SMPTE Show Mixes Engineering, Exhibits

Organizers offer educational sessions à la carte


Like all trade shows in recent years, the annual SMPTE Technical Conference and Exhibition has undergone some changes.

Scheduled for Nov. 12-15 at the Hilton New York, 1335 Avenue of the Americas, this year's SMPTE show planners saw the need to increase the value of the conference to businesses, and worked to make attending sessions easier and more convenient. One example of these changes is the new half-day registration that gives attendees access to those sessions they want to attend, keeping the cost to a minimum. Considering that SMPTE is the organization that sets the standards for television in the U.S. and much of the world, there is a lot that these sessions offer.

"We're right on the cutting edge of standards and technology," said Thomas M. Jordan, conference vice president for SMPTE. "Users of technology want to know what's going on and there's educational value in attending [the SMPTE conference]."

This year's conference is the 145th in SMPTE's history and it will stress the science of television and film, reflecting the organization's role in the industry. In addition to the conference sessions, many of the industry's best-known companies will be exhibiting their latest technology for television acquisition, control and distribution. When asked about their participation at the annual SMPTE show, officials from most companies respond in the same way: The caliber of the attendees is the best.

"SMPTE provides the ideal forum for demonstration of [technology] and products, since it attracts the key players in the broadcast and production marketplace," said Hugo Gaggioni, vice president of technology and strategic technical development for Sony Broadcast. "The fact that this show is in New York, where much of our customers' work is actually taking place, makes SMPTE even more significant for us."


Sony plans to highlight recording and distribution technologies, including its new XDCAM optical-disc camera and recorder and IMX video recorders, as well as methods to share material using networked data in the Material eXchange Format (MXF), Gaggioni said.

"We will also focus on HDCAM-SR, which is rapidly gaining acceptance as the highest-performance tool for HD production and post-production," he said.

The industry's trend to make facilities work more efficiently is the key to Leitch's exhibit. The company will showcase its Integrated Content Environment that streamlines workflow for production, processing, transmission and content management.

"An Integrated Content Environment is what customers hope to achieve as they continue migrating into new technologies and software applications for workflow efficiencies and cost-effectiveness," said Laura Whitaker, vice president for marketing communications for Leitch Technology. "Leitch offers products to meet every need, from [small] components to a range of integrated solutions for a facility or a group of facilities."

Leitch is also the corporate sponsor of the James A. Leitch Gold Medal Award, which will be presented at the conference. This award recognizes exceptional developments in software, equipment, systems or the standardization of technology involved in the acquisition, processing or distribution of television sound and images.

BBC Technology, a spin-off from the famous government-owned British broadcaster, is a Sustaining Member of SMPTE. The BBC, as one of the world's first and most prestigious broadcasting networks, has long understood the importance of developing new technologies and formulating standards for the successful application of new technology.

"[BBC Technology] supports the goal of establishing technology standards for the industry and we are deeply committed to open standards that maintain value without boxing users into proprietary, single-vendor solutions," said Ed McDermid, vice president of North American marketing for BBC Technology. "The SMPTE conference represents an important opportunity to present our products and technologies to leading technologists and executives guiding the future of broadcasting."

The company will exhibit two of its Colledia Media Lifecycle Management solutions at the conference, including Colledia for Production (a PC-based production-collaboration tool) and Colledia Control, which uses computer networks to control broadcast equipment located worldwide.


The SMPTE Technical Conference and Exhibition is spread over four days, permitting a range of technical sessions without overlap. For example, Wednesday, Nov. 12, the conference will have sessions on computer networking and tutorials on understanding media formats such as MXF and AAF.

On Thursday, the sessions cover media transport issues, motion picture technology, audio compression and distribution, and management of copyrighted material. Friday will have the digital broadcasting and digital cinema updates, as well as sessions on the DTV Application Software Environment (DASE) standard and the motion picture digital intermediate standard.

Saturday will be the last day of sessions. It will include seminars on home networking, digital cinema presentation technology, color science for digital motion imaging and the delivery of technical papers-a traditional highlight of the conference. Other events on tap include the industry luncheon and the Honors and Awards Reception.

The Hilton New York is proving to be a better venue for the event than its previous location beccause the hotel provides better access to the floor for companies that have larger exhibits, Jordan said. Attendees can register at ( by calling 914-761-1100.

Bob Kovacs

Bob Kovacs is the former Technology Editor for TV Tech and editor of Government Video. He is a long-time video engineer and writer, who now works as a video producer for a government agency. In 2020, Kovacs won several awards as the editor and co-producer of the short film "Rendezvous."