IMF Plugfest Reveals Advancement in Interoperability

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.—Plugfest testing of the SMPTE Interoperable Master Format (IMF) this summer has confirmed progress is being made towards interoperability of IMF standards collectively known as SMPTE ST 2067, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers said today.

In May, more than 30 interop participants gathered at Amazon’s London headquarters for the IMF plugfest. “Participation in the IMF plugfest forms an important part of that commitment, and we’re thrilled to see so many vendors testing their support for our specification,” said Rowan de Pomerai, DPP head of delivery and growth.

The family of IMF standards addresses the exchange of the components that make up masters to be distributed, SMPTE said.

IMF was designed specifically for content distribution to multiple territories as well as for advanced content with high dynamic range, wide color gamut, immersive sound and access services like subtitles and captions.

The SMPTE plugfest provides those implementing IMF with the chance to interchange content and thus enable a forum to improve interoperability and identify areas needing to be improved, SMPTE said.

Among the areas tested:

  • Packaging of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Timed Text Markup Language (TTML) profiles for Internet Media Subtitles and Captions 1.1 (IMSC1.1);
  • SMPTE ST 2067-50:2018 (IMF Application #5 ACES), which is intended for long-term archive of uncompressed Academy Color Encoding System (ACES) image essence;
  • SMPTE RDD 45:2017 (Registered Disclosure Document IMF Application ProRes), which adds support for ProRes image essence and is intended to test HDR ProRes IMF packages;
  • SMPTE TSP 2121-1:2018 (IMF Application DPP), which creates a profile of IMF designed for broadcast and online content use cases, meeting requirements expressed by DPP member companies.

Plugfest participants included: Amazon, Dalet, Visible Light, Fraunhofer, Marquise, MTI, Ownzones, Rohde & Schwarz and Venera Technologies, SMPTE said.

Content for the plugfest was supplied by Paramount, Universal, Turner, the BBC and 20th Century Fox.

The next IMF plugfest, scheduled for the first half of 2020, is being planned.

To join the plugfest, contact Thomas Bause Mason at SMPTE.

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.