SMPTE, EBU, MovieLabs Publish ‘Media in the Cloud’ Guide

(Image credit: SMPTE)

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.—The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and Motion Pictures Laboratories Inc. (MovieLabs) have collaborated on the publication of “Media in the Cloud: Ontology and Semantic Web Technology Navigation Guide.”

The guide is available for free online from the SMPTE website. It is a primer on the use of ontologies and other semantic web technologies in a modern media landscape where workflow are moving into the cloud, SMPTE said.

"The shift of media workflows to the cloud — an ever more data-driven ecosystem — yields many benefits, including greater automation, agility and scalability. But to realize these, organizations must successfully address challenges related to workflow interoperability, data portability and the management of complex sets of assets," said Jim Helman, CTO of MovieLabs, which is a technology joint venture of the major Hollywood studios. "Media ontologies provide the essential knowledge framework to address those challenges."

It explains media ontologies in simple terms and offers a discussion of mapping data across different information systems. The guide provides practical examples of how media organizations are using semantic web technologies to bring greater efficiency to real-world workflows, it said.

Richer metadata is required to manage and understand the complex relationships between all of the element in the content lifecycle. An ontology provides a framework to support application and service integration, asset and content management and search and discovery, among other functions, it said.

"Consistent and interoperable metadata and semantics are key for connecting data sets along the value chain, managing distributed workflows and integrating applications. They are also crucial for content management and search and discovery," said Hans Hoffmann, head of media fundamentals and production technology at EBU Technology and Innovation. 

"This navigation guide is the result of a great collaboration between EBU, SMPTE and MovieLabs, three key actors in this field, and it will greatly help the media industry in its transformation into a data-driven ecosystem," he said.

The guide explains media-specific ontologies, the ontologies that already exist, where they are applicable and how to deploy them. The document, therefore, offers a starting point for the move to the cloud and towards microservices-based deployments that integrate semantic technologies, SMPTE said.

"SMPTE has played a significant role in improving metadata interoperability, and we view our participation in this ontology work as an extension of that that work," said SMPTE executive director David Grindle. "The navigation guide is a valuable introduction to the current media ontology landscape, the application of semantic technologies, and specific use cases that benefit from them. For many organizations, this will be critical foundational knowledge as they increasingly leverage data and the cloud to support their media workflows."

More information is available on the SMPTE website.

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.