The Applicability of the Interoperable Master Format (IMF) to Broadcast Workflows

The broadcast industry is faced with new challenges related to advanced file-based workflows. The adoption of an increasing number of distribution channels and localized content versions points to several editorial versions and output versions being required. Furthermore, broadcasters are starting to produce UHD content, which raises even more questions in terms of file handling, workflow efficiency and compression technologies.

The Interoperable Master Format (IMF) has capabilities that might make it a suitable candidate to solve many of today’s challenges in the broadcasting industry. However, it doesn’t yet appear to be sufficient for broadcast applications.

This article suggests a way of adapting IMF to broadcasters’ requirements by giving an insight into possible extensions to the IMF structure. It will be of interest to broadcasters, distributers and producers who need an efficient master format capable of accommodating today’s workflow challenges.

The achievements, presented in this paper, are part of a collaborative master thesis, realized at the EBU and the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences, Germany.

By Melanie Matuschak