Bruce’s Shorts | 4.6 - What is SMPTE MCA and why do I need it?

In the fourth season of ‘Bruce’s Shorts’, Bruce Devlin takes a look at the Interoperable Master Format (IMF). Ever wondered why we don’t label the audio channels in files? This episode will help you find out.

Traditionally, audio channel designation was a house standard defined in a broadcaster's delivery specification. This has generally led to the need the remap the audio tracks at the ingest of files to a facility. Why isn't there a common way of labelling the audio? What track goes where and what language is being used?

That's where the Multi-Channel Audio (MCA) labelling specification comes in. MCA works at three levels:

  • channel labels
  • group of channel labels
  • group of group labels

The MCA labelling specification is SMPTE ST-377-4, a labeling framework for multichannel audio essence in MXF file structures. It specifies the basic object model, structures and metadata items for the MCA Labeling Framework.

This standard enables text-based representation of Multichannel Audio Labels and defines one such representation.

IMF is standardised by the SMPTE as ST 2067.

You might also like...

The Meaning Of Metadata

Metadata is increasingly used to automate media management, from creation and acquisition to increasingly granular delivery channels and everything in-between. There’s nothing much new about metadata—it predated digital media by decades—but it is poised to become pivotal in …

Designing IP Broadcast Systems: Remote Control

Why mixing video and audio UDP/IP streams alongside time sensitive TCP/IP flows can cause many challenges for remote control applications such as a camera OCP, as the switches may be configured to prioritize the UDP feeds, or vice…

Future Technologies: Autoscaling Infrastructures

We continue our series considering technologies of the near future and how they might transform how we think about broadcast, with a discussion of the concepts, possibilities and constraints of autoscaling IP based infrastructures.

Standards: Part 12 - ST2110 Part 10 - System Level Timing & Control

How ST 2110 Part 10 describes transport, timing, error-protection and service descriptions relating to the individual essence streams delivered over the IP network using SDP, RTP, FEC & PTP.

FEMA Experimenting At IPAWS TSSF

When government agencies get involved, prepare for new acronyms.