Broadcast Wave

What is a Broadcast Wave?

A “broadcast wave” (often abbreviated to “BWAV”) is a file format for audio commonly used in broadcasting and broadcasting Film production is used. It is one WAV file format extension and provides additional metadata fields to store information such as timestamps, project information and other relevant data. This makes management and synchronization easier of audio in professional production environments.


In a broadcast wave file can additional metadata which are not present in conventional WAV files. These include, among others:


  • Time stamp: Accurate recording time information, such as start time, end time and duration.
  • Project data: Information about the project to which the Recording heard, such as project name, author, description, etc.
  • Track marker: Markers in the audio that identify important points such as scene changes or sound effects.
  • Manufacturer information: Information about the manufacturer of the Equipmentswith which the recording was made.
  • Custom fields: The ability to add custom metadata fields to store specific information relevant to each production.


This additional metadata makes Broadcast Wave files particularly useful for professional audio and video production, allowing for better organization, search, and synchronization of audio content.

Since when has the Broadcast Wave format been around?

The Broadcast Wave format was first developed in 1997 by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) introduced. It was developed to... Overcome limitations of traditional WAV files and to better meet the needs of the broadcast and film industries. Since its inception, it has become a widely used standard for storing audio data in professional production environments.

What important properties does Broadcast Wave have?

There are a few key points that distinguish the Broadcast Wave format:


  • Compatibility: Broadcast Wave files are backwards compatible with traditional WAV file formats and are therefore supported by a wide range of audio software and hardware.
  • WAV specification extension: BWAV extends the original WAV specification with additional metadata fields designed specifically for the needs of broadcast and film production.
  • Precise timestamps: BWAV supports precise timestamps, making it easier to synchronize audio with other media content.
  • Standardization: The Broadcast Wave format is standardized by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which promotes its distribution and acceptance in the broadcast and film industries.
  • Improved metadata management: With the ability to store additional metadata such as project details, track markers and custom fields, BWAV makes it easier to manage and organize audio content in complex production environments.
  • Multi-channel audio support: BWAV supports multi-channel audio, making it ideal for storing surround sound and multi-track recordings.
  • Lossless Compression: Although BWAV files are typically uncompressed, the format also supports the use of lossless audio compression such as PCM (Pulse Code Modulation), which can save space without compromising audio quality.
  • Preservation of cutting information: BWAV often also stores editing information such as crop marks and editing history, making it easier to edit and edit audio files without losing important information.

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