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Industry looking for feedback on Master Format spec

The Entertainment Technology Center @ USC is seeking industry feedback for an Interoperable Master Format (IMF) draft specification.

Over the last year, the ETC@USC has hosted the IMF project seeking to develop a voluntary specification for an interoperable set of master files (and associated metadata) to enable the interchange and automated creation of downstream distribution packages within the motion picture, television production and post-production industries.

The participants in the IMF project, which include Disney, Fox, NBC/Universal, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Warner Bros., will create a specification that can be proposed to SMPTE with the intention of initiating a formal standards-setting process.

The goal is to create an interoperable, high-quality set of master files suitable for a variety of distribution packages that can be used to output an arbitrary number of versions for varying screen sizes, resolutions, bit rates, codecs, service providers, etc.

As part of the process of developing the specification, the participants in the IMF project are interested in receiving commentary and feedback on the proposed specification and its contents from companies and individuals within the motion picture and television production and post-production industries, technology providers and manufacturers, and anyone else who may use or be affected by the IMF specifications under development.

“A meaningful and implementable IMF specification is essential to helping content creators and distributors take advantage of ever-increasing opportunities and platforms,” said David Wertheimer, CEO and executive director of the Entertainment Technology Center @ USC. “We have reached a critical milestone in this project where we want and need input from a variety of potential adopters of the IMF format. This will allow us to refine the draft specification before it is turned over to SMPTE for potential standardization.”

Biweekly meetings will continue to take place in Los Angeles. A submission to SMPTE is set for the fall. More information is available at the ETC@USC website.