By Rowan de Pomerai, DPP Head of Delivery & Growth, 11th April 2019.
Bright and early on Tuesday morning, a dedicated group of enthusiastic DPP members turned out at our NAB breakfast briefing. They were there to discuss the progress of implementation, and next steps for IMF for Broadcast & Online. Speakers including representatives from A+E Networks, OWNZONES, Mr MXF, and Peach, presented a clear message: that 2019 will be the year IMF starts to become mainstream in the global broadcast industry.
The breakfast briefing, enabled by OWNZONES, showcased three important themes: real-world implementation; continuing technical developments; and new work on IMF for short-form, including advertising.
DPP Programme Delivery Manager Gill Reston began with an overview of our implementation support work. She explained that DPP Guidance on QC in IMF will be released soon, along with compelling informational materials on the business case for IMF investment.
Then Chris McCarthy, Director of International Media Operations at A+E Networks, explained that their need to version and distribute content to over 200 global clients was a key factor in the company’s decision to invest in IMF. With their existing manual workflows, some international sales deals are almost not worth doing, and so more efficient workflows are crucial.
Chris was joined by Aaron Sloman, CTO at OWNZONES, a key technology partner in A+E’s rollout of IMF. Aaron showed the workflow they’ve implemented for the initial pilot, which includes innovative technology to interface with partners who don’t yet support IMF by automatically converting their localisation edits into Composition Playlists (CPLs).
I gave a brief summary of the continuing DPP technical developments that will facilitate wider IMF adoption. This includes our forthcoming JPEG2000 specification and the MetaRes framework for programme segmentation and other time-variant metadata.
Then Bruce Devlin, otherwise known as Mr MXF, shared information about the IMF Media Management API, a common way for media asset management systems to provide access to IMF media via a standard interface. And despite the ever-present perils of a live demonstration, he was able to show off a working prototype!
We shared the exciting news that this summer, the IMF Media Management API will be published through the DPP, and maintained by our technical working groups.
IMF in Advertising
Finally, we heard from Craig Russill-Roy, Director of Advanced TV at Peach. He explained that for every version produced by programme makers, many more versions of a typical advert are created, including, not just localisations, but also versions to be targeted at specific audiences, in a process known as addressable advertising. Whilst it’s early days for IMF in Advertising, DPP member companies, like Peach, are blazing a trail by investigating how the production and delivery pipeline for commercials could be revolutionised by IMF.
The IMF Blog
Each of these topics will be explored further in the coming weeks on this, our dedicated IMF blog. You’ll be able to learn more about IMF for Broadcast & Online, understand how it could benefit your organisation, and hear from the companies who are implementing it today.