main infrastructure issues arising from the convergence of broadcasting and AV?
In the past, Broadcast took a more disciplined approach by focusing on SDI. It was a demanding and tight specification providing uncompromised quality, good distance, and simplicity, but at a premium price. ProAV decided on taking a more flexible approach and pursued HDMI, DisplayPort, and in some cases, SDI. This allowed for a cost-effective solution but often led to interoperability issues due to the mixing of too many different solution types.
How is IPMX different from NDI?
NDI is a sensible system that has gathered an impressive network of applications and is utilized by many brands. The objectives of IPMX and NDI are different yet complementary to each other. A key difference is in the way they both exploit the bandwidth made available by standard networks, whether 1G or the larger 10G, 25G, or more. Although NDI might support more simultaneous streams of the same quality, IPMX enables transmission of higher video quality – including uncompressed 4K60, 4:4:4, and HDR. Ultimately, industries would benefit the most if NDI and IPMX could work together.