Program details for the SMPTE 2017 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2017), Oct. 24-26 in Hollywood, Calif., have been announced. SMPTE 2017 will fill two exhibit halls and multiple session rooms at the Hollywood & Highland Center, and the event will also feature an Oktoberfest reception, Broadcast Beat’s SMPTE 2017 Live! Studio, and special events culminating with the SMPTE Annual Awards Gala at the Loews Hollywood Hotel’s Hollywood Ballroom on Thursday, Oct. 26.
“We’ve got an incredible lineup of technical sessions scheduled for this year, and we’re rounding out the conference and exhibition with some popular events that were added last year,” said SMPTE Education VP Richard Welsh, CEO of Sundog Media Toolkit. “The timely topics and technologies discussed at SMPTE 2017 are sure to make a splash as the Society dives into its next century of standards development and education.”
SMPTE’s Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition explores media and entertainment technology. The conference and exhibition will follow the daylong SMPTE 2017 Symposium — “Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning in Digital Media Creation: The Promise, The Reality, and The (Scary?) Future” — on Oct. 23. The Symposium is co-chaired by SMPTE Fellow Michelle Munson and Yvonne Thomas of Arvato Systems. Further details about the Symposium will soon be available. Events on Oct. 23 also will include the annual Women in Technology Luncheon, presented by SMPTE and Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) Women in Post, and the SMPTE-HPA Student Film Festival, which will highlight the creative use of technology to support the art and craft of storytelling. Tickets for the luncheon and festival are available separately or as add-ons to a SMPTE 2017 conference registration.
The SMPTE 2017 Technical Conference program committee is co-chaired by three SMPTE Fellows: Paul Chapman, senior vice president of technology at Fotokem; Thomas Edwards, vice president engineering and development at Fox; and SMPTE Education director Sara J. Kudrle, product marketing manager for playout at Imagine Communications. SMPTE 2017 itself 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 special events, including the Fellows Luncheon, open exclusively to SMPTE Fellows and Life Fellows who have registered for the event, as well as the SMPTE Annual General Membership Meeting and Oktoberfest Reception, both open to all attendees with conference registration. On the second day, the Evening Reception will take place in the Ray Dolby Exhibit Hall. The SMPTE 2017 Annual Awards Gala on the third and final day of the conference will welcome registered guests on the red carpet and treat them to a reception and dinner honoring industry leaders. SMPTE 2017 will conclude with the Awards After-Party featuring the SMPTE Jam, which once again will feature a pickup band comprising a diverse group of SMPTE members playing popular hits — and possibly a few original pieces created for the occasion.
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 color 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.
The emerging SMPTE ST 2110 suite of standards for professional media over IP (internet protocol) networks will be a hot topic during SMPTE 2017, and Leigh Whitcomb of Imagine Communications will present a paper titled “Is SMPTE ST 2110 the New Standards Superpower?” as part of the Media Infrastructure session. This and other session presentations will delve into the standard, implementation of IP for media production and distribution, and techniques used to optimize performance.
Among the presentations in the Advances in Display Technology session, “Engineering a Live UHD Program from the International Space Station” will feature Rodney P. Grubbs of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and Sandy George of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), who will describe how they overcame engineering challenges involved with broadcasting live content in UHD from the International Space Station, as well as the ways commercial technologies are leveraged for in-orbit use.
Callum Hughes of Amazon Studios will present during the Content Security session, describing an approach to security within a digital asset management (DAM) system. During the Stream Privacy session, Raj Nair of Ericsson will discuss mechanisms for guaranteeing stream privacy for both OTT and live/linear adaptive-bit-rate (ABR) workflows.
The Advances in Immersive Storytelling session will feature “360-Degree Video Streaming and Its Subjective Quality,” a paper presentation by Igor Curcio and Henri Toukomaa of Nokia, and a case study by Éric Minoli and Kuban Altan, respectively from Canadian companies Groupe Média TFO and Zero Density, about bridging the gaming and broadcast industries for high-productivity production. The session focusing on new technologies and techniques will include “How Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Will Change Content Creation Methodologies,” by Tom Ohanian of TAO Associates.
Sessions on workflow systems will include “IMF End-to-End Workflows in Media Asset Management Systems,” presented by Julian Fernandez of Tedial, as well as “Applying an Agile Approach to Next-Generation Media Management,” presented by Arvato’s Ben Davenport and Christian Siegert. Moving into cloud-oriented workflows, Avid’s Shailendra Mathur will present “Media Cloud Migration Patterns: Connecting Services Between Bare Metal, Virtual Machines, and Containers.” Richard Cartwright of Streampunk Media will present his paper on “An Internet of Things Architecture for Cloud-Fit Professional Media Workflow.”
Speaking within the session on compression, RealNetworks’ Reza Rassool will present a paper titled “VMAF Reproducibility: Validating a Perceptual Practical Quality Metric for 4K Video.” Subhabrata Bhattacharya and Adithya Prakash of Netflix will look at quality from another perspective, presenting “Towards Scalable Automated Analysis of Digital Video Assets for Content Quality Control Applications” within the Quality and Monitoring of Images and Sound session.
The SMPTE 2017 session on UHD acquisition and processing will feature a presentation by YunHyoung Kim of the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), whose paper describes the world’s first implementation of the Internet Media Subtitles and Captions 1.0 (IMSC1) closed-captioning system — on which ATSC 3.0 is based — on terrestrial UHD TV. The BBC’s Simon Thompson will present “Access Services for UHDTV: An Initial Investigation of W3C TTML2 Subtitles (Closed Captions).” Also in the UHD session, Pierre Hugues Routhier of Canada’s Creat3 inc. will present “Beyond 4K: Can We Actually Tell Stories in Motion Pictures and TV in 8K? A Cinematography Perspective.”
The Cinema Processing and Projection Technology session will include a presentation by Tim Ryan of Texas Instruments, who will explore techniques for using and optimizing variable-frame-rate display for cinematic presentations. A presentation by Kyunghan Lee of KAI Inc. will describe a new VR-based multiscreen movie theater simulator that enables researchers and multiscreen producers to provide a testing platform for multiscreen content and the viewing environment.
The Emerging Research in Visual Perception session will feature Elizabeth Pieri and Jaclyn Pytlarz of Dolby Laboratories, presenting “Hitting the Mark — A New Color Difference Metric for HDR and WCG Imagery,” and Elizabeth DoVale also of Dolby Laboratories and a recipient of the 2016 SMPTE Louis F. Wolf Jr. Memorial Scholarship, presenting “Assessing Psychophysics Functions for Framerate Perception.” Martyn Gates of Ravensbourne and Pure & Applied Image Recognition Limited will present “Is Seeing Still Believing: A Critical Review of the Factors That Allow Humans and Machines to Discriminate Between Real and Generated Images,” a paper exploring the implications as CGI (photo-realistic moving images) increasingly becomes indistinguishable from actual pictures.
During the Content Management, Value Proposition, and Archiving session, Oracle Digital Media Solutions’ Brian Campanotti will present “SMPTE and ISO: Standards to Protect the World’s Most Valuable Assets,” a paper that delves into the inception, development, advancement, and deployment of the Archive eXchange Format (AXF). In the Next Generation TV session, a paper presentation by Alex Giladi of Comcast will discuss adaptive streaming of content that is produced using capped variable-bit-rate encoding.
The session titled “Innovating People: Managing, Mentoring, and Change” will be chaired by Loren Nielsen of Entertainment Technology Consultants and Kari Grubin of Walt Disney Studios, and will feature a discussion of mentoring and reverse-mentoring between baby boomer and millennial tech professionals. Kylee Peña of Bling Digital and Blue Collar Post Collective and Meaghan Wilbur of IncitefulMedia will discuss why diversity programs fail and how to fix them. John McCoskey of Eagle Hill Consulting — and former EVP and CTO at the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) — will present his paper, “A Formal Approach to Change Management for Dynamic Technology-Driven Media Organizations.”