26 April 2016 (London) The 2016 HPA Tech Retreat UK has announced the first sessions in an expanding schedule for the event, unveiling 13 - 14 July 2016, at Heythrop Park Resort in Oxfordshire. The HPA Tech Retreat UK is a pivotal gathering for those engaged in the many disciplines supporting the creation, management and dissemination of content across the dynamic landscape of distribution environments. The curated programme will focus on the present and future impact of the most recent technology in broadcast and cinema. It offers a unique opportunity and intimate setting to delve into the critical topics facing the content industry. The HPA Tech Retreat is presented in association with SMPTE Ltd.

Attendees will have an exclusive opportunity to get behind the scenes on the making of the HBO production, the "Game of Thrones". This special session will examine the production and post of the smash hit series. An all-star panel will lift the lid on the epic series' creative and technical work, investigating everything from on-set technology, visual effects (VFX) and sound. The session also will take an in-depth look at HBO's ground-breaking use of Dolby Atmos object-based audio in the production and the challenges of creating and delivering this to the home.

The HPA Tech Retreat SuperSession will be led by industry leaders at work in ultra-high-definition (UHD), high-dynamic-range imaging (HDR), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and more, who will bring their studied perspectives to the topics that are of crucial impact to the industry. The SuperSession, which takes place on the first day of the two-day event, is an in-depth series of panels entitled "Ultra Everything and Emerging Media Technology". "Ultra Everything" will explore what UHD and associated technological advances mean for content creators and the audience. The line-up will include major UK and US broadcasters focusing on how the increases in frame rates, colour, dynamic range and object-based audio are affecting content. This session will be a wide-ranging look at HDR, higher frame rates (HFR), wider colour gamut (WCG), 4K and beyond. 

"Emerging Media Technology" will examine how emerging technologies, including VR and AR, will affect the users' experience. The HPA Tech Retreat UK will introduce important questions and open them for serious analysis, such as, Will cinema become a VR world? Will AR find its way into the cinema? Will on-demand technologies take theatregoers into a new era of experiential choice? Is VR content already mainstream?

Behind-the-scenes peeks at other productions will be announced shortly.

Additional topics for the two-day event include Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) vs. perceptual quantiser (PQ); the Interoperable Master Format - IMF - and the European view from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU); the "Consumer Technology Review" will look at the latest technology, trends and consumer behaviour; VFX; cloud workflows; file-based delivery; connectivity; over-the-top (OTT); versioning; production finance; and more. 

Richard Welsh, co-chair of the HPA Tech Retreat UK, commented, 'The HPA Tech Retreat UK will place some of the most compelling ideas into discussion, led by the individuals and companies who are driving the industry forward. The HPA alongside SMPTE colleagues, are working closely to put forth one of the most engaging, and in some cases, challenging series of sessions in the industry. The Tech Retreat is also a place where you spend a lot of time outside of the session rooms and theatre, talking, debating and discussing what you've just seen'.

A separate event, the Charles Poynton & John Watkinson Seminar: "Practical Aspects of HDR: Implementation and Deployment", will take place on 12 July. These highly regarded experts will explore the crucial technology that touches acquisition, post production/digital intermediate (DI) (especially colour grading), studio display, mastering, distribution, and display in both cinema and home. The session will begin with an overview of the theory of HDR - in particular, psychophysics and visual appearance aspects - and go on to investigate the implementation and deployment of HDR in cinema and video. In particular, Poynton and Watkinson will discuss metadata and its interpretation, and adaptation of the HDR system to varying display and viewing characteristics. Expect discussion of last-minute developments. Delegates may attend this event alone or add it to their Tech Retreat registration.

Additionally, the Digital Production Partnership (DPP) has announced its first PlugFest, which will be collocated with the HPA Tech Retreat UK. Following the publication of the DPP's UHD Specification and the upcoming release of the North American Broadcasters Association (NABA) / DPP Specification, the DPP aims to support the industry's implementation of these specifications through creating test files, feedback and discussion loops. The DPP UHD PlugFest will take place at Heythrop Park, 12 July. Please note that registration for the DPP UHD PlugFest is separate from the HPA event and is managed through DPP at www.digitalproductionpartnership.co.uk.

Additional programme submissions will be accepted until 30 April, as outlined in earlier announcements. Submissions are accepted at the HPA Tech Retreat UK website. The HPA Tech Retreat UK will take place at Heythrop Park Resort, in Oxfordshire, about 1.5 hours from London, easily accessible by train. In addition to the seminars, the Tech Retreat is specifically designed to facilitate networking and conversation, with a full complement of social and networking opportunities. The HPA Tech Retreat Innovation Zone, a curated demo area, will feature the latest technologies and experts.

For a full conference programme, and further information, visit hpatechretreatuk.org.