The UK’s major public service broadcasters have signed up to the Digital Production Partnership (DPP), an initiative that aims to help producers and broadcasters maximise the potential benefits of digital production.
Developed following a ‘Delivering Digital’ workshop hosted by the BBC and ITV in November 2009, the DPP is an industry collaboration funded and led by ITV, BBC and Channel 4 with active participation from Channel 5, Sky, S4/C and the Independent Production sector. The DPP also draws on industry experts from the worlds of technology and production to fulfil its remit.
Helen Stevens, ITV’s Director of Broadcast Services, and Chair DPP said, “We are working with colleagues from across the industry to identify and agree technical standards that will help ease everyone’s transition to full end-to-end digital production. Everyone involved has the goals of simplicity and maximising the potential benefits for the whole industry at the forefront of their minds – it is really is very collaborative and a great example of what can be achieved when Broadcasters work together with minimal bureaucracy and process.”
Mark Harrison, Controller of Production BBC North and BBC Lead DPP, added, “Digital production will one day make life much easier for producers. But getting there is actually very, very complicated. So this partnership reflects the broadcasters’ genuine desire to help producers and facility houses to overcome the complexities, and get to the benefits of digital working more quickly.”
Kevin Burrows, Chief Technology Office – Broadcast and Distribution, Channel 4 and Channel 4 Lead DPP, said, “Agreeing one set of technical standards across the industry will be of huge benefit. The new standards will not only rationalise the delivery process, but will help save costs for independent producers – a development which I am sure will be welcomed across the industry.”
Bal Samra, Director of BBC Vision Operations, who initiated the ‘Delivering Digital Workshop’ in 2009, added, “Facilitating the development of digital production across the industry is a major priority for the BBC, and we are delighted to be working with fellow broadcasters and producers to support the change. This initiative reinforces the BBC’s wider partnership agenda.”
A set of common HD & SD technical standards for the delivery of TV will be the first announcement made by the DPP. These guidelines will aim to provide clarity to the production community around HD equipment and techniques and, will provide common achievable technical standards for all major UK broadcasters. A formal announcement on this is due towards the end of February.