Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) IBC2014 Wrap-Up

SMPTE News from IBC2014

SMPTE Technical Sessions and Exhibitions from IBC2014
During IBC2014, more than 50 SMPTE members were speakers during technical sessions, and more than 107 SMPTE sustaining members exhibited products and technologies. Based in a stand within the IBC Partnership Village, the Society's own participation included support for initiatives such as the popular Rising Stars program, which gave new entrants to the broadcast industry the opportunity to meet top industry experts across a series of specially staged sessions and events.

The technical sessions featuring SMPTE members launched with a session on audience tracking and measurement, with Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) Managing Director Jane Clarke announcing that CIMM and SMPTE would begin drafting an open standard for binding identifiers to content.

SMPTE speakers included Hollywood Region Governor Clyde Smith, Fellows Lawrence Kaplan and Phil Tudor, and John Footen all took part in a session focusing on complete IP-based production. Fellow Mark Schubin joined with Robin Boldon and Peter Wilson to explore event cinema. Richard Welsh, governor for the Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Central and South America region, and Standards Director, Howard Lukk, put on a session on tri-focal camera systems featuring Johannes Steurer of ARRI. Finance Vice President Matthew Goldman presented on High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC).

Ultra-high-definition television (UHDTV) proved to be a popular topic at IBC2014. The "Go With UHD-1, or Wait for UHD-2?" session produced by SMPTE featured former Standards Vice President Hans Hoffmann of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Standards Vice President Alan Lambshead, U.K. Section Chair Chris Johns, and Chris Fetner, Andy Quested, and Jim Helman. During the session, the speakers discussed strategies for content creation and delivery to the home using both traditional and IP technologies and subsequently discussed standards and their roadmaps for the two phases of UHDTV. Fetner, who is director of global content partners operations at Netflix and the opening keynote speaker at the upcoming SMPTE 2014 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2014), announced during the session that the SMPTE IMF standard is being adopted by Netflix as the format for creating content deliverables for its subscribers. In embracing the standard, Netflix positions itself to achieve economies of scale when streaming content to its 55 million subscribers around the world.

The focus on cinema included a session on virtualized movie production, co-produced by Richard Welsh, who also joined the "EDCF Global D-Cinema Update" panel along with Angelo D'Alessio, governor for the Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Central and South America region; Fellows Jim Whittlesey and Andy Maltz; and Julian Pinn and Peter Wilson. During this session, much attention was paid to the SMPTE-DCP (Digital Cinema Package) format. Understanding that this format provides a stable and future-proof standard for digital cinema playback, the industry is pushing for a rapid transition to SMPTE-DCP and the elimination of interim formats.

Chaired by Pete Ludé, immediate past president, a two-part session on laser projection systems included participation by Matt Cowan, who joined other presenters in examining the impact of laser projection technology on digital cinema.

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Photo Caption: Matthew Goldman, SMPTE Finance Vice President

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Photo Caption: Hans Hoffman, Former SMPTE Standards Vice President

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Photo Caption: Howard Lukk, SMPTE Standards Director

SMPTE Event Announcements at IBC2014
SMPTE provided further detail on the program for the SMPTE 2014 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2014), 21-23 Oct. in Hollywood, California, and the preceding SMPTE 2014 Symposium produced by the Hollywood Post Alliance(R) (HPA(R)) on Oct. 20. In addition to highlighting the technical sessions planned for the conference, announcements revealed plans for an expanded high-tech exhibition hall with more than 80 exhibitors, the Student Film Showcase, and the Annual Membership Meeting. (Full details are available at SMPTE 2014 will also feature the SMPTE 2014 Honors & Awards Ceremony, during which the Society's honors will be presented. The Society's highest honors will be bestowed upon Leonardo Chiariglione and George Lucas, who will each receive an honorary SMPTE membership; John Logie Baird (1888-1946), who has been named to the SMPTE Honor Roll; and Ioan Allen, who will be given the Society's Progress Medal.

SMPTE announced that SMPTE President-elect Robert Seidel will chair "The IP-based Facility: Is It for You? If So, When?" on Nov. 13 at CCW+SATCON in New York City.

The Society confirmed details for key SMPTE and HPA events including the 9th Annual HPA Awards Show, set for Nov. 6. The HPA Awards event is the standard bearer for excellence and innovation in the industry, honoring outstanding accomplishments in postproduction and recognizing the creative achievements of individuals and companies. The gala event returns to the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. The 2015 HPA Tech Retreat(R), Feb. 9-13, 2015 in Indian Wells, California, is expected to draw top industry engineering, technical, and creative talent, as well as strategic business leaders focused on technology, from all aspects of digital cinema, postproduction, film, television, video, and related technologies for the exchange of information.

The SMPTE 2015 Forum in Berlin will be produced May 7-8, 2015 in collaboration with the Fernseh- und Kinotechnische Gesellschaft (FKTG), with collaboration from the EBU's Technology and Innovation department. The Forum will examine how factors such as EU policy, net neutrality, copyright, and mining "big data" are shaping the possibilities in the complex European market and redefining how the industry engages its audience. In exploring these topics, the Forum will look at how connectivity, bandwidth, and media technology improvements will impact media production and distribution across all platforms, from cinema and broadcast to mobile and interactive new media technologies.

Chris Fetner of Netflix will deliver a keynote on the supply chain impact of Internet distribution, followed by discussions on the vision of the European Commission for Internet streaming and on the EU regulatory environment. The SMPTE 2015 Forum in Berlin will also include a keynote presentation on the state of Internet entertainment in Europe and will continue with sessions that examine creation and distribution of entertainment content for the Web, the potential normalization of over-the-top (OTT) services by premium content providers, the future of hybrid broadcast broadband TV (HbbTV(R)), second screen in the home and beyond, and social media as entertainment media.

Looking further ahead, SMPTE also announced plans for the SMPTE15 Conference & Exhibition in Sydney, Australia. The 2015 iteration of SMPTE's biennial event in Australia will run July 14-17, and it will be the year's premier event in the region for suppliers, technologists, and content creators in the motion-imaging, sound, and broadcast industries.

SMPTE Publication Announcements at IBC2014
The availability of key SMPTE standards committee reports were announced during IBC2014. Posted online at, these include the work of the 20F Technology Committee On-Screen Light Measurement Study Group, the "Open Binding of IDs to Audiovisual Essence Report," and the "Joint Task Force on Networked Media (JT-NM): Phase 2 Interim Report for IBC2014." The current outcome report from the June 2014 Technology Committee meetings is also available online at A complete listing of SMPTE publications is available at

SMPTE's work in publishing the Archive eXchange Format (AXF) standard represented a major announcement during the IBC2014 Show, as the standard addresses critical, long-standing issues in the world of electronic media data transmission. AXF inherently supports interoperability among existing discrete storage systems, irrespective of the operating and file systems used, and future-proofs digital storage by abstracting the underlying technology so that content remains available no matter how these technologies evolve.

As highlighted in the IBC Daily News, the Society also showcased the first SMPTE high dynamic range (HDR) standard, ST 2084, which assists industry professionals in creating a consistent production of HDR-support content for multiplatform distribution. The standard incorporates a "transfer function" that standardizes a way to represent HDR content, starting at the camera and carried through the workflow to postproduction and delivery. ST 2084 fits easily into production, as numerous cameras are now capable of capturing the wider dynamic range of UHDTV. Dolby Vision, which conforms to the new standard, is supported by a variety of post, color grading, and finishing systems from companies including FilmLight, SGO, and Rohde & Schwarz DVS. Cameras by ARRI, RED, and Sony likewise support workflows using ST 2084. SMPTE views this standard as a step toward looking at the entire UHDTV ecosystem, including delivery to consumer devices.

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"The IBC2014 show gave SMPTE and the Society's membership a timely opportunity to highlight important work being done in a variety of areas shaping the creation, exchange, distribution, and presentation of moving pictures. Many of the programs and presentations at IBC2014 provide a valuable stepping stone for the sessions and discussions featured at the SMPTE 2014 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition, which will blend educational programming with networking opportunities that draw professionals from across the industry."
-- Barbara H. Lange, Executive Director of SMPTE

Company Overview

The Oscar(R) and Emmy(R) Award-winning Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers(R) (SMPTE(R)), a professional membership association, is the preeminent leader in the advancement of the art, science, and craft of the image, sound, and metadata ecosystem worldwide. An internationally recognized and accredited organization, SMPTE advances moving-imagery education and engineering across the communications, technology, media, and entertainment industries. Since its founding in 1916, SMPTE has published the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal and developed more than 800 standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines.

The Society is sustained by more than 6,000 members -- motion-imaging executives, engineers, creative and technology professionals, researchers, scientists, educators, and students -- who meet in Sections throughout the world. Through the Society's partnership with the Hollywood Post Alliance (HPA), this membership is complemented by the professional community of businesses and individuals who provide expertise, support, tools, and the infrastructure for the creation and finishing of motion pictures, television, commercials, digital media, and other dynamic media content. Information on joining SMPTE is available at