The DPP delivered the working drafts of the IMF Requirements and IMF Specification for broadcast and online applications to SMPTE at the HPA Tech Retreat in Palm Desert, California. The documents represent input by the DPP, SMPTE, the North American Broadcasters Association (NABA), and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), as well as manufacturers and end users across the media industry.
Now out for public comment, the draft specification for IMF for broadcast and online applications will address constraints including MXF Track Files, composition playlists (CPLs), output profile lists (OPLs), and IMF packages. The specification will reference other activities as well, such as the EBU.io/qc project for carrying quality-control metadata and EBU-TT, and it includes optional methods for carrying traditional EBU-STL subtitles in Europe and CTA-608/CTA-708 captions in North America.
Built upon the IMF standard, this first SMPTE Specification is supposed to play a critical role in enablin gbroadcasters to use IMF workflows with their existing content archives, and to facilitate the realization of file-based interoperability on a large scale. By providing manufacturers with the guidance they need to move forward in designing and building readers, writers, and analyzers, the specification is hoping to bring the benefits of IMF into the broadcast and online realm.
"This pilot project with the DPP has allowed our organizations to streamline the process of developing and putting out for comment the very first SMPTE Specification," said SMPTE Standards Vice President Bruce Devlin. "With greater agility in the development process, specifications are well-suited to addressing early-stage technologies and business-driven constraints. A healthy debate at the HPA TechRetreat showed that there is an industry need for this type of specification, which can formalize technology quickly and reduce the friction involved in the subsequent creation of a robust standard."
The prototype SMPTE Specifications process will be exercised with these documents, and the processitself will be documented and reviewed by the SMPTE Board of Governors before being offered to the industry as a specifications service open to all.
Once they are finalized, the new SMPTE documents will join other SMPTE technical publications, including standards, that help manufacturers, engineers, and technologists to develop new products and services in broadcasting, cinema, and online video. The draft documents are available here.