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The North American Broadcasters Association (NABA) and the Digital Production Partnership (DPP) have unveiled two new technical specifications for the delivery of finished air-ready programmes for North America.
Through joint NABA and DPP meetings, nine of the major North American broadcasters – ABC/Disney, Bell Media, CBC/Radio-Canada, Fox, HBO, NBCUniversal, PBS, Time Warner and Turner – have agreed on a common file format, structure and wrapper based on the AS-11 UK DPP specification implemented in the UK in 2014.
“The key principle for this work was that the agreed specifications must be commonly defined, testable, unambiguous – and produce business value,” says Clyde Smith, Sr. VP, New Technology at Fox and the NABA technical lead. “The agreed common specifications will minimize confusion and expense for program-makers, and avoid the proliferation of different file types and specifications.”
The specifications are based on the Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA) AS-11 specification, with the following features:
• File format: MXF OP-1A
• Video Encoding: MPEG-2 XDCam or AVC/H.264
• Video Signal Standard: 1080i or 720p
• Colour Sub Sample: 4:2:2 or 4:2:0
• Audio: Supports a common fixed channel assignment and Dynamic assignment of Audio Tracks
• A minimal editorial metadata set
“The announcement of these new specifications represents notice to the industry that will enable production and post-production companies and equipment manufacturers to ready themselves for the transition to common specifications,” says NABA Director-General Michael McEwen.