EBU and SMPTE Announce Joint Task Force on Time and Synchronization

White Plains, New York and Geneva, Switzerland - The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) have announced the creation of a Joint Task Force to examine and standardize future needs for timing and synchronization in moving picture and related industries.

Lieven Vermaele, newly appointed Technical Director of EBU said "The focus on user requirements is the key element to ensure new solutions that will meet the needs of our members and other organizations around the world."

Gavin Schutz, SMPTE Engineering Vice President, added that the partnership with EBU "has always been important and productive; we look forward to applying the talents of both organizations to these issues."

Current methods of timing and synchronization for television, audio and other moving picture signals rely on standards that have been in place for over 30 years. While these standards have proven to be robust solutions that served the industry well for some time, they are predicated on technologies that are becoming increasingly inappropriate for the digital age. For example, networked content sharing or higher frame rate HDTV image formats now impose unacceptable limitations for the future.

The task force will begin by focusing on user requirements. Based on the input to be received from broadcasters, the media and entertainment industries, the task force will publish one or more Requests for Technology (RFT). The industry's responses to these RFT will then be evaluated against the known user requirements. The outcome of this process will be a set of specifications and then passed to the appropriate SMPTE technology committees for due process standardization.

The task force will be chaired jointly by Dr. Hans Hoffmann of the EBU Technical Department, and Peter Symes, SMPTE Director of Standards & Engineering. It will adhere to an aggressive time schedule intended to publish the final specification by the end of 2008.

The first meeting of the task force will be held in New York on November 5 6, 2007.

Further details on the partnership can be obtained on: www.smpte.org/standards/ and www.ebu.ch/en/technical/index.php

About the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is the largest association of national broadcasters in the world (75 active Members in 56 countries, 43 associate Members in 25 countries further afield). The EBU helps public service broadcasters to deliver unique high quality programming to their audiences. It offers Members technical, operational and legal services, and coordinates a growing supply of quality content for radio, television and new platforms. It provides Members with information and analysis on media trends, and training designed to meet their needs. The EBU works to secure recognition of the crucial role of public service broadcasters in the digital audiovisual landscape. For more information: http://www.ebu.ch/

About the The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE)
Founded in 1916 to advance theory and development in the motion imaging field, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) is the leading technical society for the motion imaging industry. SMPTE has earned a strong reputation for its work in developing industry standards, recommended practices and engineering guidelines. SMPTE also publishes the award-winning SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal. SMPTE worldwide members include engineers and other technical professionals, directors and educators working in the technical and creative provisioning of motion pictures, television and new media. SMPTE also hosts more than 200 sustaining (corporate) members. Visit SMPTE online at www.smpte.org.