NABA-DPP Common File Format Specification


The NABA – DPP Common File Format Specification was created as a result of a survey NABA conducted on the needs and issues that challenged its members in North America. A further survey of the industry was conducted by a joint initiative of NABA, SMPTEAMWAAAAAAd-IDIABMANA and the EBU, confirming the ongoing challenges in program delivery as file-based media.

The adoption of commonly defined, standards-based delivery specifications will reduce the number of specifications that have to be supported by the industry as well as reducing inefficiencies, complexity and errors that currently continue to plague media workflows.

Through joint NABA and DPP meetings, eight of the major North American broadcasters – ABC/Disney, Bell Media, CBC/Radio-Canada, Fox, HBO, PBS, TimeWarner and Turner – have agreed to a commonly developed file format, structure and wrapper based on the AS-11 UK DPP specification implemented in the UK in 2014. The outcome is two new technical specifications (first published April 2016) for the delivery of finished air-ready programs for North America.

Please note: The AS-11 X8 specification is not intended to be a foundation for the future; it is aimed at NABA broadcasters who currently use legacy MPEG-2 based codecs. It will allow them to migrate to AS-11 workflows before utilizing more up to date codecs (e.g. AS-11 X9) in the future.

Production companies wishing to deliver to these new specifications should discuss this at the point of commission, and seek formal agreement with their broadcaster at the outset of production. Not every North American broadcaster will move to these new technical specifications immediately. The transition will start in 2017 and continue into 2018 with various networks taking delivery of programs to these specifications on a selective basis as changes to their facilities and operations permit.

The team is also working with the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE) to support these specifications in SMPTE Standards for BXF 5.0 (Broadcast Exchange Format), the AMWA on Rules Based Representations of the specifications, as well as with the EBU for a Q.C. Template utilizing the EBU Q.C. initiative.

The SMPTE Technical Specification Interoperable Master Format – Application DPP (ProRES) can be found on their website here.

The current versions of the generic Air Ready Master specifications are available for download via the links below.

** For a “doc” version of the above specifications, please email your request to


These specifications are currently undergoing review for updates. The goal is to incorporate changes to and updates in the underlying SMPTE Standards, such as the use of AAC in the AVC Specification, and to clarify certain issues encountered in the first year of use. The updated versions are in progress.

The specifications are based on the Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA) AS-11 rules base specifications. This work is available through the AMWA website and work is ongoing to define the rules for these and other international file formats. Full details can be found below:


NABA and DPP members are currently working on specifications for a High Definition Library Master Format and an Ultra High Definition Library Master format. These library master specifications will cover the workflows for organizations wishing to receive a single master from which all other required versions are produced, such as Air Master, VOD, Netflix, Apple iTunes, Hulu and other O.T.T. Versions. These will be based on SMPTE IMF Standards Application 2 for High Definition and Application 2e for UHD.

The generic Library Master specifications will be posted as they become available.

  • NABA DPP HD Library Master, work in progress
  • NABA UHD Library Master, work in progress

Other related links


For the Simplifying Video File Workflow Seminars, please click here


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