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05/12/2018

SMPTE 2018 Annual Conference And Exhibition Delivers Expanded Opportunity And Education

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The Society held its SMPTE 2018 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2018) at a new venue this year: the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in downtown Los Angeles, which proved to be the perfect setting. The event was able to leverage the larger spaces to broaden the technical and educational offerings at SMPTE 2018, and also to make even more social and networking opportunities available throughout the event.

SMPTE 2018 featured 78 technical presentations selected from a remarkable 156 paper proposals; advanced technology exhibitions; recognition for SMPTE Fellows; the Annual Awards Gala; a Welcome Luau reception, an Oktoberfest reception, and a Trick or Treat Spooktacular reception; on-location video coverage by postPerspective; and a daily newsletter published by The Broadcast Bridge.

As in years past, we also held a daylong Symposium the day preceding the start of SMPTE 2018, and the SMPTE 2018 Symposium drew a crowd with the topic "Driving the Entertainment Revolution: Autonomous Cars, Machine Intelligence, & Mixed Reality". Throughout the day, presenters explored how artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, coupled with improvements in picture and sound, are coming together to create fully immersive experiences that will revolutionise the entertainment industry. Intel Automated Driving Group Senior Vice President Douglas Davis delivered the keynote: "Safety Today for the Autonomous Tomorrow".

The day's events also included the annual Women in Technology Luncheon, presented by SMPTE and the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA). The luncheon featured a conversation with tech entrepreneur and philanthropist Rachel Payne, who is CEO of FEM Inc., a holding company founded by women whose mission is to serve and empower diverse audiences.

The first official day of SMPTE 2018 kicked off with our SMPTE Annual General Membership Meeting. The meeting was particularly notable this year because SMPTE President-Elect Patrick Griffis and SMPTE President Matthew Goldman introduced a new strategic business plan that articulates SMPTE’s guiding principles and core values, such as acting as a global organisation and its ongoing commitment to being both inclusive and objective. We put a lot of work into this plan, and we’re incredibly excited about moving forward with it in 2019.

Julina Tatlock, CEO of 30 Ninjas and an award-winning writer-producer, virtual reality (VR) director, and social TV specialist, presented a fascinating keynote that launched into our technical sessions. She shared her experiences working with next-gen technologies and her perspective on how leading-edge creatives are working with these technologies to redefine the very nature of media and entertainment.

Over three days of technical presentations, speakers and panellists addressed topics such as professional media networking; the Better Pixels Project; managing complex workflows; evaluating image quality for brighter displays, immersive visual experiences, and high-dynamic-range (HDR); AI algorithms and why they will become a must for any content producer and provider; the evolution of streaming services; the cloud; the metamorphosis of today’s encoding technologies; advances in display technologies; and using media asset management (MAM) to better manage metadata.

Just as we had hoped, the combination of technical presentations and networking events made for a dynamic and highly engaging conference. Paper presentations covered topics including artificial intelligence and its growing influence on the motion imaging industry, the ongoing adoption of the SMPTE ST 2110 standards suite, the expanding role of the cloud in media production applications, the promotion of diversity and inclusion across our industry, and much more.

Attendees also took full advantage of an extended social calendar and our first fun run for charity. Midway through SMPTE 2018, around 50 attendees got up early for the 4K 4Charity Fun Run hosted by AWS Elemental, an Amazon Web Services (AWS) company, in Los Angeles’ Elysian Park. The race raised more than $10,000, and some of the proceeds will go to support the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

The SMPTE 2018 Awards Gala and afterparty, held in the San Francisco Ballroom of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites, provided attendees with a chance to relax and enjoy their time with colleagues from across the industry. The food was great, as always, and the awards program — hosted by Dean McFlicker, producer, director, and one of Hollywood’s leading marketing experts — was a wonderful reminder of the individual efforts and technical achievements that drive the media and entertainment industry.

Live video from the Annual General Membership Meeting and video interviews are available for on-demand viewing on the SMPTE YouTube channel. Must-see photos are available on the Society's Flickr page. Video of presentations and technical papers are already available to conference attendees, and they will be available to the general public on 28 January at www.youtube.com/smpteconnect. Subscribers to conference proceedings in the SMPTE digital library hosted on the IEEE Xplore platform will have access to the presentations and papers by 28 January.

Next year's event, the SMPTE 2019 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2019), will take place from 21-24 October 2019, at the same location — the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in downtown Los Angeles. We're already looking forward to another exceptional event!

www.smpte.org
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