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SMPTE Opens With Microsoft Keynote

October 26, 2010

The 2010 SMPTE Annual Technical Conference and Expo kicked off this morning with opening remarks and a keynote from James A. Baldwin, CTO of Microsoft Media Platforms Business.

“We are very excited, not only with the increase in projected attendance but with the sold out exhibition, so there is lots to see,” said SMPTE Executive Director Barbara Lange.

Program Chair Jerry Whitaker reported that the conference encompasses 81 presentations in 14 sessions. Key focuses include stereoscopic 3D, file-based workflow, cinematography and post, TV station infrastructure, and cutting edge technology such as UHDTV.

During his keynote, Baldwin offered a look at the Microsoft Mediaroom software platform to deliver entertainment across all the screens.

Some of Baldwin’s points and comments:

--“Innovation comes from people who recognize where technology can make a sharp difference.”

--“There is a different way of consuming media that is coming.”

--“Mediaroom is a complete TV system to the end user. It had to look like broadcast TV” Functionality therefore includes VOD, DVR, security and the like.

--Mediaroom could be “better than broadcast” because with IPTV one could, for instance, eliminate channel changing delays.

--“We believe in using standards when they apply.” For instance the system uses MPEG transport.

--Mediaroom aims to offer tools to access content anywhere, anytime. This includes a native DVR and time shifting. “It is not a technology problem anymore, it is a rights issue.”

--The need for a nimble application platform: “It is important to be able to add capabilities to the platform. … We can go from idea to implementation as fast as you can set up a web server.”

--Multiscreen is the new main screen: “If I can’t get the media I want on my iPad or TV in the home, I tend to frown on it now. The expectation going forward has to be that it is not jut a TV anymore. We have to start thinking about entertainment being delivered to many devices.”

--Pointing to Shazam’s audio recognition functionality, he added: “I imagine you will be able to do that with all media.”

--“Search is still there, but you want more collaborative filtering.”

--“The lines between games, social interaction and movies are starting to blur.”

--Pointing to Xbox Kinect: “It won’t be long before you don’t need a remote control to operate your TV.”

--On stereoscopic 3D: “I think the technology is not really there. It will be a few more years.” But he added that Mediaroom would offer support for 3D capable TVs in roughly a year.


Erminia Fiorino

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