The EBU, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and the Video Services Forum (VSF) have formed a Joint Task Force on Networked Media (JT-NM) to stimulate new business opportunities through the exchange of professional media across networks, taking advantage of affordable IT-based technology.


Working in an open, participatory environment, the Task Force will define a strategy to develop a packet-based network infrastructure for the professional media industry. To achieve this it will bring together manufacturers, broadcasters, standards bodies and trade associations with the objective to create, store, transfer and stream professional media.


The Task Force’s primary objective is to ensure interoperability in packet-based systems (networking, equipment and software) for professional media. This implies defining an agile, on-demand, packet-based network infrastructure that supports a variety of distributed, automated, professional media (file- and stream-based) workflows for local, regional and global standards-based production, supporting any format, to reduce cost of ownership and content time-to-market.


The Task Force sprang from a meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, on 18-19 March, at Turner Broadcasting System, between representatives of the EBU, SMPTE, VSF and the Advanced Media Work Flow Association (AMWA), as well as business technologists from major media and manufacturing companies. The meeting’s purpose was a user-directed, business-driven discussion about the use of packetized networks in professional media applications.


Dr Hans Hoffmann, EBU Head of Media Fundamentals and Production Technology, said that combining the forces of the EBU, SMPTE and VSF gave a clear, decisive signal to the industry.

He said: “The time is right to define technologies for an all-over networked production environment encompassing live and file-based content exchange. The findings of the Task Force and subsequent open systems standards will lead to a paradigm shift in how content is produced by broadcasters, with highly efficient and flexible production workflows and, ultimately, new business opportunities.

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