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SMPTE Celebrates Successful NAB

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The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) recently celebrated a number of achievements across its three primary focus areas – standards, education and membership – at NAB 2016.

The Society discussed the latest progress with regards to its standards work, and also showcased current and upcoming educational opportunities, plus provided support and networking opportunities to its longtime members and ever-growing student membership.

"This year's NAB Show was tremendous for SMPTE because we had so many major accomplishments to share with colleagues across the industry," said Barbara Lange, executive director at SMPTE. "While moving forward with significant standards work, the Society has been growing into an increasingly diverse and dynamic organization. The show gave us a great venue to showcase these advancements and offer attendees a look at important new SMPTE initiatives and events."

At CinemaCon, immediately prior to the 2016 NAB Show, SMPTE announced the release of the second-generation Digital PROjection VErifier (DPROVE2) for SMPTE Digital Cinema Package (SMPTE-DCP) verification, which Eclair (Ymagis Group) has already implemented in the industry's first wide-scale testing.

An encrypted DCP that emulates movie playback as closely as possible, DPROVE2 allows exhibitors to test their digital cinema systems' functionality. The first generation of DPROVE, derived from the 2009 D-Cinema Leader (SMPTE RP 428-6), was developed to check for digital projector performance, alignment, and picture-sound synchronization in theaters. Though it no longer supports Interop DCP, the new DPROVE2 builds on the original by supporting SMPTE-DCP with enhanced capabilities such as accessibility features and picture-sound synchronization. DPROVE2 is now being distributed to cinema chains and exhibition groups.

Hot topics at the 2016 NAB Show included Adaptive Sample Picture Encapsulation (ASPEN), which was submitted to SMPTE as a Registered Disclosure Document (RDD 37), and the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS). AIMS builds on existing SMPTE standards such as ST 2022-6 and the ST 2059 family; its new working group is developing standards based on Video Services Forum (VSF) recommendations TR-03 and TR-04. AIMS held a press conference during the NAB Show, and SMPTE discussed opportunities to facilitate interoperability between AIMS and ASPEN.

During awards ceremonies at the 2016 NAB Show, SMPTE Members were honored for their contributions to the motion-imaging field. Broadcasting & Cable magazine paid tribute to technology leaders who have displayed innovation, imagination, and achievement. This year's honorees included SMPTE Members Joe Addalia, Hearst Television; Gregory Coppa, CBS; Glenn Oakley, Discovery Communications; and Renu Thomas, Disney|ABC Television Group. SMPTE Member Michelle Munson of Aspera was also honored with the Women in Technology Leadership Award from TVNewsCheck magazine.

The Society's members were also involved in a number of SMPTE student events, leading students on tours of the various exhibition halls and gathering students from around the world for a social mixer at the SMPTE booth. These events provided students with opportunities to interact with SMPTE members and leadership, who discussed their jobs in audio, digital cinema, cameras, broadcasting, postproduction, and manufacturing. Through a challenge grant established in 2012 by SMPTE Membership Vice President William C. Miller, student membership is increasing and represents almost 15% of the Society's nearly 7,000 members.

The SMPTE booth was buzzing with talk of upcoming events, including 'Entertainment Technology in the Connected Age: The Race Is On!' (ETCA 2016), scheduled for June 27–28 in California (, and the recently announced HPA Tech Retreat UK (, a new event being presented by HPA, in collaboration with SMPTE, on July 13–14 at Heythrop Park Resort in Oxfordshire.

ETCA 2016 will explore how emerging technologies are impacting the delivery of a compelling connected entertainment experience. Keynote addresses will focus on integrating the evolution of technical, creative and business innovations to pave the way toward continually improving the entertainment experiences. A rich slate of conference sessions will examine the impact of connectivity, bandwidth, and technology advances in content creation and delivery, whether viewed in a cinema, at home, or even in a car.

The HPA Tech Retreat UK addresses emerging trends and challenges facing professionals engaged in the many disciplines surrounding the creation, management, and dissemination of content across the dynamic landscape of distribution environments. The event, making its UK debut, focuses on the most compelling technologies and user stories in broadcast and cinema. A SuperSession will be led by industry leaders at work in ultra-high-definition (UHD), high-dynamic-range imaging (HDR), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and other critical technologies. Another special session offers attendees an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of HBO's Game of Thrones.

Although the SMPTE 2016 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition doesn't take place until October 24–28, the Society took advantage of the 2016 NAB Show to inform industry members that the conference's call for papers deadline is now extended to May 23. At the SMPTE booth, attendees also heard about the SMPTE Centennial Gala, which is slated for October 28 during SMPTE 2016, and about the Precision Time Protocol (PTP) interoperability demos – using SMPTE ST 2059 – that will be presented during the conference by vendors that qualify at the upcoming ST 2059/AES67 Interop Event, June 13–17.

A complete 2016 NAB Show recap, including details on the NAB Show's 'The Future of Cinema Conference', produced in partnership with SMPTE, will appear in the May/June issue of the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal, available in the SMPTE digital library (online at

Image: SMPTE Student Event at the 2016 NAB Show. Photo Credit: Keith Graham.


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