In Broadcast - March 2016 - 66


66

www.inbroadcast.com | Vol: 6 - Issue 3 | March 2016

InUSA

AMWA Ensures That
Everyone 'Plays Nicely'
Contributing Editor and Columnist Michael Grotticelli examines the vital behind the scenes
work to ensure that file interoperability is a reality...

F

or more than 15 years the Advanced
Media
Workflow
Association
(AMWA) has worked to help those that
work in the film, television, advertising,
Internet and post-production industries
streamline their file-based production
environments, and get the most benefit
from an open, collaborative content
creation and distribution workflow
process.
With organisations such as AMWA,
getting third party systems to
communicate with each other has
made all the difference for those
that need to manage large databases
of audio and video files in a highly
automated way.
The group, made up of many of
the largest technology suppliers to
the industry, including: Autodesk,
Ascent Media, Matrox, Microsoft,
Quantel [SAM], and Sony, as well as
broadcasters like the BBC, CNN and
Turner Entertainment Networks, was
initially formed in January 2000 as
the Advanced Authoring Format (AAF)
Association.
Today it continues to support and
leverage the work of the early AAF
members, who strived to enable
content creators to easily exchange
digital media and metadata across
platforms. Without that work, the
handling of multiple versions of a
particular piece of content was often
problematic at best and required
users to develop their own workflow
processes, which in turn led to
incompatibility issues.
The organisation's name was
officially changed to AMWA in May
2007. It has since developed a number
of metadata tags and file descriptors
that enable compatibility between
many of the most commonly used
formats, like AAF, BXF, MXF (cocreated by AMWA) and XML.
AS-11 Variants
In order to keep up with newly
emerging technologies, the AMWA has
announced three new developments
for the "AS-11, MXF for Contribution"

AMWA has developed a number of metadata tags
and content descriptors that enable interoperability

Media File Format. These include the
addition of a UHD version for the UK's
Digital Production Partnership (DPP),
three new international versions, and
the migration of the specifications to a
new rules-based format.
Brad Gilmer, Executive Director
of the AMWA, said the new AS-11
specifications "help define constrained
media file formats for the delivery of
finished media assets to a broadcaster
or publisher".
Each specification was developed for
a particular business application in a
different region of the world. AMWA
has now named each one to help
users easily identify and distinguish
between the different versions. The
new "formats" include: AS-11 X1 (DPP
UHD files use in the UK); AS-11 X2 (or
HD Intra), initially to be adopted in
Australia and New Zealand; AS-11 X3
(HD Long GOP at European frame
rates) developed for Nordic region
countries; and AS-11 X4 (HD Long
GOP at U.S. frame rates) initially to be
adopted in the Nordic countries. The
group is also working on a new spec,
AS-11 X7 (SD D10), which will initially
be deployed by users in Australia and
New Zealand.
Again, the benefits of these new
AS-11 specifications - which are
the result of the success of the
"AS-11 DPP" specifications for the
UK - are being realised around the
world because they help simplify
the process of creating and moving
programme material between post
houses and playout facilities. New
specifications for the delivery of
finished programmes have been

created for use in the Nordic countries,
Australia and New Zealand, building
on the success of the "AS-11 DPP"
specifications for the UK. These new
specifications are closely aligned,
and are based on the new rules based
format.
After more than three years in
development, the AS-11 DPP spec is
now well established for the delivery
of finished programmes to media
companies within the UK, simplifying
the process of creating and moving
programme material between post
houses and broadcaster's playout
facilities. Now, with the industry's
move to Ultra-High-Definition (UHD),
the "4K" distribution format now used
by broadcasters in the U.S. and around
the world, a new set of requirements
have been identified by the DPP, and
hence the publication by AMWA of a
new specification for the delivery of
UHD programmes.
Rules-Based
These specifications have also been
developed and published in the new
rules-based format, unlike previous
AMWA specifications that have been
text based. While easily readable by
humans, text-based specifications do
not support automated processes or
allow quick and efficient adaptation for
new users in the future.
AMWA says these new specifications
are "machine readable, based on
building blocks or rules for each of the
video, audio (etc.) elements, which are
combined into the final specification."
This new approach has proven
especially valuable, as AS-11 has been

extended to accommodate the needs
of new international users. AMWA
said future versions would be added
as business needs arise, but the goal
is to minimise the number of these
wherever possible to avoid confusion.
In addition, AMWA has adopted
a new standardisation process for
the publication of its family of AS-11
specifications.
Specifications are now being
published on GitHub (a Web-based Git
repository hosting service) as "code"
for users to incorporate into their
development work. The purpose of Git
is to manage a project, or a set of files,
as they change over time. Git stores
this information in a data structure
called a repository. Once in the
repository, any newly proposed spec
moves through different "maturity
levels," from a "Work In Progress",
to a "Proposed Specification" until it
finally becomes a "Specification."
The new specifications named above
are currently published and easily
accessible on GitHub as a "Work in
Progress." This allows AMWA members
to add any changes or clarifications as
they are established.
The bottom line: AMWA's work
is helping many people do their
jobs - create and distribute the
right files at the right time and to
the right destination - faster and
more efficiently and for that it has
earned the industry's long-lasting
appreciation.
For more information
on the AS-11 project click
on the AMWA logo or visit
www.amwa.tv/projects/AS-11.shtml


http://www.inbroadcast.com http://www.amwa.tv/ http://www.amwa.tv/projects/AS-11.shtml http://www.amwa.tv/projects/AS-11.shtml

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - March 2016

In Broadcast - March 2016 - Intro
In Broadcast - March 2016 - Cover1
In Broadcast - March 2016 - Cover2
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 3
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 4
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 5
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 6
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 7
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 8
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 9
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 10
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 11
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 12
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 13
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 14
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 15
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 16
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 17
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 18
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 19
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 20
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 21
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 22
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 23
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 24
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 25
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 26
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 27
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 28
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 29
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 30
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 31
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 32
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 33
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 34
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 35
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 36
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 37
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 38
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 39
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 40
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 41
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 42
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 43
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 44
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 45
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 46
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 47
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In Broadcast - March 2016 - 55
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In Broadcast - March 2016 - 60
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In Broadcast - March 2016 - 63
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 64
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 65
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 66
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 67
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 68
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 69
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 70
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 71
In Broadcast - March 2016 - 72
In Broadcast - March 2016 - S1
In Broadcast - March 2016 - S2
In Broadcast - March 2016 - S3
In Broadcast - March 2016 - S4
In Broadcast - March 2016 - S5
In Broadcast - March 2016 - S6
In Broadcast - March 2016 - S7
In Broadcast - March 2016 - S8
In Broadcast - March 2016 - S9
In Broadcast - March 2016 - S10
In Broadcast - March 2016 - S11
In Broadcast - March 2016 - S12
In Broadcast - March 2016 - S13
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