Monday, January 21, 2013

Small steps and big screens - DPP report

UK readers please note - this DPP is the Digital Production Partnership, not the Director of Public Prosecutions.   This group is the white hatted ones from BBC, ITV, C4 as well as indies and post-houses, getting together to swap stories about digital innovation and generally to push in the direction of open (or at least shared) standards of delivery - primarily to broadcasters.

Last week's meeting in London heard reports from the CES in Las Vegas, as they might impinge on broadcasting and production.   In line with other rumours, it's 4K not 3D: maybe a bit soon for some of us but (personal prejudice view here) camera technology is now leading the way over display technology (let alone transmission/delivery).   Good for high quality of course, and very good for manufacturers of cameras, memory and storage devices, and edit hardware.   The relief is that you can't afford it (the screen, not the camera) yet unless you've got a gold-plated commission.   But it's not going away, and at the moment seems less of a consumer tech blind alley than 3D.

Back in the present-day world of 'standard' HD, the DPP is piloting an app to enable programme delivery by file transfer.   It's more than just sending a .mov on a hard drive:  to be compliant with broadcasters' specs programmes must be delivered with the correct metadata.  In this context, metadata consists of meaningful identifiers of programme technical standards and other production info that will be vital to the broadcasters:  the data equivalent of the tape and programme number on the outside of the box (plus a whole lot more).

The concept is (fairly) simple but how do you go about including the metadata in your delivery:  step forward the DPP's working party, who are offering a free app (Windows or OS X) to do this for you - well at least the packaging up.  It's at Version 1.1 so there may be a way to go, but if you're going to be supplying broadcasters, you need to know this stuff*.   Find the app (or at least the application route for it) here.

If you're in Bristol, the DPP are presenting one of the sessions in the Digital Bristol week (see previous blog post).  Say Phil sent you!

*This may be part one of a series, I realise, with an eye to my 'to do' lists.