SMPTE timecode is presented in hour:minute:second:frame format and is typically represented in 32 bits using binary coded decimal. There are also drop-frame and color framing flags and three extra binary group flag bits used for defining the use of the user bits. The formats of other varieties of SMPTE timecode are derived from that of the linear timecode. More complex timecodes such as vertical interval timecode can also include extra information in a variety of encodings.
SMPTE timecode signal (A 1 is expressed by a transition at the midpoint of a period. A 0 is expressed by the absence of such a transition.) compared to the outwardly-similar Manchester code (A 0 is expressed by a high-to-low transition, a 1 by low-to-high transition at the midpoint of a period).