DPP’s Andy Wilson: “Broadcasters are looking to target new audiences and territories and monetise their programme assets over a much longer period of time.”

DPP and SMPTE partner to fast-track IMF for broadcast

The Digital Production Partnership (DPP) has partnered with SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) to develop a specification for a new version of the Interoperable Master Format (IMF) specifically for broadcast and online.

Both groups and their partners will work towards fast-tracking a constrained version of IMF, aimed at broadcast and online deliveries, and hope to complete the work in the first half of next year.

“Broadcasters are looking to target new audiences and territories and monetise their programme assets over a much longer period of time,” said Andy Wilson, head of Business Development, DPP.

“But while they are doing that, they also need to maintain quality. So, the need to keep high-quality files for re-versioning for new broadcast and online deliveries is more important than ever.”

The partnership with SMPTE builds on the DPP’s analysis of the business requirements for the introduction of an international mastering format for broadcast, developed in close cooperation with the North American Broadcasters Association (NABA) and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

The partnership with the DPP is the first step in a wider move by SMPTE to take a new approach to standards and specifications, and will initially pilot the delivery of the IMF broadcast specification to enable the exchange of broadcast masters for broadcast and online.

“IMF was developed to deliver a single, standardised master file for the distribution of film content into multiple territories,” said Barbara Lange, executive director, SMPTE.

“This collaboration between the DPP and SMPTE seeks to extend the benefits of IMF to the broadcast and online community, and comes in response to the changing media landscape where content delivery to multiple territories is increasingly the norm.”

She added that the initiative builds on the work that SMPTE and its partners have pioneered with IMF for the feature film industry.

“Mastering for international sales, acquisition and archive will enable greater efficiencies and higher quality versioning over time. We are working closely with DPP members from across the industry, including broadcasters, manufacturers and post-production facilities, to deliver a specification that reflects their requirements,” Lange concluded.


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