SMPTE has joined forces with Digital Production Partnership (DPP) on pilot specification project to create an Interoperable Master Format (IMF) specification for broadcast and online.

SMPTE ST 2067, or IMF, is a global standard for the file-based interchange of multiversion, finished audio and visual works.

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The joint pilot project will deliver a technical specification for IMF in broadcast and online applications as a breakdown of different elements — video and audio packages, composition playlists (CPLs), and output profile lists (OPLs) — with references to all relevant SMPTE standards.

Once complete, this material will be made available to manufacturers so that they can design and build readers, writers, and analysers.

“One of the original DPP core objectives was to achieve a common, agreed set of technical requirements for the delivery of television programs to UK broadcasters, and our work on the IMF broadcast specification falls neatly in line with this goal,” said DPP Managing Director Mark Harrison.

Dpp mark harrison

Mark Harrison

“Working with SMPTE, the North American Broadcasters Association (NABA), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), manufacturers, and end users across the media industry, we plan to create a specification that brings the benefits of IMF more fully into the broadcast and online realm.”

The draft and final proposal stages will move forward in conjunction with a series of plugfests and product tests.

The final publication of the IMF specification is expected to take place before the 2018 NAB Show.

SMPTE Governor for the UK Region Bruce Devlin said: “The IMF work is studying specific television metadata needs — from the inclusion of third-party QC reports to the metadata for compressed surround audio — of using IMF in TV applications.

Bruce devlin

Bruce Devlin

“These features and the specification which is built upon the IMF standard overall are critical to the realization of file-based interoperability on a large scale, as they ensure that broadcasters can use IMF workflows with their existing content archives.”

SMPTE Director of Engineering and Standards Howard Lukk added: “This specification pilot project breaks new ground at SMPTE.

“This project will establish a streamlined specification framework that complements our wide range of other due-process engineering documents such as standards.”

Throughout the project details on progress and significant milestones will be posted on the DPP website.