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SMPTE Time Code is used extensively throughout production and postproduction. With the evolution of media technology since its introduction in 1975, it is showing its age in some areas,” said SMPTE Director of Engineering and Standards Howard Lukk. “We are exploring ways to improve Time Code. The results of the Time Code Summit Report provide a better understanding of the drawbacks in its current use, in and beyond the conventional audio/video community, and of the direction we need to take in developing a new standard. At the same time, we’re using the MXF Time Code Report to clarify Time Code in MXF and how facilities can work with it more efficiently.”

Yesterday there were 2 key reports from SMPTE (simp-tee) regarding time code standards. The first was for how time code will be used in MXF formatted files. SMPTE spent 2 years investigating how time code was being used with MXF files and documenting applications that need to write MXF files with Timecode. From the various study groups around the world 3 primary requirements where highlighted; MXF should be able to store multiple Time Code values per frame, and they should all be identical; store multiple Time Code values per frame, though they may be from different sources and have different values; and include the appropriate Time Code in audio-only files.

The next was the Time Code Summit Report. This was also a series of studies and surveys from focus groups held in London, NY and LA. The main elements coming out of this study are to address the Time Labels standard to address radical changes of Internet protocols in the industries workflow. the push to higher and variable frame rates, and other factors testing the limits of the existing Time Code standard. The report also includes an explanation of the study effort, the survey questions asked and answers provided, and the dialogue that occurred at each summit.

You can sign up to be sent the reports at the following link: https://www.smpte.org/standards/reports