Video: What is NMOS? with a Secure Control Case Study

Once you’ve implemented SMPTE ST 2110‘s suite of standards on your network, you’ve still got all your work ahead of you in order to implement large-scale workflows. How are you doing to discover new devices? How will you make or change connections between devices? How will you associate audios to the video? Creating a functioning system requires an whole ecosystem of control protocols and information exchange which is exactly what AMWA, the Advanced Media Workflow Association has been working on for many years now.

Jed Deame from Nextera introduces the main specifications that have been developed to work hand-in-hand with uncompressed workflows. All prefixed with IS- which stands for ‘Interface Specificaion’, they are IS-04, IS-05, IS-08, IS-09 and IS-10. Between them they allow you to discover new devices, create connections between then, manage the association of audio with video as well as manage system-wide information. Each of these, Jed goes through in turn. The only relevant ones which are skipped are IS-06 which allows devices to communicate northbound to an SDN controller and IS-07 which manages GPI and tally information.

Jed sets the scene by describing an example ST-2110 setup with devices able to join a network, register their presence and be quickly involved in routing events. He then looks at the first specification in today’s talk, NMOS IS-04. IS-04’s job is to provide an API for nodes (cameras, monitors etc.) to use when they start up to talk to a central registry and lodge some details for further communication. The registry contains a GUID for every resource which covers nodes, devices, sources, flows, senders and receivers. IS-04 also provides a query API for controllers (for instance a control panel).

While IS-04 started off very basic, as it’s moved to version 1.4, it’s added HTTPS transport, paged queries and support for connection management with IS-05 and IS-06. IS-04 is a foundational part of the system allowing each element to have an identity, track when entities are changes and update clients accordingly.

IS-05 manages connections between senders and receivers allowing changes to be immediate or set for the future. It allows, for example, querying of a sender to get the multicast settings and provides for sending that to a receiver. Naturally, when a change has been made, it will update the IS-04 registry.

IS-08 helps manage the complexity which is wrought by allowing all audios to flow separately from the video. Whilst this is a boon for flexibility and reduces much unnecessary processing (in extracting and recombining audio) it also adds a burden of tracking which audios should be used where. IS-08 is the answer from AMWA on how to manage this complexity. This can be used in association with BCP-002 (Best Current Practice) which allows for essences in the IS-04 registry to be tagged showing how they were grouped when they were created.

Jed looks next at IS-09 which he explains provides a way for global facts of the system to be distributed to all devices. Examples of this would be whether HTTPS is in use in the facility, syslog servers, the registration server address and NMOS versions supported.

Security is the topic of the last part of talk. As we’ve seen, IS-04 already allows for encrypted API traffic, and this is mandated in the EBU’s TR-1001. However BCP 003 and IS-10 have also been created to improve this further. IS-10 deals with authorisation to make sure that only intended controllers, senders and receivers are allowed access to the system. And it’s the difference between encryption (confidentiality) and authorisation which Jed looks at next.

It’s no accident that security implementations in AMWA specifications shares a lot in common with widely deployed security practices already in use elsewhere. In fact, in security, if you can at all avoid developing your own system, you should avoid it. In use here is the PKI system and TLS encryption we use on every secure website. Jed steppes through how this works and the importance of the cipher suite which lives under TLS.

The final part of this talk is a case study where a customer required encrypted control, an authorisation server, 4K video over 1GbE, essence encryption, unified routing interface and KVM capabilities. Jed explains how this can all be achieved with the existing specifications or an extension non top of them. Extending the encryption methods for the API to essences allowed them to meet the encryption requirements and adding some other calls on top of the existing NMOS provided a unified routing interface which allowed setting modes on equipment.

Watch now!
For more information, download these slides from a SMPTE UK Section meeting on NMOS

Jed Deame Jed Deame
Nextera Video

Webinar: ATSC 3.0 Signaling, Delivery, and Security Protocols

ATSC 3.0 is bringing IP delivery to terrestrial broadcast. Streaming data live over the air is no mean feat, but nevertheless can be achieved with standard protocols such as MPEG DASH. The difficulty is telling the other end what’s its receiving and making sure that security is maintained ensuring that no one can insert unintended media/data.

In the second of this webinar series from the IEEE BTS, Adam Goldberg digs deep into two standards which form part of ATSC 3.0 to explain how security, delivery and signalling are achieved. Like other recent standards, such as SMPTE’s 2022 and 2110, we see that we’re really dealing with a suite of documents. Starting from the root document A/300, there are currently twenty further documents describing the physical layer, as we learnt last week in the IEEE BTS webinar from Sony’s Luke Fay, management and protocol layer, application and presentation layer as well as the security layer. In this talk Adam, who is Chair of a group on ATSC 3.0 security and vice-chair one on Management and Protocols, explains what’s in the documents A/331 and A/360 which between them define signalling, delivery and security for ATSC 3.0.

Security in ATSC 3.0
One of the benefits of ATSC 3.0’s drive into IP and streaming is that it is able to base itself on widely developed and understood standards which are already in service in other industries. Security is no different, using the same base technology that secure websites use the world over to achieve security. Still colloquially known by its old name, SSL, the encrypted communication with websites has seen several generations since the world first saw ‘HTTPS’ in the address bar. TLS 1.2 and 1.3 are the encryption protocols used to secure and authenticate data within ATSC 3.0 along with X.509 cryptographic signatures.

Authentication vs Encryption
The importance of authentication alongside encryption is hard to overstate. Encryption allows the receiver to ensure that the data wasn’t changed during transport and gives assurance that no one else could have decoded a copy. It provides no assurance that the sender was actually the broadcaster. Certificates are the key to ensuring what’s called a ‘chain of trust’. The certificates, which are also cryptographically signed, match a stored list of ‘trusted parties’ which means that any data arriving can carry a certificate proving it did, indeed, come from the broadcaster or, in the case of apps, a trusted third party.

Signalling and Delivery
Telling the receiver what to expect and what it’s getting is a big topic and dealt with in many places with in the ATSC 3.0 suite. The Service List Table (SLT) provides the data needed for the receiver to get handle on what’s available very quickly which in turn points to the correct Service Layer Signaling (SLS) which, for a specific service, provides the detail needed to access the media components within including the languages available, captions, audio and emergency services.

ATSC 3.0 Receiver Protocol Stack

ATSC 3.0 Receiver Protocol Stack

Media delivery is achieved with two technologies. ROUTE (Real-Time Object Delivery over Unidirectional Transport ) which is an evolution of FLUTE which the 3GPP specified to deliver MPEG DASH over LTE networks. and MMTP (Multimedia Multiplexing Transport Protocol) an MPEG standard which, like MPEG DASH is based on the container format ISO BMFF which we covered in a previous video here on The Broadcast Knowledge

Register now for this webinar to find out how this all connects together so that we can have safe, connected television displaying the right media at the right time from the right source!


Adam Goldberg Adam Goldberg
Chair, ATSC 3.0 Specialist Group on ATSC 3.0 Security
Vice-chair, ATSC 3.0 Specialist Group on Management and Protocols
Director Technical Standards, Sony Electronics

Video: AMWA BCP 003 NMOS API Security

Building security into your infrastructure is more and more important for broadcasters with many now taking very seriously a topic which, only 6 years ago, was only just being discussed. Attacks on broadcasters like TV5 Monde have brought into focus that it’s not just copmanies who have high value rights who are ripe for breach – attacking a broadcaster is a high impact way of getting your message accross.

We have seen how the internet, which was built on very open and trusting protocols, has struggled in recent times to keep abuse to a minimum and to implement security to keep data safe and to keep out unauthorised persons.

And so AMWA is looking at its recent specifcations to ensure there is a clear and interoperable way of implementing security. The benefit of IP should be that that as an industry we can benefit from the work of other industries before us and here, having based these specifications on HTTP interfaces, we can do exactly that. Just like sites on the internet can implemnt HTTPS, we, too use the same mechanism of security certificates and TLS (colloquially known as SSL) encryption to ensure that not only is our data encrypted but also that no one can impersonate anyone else on the network.

Simon Rankine from BBC R&D explains the work he has been part of in defining this secure interface which not only protects from mal-intentioned actors, but also offers some protection from accidental mistakes by staff.

Simon gives a good intorduction to not only how this is a benefit but also how the underlying mechanisms work which are just as applicable to the NMOS APIs as they are to general websites.


Simon Rankine
Simon Rankine
Project Research Engineer,

Video: Securing NMOS Apps

The still-growing NMOS suite of specifications from AMWA defines ways in which your IP network can find and register new devices plugged in to it (e.g. camera, microphone etc.), manage their connections and control them. They fit neatly along side the SMPTE ST 2110 suite of standards which define the way that the essences (video, audio, metadata) are sent over networks intended for professional media.

As such, they are core to a network and as the market for uncompressed media products matures, the attention is on the details such as whether they scale and security.

In this talk, Simon Rankine from BBC R&D starts by explaining the objectives which means looking at the different aspects of security which is split into three; securing data transfer, ensuring data goes to the right place, ensuring only authorised people can act.

TLS, standing for Transport Layer Security, is the same protocol used for secure websites; those which start with https://. It is also referred to by the name of the protocol it replaced, SSL. Given the NMOS APIs are sent over HTTP, TLS is a perfect match for the use case. TLS provides not only the ability to encrypt the connection but also provides the basis for certificate exchange which allows us trust that the data is being sent to the right place. Simon then covers ciphers and TLS versions before talking about certificate management.

This talk was given at the IP Showcase at NAB 2019.

Watch now!


Simon Rankine Simon Rankine
Research Engineer,