In Broadcast - November 2017 - 57

57

www.inbroadcast.com | Vol: 7 - Issue 11 | November 2017

Metadata Workflows:
One Format To Rule Them All cont'd...
"As with other similar
standards, shims will
be required to ensure
interoperability but this
should not be a
major impediment
to adoption"
Paul Mardling, Piksel

The codec issue arises when
broadcasters need to know that IMF
will be backwards compatible with
their archive.
"Given that IMF itself is a
standardised format, and selfreferential toward the essence
storage,
the
main
concern
broadcasters should have with their
archive is codec choice," says Devlin.
"Will my chosen codec be usable 1030 years in the future? You would be
hard pressed to agree that any codec
designed for archive, beyond JPEG2000, would answer that question as
a yes.
"So, you have a trade-off that occurs
in broadcast archives that is different
from studio archives. Whereas studio
archives are generally more concerned
with
long-term
preservation,

IMF recap
Built on the proven success of
formats such as DCP (Digital Cinema
Packages), IMF is a media packaging
format that streamlines the assembly
of multiple versions of a title for any
downstream distribution. Instead of
a single master file - like a QuickTime
or XDcam file, all IMF audio, video
and text components are contained
within the file as individual assets.
IMF components are individually
referenced by an editorial Composition
Playlist (CPL). As an analogy, the
assets are the ingredients and the CPL
is the recipe.
An IMF can contain unlimited

MAM Orchestration: Dalet Galaxy

repackaging and resale, broadcast
archives are generally more concerned
with enabling fast turnaround
workflows, with long term preservation
a secondary concern."
Additionally, for archival, IMF
provides a mechanism for embedding
or linking private metadata into
compositions. This allows 'helper'
metadata to be included in the
archiving process for applications
such as re-creating MAM records
in business continuity applications.
Devlin says IMF looks very attractive
for archive applications and there is a
special application App#4 for cinema
archiving. That is currently being used
as a template for gathering TV archive
requirements.

one area where it brings obvious
efficiency is for a broadcaster who has
a need to archive multiple versions of
a piece of content," he suggests.
His suspicion is that many, possibly
most, broadcasters will not adopt
broad usage of IMF. "There are a small
but vocal group of proponents, but I
suspect ultimately that many will see
IMF as introducing more issues than it
solves."

Automation
One of the chief benefits of adopting
IMF for broadcast/online is the
promise of more automated (efficient)
workflows. Mardling cites the example
of a current affairs programme
containing content that needs to be
cut/edited at the last minute for legal
or compliance reasons. Rather than
having to return to the edit suite and
multiple new versions be produced,
a simple change to a CPL can update
multiple versions ready for playout.
Jackson remains unconvinced. "The

Related IMF (V1) Technologies
Ownzones Media Network has
released Ownzones Connect, a
platform which ingests, categorises
and stores multiple media files in
one location stored in the cloud. It
also includes a dynamic creation of
video jobs based on templates, and
the introduction of smart agents for
proactive metadata optimisation.
Version 5.9, of Rohde & Schwarz'
CLIPSTER offer a complete workflow
from mastering, versioning to merging
and refining IMF packages. CLIPSTER
can be used to arrange the various
video and audio tracks, to create the
master package, to generate any
number of versions and to merge or to
split the packages.
Prime Focus Technologies supports
IMF within CLEAR, including an
IMF Player that provides the ability

CPLs, each representing a unique
combination of the files contained in
the package - or cuts of a programme.
Instead of hundreds of separate
versions of a master, users can
create one IMP (Interoperable Master
Package) with all the various media
elements (soundtracks, subtitles,
graphics, technical metadata etc.)
and endless variations described
by the CPLs. The IMF format also
includes an Output Playlist (OPL). The
OPL is the IMF package's technical
instructions and it can incorporate
additional modifications like sizing,
audio, channel mixing and transcoding
profiles. Additional OPL functionality
for broadcast is still in development,
with a range of companies, including
Prime Focus Technologies, working to
create the specification and tools.
Essential workflow steps for IMF for
broadcast: First, broadcasters (and
their suppliers) have to start with rearchitecting your media handling as
essential components of video, audio,
captions/subtitles, metadata, rather

than as an interleaved asset.
"Componentised media enables all
the nice versioning and space saving
capabilities of IMF, but does require
that you have the ability to match up
the components during your WIP phase
to associate them back to the project
at hand," explains Devlin.
"In an interleaved media workflow,
as has been in the norm in broadcast
since the dawn of the file-based age,
your main challenge is just passing a
single file around between disparate
processes, users and possibly, external
vendors. This can be accomplished
via watch folders, file acceleration
services and even, sneakernet of USB
keys (as in, 'Joe, go run this USB key
over to edit bay 2'), generally, without
the need of a higher level management
system, since the single file can be
fairly self-descriptive and tracked
through a linear process."
In a componentised media workflow,
Devlin says, broadcasters have
the same challenge of connecting
processes, but also the need for a

InMedia
to preview, playback, review and
distribute over a streaming proxy. This
enables collaboration and decision
making in the workflow using proxies
without having to necessarily access
the original IMF package in high-res
each time a CPL has to be played back.
Telestream support for IMF is in
media processing product Vantage.
It can ingest an IMF CPL as a master
source input to create all appropriate
outputs, and can create single segment
IMF Master Packages as an output.
Today, IMF packages are becoming
simpler to create and interchange, but
the lack of a fixed file or folder naming
scheme is making management of IMF
- especially with tens and hundreds
of supplemental packages per title -
more complex.
"Implementing
a
MAM
and
Orchestration platform such as Dalet
Galaxy will allow you to scale and
industrialise your operation and break
the many IMF versioning workflows
with greater ease and accuracy, and
at a much lower cost of production,"
suggests Devlin.
A testament to the veracity and
robustness of the solution is recent
Netflix compliance approval awarded
to the Dalet AmberFin transcoding
platform. This means that producers
and facilities needing to create IMF
packages for their Netflix targeted
content can use Dalet IMF technology
to get the job done.

management system that can manage
multiple files in a project, assign those
files out to parallel media stages, and
reassemble them for IMF packaging
and downstream transformations.
"Finally, IMF workflows will nearly
always be implemented using some
sort of orchestration engine. To create
an IMF composition, you need to
obtain metadata from IMF Track Files,
metadata from business systems and
metadata from MAMs and put them all
in a CPL. This aggregation of metadata
from multiple sources needs to be
flexible and be subject to automatic
QC. This can be done at scale using an
orchestration system, but would be
painful if performed manually."

AmberFin IMF workflow


http://www.inbroadcast.com http://www.dalet.com/platforms/galaxy http://www.dalet.com/platforms/amberfin

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - November 2017

Contents
In Broadcast - November 2017 - Intro
In Broadcast - November 2017 - Cover1
In Broadcast - November 2017 - Cover2
In Broadcast - November 2017 - Contents
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 4
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 5
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 6
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 7
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 8
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 9
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 10
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 11
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 12
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 13
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 14
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 15
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 16
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 17
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 18
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 19
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 20
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 21
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 22
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 23
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 24
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 25
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 26
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 27
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 28
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 29
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 30
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 31
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 32
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 33
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 34
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 35
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 36
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 37
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 38
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 39
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 40
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 41
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 42
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 43
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 44
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 45
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 46
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 47
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 48
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 49
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 50
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 51
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 52
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 53
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 54
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 55
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 56
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 57
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 58
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 59
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 60
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 61
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 62
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 63
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 64
In Broadcast - November 2017 - 65
In Broadcast - November 2017 - Cover3
In Broadcast - November 2017 - Cover4
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