Warner Bros. Discovery logoContent Partner HubSupport

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

Release: 1.1 | May 6, 2022


Quality Requirements

It is Warner Bros. Discovery’s intent to acquire the highest quality masters that preserve the original artistic intent while providing a premium viewing experience to the consumer. To meet Warner Bros. Discovery's perceptual and measured quality standards content delivered must conform to the specifications outlined in this document. In preparing content for delivery and to preserve the highest quality it is strongly preferred that all unnecessary transformations or processing that results in the degradation to the master quality be avoided.

Please contact Warner Bros. Discovery Content Acquisitions if your highest quality digital master does not meet the quality standards defined in this specification.

Photosensitive Epilepsy Testing

Photosensitive Epilepsy (PSE) impacts a viewer population who may be prone to seizures caused by flashing images on a screen. Warner Bros. Discovery strongly recommends that providers use a “Harding Flash & Pattern Analyzer” on all content prior to delivery to ensure it meets these recommendations. Content found to be outside these test parameters will be rejected and will require redelivery.

As the toolset for testing photosensitive epilepsy within HDR content is not broadly implemented, Warner Bros. Discovery recommends that all content providers perform a tone mapped SDR export for testing HDR titles, following the guidance for the reduction of PSE as defined in ITU-R BT.1702-2.

IMP Qualification

For any new provider, post-production house/vendor, an on-boarding IMP qualification process is required before any content can be delivered. Please contact Warner Bros. Discovery Content Acquisitions to initiate the qualification process.

Expected Deliverables

A complete and valid delivery SHALL include:

  1. UHD HDR Interoperable Master Format package (IMP) conforming to SMPTE ST 2067-21 App 2E,delivered in an enclosing directory:
  • Image Track file with JPEG2000 essence with interleaved CM 2.9 or 4.0 Dolby Vision metadata of a seamless/continuous version.
  • At least one IMF Audio Track File.
  • If delivering a 5.1 mix, a corresponding 2.0 mix MUST be delivered.
  • If delivering Dolby Atmos, a corresponding 5.1 and 2.0 mix MUST be delivered.
  1. Composition Playlist (CPL) XML file, containing:
  • For titles mixed in Dolby Atmos(per language):
    • One image virtual track
    • One IAB virtual track
    • One surround audio virtual track (6 channels)
    • One stereo audio virtual track (2 channels)
  • For titles mixed in 5.1 surround(per language)
    • One image virtual track
    • One surround audio virtual track (6 channels)
    • One stereo audio virtual track (2 channels)
  1. OPL (Output Profile List)

  2. One Packing List XML file

  • Volume Index and Output Profile List XML files may be present but are NOT required.
  1. One ASSETMAP XML file

Work with your Warner Bros. Discovery contact for more information on the original and additional audio languages expected for your region/content.

Master Technical Specifications

  1. The frame rate MUST be both continuous and constant throughout the duration of the program.
  2. HDR content MUST be frame and shot aligned with the SDR deliverable as audio and text tracks will be shared across both masters.
  3. Program MUST be delivered as a continuous, seamless program.
  4. Dolby Vision metadata MUST be frame-wrapped into the video MXF file with no gaps from SOM to EOM including any individual textless segments.
  5. Dolby Atmos titles MUST be delivered as an Immersive Audio Bitstream (IAB) Level 0 Plug-in.
  6. Metadata in the file header MUST accurately indicate:
  • Scan Type
  • Scan Order
  • Frame Aspect Ratio

Master File Format

Video Specifications
CodecJPEG 2000
ContainerIMF Image Track File / MXF (App 2E+)
Frame RateOriginal/Native Frame Rate (23.976, 25, 29.97)
Scan TypeProgressive
Aspect RatioOriginal/Native
ResolutionUHD 3840 x 2160
Bit Rate (framerate dependent)IMF single-tile lossy, Main-Level 6 Sub-Level 3
Rate ControlVariable Bit Rate (VBR)
Chroma Bit Depth12-bit
Color Coding/SpaceFull Range RGB BT.2020
Color Matrix/PrimariesRGB Color @ 4:4:4(no chroma sub-sampling)
Mastering Volume MetadataSMPTE ST-2086
Content-dependent MetadataSMPTE ST-2094
Audio Specifications
CodecLinear PCM
FormatBroadcast Wave Format (BWF)
ContainerIMF Audio Track File / MXF (APP 2E+)
Sample Bit Depth24-bit
Sample Rate48kHz
Immersive Audio Specifications
CodecDolby ATMOS
FormatImmersive Audio Bitstream (IAB)
ContainerIMF Audio Track File / MXF (APP 2E+)
Sample Bit Depth24-bit
Sample Rate48kHz

Interoperable Master Format Package

The IMP and its components SHALL conform to SMPTE ST 2067 specifications, including but not limited to:

The IMP MUST be delivered within an enclosing directory.

Static HDR Metadata

The package SHALL contain static HDR metadata required for HDR10 delivery. The ST-2086 metadata SHALL be included for luminance range of the Mastering Display, as well as the mastering color space of ITU-R BT.2020-2 and transfer function of PQ (ST-2084). The static metadata MUST be present in CPL and Dolby L6 and they MUST match.

Dolby Vision Metadata

The Dolby Vision metadata MUST be created as either a CM 2.9 project or a CM 4.0 project (following the Dolby Vision Color Grading Best Practices Guide). If created as a CM 4.0 project, XML must be exported such that it has been updated with the latest backward compatible algorithm using the latest version of metafier. All Dolby Vision metadata must then be interleaved (frame wrapped) in video MXF file. This ensures sync between the picture and the metadata.

Because the master composition includes content outside of the program SOM-EOM range (e.g. black and textless), the Dolby Vision metadata MUST also be present for these portions of the deliverable. There SHALL BE no gaps in the interleaved Dolby Vision metadata.

Master Composition

All content must deliver free of any on-screen identifiers (such as overlay branding, burn-ins, crawls) and/or any advertising/promotional messaging (such as bumpers, links, end cards). In addition, Warner Bros. Discovery will not accept episodic content that includes any logos, bugs, bumpers or stings before or after the program.

Season and/or episode recaps should not be stitched to the beginning of content and must be provided as separate video deliverables to the HBO Max Marketing team.

All content must conform to the following composition:

10" Slate / Silence30" Black / SilenceProgram @ 01:00:00:0030" Black / SilenceTextless5" Black / Silence

If there are multiple textless segments, insert 5 seconds of black/silence in between each segment. If the content requires no textless segments, then the composition SHALL end after the Program. No additional black should be appended.

The CPL must include Composition Timecode as specified in Section 8 of SMPTE ST 2067-3 and MUST be set to 00:59:20:00.


First frame of video MUST begin with a visual slate. Slate SHALL contain:

Program Title:
Episode No (if applicable):
Production Company:
Program Run Time:
Aspect Ratio:
Frame Rate:
Production Audio: [Language/Configurations]
Textless Included: [Yes/No]

Audio Technical Specifications

  1. Each Soundfield group MUST be arranged into a single track. e.g. 5.1 would be a single track with 6 channels.
  2. All Audio channels MUST be labeled in the file metadata using Multichannel Audio Labeling as specified in SMPTE ST 377-4:2012. Specifically, Spoken Language, MCA Audio Content Kind, MCA Tag Name, MCA Tag Symbol (see below table for values). To be IMF compliant a value MUST be entered for MCA Audio Element Kind, MCA Title, and MCA Title Version, as WM DOES NOT require specific values for these fields, “n/a” is suggested/acceptable.
  3. Stereo labels MUST match the method used to create the Soundfield: chL / chR for stereo mix.
  4. All audio tracks MUST conform (be synchronous) with video and have the same duration.
  5. Where both exist, a near field mix is preferred over a Theatrical mix.
  6. Content with 5.1 surround must be provided with a separate, corresponding 2.0 track.
  7. In addition to Stereo, 5.1 surround, and Music & Effects deliveries for the Original Production Language, the following must also be delivered, according to regional/contractual obligations (refer to the Audio Track Layout for more):
  • Stereo for Additional Audio Language(s).
  • 5.1 for Additional Audio Language(s).
  • Music and Effects.

Dolby Atmos

All content deliveries to Warner Bros. Discovery MUST be compliant with SMPTE ST 2067-201:2019 Immersive Audio Bitstream (IAB) Level 0 Plug-in. The Dolby Atmos Home mix MUST meet the following requirements:

  1. At minimum, Atmos MUST be mixed in a 7.1.4 room.
  2. For near field mixes, the most common monitoring levels are 79dB or 82dB SPL.
  3. Target audio loudness MUST conform to the Warner Bros. Discovery loudness specification, otherwise Warner Bros. Discovery reserves the right to reject the content. Specifically, audio loudness MUST conform to the following using the ITU-R BS.1770-3 or ITU-R BS.1770-4 audio measurement algorithms:
  • Target loudness SHALL be ∑ -24.0 LKFS +/-2.0 LU.
  • True Peak (dBTP) target levels for the Atmos mix SHOULD, generally, not exceed -0.1dBTP. Loudness and True Peak SHOULD be measured using the loudness analysis in the Dolby Atmos Renderer software or via a third-party tool measuring the 5.1 re-render from the Dolby Atmos Renderer software. Beds and objects MUST, at the minimum, be separated by Dialog, Narration (if present), Music, and Effects.
  1. All beds and objects are encoded and will always be audible.
  2. IAB MUST contain multiple beds maintaining DME separation to the extent possible. Beds and Objects for Dialog, Music, and Effects (DME) MUST be created.
  3. Atmos files MUST be synchronous to and match final IMF picture length exactly as long-play and not separate reels. Leader and sync pop SHALL be removed.
  4. Adding First Frame of Action (FFOA) in the Dolby Renderer is optional but is not required.

Audio Loudness

Content must conform to either ITU-R BS.1770-3 (for US content deliveries) or EBU R 128-2020 (for content deliveries outside of the US). For ITU-R BS.1770-3 target audio loudness must conform with:

  1. Target loudness for 2 Channel Program Audio (e.g. LtRt) must be ∑ -24 LKFS +/-2 dB
  2. Target loudness for 5.1 Channel Program Audio must be ∑ -24 LKFS +/-2 dB (minus LFE)
  3. True Peak does not exceed -2 dBTP (dynamics processing should be applied as needed)

More can be found in the ATSC Recommended Practice: Techniques for Establishing and Maintaining Audio Loudness for Digital Television.

For EBU R 128-2020, target audio loudness must conform with:

  1. Program Loudness Level must be normalized to a Target Level of −23.0 LUFS ±1db.
  2. True Peak Level of a program must not exceed −1 dBTP.
Dolby certification is not required for Atmos Home mix rooms.

Audio Track Layout

Please exclude track(s) if not available, do not fill with silent or duplicate tracks.

Descriptive Video/Audio Description

WarnerMedia requires the delivery of Descriptive Video / Audio Description tracks, where pre-existing, to be delivered in the following manner:

  1. Descriptive Video/Audio Description must be mixed with primary stereo audio.
  2. Descriptive Video/Audio Description must conform to the primary program video.
  3. Descriptive Video/Audio Description must adhere to Master Technical Specifications.

Content TypeSpoken LanguageSoundfield GroupAudio Channel
MCA Audio Content KindMCA Tag Name MCA Tag SymbolNumberMCA Tag NameMCA Tag Symbol
Immersive AudioLanguage per BCP-47(e.g. en-US, es-419)PRMIABIABN/AN/AN/A
Original Production LanguageLanguage per BCP-47(e.g. en-US, es-419)PRMStandard StereosgSTChannel 1LeftchL
Channel 2RightchR
Additional Audio Language(s) (As required by region)Language per BCP-47(e.g. en-US, es-419)PRMStandard StereosgSTChannel 1LeftchL
Channel 2RightchR
Music & EffectsNo value requiredMEStandard StereosgSTChannel 1LeftchL
Channel 2RightchR
DialogueLanguage per BCP-47(e.g. en-US, es-419)DXStandard StereosgSTChannel 1LeftchL
Channel 2RightchR
Sound EffectsNO value requiredFXStandard StereosgSTChannel 1LeftchL
Channel 2RightchR
MusicNo value requiredMXStandard StereosgSTChannel 1LeftchL
Channel 2RightchR
Original Production Language (Production Dependent)Language per BCP-47(e.g. en-US, es-419)PRM5.1sg51Channel 1LeftchL
Channel 2RightchR
Channel 3CenterchC
Channel 4LFEchLFE
Channel 5Left SurroundchLs
Channel 6Right SurroundchRs
Additional Audio Language(s) (As required by region)Language per BCP-47(e.g. en-US, es-419)PRM5.1sg51Channel 1LeftchL
Channel 2RightchR
Channel 3CenterchC
Channel 4LFEchLFE
Channel 5Left SurroundchLs
Channel 6Right SurroundchRs
Descriptive Video/Audio DescriptionLanguage per BCP-47(e.g. en-US, es-419)DVStandard StereosgSTChannel 1LeftchL
Channel 2RightchR

The MCA Tag Symbol MUST correspond with the MCA Tag Name. The Immersive Audio track MUST follow SMPTE ST 2067-201:2019 §5.10.

Naming Convention

Directory Naming Guidelines

  1. Directory name MUST not include spaces or special characters, e.g. ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) ` ; < > ? , [ ] { } ’ ” |. With the exception of - (dash) and _ (underscore).
  2. Underscores MUST be used to separate categories within file name.
  3. Directory name SHOULD use CamelCase: multiple words joined together with the first letter of each word capitalized, e.g. Search Party -> SearchParty.
The IMF assets in the IMP (e.g. CPLs, IMF track files, OPLs) do NOT require any standardized naming convention and can match the output of the tool creating the IMP.



CategoryDefinitionRequired / As Applicable
ProgramTitleThe title of the programRequired
EpNoExpressed as a concatenation of season and episode number in season.
Season is indicated by a single digit (e.g. 2) and episode number by two digits
(e.g. 01) Using this convention the example would be 201
As Applicable
Edit TypeThe edit type of the program (for example: textless, consolidated, etc.)As Applicable
LanguageThe primary language of the media file Required
DynamicRangeIs HDRRequired
RevNoThe revision number, added only when necessary and preceded by ‘REV’As Applicable




Content Delivery Method

There are two supported methods for content delivery:

  1. User initiated upload via Warner Bros. Discovery secure delivery Portal.
  2. High volume upload via Warner Bros. Discovery Automated Content Delivery (ACD).

All providers must be on-boarded to one of the supported delivery methods prior to delivering any content to Warner Bros. Discovery.

Supplemental Assets

Asset Imagery

Content artwork and imagery must be delivered for all content. For more information on the images required, see Image Specifications.

Title Metadata

Descriptive metadata must be provided prior to delivery of any content to Warner Bros. Discovery. For more information on the metadata required, see Descriptive Metadata Template.

Other References

Release History

v1.1 May 6, 2022

  1. Updated WMContentAcquistions email address
© 2022 Warner Bros. Discovery, LLC. All Rights Reserved.