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SMPTE to Develop Broadband Standard

SMPTE is turning its skills to Internet video. The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers said it is forming a technology committee to standardize mastering and packaging formats for content distributed over broadband networks.

Such a broadband standard, SMPTE said, could fuel fresh business models by enabling consumers to purchase entertainment from any online destination and play it back on any device and on any platform.

The committee, Broadband 23B will meet for the first time on Oct. 27, 2008, in conjunction with the SMPTE 2008: Annual Tech Conference & Expo in Hollywood.

"The industry needs to adopt standard content and container formats for the entire electronic distribution ecosystem," said Wendy Aylsworth, SMPTE engineering vice president. "More media than ever is flowing to consumers outside traditional TV and cinema channels, and currently, it can only be accessed on a limited subset of services and devices because there are no interoperability standards."

Broadband 23B will also establishing procedures for uniform captions, subtitles and more, SMPTE said. The committee's activities will include detailing the requirements for a universal file container; deciding upon its technical specifications; examining essence formats; developing content identification procedures; and defining structural and descriptive metadata.

SMPTE said it welcomes the involvement of organizations working in broadband content and distribution and representatives from interested groups should contact the society's headquarters. Participation in Broadband 23B is open to all entertainment technology professionals, particularly those in the content creation, distribution, consumer electronics, IT and retail sectors. All interested parties are welcome to attend the inaugural meeting and conference registration is not required. However, the meeting's proceedings will remain private to SMPTE, and membership in the SMPTE Standards Community is necessary for ongoing participation, the group said.