Shortly before the start of the SMPTE 2017 Technical Conference & Exhibition, TV Technology spoke with Thomas Edwards, vice president, engineering & development at FOX Networks Engineering & Operations, and Sara Kudrle, product marketing manager for playout at Imagine Communications, both SMPTE 2017 Technical Conference co-chairs along with Paul Chapman, senior vice president of technology, FotoKem.
TV TECHNOLOGY: In planning the conference, what have you learned in terms of emerging technologies?
THOMAS EDWARDS: There are so many to choose from! But some of the major technical themes this year include SMPTE ST 2110 IP standards, immersive VR/AR, dealing with HDR and wide color gamut, and cloud.
SARA KUDRLE: Multiple technologies are emerging simultaneously to provide storytellers with new platforms and tools to advance the state of the art of the motion picture and television entertainment industry. Some of these would include the new SMPTE ST 2110 suite of standards on IP, microservices, artificial intelligence (AI), VR/AR and cloud technology advancements, such as FPGAs in the cloud.
TVT: What technologies discussed in the conference do you think will have the greatest impact on SMPTE members/attendees?
EDWARDS: In the short term, cloud is affecting all businesses already, so those discussions will be immediately relevant to all attendees. SMPTE ST 2110 and IP are of most interest to those planning new video plant builds. The HDR/WCG presentations are useful to those trying to wrestle with the challenges of making UHD content for a world of heterogeneous end-user displays and the challenges of UHD live production. AR/VR is very interesting, but in early and experimental days, thus more of a glimpse into an exciting future.
KUDRLE: The greatest impact will be made by the technologies presented that will help companies, right now, stay relevant and competitive. The new SMPTE ST 2110 suite of standards for Professional Media Over Managed IP Networks, and cloud technology will be useful for attendees looking to upgrade infrastructure or build new facilities. Quality and human perception will be of interest to those trying to decide which new technologies to invest in. New emerging technologies such as microservices and AI, as well as the virtual reality sessions, provide value, excitement and direction for the future.
TVT: What are some personal highlights for you at the conference?
EDWARDS: As a long-term evangelist of live IP production, I will really enjoy seeing the SMPTE ST 2110 standards taking their “victory lap” after their approval during IBC. Of course, having the standards is only the beginning, so the presentations regarding practical use of these standards will be of most interest to me.
KUDRLE: Several people I know are being inducted as Fellows, so I am excited for them. At the SMPTE Annual Awards Gala on Thursday night, we will be honoring individuals who have provided exceptional value to our industry. And finally, I am proud of the inclusive conference my fellow chairs and I have pulled together in terms of topics, speakers, experience levels, adjacent market companies and technologies as well as the technical conference program committee itself, with their varied backgrounds and expertise. We are expanding the edges of SMPTE as it embarks on its next century.