Verifying DPP files in BATONTM
What is DPP?
In May 2010 three UK broadcasters, ITV, Channel 4 and the BBC formed the Digital Production Partnership in order to smooth and accelerate the move to end-to-end digital; with more benefit, less pain and less cost – for everyone. DPP has produced numerous industry insight reports and events, and produced best practice guidance. It has also defined and implemented some common standards – most notable a common standard for file-based program delivery, which was implemented across the whole of UK broadcasting on 1 October 2014.
How can I comply with DPP file-based program delivery requirements?
DPP published documents on their website (www.digitalproductionpartnership.co.uk) to help content producers creating valid DPP files and standardize their in house QC process.
Checks are divided into three categories:
  1. AS-11 UK DPP file format checks
  2. Automated QC (AQC) content checks
  3. Eyeball QC content checks
'AS-11 UK DPP file format checks' includes extra constrains on the top of the base MXF standard and Descriptive Metadata checks that help broadcasters to properly identify content, properties of the media file and drive automated processes downstream in the workflow. Typically these checks could be easily executed by software, but it could be overwhelming or impossible to be done by human investigation. DPP labs have conducted a certification process for automated QC solutions to make sure users can easily check their files to comply with requirements.
Interra Systems' BATONTM solution is the first Auto QC tool (AQC) to achieve the AMWA certification in the “File Analyzer” category of new DPP (Digital Production Partnership) Compliance Program.  Baton, certified by DPP/AMWA, provides a broad range of enterprise-class features, and can now be used by production companies to deliver compliant files when accompanied with a valid Baton QC report in either PDF or XML format. Baton has a built in test plan to simplify the process. User only needs to schedule a file with the built in DPP test plan to make sure it complies with ‘AS-11 UK DPP file format checks'.
'Automated QC (AQC) content checks' are the minimum set of features that must be executed by an automated QC system. Here the QC device should decode the AV essences and run special algorithms to identify violations of the defined restrictions. This process is more time or resource consuming than the basic file compliance checks. Hence a scalable system is key to handle larger content amount. One might be able to verify some of these features manually, but it would be time consuming, needs very special expertise that may not be available at each content producer, or in worst case it would harm eyeball QC operators (like the Photosensitive Epilepsy test that is mandatory in the UK and Japan). Baton is a DPP approved testing device for PSE testing.
'Eyeball QC content checks' are features that most of the automated QC devices can not check or a manual review is required after auto QC in order to do editorial / artistic decisions. Baton offers the most complete and accurate feature set. While many checks are not available in other products Baton users can automate complex tasks like audio and subtitle language detection, up-conversion check, and many more.
Baton also allows operators to review reports, ignore errors or add comments. Some of the eyeball QC checks do require humans to make decisions. A freeze frame for example can be a technical problem or it can be an artistic effect too (e.g., a product pack shot at the end of an advertisement.) Once Baton finishes the verification, operators can open up the report in a web browser and go through the errors and warnings. Baton tells what kind of problem is found in the file. It can show thumbnails for video quality issues, graphs, timeline, and visual debugging is also available with the Baton Media Player. In case an operator finds that an error is an artistic effect he can ignore the error and add a comment in the player or in the browser. Once the review process is done a PDF report could be exported and can be sent together with the media file to the broadcaster or to the editor in case any correction is needed.
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