The new EBU project, P/HIPS, has been launched to address issues of interoperability for future HDTV production systems, writes Fergal Ringrose.
P/HIPS was formed following a meeting between EBU members and representatives from Avid, Grass Valley, Panasonic, Snell and Sony on 16-17 December 2009. The initial group of founding participants also agreed to welcome additional interested parties at future meetings.
Dr Hans Hoffmann, programme manager at EBU Technical said: "EBU members and manufacturers will co-operate on four key domains where competition makes no sense. These are 3G SDI infrastructures; studio video codecs; source metadata (generated live in cameras/camcorders) and the requirements to constrain the MXF file formats used in IT-based production. In addition, the project will be mindful of the requirements of future HDTV production formats such as 1080p/50."
The EBU will facilitate the overall project, which is chaired by Christoph Nufer, head of Television Production Systems at the Institut f_r Rundfunktechnik (IRT, Munich). In order to provide solutions to the market in a timely manner, the project is organised into four subgroups, each chaired by a key figure from an EBU member.
SG1 will focus on interoperability within a file-based acquisition and production environment, by defining the detailed interoperability parameters for MXF, the Material Exchange Format (chaired by Christoph Nufer, IRT, with Adi Kouadio, EBU, as project manager).
SG2 examines emerging studio compression formats, in particular those suitable for premium productions, and supporting the next generation HDTV production format 1080p/50, (chaired by RAI's Massimo Visca with Roger Miles, EBU, as project manager).
SG3 will tackle metadata generated at the creation point ('camera metadata') and ingested in the workflow (chaired by Reinhard Knoer, IRT, with Jean Pierre Evain, EBU, as project manager). Meanwhile, SG4 is concerned with infrastructures based on 3G-SDI and aimed at enhancing interoperability with this interface (chaired by the BBC's Andy Quested with Marc Lambreghs, EBU, as project manager).