The Interoperable Master Format (IMF) – a thing of dark mystery or one of simple beauty? This was the question debated at an early June event at Pincents Manor, Reading.
RTS Thames Valley, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and the Digital Production Partnership hosted the well-attended event, which heard presentations from Bruce Devlin, VP standards at SMPTE; Steve Fish, VP media and technology architecture at Turner Broadcasting; and Andy Lampard, research and development head at Motion Picture Solutions.
IMF addresses the increasing need for a true global exchange format for video and audio content, as it is moved, packaged, repackaged, localised, versioned and expensively stored to meet increasing multi-format demand around the world.
As the number of potential versions of a title increases, the need for a more efficient way of managing and creating these versions, or compositions, has become urgent. The three speakers provided the audience with a clear introduction to the technical aspects of IMF and then discussed the benefits it could bring to media businesses around the world.
Many companies and organisations have contributed to SMPTE’s work and the IMF user group to decide specifications and requirements. These are now close to being finalised.