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IRT, together with the ARD, examines the practicability of a standardized metadata exchange in production, contribution and distribution.



For the audience, metadata is indispensable for the search for broadcasting content. Especially when content is published on most diverse platforms, uniform data models are required to avoid multiple capturing of the metadata in planning, production or play-out. Not only the production workflows will become more simple but also for the consumer results a more homogenous description of the content for EPGs, program magazine and catch-up content.

Best-practice project for distribution

In order to establish a standardized structure for the exchange of metadata between broadcasting houses and communal facilities of the ARD, the IRT supports a "best practice project" of the Production and Technology Commission of the ARD (PTKO). The project aims to verify the usability of the BMF 2.0 (Broadcast Metadata Exchange Format) metadata format developed by the IRT with regard to the defined metadata structures of the ARD metadata model as well as to develop an uniform interface technology. In order to obtain a complete description for the three temporal phases of distribution - program announcement,  program rundown and on-demand provision, WDR and BR provides data to the ARD communal facilities and ARD Playout Center.

Broadcast Metadata Exchange Format BMF

For the harmonization of metadata and its standardized exchange, the Broadcast Metadata Exchange Format was developed in Version 2.0 (BMF 2.0), with special consideration of the requirements of the ARD.

BMF is an extensive metadata vocabulary for the areas of television, radio and Internet. It allows the IT-based exchange of metadata in a uniform format.

As a lingua franca in metadata exchange, it increases the reusability of metadata implementations. It also enhances the interoperability of metadata exchange between IT-based systems as well as between different application scenarios.

BMF meets real world requirement
The aim of the BMF modeling was to cover information requirements from as many areas as possible, such as planning, production, distribution and archiving. BMF was able to achieve this through the extensive and detailed evaluation of various applications. On the one hand, this was done in close collaboration with ARD and ZDF working groups and, on the other hand, through in-depth analyzes of other applications such as production planning, program planning and event planning.

BMF XML schema
BMF metadata are exchanged as XML documents, according to the usual practice in metadata exchange. The model structure for these XML documents is stored in an XML schema. For the creation of the XML schema in version 2.0, the experiences from previous implementations and suggestions from manufacturers were analyzed and taken into account. The new design rules of BMF allow a more flexible use of the model and easy access of the user to the model and the XML schema.

BMF 2.0 model and the corresponding scheme are available free of charge for applications.

BMF as a kit
BMF 2.0 is very comprehensive and serves as a "tool box" for the creation of adapted submodels for applications. Only these partial BMF submodels will be used for implementation in form of a BMF submodel XSD. The BMF submodel distribution uses only 20% of the entire metadata vocabulary defined in BMF.

Media control card

In the IT-based television production there is no longer need MAZ card in paper form. To enable the transport of all descriptive metadata quickly and error-free together with the video material, ARD and ZDF plan to use an media control card. Partially this is already used.The media control card includes metadata for video shooting material, contributions, raw materials (new in version 2.0) as well as for video shooting material on data carrier. In the IT-based production environment, the media control card simplifies the workflows when data are delivered externally or from co-productions, in the ingest, in technical control and in the media-based distribution. The media control card was developed by IRT in close cooperation with the broadcasters ARD and ZDF. The relevant application cases were analyzed intensively. The media control card is available as an XML schema in version 2.0. This is a subschema of the Broadcast Metadata Exchange Format (BMF) 2.0. With the introduction of media file transfer 2.0, which will replace the video file transfer in the ARD, the media control card will be also widely used.

More about Media Control Card


The new concept weConnect aims to improve the exchange of program contributions between ARD broadcasting houses and at live events. WeConnect exchanges all the relevant metadata from the first idea of ​​a story to the finished post with O-sounds, pictures or videos. Final media contributions and their updates should be made available just-in-time to all broadcasting corporations directly to the in-house workflows. A new and essential component of weConnect is the comprehensive disposition of transmission lines, studios, OB vans and reporters from the ARD pool, which are needed for a production. Therefore weConnect provides the metadata schema and defines the REST-based interface technology. IRT developed a prototype for demonstration purposes. Currently ARD broadcasters are testing the practicality of weConnect.

Media File Transfer MFT 2.0

Whether for reports, interviews or contributions, the ARD broadcasters have used the so-called videofile transfer (VFT) in television production to exchange video, audio and metadata between their locations. This will be replaced in the future by the media file transfer (MFT) 2.0. The reasons for this are the higher transfer volumes with simultaneously higher transfer speeds due to the conversion to HDTV and the increasing cross-media productions for radio, television and Internet. A key feature of the MFT 2.0 is the transfer multimedia material with its metadata in different file formats much faster than in real-time. Particular emphasis is placed on integrating the new system, which is designed as a pure software service, easily and flexibly into the existing production and content management systems. In addition to the control interfaces, the new metadata schema (based on BMF) must also be implemented. In cooperation with the broadcasters, the IRT has specified the detailed features and prepared the necessary documents for the EU tender. 

Your contact

Uwe Felderhoff
Project Manager
Tel. +49 (0)89 32399-317
uwe.felderhoff @