IBC 2016: Imagine Communications shows working interop based on AIMS collaboration

At IBC, Imagine Communications is showing interoperability in action on its booth, demonstrating that the transition to IP is happening and working, sitting on a backbone provided by companies from the AIMS Alliance. Imagine Communications Vice President EMEA Mathias Eckert explained to SVG how the company sees the current scenario with regard to the IP and IT transition.

“What we’re seeing is that, three years after announcing we would move to IP, it has been the right direction,” he said. “The train has left the station, but it is very important that our customers decide the speed and how to adapt to IP. In addition to the complexity of IP-IT, you also have UHD coming into play – which is adding to the complexity and accelerating the discussion.

“One of the key things we saw,” he continued, “was that we needed to bring a lot of vendors together, and that’s why we co-founded AIMS; this has accelerated tremendously over nine months with over 50 vendors now on board. This will ensure that, very much like the SDI workflow, customers can plug and play with different vendors. It is essential from an interoperability point of view.

“On our booth, we’re showing Sony and GV cameras going into a hybrid control system and router, controlling a standard IP switch or an SDI router over IP3. Then we’re showing the multiviewer on our EPIC system, completely IP and scalable, flexible, and multiformat. This is a hybrid approach, depending on your pace of change,” he said.

“We’re also showing a Lawo audio console and an EVS [DYVI] vision mixer and we are playing back into the Azure cloud to America; transcoding, decoding and sending it back here over OTT streaming on our transcoding system. This is a complete hybrid IP-based workflow on standard hardware, here on the booth – all AIMS, SMPTE 2020, TR03. Vision becomes reality: including a high level of interoperability between different vendors. That’s very important for us.

“If you look at who joined AIMS over the last nine months, it’s a who’s who of vendors. As part of that membership you sign, you [agree to] support this roadmap for implementation in your products. It’s not just a fluffy statement, it’s real. You also see customers joining AIMS, and that’s very important. We need users and vendors teaming up to decide the direction – otherwise it can fall apart.”

At the show, Imagine Communications and Siemens Convergence Creators have announced a strategic partnership that will allow the signees to join forces to deliver a solution designed to assist content owners and video service providers (VSPs) in maximising the revenue potential of their OTT video services.

A pillar of the deal is the integration of the Smart Video Engine, Siemens Convergence Creators’ modular and open online video platform, with Imagine Communications’ CloudXtream media- and ad-delivery solutions to enable a solution for service providers. The combined solution delivers to VSPs a one-stop shop for offering VOD, live/linear and cloud DVR services using subscription, targeted ad-supported or hybrid monetisation models.

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