SMPTE Time Code Summit

SMPTE will host a series of Time Code Summits to gather user community feedback that will contribute to the creation of a new “Time Label” standard. As the next-generation standard to SMPTE Time Code™, widely viewed as one of the most important standards in the audio/video industry, the new Time Label standard will address the continuing, new, and emerging requirements of handling media across the cinema, broadcast, theatrical, music recording, concert, live entertainment, and theme park markets.

Innovative media techniques such as higher-frame-rate (HFR) video and media over internet protocol (IP) are testing the limits of the original SMPTE Time Code standard, first introduced in 1974. The time has come to revise the standard to keep pace with new technologies and workflows. With a better understanding of how today’s professionals are using Time Code on a daily basis, SMPTE will be positioned to enable an efficient move into Time Labels.

SMPTE Time Code Summit from SMPTE on Vimeo.

SMPTE Timecode ™ gives every frame of video its own unique identifying number, makes digital editing possible, and enables the association of other data to make audio and video even more meaningful, accurate, and repeatable, whether in postproduction for a major studio release, in hard news environments or live sports production. It even synchronizes music and is often used to automate lighting, pyrotechnics, video, and other effects in live event production.

This video demonstrates what life would be life if SMPTE Timecode went down, in the middle of EDM party. It would look somewhat like a power outage.


“If your job depends on Time Code, then you have something to gain by attending one of our Time Code Summits,” said Howard Lukk, director of engineering and standards, SMPTE. “These meetings mark a significant step toward building a new version of what is arguably one of the most widely used SMPTE standards. They will play an essential role in ensuring that we receive the feedback from a broad range of users to create an improved standard that will stand the test of time. We encourage the user community to take advantage of this unique opportunity to contribute to the standards-creation process.”

The first Time Code Summit will be held on 10 Oct. at 6 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. The second Summit will take place on 1 Nov. at 10 a.m. at BT Tower in London. A third Summit is planned for New York in November, with more locations in consideration. The Summits are hosted by SMPTE Director of Engineering and Standards, Howard Lukk with support from the local SMPTE Sections.

Apply to Attend:        LOS ANGELES - 10 Oct.        LONDON - 1 Nov.         NEW YORK - 16 Nov.

Unable to Attend? Take the Survey Online!

At each SMPTE Time Code Summit, the Society will provide an overview of what is possible today with current standards, conduct an electronic poll that will collect answers from users to a series of questions about their requirements, and then hold a free-form discussion about any further requirements or considerations. The results of each Summit will be assembled and integrated into a report delivered to the SMPTE Working Group on Time Labeling and Synchronization (WG 32NF80). An aggregate report is also planned for the industry at large.

A few more examples of how SMPTE Timecode is used in live entertainment applications:

Deadmau5 Clarifies 'Press Play' Comments About Fellow DJs





Armin van Buuren - DJ setup explained



 SMPTE Timecode Tutorial



Projection, Lights and Staging News


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