SMPTE to Conduct IMF Interoperability Plugfest at Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

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Oct. 18-19 Event Will Test and Demonstrate Utility of Interoperable Master Format for Movie and Broadcast Content Exchange

LOS ANGELES and WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. Sept. 13, 2018 SMPTE, the organization whose standards work has supported a century of advances in entertainment technology and whose membership spans the globe, is collaborating with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to conduct the year’s second face-to-face Interoperable Master Format (IMF) plugfest, designed to test vendors’ ability to create and play interoperable IMF packages. First standardized by SMPTE in 2013, IMF enables efficient, consistent, and reliable exchange, delivery, and archiving of media for motion pictures, television, and other content platforms.

To facilitate broad industry participation from around the world, SMPTE has scheduled a second plugfest for Oct. 18-19, just days before the SMPTE 2018 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2018), which will take place Oct. 22-25 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in downtown Los Angeles. The plugfest will be held at the Academy’s Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study in Hollywood, California, as a meeting of the SMPTE Media Packaging and Interchange Technology Committee (TC-35PM) Plugfest Drafting Group. The year’s first face-to-face IMF plugfest organized by SMPTE was hosted earlier this year by IRT in Munich.

“The Munich plugfest delivered exciting results, and interest in IMF continues to grow,” said SMPTE Director of Standards Development Thomas Bause Mason. “Industry members, including some major players, continue to embrace this format, largely because they like the many benefits it offers. We expect participation in both the Hollywood plugfest and in vendor demonstrations at SMPTE 2018 to be very promising for the future of IMF.”

More than 20 organizations have registered to take part in the face-to-face plugfest in Hollywood. Results from the event will be anonymized and then shared with SMPTE TC-35PM members. SMPTE will also conduct a “virtual plugfest” in advance of the Hollywood event to provide vendors with the opportunity to work with the source material ahead of time in their labs. Details on the virtual event are available to members of the SMPTE working group on plugfests.

Registration for the Hollywood plugfest is required and will be open until Sept. 18. Participation requires SMPTE membership and Standards Community participation within SMPTE TC 35PM. More information on membership is available at Qualified guests may attend subject to space availability, upon completion of a guest participation agreement, which is available by emailing a request to

Hotel accommodations at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites, with reduced pricing, are available through Sept. 28, or while rooms remain through the SMPTE 2018 website:

Further information about SMPTE 2018 is available at, and more information about the Society’s standards work is available at

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For more than a century, the people of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, or SMPTE (pronounced “simp-tee”), have sorted out the details of many significant advances in media and entertainment technology, from the introduction of “talkies” and color television to HD and UHD (4K, 8K) TV. Since its founding in 1916, SMPTE has received an Oscar and multiple Emmy Awards for its work in advancing moving-imagery engineering across the industry. SMPTE has developed thousands of standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines, more than 800 of which are currently in force today. SMPTE Time Code™ and the ubiquitous SMPTE Color Bars™ are just two examples of SMPTE’s notable work. Now in its second century, SMPTE is shaping the next generation of standards and providing education for the industry to ensure interoperability as the industry evolves further into IT- and IP-based workflows.

SMPTE is a global professional association of technologists and creatives who drive the quality and evolution of motion imaging. Its membership today includes more than 7,000 individuals: motion-imaging executives, creatives, technologists, researchers, and students who volunteer their time and expertise to SMPTE’s standards development and educational initiatives. A partnership with the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) connects SMPTE and its membership with the businesses and individuals who support the creation and finishing of media content. Information on joining SMPTE is available at

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Caption: Thomas Bause Mason, SMPTE Director of Standards Development



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