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New file based programme delivery standards agreed

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The Digital Production Partnership (DPP) – a partnership between ITV, Channel 4 and the BBC – has unveiled its new Technical and Metadata Standards for File-based programme delivery in the UK.

Through the DPP, seven major broadcasters (BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky, Channel 5, S4C and UKTV), have all agreed the UK’s first common file format, structure and wrapper to enable TV programme delivery by digital file. These new guidelines will complement the common standards for tape delivery of HD and SD TV programmes already published by the DPP in March 2011. 

The agreement of these new file based technical standards does not signal an immediate move to file based delivery.  During 2012 the BBC will begin to take delivery of programmes on file on a selective basis.  Discussion around file based delivery will take part during the Commissioning process and form part of the Editorial Specification as required.

After a period of piloting, file based delivery will be the preferred delivery format for these Broadcasters by 2014.

The new standards aim to minimise confusion and expense for programme-makers, avoiding the growth of different file types and specifications.   A key aspect is the inclusion of editorial and technical metadata, which will ensure a consistent set of information for the processing, review, and scheduling of programmes, as well as their onward archiving, sale and distribution.

Alongside these new standards, the DPP is currently building a free-to-use, downloadable, metadata application to enable production companies to enter the required editorial and technical metadata easily.  The new application is due to launch in spring 2012.

Further information regarding file based delivery can be found on the BBC’s Delivering Quality website and the DPP website.

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