What are the Networked Media Open Specifications?

They are a growing family of specifications which are available to both suppliers and end users, at no cost, to support the development of products and services which work within an open industry framework. Wherever possible, the specifications are being developed using Internet standards or Internet-friendly techniques. They are complementary to and co-exist with industry specifications; for example, TR-03 and AES67.

In a departure from our normal process, the AMWA specifications are open to everyone, even while they are works-in-progress, and are hosted on GitHub, a very popular open development platform. This means anyone can see our specifications, even as they are taking shape.

An overview and a more detailed description of the specifications are available on the Brochures, White Papers, Presentations & Links page.

The specifications are evolving and expanding continuously. For up-to-date information, please visit the Open Specifications page.

Why do we need Open Specifications for Networked Media?

Media companies are currently planning to purchase IP-based professional media solutions and are faced with an increasing range of non-convergent solutions, particularly for functionality beyond the 'wire-for-wire' replacement for SDI that is specified in SMPTE ST2022.

If this trend continues, interoperability between products from different suppliers will be very limited and end users’ ability to build best of breed systems will be severely restricted. As a consequence, the industry would face a painful 'rationalization' as systems which have been relatively recently purchased would have to either be retrofitted or replaced entirely by a future generation of more interoperable software and hardware.

The goal for this initiative and the Open Specifications is to deliver interoperability and increase the choice of products across a wide range of suppliers. All media companies and industry suppliers are welcome to join.

Which organizations are supporting Open Specifications

Several industry organizations currently have initiatives in support of Open Specifications. While focused on different aspects, they all complement each other and add constructively to the creation of the Specifications.

Read how these all relate to each other on the Industry Organizations supporting Open Specifications page

Didn't the Joint Task Force on Networked Media publish a Reference Architecture to address the problem of interoperability?

The JT-NM Reference Architecture describes a conceptual model for interoperability for use cases that go beyond the ST2022 based approaches, designed for contribution that will allow end users and manufacturers to truly benefit from the cost saving, flexibility and scalability of an Internet-based approach.

However, the Joint Task Force did not go as far as working on specifications or encouraging implementations. Instead, they laid out a Reference Architecture and a collection of best practices, leaving it to initiatives such as NMOS and the AMWA Networked Media Incubator project to work out the details and to get implementers together to create interoperable solutions.

It is the goal that these early implementations will start with a few fundamental frameworks and that these will make future interoperability much easier and less costly for both end users and their suppliers.

How will the Networked Media Incubator Project help?

The project seeks to maximize early interoperability in this space by adopting an open, iterative approach. For each phase, the group will pick a technical area of focus, agree to a design approach, independently implement, and test interoperation at a physical meeting. The first phase focused on on the foundational frameworks identified in the JT-NM RA: timing, identity and registration & discovery.

Further details are on the What is the Networked Media Incubator project? page

Does this initiative have support?

The list of end users who wish to design best of breed systems and the suppliers that wish to support them continues to grow.

See them listed on the Networked Media Incubator participants page