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HPA unveils 2017 Tech Retreat schedule 
Seth Hallen, HPA president
  • LOS ANGELES
  • --

The HPA unveiled the schedule for its 2017 HPA Tech Retreat® set for the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells, near Palm Springs, Calif., from February 20-24, 2017.
   
The HPA Tech Retreat is a curated week, designed to stimulate discussion between stakeholders in all aspects of production, broadcast, postproduction, distribution and related endeavors for media and entertainment. Session programming is decidedly non-marketing in nature, and must be so in order to be considered.  From breakfast roundtables and sessions to dinners and fire-pit conversations, the schedule creates an environment conducive to the exchange of knowledge and information. Mark Schubin, the program maestro of the HPA Tech Retreat, commented, “We receive many more proposals than we can possibly use from the most thoughtful and engaged experts inside and outside of our industry, from and around the world.  They cover ‘scene to seen and gear to hear.’” He continued, “From ransomware to AI and 8K to the cloud and all sorts of creative applications of technology, the Tech Retreat is the place we explore a broad panorama of topics and how they interact.  As I like to say, no matter what your question is, someone will be there who knows the answer.”

Envisioned as a retreat, the event offers attendees and speakers the opportunity to find a fresh perspective in stepping out of their daily routines, readying them to explore the most compelling topics facing the media and entertainment landscape today with a group of peers. Featuring five days of solidly scheduled sessions (including TR-X), demonstrations and events, the HPA Tech Retreat delivers a forward-looking perspective on an industry continuing a dynamic and rapid evolution.

Seth Hallen, president of the HPA, noted, “The HPA Tech Retreat defies explanation in a certain sense, but once you have been, you will never miss it again. That’s because of so many factors – the curation by Mark Schubin, the SuperSession, the retreat atmosphere that takes you away from the office and sets you down with a lot of thoughtful and passionate people who become even better friends or colleagues. The mix of attendees who are young experts to top–level network executives and creatives. The topics addressed here are the ones that shape the industry, and the discussions actually move the needle. Developments at Tech Retreats directly lead to substantive changes in the way we work.”

This year, in addition to the main program, the HPA has unveiled TR-X, half day sessions to be held Monday, 20 February. As value-add eXtras, TR-X will offer sessions in VR/AR and the annual ATSC update. The Tuesday SuperSession, moderated by HPA past president Leon Silverman and HPA board member Jerry Pierce, begins the official Tech Retreat with a full day’s deep dive into the changing viewing habits of consumers. With a long list of compelling speakers and topics, this day will challenge our ideas on how and what consumers of today and tomorrow are watching. Silverman will kick off the afternoon session with a mini-keynote that sets the stage for the afternoon events, outlining the challenges and opportunities in creating content across a wide array of formats, devices and environments. The SuperSession will include the now familiar Tech Retreat feature “The Leon and Jerry Show,” hosted by Silverman and Pierce. This end-of-day “what did we learn today” wrap-up session is one of the most popular aspects of the Tech Retreat, where the audience adds their insight and observations and continues to prove that the Tech Retreat is as much about who is attending as who is presenting.

Wednesday through Friday is under the direction of Schubin.  A diverse array of breakfast roundtable discussions, led by key industry experts, kick off the day on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings. The Innovation Zone will return from Tuesday through Thursday, presenting the opportunity to explore emerging and innovating technologies from nearly 60 companies at the vanguard of the industry, with a special focus on VR/AR.

The 2017 HPA Tech Retreat is a limited attendance event, strictly capped at 600 guests, and is expected to sell out.  Registration is open, and both day passes and full conference passes are available. Because this event will sell out, onsite registration is not allowed. Registration includes conference sessions, breakfast roundtables, demo room, some meals, and social events. TR-X is an additional registration and fee.

Speakers and Sessions

Monday February 20 TR-X
Two half-day sessions run concurrently:

VR/AR Session
The HPA Tech Retreat brings together top industry experts for uniquely unbiased and authentic discussion, deliberation, debate, and needle-moving for important technologies and workflows. Co-Chairs Lucas Wilson (Founder-Executive Producer, SuperSphereVR) and Marcie Jastrow (SVP Immersive Media, Head, Technicolor Experience Center) will lead a discussion focused on the changing VR-AR landscape in the context of rapidly growing integration into entertainment and applications.

ATSC Seminar: ATSC 3.0
ATSC 3.0, the next generation television broadcast standard, is nearing completion, and offers a wide range of new content delivery options to the TV production community. This session will explore new possibilities that the new standard provides in video, audio, interactivity and more. Presenters and panelists will also discuss the complex next-gen television distribution ecosystem that content must traverse, and the technologies that will bring the content to life in consumers’ homes.

Tuesday, February 21 SuperSession
Consumer Choice Changes Everything: WHO is watching WHAT, WHERE and WHEN?
Technology continues to drive and enable consumer choice for media creation and consumption. The SuperSession will look at demographics of the changing consumption landscape, what they are watching, and when are they watching.

Wednesday, February 22 Highlights
•    Mark Schubin’s Technology Year in Review
•    Jim Burger, Thompson Coburn LLP, returns to the Tech Retreat for his highly anticipated Washington Update
•    Geoff Tully: Graceful Evolution to Beyond HD
•    Clyde Smith, FOX Standards: Specifications and the NABA DPP Library Master Format
•    Chris Lennon, MediAnswers: File Delivery Automation: The Final Frontier?
•    Mark Harrison, Digital Production Partnership: Will Online Video Revolutionize Production?
•    The Broadcasters Panel, moderated by Matthew Goldman (Ericsson)
•    Peter Putman, Kramer Electronics Technology Consultant: CES Review
•    Masayuki Sugawara, NEC: The World’s First 8K/4K Regular Broadcasting
•    Goran Stojmenovik, Barco: HDR in a Cinema: Achievable Contrast
•    Gary Demos, Image Essence: Single-Master HDR
•    Keith Slavin, isovideo: Automatic SDR/HDR Conversions

Thursday, February 23 Highlights              
•    Mark Chiolis (Grass Valley) moderates Remote and Mobile Production Panel, including George Hoover (NEP)
•    Debra Kaufman moderates AI/Machine Learning Panel featuring Philip Hodgetts (Intelligent Assistance), Mark Christie (Piksel), Yvonne Thomas (Arvato), and Mark Testoni (SAP National Security Services)
•    Wendy Aylsworth (Walden Pond) moderates Production in the Cloud: Pitfalls and Epiphanies, featuring Alex LoVerde (SyncOnSet), Joshua Kolden (Avalanche), Rich Welsh (Sundog Media Toolkit), Scott Squires (Pixvana), Gurparkash Saini (Avid), and others
•    Clyde Smith (FOX) moderates IMF and Automated Mastering, featuring Stephen Wilson (Avid), Arjun Ramamurthy (20th Century Fox), and Rohit Puri (Netflix)
•    Laurence Claydon, Motion Picture Solutions Limited: Security Holes and How to Fill Them
•    Chris Taylor, Warner Bros: What Security Does Your On-Location Network Have?
•    Rob Gonsalves, Avid: Protecting Against Ransomware Attacks
•    Siegfried Fößel, Fraunhofer Institute: Lightfield Data Worklow
•    Andy Maltz, AMPAS:  Academy update

           
Friday, February 24 Highlights
•    Howard Lukk, SMPTE: SMPTE update           
•    Review of the HPA UK Tech Retreat: Rich Welsh, Sundog Media Toolkit
•    Future Media Infrastructure: Software Defined Hardware, moderated by Eric Pohl (National TeleConsultants)
•    Matt Frost, Google: Lessons Learned from Open Source Technology Development
•    Jean-Pierre Evain, European Broadcasting Union: Semantic Metadata
•    Iris Wu, Ambidio: Are You Surrounded? Immersive Sound Outside of Cinema
•    Sensor Size and Resolution Tradeoffs: Peter Centen, Grass Valley
•    Steve Lampen, Belden: Improvements in Data Cables and Connectors

Breakfast roundtables: Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
Among  dozens of roundtables currently slated, select topics include:
•    AI in the Cutting Room
•    IP Video Distribution & PTP Timing
•    IMF for Broadcast Users
•    MAM in Post
•    Conversion between HDR & SDR: Opportunity or Problem?