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Metadata Project – TVB Experience


Metadata Project – TVB Experience

by Garry Kum Television Broadcasts Limited


TVB starts digitisation of historical contents and the creation of conjunctive metadata for the digitized contents in 2010. Contents digitisation and metadata creation are two separate projects. The content digitisation portion uses a commercially available solution; while the solution for metadata creation is developed by TVB Engineering.

During content digitisation, two file forms are produced, namely, non-compressed AVI for preservation purpose and, low bit-rate MPEG-4@2.5Mbps for Metadata System.

Metadata System uses commercially available hardware while the Metadata Input System (MIS) software is developed in- house. Operators use the in-house developed MIS to retrieve the MPEG-4 files from server and enter the conjunctive metadata. TVB defines four levels of metadata and only Scene level metadata has time code information associated to indicate the location of the scene within the file. Not all metadata need manual input, some of them are obtainable from other systems.

To date, there are more than 62,000 programme hours of MPEG-4 video files produced and around 25,000 hours of them have had metadata created. The metadata created is stored in dedicated storage and does not share MPEG-4 video file storage.

In addition to the Metadata System, TVB is developing a Basic Metadata Search Engine (BMSE) to assist searching digitised content using the metadata created. It is in a trial stage and will be released to Programme, Production, Research and Marketing & Sales etc. when comments received during trial are tackled. A report regarding BMSE system will be submitted to ABU later.


“The word “metadata” means “data about data”. Metadata articulates a context for objects of interest – “resources” such as MP3 files, library books, or satellite images – in the form of “resource descriptions”. As a tradition, resource description dates back to the earliest archives and library catalogs. The modern “metadata” field that gave rise to

Dublin Core and other recent standards emerged with the Web revolution of the mid-1990s.”1

~ Dublin Core Metadata Initiative

In addition to Dublin Core Metadata Initiative’s definition of metadata, metadata is also considered as recursive since there is data about the metadata.

Dublin Core Metadata schema which has 15 elements defined and was categorised into three groups by Chris Taylor to indicate roughly the class or scope of information stored in them. The three groups are:

1. Content & about the resource 2. Intellectual property 3. Electronic or physical manifestation”2

This report provides information to the Metadata System project in terms of overall block diagrams, hardware information, TVB metadata structure and constraints encountered.

The MIS was developed referring to the Metadata element set described in ISO Standard 15836:2009. In accordance with TVB operation practice, four major levels of metadata are categorized - Programme level, Episode level, Item level and Scene level.

Structure of Metadata

TVB has defined four levels of metadata when developing Metadata Input System (MIS). Metadata creation for the four levels is basically an aggregation of both manual input way and data capturing from other systems. Following is description of the four metadata levels and snap shot of their main input pages.

1. Programme level Programme level metadata is a collection of data of a programme which contains one or more episodes. The metadata is generic to all the episodes when they are with the same programme name.

Currently, programme level metadata comprises 34 data fields and are summarized into the following categories

1 Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, 2 An Introduction to Metadata by Chris Taylor, July 29, 2003,,html

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