Software Generation, Ltd. (SGL) and Masstech Group, Inc. have unveiled joint plans to pursue a SMPTE standard for the interchange of material between archive management systems.
According to the companies, today's broadcasters face an operational and possibly financial impact due to the fact that archive software companies sell proprietary formats and tape written by one manufacturer cannot be read by another. Therefore SGL and Masstech have submitted a request to SMPTE to have the issue assigned to committee for investigation. In parallel, the two companies are meeting informally to find commonality between their formats and are seeking the participation of other archive management software companies in the broadcast field.
As Clyde Smith, SVP Broadcast Engineering, Turner Broadcasting System Inc confirmed: "I am pleased to see the progress being made in the development of this standard as it will enable broadcasters everywhere to ensure the interoperability of their archived content."
The intent of the SMPTE agreement would be to define an exchange format so that a video file written in this format would be readable by any archive management system. The format is also to be data tape drive independent.
"One of the inhibitors to broadcasters in implementing a full file-based workflow has always been a lack of standards," explained Steve Atkinson, VP - Americas for SGL. "This applies equally to archive material. We are proud to be involved in this radical move as we feel establishing an interchange standard benefits both the broadcaster and the archive vendors by removing uncertainty."
"We feel development of this standard and ratification from SMPTE is very important and we are committed to working with industry leading companies such as SGL, ABC and Turner to ensure success," commented Masstech President and CEO, Sudy Shen. "We believe that our customers can acquire technologies from different vendors and be assured of immediate interoperabilities as well as long term protection of their investments."