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04/09/2017

SMPTE 2017 Dives Into The Tech Behind Next-Gen Media

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For more than a century, the people of SMPTE have sorted out the details of many significant advances in media and entertainment technology, and the programme for the SMPTE 2017 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2017) keeps that tradition.

SMPTE 2017 will take place 23-26 October, and it will fill two exhibit halls and multiple session rooms at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles. In fact, this is the final year the event will take place in its long-standing Hollywood location; the conference and exhibition will move to a larger venue in downtown Los Angeles next year.

SMPTE 2017 kicks off on Monday, 23 October, with the SMPTE 2017 Symposium: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning in Digital Media Creation: The Promise, The Reality, and The (Scary?) Future. Co-chaired by SMPTE Fellow Michelle Munson, co-founder of Aspera, and Yvonne Thomas of Arvato Systems, the SMPTE 2017 Symposium will examine how AI and machine learning (ML) technologies have gained significant traction in the creation of digital media. Jeff Kember, technical director for media in the office of the CTO at Google, will deliver the keynote address, and subject matter experts, visionaries as well as thought leaders in the field will assist delegates in establishing a firm foundation for understanding AI and ML technologies, which are poised to disrupt the industry.

SMPTE 2017 officially begins on Tuesday, 24 October. The programme committee is co-chaired by three SMPTE Fellows: Paul Chapman, senior vice president of technology at Fotokem; Thomas Edwards, vice president of engineering and development at Fox; and SMPTE Education Director Sara J. Kudrle, product marketing manager for playout at Imagine Communications. The conference and exhibition will include the usual wealth of technical sessions, along with an array of special events that offer numerous opportunities for face-to-face interaction between attendees, exhibitors, and speakers.

The first day of the technical conference will feature the Fellows Luncheon, where this year's class of 12 SMPTE Fellows will officially be elevated, and the SMPTE Annual General Membership Meeting and Oktoberfest Reception, both of which are open to all registered SMPTE 2017 attendees. On the second day of SMPTE 2017, the Evening Reception will take place in the Ray Dolby Exhibit Hall.

Technical conference sessions throughout all three days of SMPTE 2017 will delve into the industry's most innovative, intriguing and important technological advances. The papers presented will address topics including advances in display technologies; cinema processing and projection technology; wider colour and dynamic range; compression; content management and storage, restoration, and preservation; content security; virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (VR, AR, and MR); media infrastructure (SMPTE ST 2110) and distribution; image acquisition and processing; new techniques in audio; quality assurance and monitoring; workflow systems management; cloud technologies; and encouraging diversity in technology.

On the third and final evening of the conference, the 2017 SMPTE Annual Awards Gala will welcome registered guests on the red carpet and treat them to a reception and dinner honouring industry leaders. This year, there are 25 honourees, including Renville "Ren" H. McMann Jr., who will be posthumously named to the SMPTE Honor Roll, and Paul E. Debevec, who will be honoured with the Society’s most prestigious award, the Progress Medal. McMann's many innovations include the CBS Minicam Mark VI, which was the first handheld color television camera, and the magnetic scan conversion techniques used by NASA to bring color images from the moon to televisions around the globe. The Progress Medal will recognize Debevec's achievements and work in techniques for illuminating computer generated objects based on measurement of real-world illumination and their application in movies such as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, District 9 and Avatar. He is currently a senior staff engineer at GoogleVR, an adjunct research professor at the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies and co-chairs the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Science & Technology Council.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the SMPTE Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition is that it offers truly unique interactive educational experiences. Educational sessions and presentations are geared toward a variety of the latest developments in motion-imaging technology in a non-commercial atmosphere, providing insight into what is to be expected in motion-imaging this year and beyond. Presenters, as well as conference delegates, include world-renowned technology thought-leaders, affording those who attend exceptional opportunities to meet individually with top subject matter experts and industry executives. The exhibits and special events likewise provide opportunities to meet with subject matter experts, as well as experience a variety of innovative solutions and tools from more than 100 vendors.

Registration and additional information about SMPTE 2017 Symposium, SMPTE 2017, special events and the Annual Awards Gala are available at www.smpte2017.org. Pre-registration pricing is available through 14 October.

Image: Ray Dolby Exhibit Hall at SMPTE 2016.

This article is also available to read in the September edition of Broadcast Film & Video.

(JP/LM)
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