HPA IMF UG Looks Beyond Time Code

Today, during the HPA Tech Retreat, the HPA IMF UG (Interoperable Master Format User Group) announced that the first product of the group, the Best Practices Document on Timecode in IMF, is available for download. The HPA IMF UG is the first user group formed by HPA, and serves as a forum for users and implementers of the IMF family of standards. The HPA IMF UG includes more than 100 members from around the world and this first output from the user group is considered a significant milestone.

IMF is an international standard published by SMPTE, and the solution for interchange of component-based audio-visual masters. The document recommends behavior of IMF systems when interacting with SMPTE Timecode (SMPTE ST 12-1). Pierre-Anthony Lemieux, Chairman of the IMF UG noted “Timecode was a perfect topic for the UG given its historical use in mastering workflows, where IMF excels. While storing timecode information is not forbidden in IMF, timecode is never used for synchronization since it cannot tackle the requirements of modern component-based workflows.  The Best Practice document recommends that timecode not be routinely included in IMF.”

The HPA IMF UG hopes that the best practice will help adopters avoid common pitfalls when adapting legacy content to component-based workflows and IMF.

Barbara Lange, Executive Director of HPA and SMPTE, noted that “The development of viable user groups is an important part of what HPA can bring to relevant industry issues.  We are delighted to see the fruit of the labor of this engaged group, tackling a topic that is of direct concern to our community.”

The best practice is a living document which is available free-of-charge at

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