Collaborative production project Muppits, which aims to enable facilities to buy and sell digital resources, is gearing up for its first public demonstration.

The Multi-User Post-Production IT Services is the product of two years of development between nine industry partners and is funded by the government’s Technology Strategy Board and coordinated by the Digital Television Group.

Project partners Molinare, Smoke & Mirrors, BBC R&D and Pinewood Studios will be involved in a programme production exercise linked via Sohonet at Pinewood next week.

The project, which was originally devised for companies to sell or buy expensive rendering capacity (see Broadcast, 05.10.08), has been expanded to accommodate the management, storage, billing and inter-facility transfer of file-based content.

It is built around the open-source software GRIA and will link into the BBC’s automated tapeless acquisition system Ingex, which recently won an RTS Raising The Bar Award. It might also hook into the asset management systems of Ascent 142 (Viia) or Prime Focus (Clear).

“Muppits sits as a layer above such services but we don’t want to be limited by a single proprietary component,” explains Paul Walland, manager of the IT Innovation Centre at Southampton University, which developed GRIA. “The concept has grown to encompass the whole process of sending tapeless content between post houses, managing metadata and business.”

With the technology in place the next stage in the process is to refine a business model which may entail charging to access the service. Muppits is being timed for launch at IBC 2010.