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20/11/2014

SMPTE Celebrates Record-Breaking 2014 Conference

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The SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) 2014 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition achieved record-breaking paid attendance, the body has announced.

"SMPTE 2014 demonstrated why the Society's technical conference and exhibition has become the premier annual event for motion-imaging and media technology, production, operations, and the allied arts and sciences," said Pat Griffis, SMPTE education vice president. "New display and acquisition standards, distribution formats, business models, virtualisation models, and ways of moving content over IP are coming to the forefront and having a real impact on the industry. By offering insight into these and related advances, SMPTE 2014 empowers businesses and individuals to take entertainment media to the next level."

Running October 21 – 23, the conference hosted thought leaders from motion picture studios, broadcast and distribution networks, production and postproduction communities, software companies, systems integrators, manufacturers, distribution providers, over-the-top providers and others.

SMPTE 2014 attracted approximately 2,000 attendees representing 31 countries: the UK, Japan, Germany, Belgium, China, South Korea, Hungary, and France, as well as the U.S. and Canada. Paid registrations were up 11% over 2013, the organisation revealed.

The pre-conference SMPTE Symposium was hosted by the Hollywood Post Alliance (HPA). Held at the El Capitan Theatre 'Making Do With More' involved creative sessions with filmmakers, cinematographers, visual effects artists, sound specialists and colourists providing discussion on the challenges and the expansive opportunities now open to them with new tools to support their vision.

It included a demonstration area supported by Canon, where Sony Electronics, FilmLight, Dolby Laboratories, Technology Made Simple, and Sundog Media Toolkit conducted demonstrations.

"The Symposium is an example of how HPA and SMPTE can add value to each other," said Leon Silverman, HPA president. "The Symposium's focus on creativity as it relates to technology complements SMPTE's focus on technology and standards."

The Women in the Technology Workspace Luncheon, produced by SMPTE and HPA Women in Post, featured Michelle Munson, CEO and co-founder of tech firm Aspera; Ron Bailey, vice president, human resources at Warner Bros. Entertainment; and Rob Kaufman, founder and CEO of Divorce Dialogue who specialises in the behavioral differences between men and women.

In the SMTPE 2014 opening keynote, Chris Fetner, director of global content partners operations at Netflix, explained that the task of empowering subscribers requires an increasingly higher quality of audio and video assets, more metadata, and localised artwork. In addition to reporting that Netflix was the first to market with the ultra-high-definition TV (UHDTV) streaming series 'House of Cards', Mr Fetner also noted SMPTE's Interoperable Master Format (IMF) standard, deeming it the cornerstone of Netflix expansion. The release of original miniseries 'Marco Polo' in December 2014 will represent the first Netflix content delivered in the IMF 2+ extended format. Fetner's keynote presentation is available, on-demand, to SMPTE members here.

Mark A. Aitkin, vice president of advanced technology at Sinclair Broadcasting Group, delivered the Industry Luncheon keynote. He suggested that broadcasters missed an opportunity by not putting better support behind ATSC mobile television and called for "a reinvention of broadcasting as a conveyor of uniquely wireless, unconnected bits to billions of devices." He also stated that the mobile-connected tablet is the consumption device of the future, predicting mobile video consumption will increase to account for two-thirds of all mobile data traffic by 2017.

SMPTE Hollywood Regional Governor, Paul Chapman, and SMPTE Fellow, Jim DeFilippis, served as program chairs for SMPTE 2014.

The inaugural SMPTE Student Film Showcase, hosted by Howard Lukk, a SMPTE standards director, was sponsored by Netflix.

The short films presented during the Showcase featured wide-ranging themes, from 'Calibration Conundrum', which discussed display matching and the human visual system, to 'Light', a beautifully photographed ballet sequence.

All were screened in the SMPTE-DCP (Digital Cinema Package) format, courtesy of Sundog Media Toolkit. SMPTE Program Committee member Corey Carbonara, professor of film and digital media in the Communication Studies Department at Baylor University, said that using the cloud platform to convert their films to SMPTE-DCP was a great learning experience for students.

On the final night of SMPTE 2014, award-winning broadcast journalist Frank Mottek served as master of ceremonies for the Honors & Awards Ceremony. The complete list of honourees is available here.

The SMPTE 2015 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition is scheduled for Oct. 26-29, 2015 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles.

www.smpte.org

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