[Tig] A call for open formats--Or should it really be standardization?

Ted Langdell ted at tedlangdell.com
Mon Sep 12 17:41:59 BST 2011

The camera codecs and file formats are one thing, but interchange  
between NLE's and color correction and then perhaps back again is  
something else.

Isn't this an area where SMPTE, EBU and similar organizations should  
be taking a lead role in fostering some interchange standards?

I know that there is some interchangeability now via exports to XML  
and OMF... but seems to me that the number of steps should be far  
less. IE:  Exporting various image file types from Photoshop, or  
document types from MS Word or other word processing software.

I can't help but think about the interchange that was possible between  
different brands of Quad recorders beginning at the very start of  
Videotape more than 50 years ago.

And 20 some years later, what was done to encourage a single format to  
come from the competing Sony BVH-1000 and Ampex Type A formats in  
1976.  While Ampex and Sony were the main players in that game,  
Hitachi, NEC and a few others made machines.

We can look at plethora of non-compatible 1/2" and 1" helical  
industrial formats from the 60's as to what not to do.

 From an archivist's perspective, having fewer varieties of codec,  
file format and data types reduces the hardware, software and  
knowledge required for later migration and access... and can save  
money in the long run.


On Sep 12, 2011, at 9:01 AM, Bob Friesenhahn wrote:

> On Mon, 12 Sep 2011, Jack James wrote:
>> I've got no problem with having a multitude of different formats in  
>> the case of RAW, but I have a problem with them each
>> being inaccessible.
> As long as each camera vendor provides decode capabilities via  
> proprietary licensed software (often using patented algorithms) the  
> formats will always be inaccessible to someone.
> A much better approach (other than format standardization) would be  
> for the industry to unite on an open-source model in which each  
> camera vendor contributes decode support (in portable source code  
> form) for their camera.  The decode support can be packaged as a  
> portable library which can run on any common CPU and operating  
> system combination, as well as on many popular GPUs.
> Bob

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