SMPTE to Standardize Formats for Broadband-Distributed Content

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Sun, 10/26/2008 - 20:00 -- Nick Dager

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers is forming a technology committee to standardize mastering and packaging formats for content distributed over broadband networks. Such a broadband standard could fuel fresh business models by enabling consumers to purchase entertainment from any online destination and play it back on any device. The committee’s launch highlights SMPTE’s interest in addressing the challenges of delivering professional content—including movies television programming online programming and music—no matter the distribution platform. Broadband 23B met for the first time on last month in conjunction with the SMPTE 2008: Annual Tech Conference & Expo in Hollywood California. “The industry needs to adopt standard content and container formats for the entire electronic distribution ecosystem ” says Wendy Aylsworth engineering vice president SMPTE. “More media than ever is flowing to consumers outside traditional TV and cinema channels and currently it can only be accessed on a limited subset of services and devices because there are no interoperability standards.” Broadband 23B will create a standard that will not only benefit consumers but will also allow producers and distributors to easily and rapidly deploy content across all broadband services. In addition it will work toward enhancing the consumer experience by establishing procedures for uniform captions subtitles and more. The committee’s activities will include detailing the requirements for a universal file container deciding upon its technical specifications examining essence formats developing content identification procedures and defining structural and descriptive metadata. SMPTE welcomes the involvement of organizations working in broadband content and distribution and representatives from interested groups should contact the society’s headquarters. Participation in Broadband 23B is open to all entertainment technology professionals particularly those in the content creation distribution consumer electronics IT and retail sectors. SMPTE