The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers is aiming to blur the boundaries between video distribution platforms with a new standard. The group is forming a technology committee to standardize mastering and packaging formats for broadband-distributed content. The idea is to create a way for content to be downloaded and played on a computer, a TV set, an MP3 player, or perhaps even a Yamaha Digital Piano. The standard will cover movies, TV shows, online programming and music. The group, SMPTE 23B, will meet for the first time Oct. 27 during the Society’s annual technology conference and expo in Hollywood, Calif. SMPTE 23B will strive to create a standard that allow producers and distributors to easily and rapidly deploy content across all broadband services. It will also focus on procedures for uniform captions, subtitles and more. The committee’s activities will include defining the requirements and technical specs for a universal file container; examining “essence” formats; developing content identification procedures; and defining structural and descriptive metadata. Participation in Broadband 23B is open to all entertainment technology professionals, particularly those in content creation, distribution, consumer electronics, IT and retail. All interested parties are welcome to attend the inaugural meeting; conference registration is not required. The proceedings are expected to remain private to SMPTE, and membership in the SMPTE Standards Community is necessary for ongoing participation. Broadband 23B will meet at 5:15 p.m., at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel. Registration is available at www.smpte.org/standards/meeting_schedule/.
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