MPEG IMX is a 2001 development of the Digital Betacam format. Digital video compression uses H.262/MPEG-2 Part 2 encoding at a higher bitrate than Betacam SX: 30 Mbit/s (6:1 compression), 40 Mbit/s (4:1 compression) or 50 Mbit/s (3.3:1 compression). Unlike most other MPEG-2 implementations, IMX uses intraframe compression. Additionally, IMX ensures that each frame has the same exact size in bytes to simplify recording onto videotape. Video recorded in the IMX format is compliant with CCIR 601 specification, with eight channels of audio and timecode track. It lacks an analog audio (cue) track as the Digital Betacam but will read it as channel 7 if used for playback. This format has been standardized in SMPTE 365M and SMPTE 356M as "MPEG D10 Streaming".
With its IMX VTRs, Sony introduced some new technologies including SDTI and e-VTR. SDTI allows for audio, video, timecode, and remote control functions to be transported by a single coaxial cable, while e-VTR technology extends this by allowing the same data to be transported over IP by way of an ethernet interface on the VTR itself.
All IMX VTRs can natively playback Betacam SX tapes, and some, such as the MSW-M2000P/1 is capable of playing back Digital Betacam cassettes as well as analog Betacam and Betacam SP cassettes, but they can only record to their native IMX cassettes. S tapes are available with up to 60 minutes capacity, and L tapes hold up to 184 minutes. These values are for 525/60 decks but will extend in 625/50. A 184-minute tape will record for, as the label itself specifies, 220 minutes.
IMX machines feature the same good shot mark function of the Betacam SX.
MPEG IMX cassettes are a muted green.
The XDCAM format, unveiled in 2003, allows recording of MPEG IMX video in MXF container onto Professional Disc.