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DPP halts delivery of programmes on videotape

The Digital Production Partnership (DPP) has announced that from October 1st 2017, UK broadcasters BBC, BT Sport, Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV, Sky and UKTV, will no longer accept delivery on videotape of any programmes commissioned after this date. The announcement represents the end of the use of videotape in UK programme making, and the universal adoption of the DPP’s common file delivery specification AS-11 DPP.

“The introduction two years ago of standardised file delivery has been a huge success,” says DPP Managing Director Mark Harrison. “And today’s announcement completes that journey by clarifying there will now only be one UK delivery format: AS-11 DPP.”

Standardised file delivery began on 1st October 2014, when all UK broadcasters adopted a common specification established by the DPP, in collaboration with the Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA). Since that time, over 25,000 programmes have been delivered as AS-11 DPP files.

Some tape delivery remains, however – mostly related to programmes originally commissioned on tape, or to programmes being delivered close to transmission – even though tape is now an end of life format. So, the DPP brought together UK broadcasters and playout providers to plan for the complete removal of tape in new programme delivery.

“By choosing a date that is nearly a year away, everyone has the time to plan for the end of the use of tape,” said Harrison. “The DPP will coordinate the change process, working with broadcasters, suppliers, producers and post houses to ensure a smooth transition.”

In the months ahead, the DPP will provide common guidance on key areas such as the delivery of programmes close to transmission, and the process for lines booking and lines record. This new guidance will be released to the industry in an updated version of the DPP Producers Guide to File Delivery, to be published next year.

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