The EBU has defined several sets of reference data organised in XML based classification schemes as defined in ISO/IEC MPEG-7, and subsequently used by TV-Anytime (ETSI TS 102 822) and DVB. The goal is to provide a unique reference to harmonised controlled vocabularies from EBU and other sources. If a vocabulary combines several sources, the mapping is provided like for example for 'genres'.


Similarly, EBU specifications allow either the direct use of a term name (possibly extracted from one of the reference data lists) or a reference through a term identifier / key expressed by a URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) with the following syntax: [Classification Scheme URL]#[termID].  This syntax offers the advantage of taking by defualt users to the Classification Scheme, published as a persistent Internet resource, from where information about the term identifier bythe termID can be extracted.




If a recipient of an XML description instance issued from one of the EBU specification finds a URI as shown above, the option is given either to browse this URI that will take him to the resource (click on the link), or to develop a resolving process left to its discretion. 


There are several reasons why the use of termID should be preferred like avoiding mispelling of term names, etc.  But one advantage is the possibility offered to have local traductions of the reference data in different languages, while exchange is still possible using common identifiers.


Each EBU Classification Scheme is uniquely identified and versioned by its URN (Uniform Resource Name) under the EBU namespace has defined in RFC5174.


All EBU Classification Schemes are published as permanent publicly available Internet resources at They are also accessible from links in the different specifications in which they are referenced.  These classification schemes are available in SKOS ( for compatibility with W3C's Semantic Web and Linked Data.


You can propose modifications, additions or corrections to the EBU reference data via the metadata maintenance page.


The use of these reference data sets is governed by the following Creative Commons terms.



Attribution should be to the organisation identified by the initial letters of a Classification Scheme filename: European Broadcasting Union for 'EBU', ETSI/TV-Anytime for 'TVA' and ISO/IEC MPEG for 'MPEG'.