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Do We Need Reminding Just How Beneficial DPP Can Be?

A reminder of why DPP (Digital Production Partnership) enables organizations to adopt digital file-based workflows.

By Bruce Devlin | 01/27/15

Readers of this blog will be aware of its regular focus on the Digital Production Partnership or DPP as it is more commonly known. When terminology such as ‘revolutionary’ and ‘a future broadcast industry cornerstone’ are used to describe a concept it is normally a good indication that all that glitters is not necessarily gold:

However, this is not the case here – the DPP specifications create a real life platform that offers the potential for broadcasters and facilities of all types to revolutionize their production workflows. They enable organizations to adopt digital file-based workflows in ways that are both efficient and cost effective. The specifications enable organizations to adopt file-based technologies for intra- and inter-company media transfers. It finally consigns the ‘sneaker-net’ to the rubbish heap of history.

The DPP organization has been instigated by the UK broadcast industry, for the UK broadcast industry. It is an initiative formed by the UK’s public service broadcasters to help producers and broadcasters maximise the benefits of digital production. The partnership is funded by BBC, ITV and Channel 4, with representation from Channel 5, Sky, S4C and the independent sector on its working groups. 

DPP Specifications – A Unique Proposition

Today, the DPP organization is unique. It has taken all the hard work it took to create the SMPTE MXF specification nearly 10 years ago and developed a set of Application Specifications for the UK industry that transform this technical standard into a real world business platform. Looking at it from an international perspective, the DPP specifications are the first of these Application Specifications to receive national scale adoption. It certainly won’t be the last.

Although its focus is strictly UK-based, the DPP specifications offer a model that could be equally applicable to any other regional market. As we know from our conversations at AmberFin, broadcasters and facilities in many other countries are closely following the progress of this first project of its kind.

As the saying goes, a racehorse designed by a committee ends up looking like a camel. But it is not the case here. The DPP organization draws on industry experts from the worlds of technology and broadcast production to help fulfill its remit. It is refreshing to see design engineers from so many different organizations, including competitive technology vendors, working together to create a single integrated set of format descriptions, and thereby a level playing field.

Lessons from the DPP Focused Webinar

And the industry really is behind the DPP specifications. As we saw earlier this year, when we staged a special DPP focused webinar, there is a groundswell of support for the DPP specifications from major broadcast industry players such as Channel 4, Red Bee and TVT.

The DPP organization has been successful in establishing a road map in digital production in the UK. The DPP specifications provide a framework that enables the UK industry to come together and share best practice in digital production and help producers and broadcasters maximize the potential of the digital revolution. Also, it leads the standardization of technical and metadata requirements within the UK, helping to ensure digital video content can be easily and cost-effectively distributed to audiences via multiple platforms.

And now, at IBC, we hear news of the first adopters of the DPP specifications. BT Sport is an imaginative and impressive new channel launch. Its adoption of the DPP specifications will simplify delivery of content to other broadcasters. 

This is just the start. At AmberFin, we whole-heatedly support the DPP organization here in the UK. We believe it has the ability to transform the UK broadcast industry. Furthermore, we believe it provides a blueprint that could be easily adopted in many other international markets.

Featured in: Dalet AmberFin | DPP | File-Based Workflows | Metadata | MXF | SMPTE |

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By Bruce Devlin

With 30 years in the industry, Bruce looks after Media Technology for Dalet. An engineer who designed antennas, ASICs, software, algorithms, systems and standards, Bruce is best known for being @MrMXF and you can get his book on Amazon.

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