TVT Power Rankings: Top 5 Trends at SMPTE 2015

IP transition, enhanced TVs and virtual reality shine at annual conference
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LOS ANGELES—Hollywood Blvd. is lined with the names of TV and film stars, but from Oct. 26-29 the stars that occupied the famous street were those who attended SMPTE 2015. Broadcast industry professionals were on hand to discuss many of the biggest trends in the industry, and TVT was on hand to gauge what caught attendees’ attention. Here are the top five trends from SMPTE 2015.

Immersive Audio
Also known as object audio, immersive audio is designed to put the listener into the middle of the action. Multiple panels were held on this emerging technology, but perhaps the big buzz about it was the ITU’s recent approval of object-audio broadcast standards, new standards designed to facilitate the production and exchange of advanced audio files. This allows immersive audio to be paired with UHDTV.

Enhanced TV
This is not your old version of “enhanced TV.” What was talked about at SMPTE deals with UHDTV, 4K, 8K and beyond, including factors like high dynamic range, high frame rate and wider color gamut. A number of panels discussed how it takes more than just more pixels or a higher frame rate to achieve a superior look.

IP Transition
A lot of experimenting and trials are still occurring in regards to the IP transition. Just prior to SMPTE 2015 getting underway, the Video Services Forum, whose membership overlaps with SMPTE’s, released its Technical Recommendation for Studio Video over IP; it is expected to go to a SMPTE committee for standardization. SMPTE 2015 talked about IP in detail during its two part panel “IP and Networking of the Media Facility.”

ATSC 3.0
Should it really come as any surprise? ATSC 3.0 seeks to dramatically change the broadcast industry as we know it, so anytime it is talked about it will draw a large number of eyes and ears. The final day of the conference provided an overview of the next-gen standard and its advantages over legendary TV delivery systems, as well as an update on its development status.

Virtual and Augmented Reality
Could this be the next content revolution? SMPTE certainly had a number of demonstrations of what virtual reality and augmented reality can do, including a VR short from the Reese Witherspoon movie ‘Wild,’ and apps from the designers in the department of Film & Digital Media at Baylor University. You can check out some of videos here.