Video Service ID Data Model

Background

The Entertainment Identifier Registry Association (EIDR) Content ID Registry was created in 2010 to enable unique identification of audiovisual content. While the EIDR Content ID has proven an effective way to identify what piece of content is being referenced, the media and entertainment industry also has a need to unambiguously identify where a piece of content might be delivered or presented to consumers.

In 2012, at the request of its Member companies, EIDR developed the Video Service ID Registry[1] to provide unique identification of video delivery services and channels, whether over-the-air or across-the-wire; real-time or non-real-time; linear or non-linear. The EIDR Video Service ID is a standard Digital Object Identifier (DOI)[2] issued by EIDR on behalf of the global media and entertainment industry as an open, unique, universal, and persistent identifier. Video Service IDs provide unique identification for TV networks and channels (e.g., BBC, HBO, ESPN2); their related SD, HD, UHD, and 3D variants; and their related regional or local feeds (e.g. East vs. West Coast and potentially local regions that may receive different feeds due to sports blackouts).  EIDR is now specified within the Real-time Event Signaling and Management API (ESNI) specification for how MVPDs handle blackouts and other alternate content scenarios and Video Service IDs can be used with OBID-TLC[3] audio watermarks to embed channel IDs in video streams.

Additionally, Video Service IDs are applicable to online and VOD services as well as audio services delivered as video channels by a cable or satellite television provider.

Overview

A Video Service ID consists of a DOI prefix (“10.5239”), which identifies the DOI as an EIDR Video Service ID, a separating slash (“/”), and a suffix of eight hexadecimal digits (presented in two groups, separated by a hyphen: e.g., 6D0E-4A27).

Combined together, they form a Video Service ID: e.g., 10.5239/6D0E-4A27 (the ID for the US East Coast feed of the premium cable TV service, ActionMAX). These differ from EIDR Content IDs (e.g., 10.5240/6A3C-2610-5C2E-D9EA-DADF-0 for the UK Broadcast Edit of the movie Big Business), which identify audiovisual works along with their creative and technical versions, clips, series, seasons, and distribution bundles.

Accompanying each Video Service ID is a selection of descriptive metadata designed to aid search, discovery, and de-duplication. Values include Service Name, Alternate Service Names, Format, Delivery Model, and Affiliated Services. In addition, each Video Service record can include up to 10 Alternate Identifiers, including third-party house IDs, channel lineup IDs, etc. The XML schema for the descriptive metadata that accompany each Video Service ID is available at eidr.org/schema/service.xsd, while the various metadata elements are described later in this document.

EDIR provides a public Video Service ID search service at ui.eidr.org and a similarly configured Sandbox system for training and integration testing at sandboxui.eidr.org.

Figure 1: EIDR Public Web UI for Video Services Search

The EIDR Registry is always read-for-free, and the EIDR IDs can be embedded in any system and included in any workflow without restriction, so long as you follow these recommended best practices for their registration and use.

EIDR Members can register and maintain Video Service ID records through the public Web UI or via one of the various systems integration methods EIDR supplies.[4]

Figure 2: EIDR Web UI for Video Services Registration

Using Video Service IDs

There are three principal factors that identify a broadcast or video delivery event:

  1. Time and date of the presentation (in local or UTC time)
  2. The content presented (identified by an EIDR Content ID)
  3. The service used for consumer content delivery (identified by a Video Service ID)

Figure 3: The factors that, taken together, create a unique Airing ID.

EIDR does not provide a Broadcast Event or Airing ID directly, but one can be constructed by combining EIDR IDs to identify the program (Content ID) and delivery channel (Video Service ID) at a particular time and date.

Video Service IDs support a basic hierarchical structure that can be used to identify a master service and its regional feeds (same programming with variations in time, format, or language) or a network and its affiliates (both independent and owned-and-operated).

Figure 4: A master channel with differentiated feeds.

Figure 5: A broadcast network and its affiliates.

More complex relationships between video services can be identified using the Other Affiliation feature to identify the companies that own different delivery services and media outlets (via EIDR Party IDs[5]) and other peer-to-peer or parent-child relationships between Video Services.

Figure 6: Associating multiple parent companies (via EIDR Party IDs) with Video Services.

Figure 7: Many-to-many relationships between affiliated stations, networks, and companies.

NOTE: Affiliation is many-to-many, so that one Video Service may be associated with multiple companies (EIDR Parties) and one company may be associated with multiple Video Services. Similarly, one station may have multiple affiliated stations.

Linear Broadcast Example

In linear broadcast scenarios, Video Services are traditionally assigned to programmer feeds, as in the first example below where primary and secondary feeds each have their own Video Service ID.

In the next example, different Video Service IDs are assigned to each regional variant of the program feed. The regional variants represent each unique combination of actual content that may be delivered to a client. This is similar to how EPG data are identified.

NOTE: It is not recommended that this approach be taken down to the local blackout level for live sports programming, since these tend to be ephemeral and Video Service IDs are perpetual.

In the third example, the programmers are not identified with Video Service IDs. Instead, the regional feeds themselves are assigned Video Service IDs, so as the content source switches, so does the Video Service ID.

NOTE: This is much easier to maintain in the Video Service registry and can be used with local sports blackouts, since the Video Service-identified feed switches without requiring a unique Video Service ID assigned to the blackout coverage area. However, this does not align with how EPG data are identified.

Footnotes

[1] Each EIDR-administered ID Registry covers one specific domain: Content IDs are for audiovisual works in all their forms; Party IDs are for companies engaged in the creation, distribution, and presentation of audiovisual works; and User IDs are for EIDR Registry users. Since Video Services are a distinct entity class, their IDs are administered in their own Registry.

[2] ISO standard 26324:2012. See www.doi.org

[3] SMPTE ST-2112-20 and RP 2112-21 for the Open Binding of Distribution Channel IDs and Timestamps.

[4] EIDR provides a Video Service REST API, Java SDK, .NET SDK, read/write public Web UI, and command line tools for direct use and shell script-based automation. See Best Practices for Creating EIDR Title Records for a more information on registering records in the EIDR Registry.

[5] EIDR Party IDs identify companies, such as producers and distributors. They are structured like a Video Service ID, but have a different DOI prefix: e.g., 10.5237/DDA3-C054 for ABC Television. Party IDs also identify broadcasters, but in this case, it is the company that owns a content delivery service rather than the delivery service itself (identified with a Video Service ID), though both may have the same name.

Updated on March 7, 2021

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