BEIJING, Feb. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — iQIYI Inc. (NASDAQ: IQ) (“iQIYI” or the “Company”), an innovative market-leading online entertainment service in China, is pleased to announce that it has become the first Chinese streaming platform to use Interoperable Master Format (IMF), a component-based media framework designed to simplify the file exchange process by creating a single master file for distribution. iQIYI has pioneered the use of IMF in To Be With You, new drama series reflecting the development and progress of the whole country.
The Company aired the 4K production-based series with the use of IMF, retaining the picture quality of 4K shooting and production as much as possible and thus delivering clearer and finer visual and aural experience. Pioneering the use and promotion of IMF in China, iQIYI has led the way in building a standard process system covering shooting, production, and delivery. The Company has also joined hands with film and television companies, production studios, and other partners to promote IMF use, thus enhancing content delivery and accelerating the industrialization of domestic film and television production.
Developed by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), IMF is a component-based media format that supports the encapsulation of multi-version and multi-format video and multi-lingual, multi-track audio. IMF standardizes the master format and production process for the distribution and application of different contents in different fields. Besides, IMF ensures that the process of high-quality content production, file interoperability, and version control is convenient and manageable, making it easier to reuse content and reducing the cost of manual labor and other resources. Thanks to IMF, content providers can provide an efficient cross-platform and multi-domain content exchange, distribution, and archiving.
Unlike the past practice of putting all components into a single file, IMF can store videos, audios, subtitles, and other essential elements in separate files, using add-ons for playback and editing. In IMF format, producers can add a variety of contents and data as well as output the most comprehensive information for diverse distributions. For example, during the QC process of To Be With You, picture issues such as stains and flickering were detected. In contrast with the traditional method of outputting the whole video again, IMF makes a supplemental package with only corrected images included. Another merit of IMF is that it can keep a record of all changes, dramatically simplifying the cost of replacing, modifying, rendering, and organizing multiple versions.
As cross-platform broadcasts and the distribution of audio-visual content become ubiquitous and users attain a higher level of appreciation for video quality, content production, delivery and archiving have become more challenging. In terms of picture quality, IMF uses JPEG2000 for high-quality video encoding, and uncompressed audio to retain maximum detail in sounds and pictures. At the same time, IMF not only fully supports available high-quality video and audio formats such as 4K, HDR, wide color gamut (WCG), high frame rate, and immersive audio, but is also compatible with advanced formats that may emerge in the future. The Company’s adoption of IMF is in line with its ethos of using cutting-edge technology to deliver the ultimate experience to its users. Through this innovative approach, iQIYI has been able to cement its place as the leading online entertainment service in China.