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Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. This is the body that developed this standard. You will find this is a rule for many standard like digital being AES, Audio Engineering Society.
Simp-Tee is how you pronounce SMPTE.
Timecode is an electronic signal which identifies precise locations in digital systems based on time-based media. This covers everything that records for a moment of time, audio and video are the most popular ones. This is because we can record a double system of video on one system and audio on another separate system because we can use the same Timecode on both systems to match the same locations and synchronize them in post production.
A SMPTE display has 4 parts: HH:MM:SS:FF.
These are Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Frames. The hours are in a 24 hour clock form so from 00 - 23 for 11pm. Frames are equal to a single image. A camera shooting 24fps is 24 frames per second, or 24 single images within a second of time.
Minutes go from 00 to 59 and same with seconds. Frames vary depending on the timecode rate you are shooting at: 23.98, 24,25,29.97,30 are the main ones.
One frame is comprised of 80 bits of binary data called a "timecode word"