James Careless /
SMPTE 2012 Looks to Immediate Future and Beyond
4K, OTT, 3D lead the topics list
HOLLYWOOD, CALIF. -- The subjects are almost too numerous to
detail: 4K and 8K ultra-high resolution cameras shooting at frame rates at 120
Hz; the impact of OTT IP-based video delivery on conventional TV broadcasting;
a new transmission control protocol that dynamically allocates bandwidth to
news videos based on their assigned importance; and, of course, 3D in films and
TV. These and many other subjects will be covered at the 2012 SMPTE Annual
Technical Conference & Exhibition at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in
Hollywood Oct. 23-25; preceded by a pre-conference symposium on Oct. 22.
“The intent with the fall conference is to cover the
breadth of interest of members,” said Paul Hearty, SMPTE’s
editorial vice president. SMPTE 2012’s goal “is to look at
where we are now, and we anticipate going in the next few
In recent decades, the annual SMPTE conference has been
a must-attend not just for motion-imaging professionals, but the vendors who
serve them. “SMPTE is the one show where companies like Harris can
count on face-time with industry experts,” said Stan Moote, vice
president of business development for Harris Broadcast Communications.
“This is a great venue to discuss emerging technologies such adaptive
bitrate streaming and GPU-acceleration,” added Barbara DeHart, vice
president of marketing for Nevada City, Calif.-based Telestream.
WHAT’S ON TAP
SMPTE 2012 will bring together the top minds and players in the
converging worlds of movies, television/video, and IT. Presentations will be
given by representatives from the BBC, Belden, Cisco, Dolby Laboratories,
Ericsson, Fujifilm, Harmonic, Harris, HBO, IBM, Microsoft, NHK, Nvidia,
Motorola Mobility, Qualcomm, Snell, Skywalker Sound, Sony Electronics, Sony
Pictures Entertainment, Technicolor, and Verizon; plus leading researchers in
the realm of imaging and experts from the FCC and EBU.
Among SMPTE’s featured speakers are legendary
filmmaker, special-effects pioneer, and multiple Oscar nominee Doug Trumbull.
The man whose credits include “2001: A Space Odyssey,”
“Blade Runner” and “Close Encounters of the Third
Kind” will keynote the Oct. 22 Pre-Conference Symposium on High Frame
Rates for Digital Cinema. “Doug Trumbull has a long history of
advocacy for high frame rates,” said Hearty.
The actual conference will look at the IEEE’s
rewrite of its Ethernet standard to enhance audio/video device
interoperability; the aforementioned dynamic TCP standard for prioritizing news
video delivery; the new, more efficient H.265 video compression codec, and the
use of GPUs to support RAW format 4K workflows.
“We’re very much focused on the
next generation of higher resolutions and higher frame rates; such as 4K/8K and
120 Hz,” said Hearty. SMPTE 2012 is also taking a hard look at
advances in IP networks, and whether they will be enough to keep up with the
4K/8K revolution. “How do we get networks to support 120 HZ 8K
images?” Hearty asked.
CONTINUING INTEREST IN 3D
SMPTE 2012 will also cover 3D production in depth, including
semi-automatic 2D to 3D conversions to speed up production workflows; dealing
with left-eye/right-eye inconsistencies in 3D movie viewing, and
NHL’s doubling the frame rate of its Super Hi-Vision format to 120
Hz. “3D is going to gather the usual attention,” said
Hearty. “It is one of our most interesting topics to many
SMPTE conferences are also known for the quality of their speakers. Roku
Founder and CEO Anthony Wood will deliver the opening keynote on Oct. 23 on the
“Future of TV: Why OTT is a Game Change.” Roku’s
OTT set-top boxes allow consumers to watch Web content such as Netflix and Hulu
on their home TVs.
Wood will discuss “the inevitable transition
of TV distribution from over the air to the Internet, and how that affects
consumer choice and the way they consume content,” he said.
“Ten years from now, the majority of television viewing will be
Internet-delivered to open standards boxes like the Roku
In that Brave New World, content will be aggregated and
marketed by “virtual MSOs,” Wood added. These virtual MSOs
won’t need to own coaxial cable, fiber, or use satellites;
They’ll just ship their content to customers via broadband, which
will have evolved into a commodity like today’s electrical grid, and
the emerging Internet cloud.
Collectively, SMPTE 2012 is an opportunity for
motion-imaging professionals to open their minds to what’s happening
in the worlds of movies, video and IT. For Paul Hearty, the payoff will be for
these delegates to leave SMPTE 2012 truly enlightened. “We want them
to come away feeling that they’ve learned something that they would
not have otherwise learned,” he said.
Complete conference details about SMPTE 2012 are available at www.smpte.org/atc2012.