DPP Declares Death of Tape in UK

​The Digital Production Partnership (DPP) has announced that from October 2017, BBC, BT Sport, Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV, Sky and UKTV, will no longer accept delivery on videotape of any programmes commissioned after this date. The announcement represents the end of the use of videotape in UK programme making, and the universal adoption of the DPP’s common file delivery specification AS-11 DPP.

Mark Harrison, managing director of the DPP.

Mark Harrison, managing director of the DPP.

“The introduction two years ago of standardised file delivery has been a huge success,” says DPP Managing Director Mark Harrison. “And today’s announcement completes that journey by clarifying there will now only be one UK delivery format: AS-11 DPP.”

Standardised file delivery began on the first of October 2014, when all UK broadcasters adopted a common specification established by the DPP, in collaboration with the Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA). Since that time, over 25,000 programmes have been delivered as AS-11 DPP files.

Some tape delivery still remains, however – mostly related to programmes originally commissioned on tape, or to programmes being delivered close to transmission – despite the fact that tape is now an end of life format. So the DPP brought together UK broadcasters and playout providers to plan for the complete removal of tape in new programme delivery.

“By choosing a date that is nearly a year away, everyone has the time to plan for the end of the use of tape,” said Mark Harrison. “The DPP will coordinate the change process, working with broadcasters, suppliers, producers and post houses to ensure a smooth transition.”

In the months ahead, the DPP will provide common guidance on key areas such as the delivery of programmes close to transmission, and the process for lines booking and lines record. This new guidance will be released to the industry in an updated version of the DPP Producers Guide to File Delivery, to be published next year.

Some individual broadcasters may implement before 01 October 2017. The DPP says acquired and repeated programming may still be delivered as tape, by agreement - or be supplied for digitisation immediately prior to delivery for transmission.

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