The Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA) is an open, community-driven forum, advancing business-driven solutions for networked media workflows. AMWA is developing and promoting the Networked Media Open Specifications (NMOS), which is a family of specifications to support the development of products and services within an open industry framework.
AMWA currently focuses on the industry’s move to IP based architectures. To enable software-based systems to recognize and exploit devices, the AMWA has developed the NMOS specifications. This activity complements the work of other well-established technology associations, such as the Audio Engineering Society (AES), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and the Video Services Forum (VSF).
The Joint Task Force on Networked Media (JT-NM) released a reference architecture to address the problem of interoperability in 2015. The reference architecture describes a conceptual model for interoperability and use cases, 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 JT-NM did not go as far as working on specifications or encouraging implementations. Instead, it laid out a reference architecture and a collection of best practices, leaving it to initiatives such as NMOS to work out the details and to get implementers together to create interoperable solutions.
At the time of writing (August 2018), AMWA has published the IS-04 specification for registration and discovery of broadcast resources, and we are starting to see it making its way into the various suppliers’ products and roadmaps. IS-04 offers a way to register, discover and find resources on the network automatically – an important piece of the puzzle to support flexibility in IP based broadcast networks.
Recently, AMWA has published the IS-05 specification for connection management of NMOS devices. This allows a management system to provision connections between senders and receivers, and also supports a way to establish ad-hoc connections directly between devices without the presence of a management solution.
In addition, work is in progress within AMWA on emerging specifications for network control (future IS-06), logical content modelling and in-stream identity and timing (also known as RTP header extensions).
At present, all these needs can only be achieved by adapting proprietary equipmentinterfaces into the management systems, but if widespread adoption of NMOS standards can be achieved then management and interoperability in a multi-vendor environment may be significantly easier in the future. There are however shortcomings in the specifications with regards to control of device specific features, which is identified as an area of potential future development within NMOS.