The Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA) and the EBU are forming a new Joint Task Force to address system integration issues in modern and complex TV production environments.
"Both organisations have been working on independent projects covering system integration issues and digital workflows, so it was a natural step to bring both organisations together," said Lieven Vermaele, director of EBU Technical.
Hans Hoffmann, EBU programme manager added: "The current situation is that we, as the EBU, see an increasing complexity in digital workflows and broadcasters report[ing] about system integration problems. The joint effort between the EBU and the AMWA to seek out to the industry for a common approach to integrate hard and software components in modern TV production facilities is a fundamental need of the whole media industry."
Brad Gilmer, executive director of the AMWA said: "We believe that the development of the service oriented architecture (SOA) to meet the special requirements of the media industry will deliver great benefits to both manufacturers and broadcasters. File formats such as AAF and MXF have been an important step forward for the industry, but users need systems that interoperate and that is the focus of this new work."
"I am very pleased to see this joint effort move forward," said John Footen, vice president, National TeleConsultants. "Our clients have continually expressed a desire for solutions to these kinds of integration problems. SOA is an approach that works and this Task Force will move forward the adoption of SOA in the media industry."
"To preserve the investments on new infrastructures, we need systems that are flexible enough to be seamlessly evolved according to the changing needs of the users (new workflows, vertical and horizontal scalability) and to the advancements in software and hardware technologies: in a word that are easy to maintain and expand. I believe that SOA is a very promising technology in this perspective, " added Giorgio Dimino, head of research in production technologies, RAI/CRIT.
Jean-Pierre Evain, project manager, EBU Technical, summarised the Task Force's roadmap in following three phases:
- The Task Force will begin by developing a joint Request for Technology (RFT). This RFT will be focusing on user requirements collected from EBU and AMWA Members but also from other interested parties in an open public process. The plan is to publish the RFT in early 2010.
- The industry's responses to the RFT will be evaluated against the requirements. It is expected that contributions will be based on existing technologies, which makes the Task Force confident in scheduling the end of the RFT phase during the third quarter of 2010.
- It is the ambition of the Task Force to identify common solutions. For that reason, it is foreseen that the RFT phase will be followed by a necessary reconciliation phase seeking harmonisation across the different submissions. Resulting specifications or interoperability guidelines will be developed and co-published between the two organisations in the course of 2011.
Membership in this joint Task Force will be open to interested AMWA and/or EBU Members. Participants need not belong to both organisations. The Task Force will be chaired jointly by John Footen (National TeleConsultants) and Giorgio Dimino (RAI) and is facilitated by EBU Project Manager, Jean Pierre Evain.