SMPTE Gazes Into the Future

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) descends on Brooklyn, N.Y., this week for its annual Technical Conference & Exhibition, which runs Oct. 24-27 at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge.

The event will draw leading technology executives from major networks, studios, post-production firms, and cable and satellite operators for an in-depth discussion of the latest trends and technologies in content creation, acquisition, distribution and delivery.

In addition to a bevy of panel discussions and seminars, an exhibition hall will feature the latest in production and post-production technology.

Technical topics to be addressed at the conference include advanced image acquisition, maintaining HDTV quality, content protection and anti-piracy, advances in film/digital technologies, metadata management, hybrid AV/IT systems, audio advancements, digital intermediate, digital asset management and archiving, advanced imaging, content distribution and IPTV technology.

SMPTE will also hold a pre-conference symposium, “Stereoscopic Production,” on Oct. 23, exploring the latest production techniques for 3D imaging and discussing possible models for 3D deployment. The event, sponsored by Sony and Texas Instruments, features executives from Sony Pictures Imageworks, 21st Century 3D, DreamWorks Animation, Real D, 3ality Digital Systems, Dolby Laboratories, In-Three, Insight Media, Lightspeed Design Group, Lightstorm Productions, MKPE Consulting, Pace Technology and Quantel.

The formal conference itself kicks off on Oct. 24 with a keynote address from Bran Ferren, former president of Walt Disney Imagineering and now co-chairman and chief creative officer of technology consulting and development firm Applied Minds.

Facing Long-Term Technical Challenges

Ferren's address will be followed by a panel discussion with top technology executives, “Next Generation Media: Engineering the Multi-Platform Future.”

Moderated by Broadcasting & Cable Senior Editor Glen Dickson, the panel will discuss long-term technical challenges facing major content companies with Bob Ross, senior VP of East Coast operations for CBS; Gary Traver, senior VP and COO of Comcast Media Center; Craig Cuttner, senior VP of advanced technology for HBO; and Pat Griffis, senior director, Media Interoperability, in Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices division.

Other highlights include technical sessions, such as “Recent Advances in Image Acquisition” on Oct. 24, chaired by Larry Thorpe, a Canon marketing executive, and featuring executives from Japan Broadcasting Corp., Thomson Grass Valley, Panasonic, Ikegami and ARRI; “Content Protection and Anti-Piracy” on Oct. 25, chaired by Scott Smyers, Sony VP, network and systems architecture, and including executives from Widevine Technologies and Cinea Inc.; “Using Metadata in the Real World,” also on Oct. 25 and chaired by Rick Ackermans, director of engineering for Turner Broadcasting; and “Trends in Content Distribution and Broadcast” on Oct. 27, chaired by the NAB's Graham Jones.

Friday, Oct. 26, will feature a special “Education Day” program focused on educating faculty and students on technical advancements in the motion imaging industry.

Wendy Aylsworth, VP of technology for Warner Bros. technical operations, will keynote the Education Day Luncheon.

Friday's action will also include SMPTE's “Honors and Awards Reception and Ceremony,” hosted by Daniel Sieberg, science and technology correspondent for CBS News.