SMPTE Documents

SMPTE Engineering Documents consist of Standards, Recommended Practices, Engineering Guidelines, and Amendments. SMPTE Engineering Documents may be intended for further submission to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the International Standards Organization (ISO), or other standards bodies. 

The Society also publishes Registered Disclosure Documents and Technical Specifications, but these are not considered to be Engineering Documents and have separately defined procedures. To learn more about the Technical Specifical process, visit the TSP FAQ page.

These documents can be found in the SMPTE Digital Library on IEEE Xplore. In total, the SMPTE Digital Library contains more than 23,000 documents including all SMPTE Journal articles back to 1916; conference papers dating back to 1969; and more than 800 standards documents covering all aspects of motion image technology including the iconic color bar test patterns, time code, timed text, and digital cinema.  

Click on a document type below to see the index. This index contains all SMPTE publications, including both active and superseded documents.

Document Type

No Charge Documents (OV's & SMPTE-TT)

A multipart set of documents should be supplemented by an Overview Document (OV), which describes the relationships among the parts and may describe the relationships of the parts to other Engineering Documents. Part 0 (OV) documents are not due process Engineering Documents. 

These Overview Documents are available at no charge.

The U.S Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has declared the closed-captioning standard for online video content developed by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) – the worldwide leader in motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, media, and entertainment industries – to be a safe harbor interchange and delivery format. The ruling means that captioned video content distributed via the Internet that uses the SMPTE standard – known officially as SMPTE Timed Text – will comply with the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), a landmark U.S. law designed to ensure the accessibility, usability, and affordability of broadband, wireless, and Internet technologies for people with disabilities.

The standard and all its parts are available at no charge.

Standard (ST)

A Standard is a document that states basic specifications, dimensions, or criteria that are necessary for effective interchange and/or interconnection within the system described. An SMPTE Standard may also define the functions necessary to achieve effective interchange among users. An SMPTE Standard shall contain Conformance Language.

Recommended Practice (RP)

A Recommended Practice is a document that states basic specifications, dimensions, or criteria that are not necessary for effective interchange and/or interconnection but that facilitate implementation of systems. Examples are conformance requirements for test materials or measurement methods; constraints on existing specifications, dimensions, criteria, forms; and/or functions within the system described. An SMPTE Recommended Practice may contain Conformance Language.

Engineering Guideline (EG)

An Engineering Guideline is an informative document, often tutorial in nature, which incorporates engineering Consensus on specifications, dimensions, and/or Version practices. It is intended to guide Users or to provide designs or procedures for Producers. It shall not contain Conformance Language, Normative Text, or Normative References.

Registered Disclosure Documents (RDD)

Registered Disclosure Documents (RDDs) are not Engineering Documents and do not represent findings, representations, or recommendations by the Society. Registered Disclosure Documents are documents within the scope of interest of the Society, submitted by any entity (the “Sponsor”) that wishes to make a disclosure available to the public and to use the Society’s publication and distribution mechanisms for this purpose. Documents that may be suitable as Registered Disclosure Documents include, but are not limited to, specifications of existing products, instructions for interfacing to products, instructions for controlling products and systems, and descriptions of design approaches intended to encourage design of similar or compatible systems. Registered Disclosure Documents shall not be used as Normative References in Engineering Documents. 

Technical Specifications (TSP)

A Technical Specification (TSP) is a Public Committee Draft (CD) document as defined by the Standards Operations Manual (OM) v3.1. It enables industry groups and business users to create public and robust delivery documents, to constrain standards, and to foster new workflows that engender long-term interoperability.  

These Technical Specifications are available at no charge.