Harris Lends A Hand to SMPTE Document for BXF Standard

Harris Corporation contributed to a Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) Working Group to publish a suite of new documents for adopters of the popular Broadcast eXchange Format (BXF) standard.

BXF provides a standardized means of exchanging schedule, as-run, content metadata, and content transfer instructions between systems.  Publication of the new documents constitutes a critical first step in the development of BXF 2.0, which is a collection of projects Harris has promoted within SMPTE to enhance the original BXF standard.

“Due to the pace at which industry requirements evolve, it’s important that continuous work is done to improve and extend the BXF standard,” says Chris Lennon, Chief Technology Organization Group lead, Harris Broadcast Communications.  “Any software-related standard that remains static for a period of even a few years runs the risk of becoming obsolete.”

Peter Symes, director of standards and engineering at SMPTE, said: “BXF is a real success story for SMPTE and all involved.  The Harris role was crucial.  Harris personnel contribute a great deal of the drafting and editing work, but more importantly, they went to extraordinary lengths to ensure that all the affected parties, users and manufacturers were at the table and involved in  the standards development.”

The suite of recently released documents replaces the original, somewhat intimidating, 640-page SMPTE ST 2021:2008 BXF document.  In order to get BXF details into the hands of implementers in an easier to understand and more digestible form, five new documents were developed:

    • SMPTE 2021-0:2009 — SMPTE’s first-ever “Roadmap” document: An easy-to-read, two-page summary of all SMPTE BXF documents and materials available to implementers.
    • SMPTE ST2021-1:2009 — General Information and Informative Notes:  The new foundational document for the entire BXF suite, which includes the BXF schema definition file collection, as well as the HTML schema documentation for BXF.
    • SMPTE ST 2021-2:2009 — Protocol:  A document that addresses all protocol-related issues for BXF.
    • SMPTE EG 2021-3:2009 — BXF Use Cases:  An engineering guideline that provides valuable illustrations of how BXF can be used to assist in a variety of real-world scenarios.
    • SMPTE EG 2021-4:2009 — BXF Schema Documentation:  Complete documentation of all of the BXF schemas.

This new suite of documents will serve as the foundation for further BXF 2.0 development.  Harris will continue to play a major part in this initiative, along with a dedicated team of experts representing a broad cross-section of the industry.

Enabling near real-time exchange of data, BXF allows adopters to achieve greater operational efficiency and significant cost savings, as well as generate all-new revenues.  For example, BXF enables adopters to book last-minute advertising spots in their traffic systems, and have the playout schedule automatically updated in their automation systems — right up to air time.

BXF has enjoyed significant uptake in the industry over the last two years, and broadcasters have pressed vendors for implementations of this new SMPTE standard. To date, Harris has already employed BXF within 11 of its own products — from traffic, automation, program management and enterprise management, to asset and media management.

Harris Broadcast Communications offers products, systems and services that provide interoperable workflow solutions for broadcast, cable, satellite and out-of-home networks.  The Harris ONE solution brings together highly integrated and cost-effective products that enable advanced media workflows for emerging content delivery business models.

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