2014 Entertainment Technology in the Internet Age

Stanford University

17 - 18 June 2014

Entertainment technology has historically been the purview of Hollywood and Broadcast media. However, rapid convergence of connectivity, bandwidth, and media technology improvements coupled with consumer interest has caused a surge in media distribution over the web. Recent reports show thousands of consumers have switched from subscription pay services to web services in the USA alone. While still a small percentage of the total, it is a growing trend. The concept of this conference is to explore the “old” and the “new” in the context of the technology requirements for delivering a compelling entertainment experience over the web. Join us for this 2 day event on the beautiful Stanford campus where technical and creative experts from both worlds will explore the differences and commonalities of media over the web and provide perspectives to help understand the key attributes and technical trends. A must attend for engineers, creatives, and researchers focused on future of media over the Internet.


June 17, 2014

Registration Opens

Continental Breakfast

Sponsored by


Opening Welcome
Wendy Aylsworth, SMPTE President
Bernd Girod, Professor and Senior Associate Dean, Stanford Engineering
Dr. Joyce Farrell, Conference Chair, Stanford Center for Image Systems Engineering
Pat Griffis, Conference Chair & SMPTE Education Vice President, Executive Director Technology Strategy, Dolby Laboratories

Fireside Chat: Quality Over the Internet: Oxymoron or the Future?

Moderator: Colin Dixon, nScreenMedia
Panelist: Ian Blaine, thePlatform™ for Media

Come hear an illuminating and potentially provocative dialog on the future of web-delivered content with the CEO of thePlatform™  a Seattle, WA-based online video publishing company, which was acquired by Comcast in 2006. The company works with digital media companies to manage and publish video and audio and is at the forefront of the next wave of on-line media delivery.

Is The Technology of The Internet the New Standard For Quality Video?

Ian Blaine, thePlatform™ for Media

Moderator: Colin Dixon, nScreenMedia
Speakers/Panelists: Rodolfo Vargas, EyeIO
  Ian Blaine, thePlatform™ for Media
  Jim Helman, MovieLabs
  Dr. Hui Zhang, Conviva
  Jean-Christophe Morizur, Dolby

We’ve come a long way from the stuttering, postage stamp videos of the early 2000s. Today, web video viewers regularly watch HD video from any number of video sites. Many also have sufficient bandwidth to stream Blu-ray quality movies from sites such as VuDu and Amazon Instant Video. This year, services such as Netflix and Amazon are also promising to deliver Ultra HD video to their customers at a time when pay-TV and over-the-air broadcasting cannot. Moving at the speed of the Internet, could OTT leap frog traditional delivery methods to become the premium content delivery mechanism?

In this panel discussion, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the web for quality video delivery. Ultra HD will be a key topic of discussion. We will assess when and even if traditional television providers will upgrade their systems to support it, and whether the Internet can truly deliver.  We will discuss the impact new High-Efficiency Video Codecs (HEVC) will have on the business of quality streaming and also what new formats may create competitive advantage. We will also look at how mobility is impacting the consumption of online video, and how it is changing the dynamics of quality video delivery. We will also look at how new techniques are enhancing existing video and whether the Internet is a better medium for distribution.

Networking Coffee Break

Sponsored by


The Race to Premium: Who Will Win?

Moderator: Leszek Izdebski, Cisco Systems
Speakers/Panelists: Anand Banwasi, Google
  Anthony Citrano, Verizon
  Jeffrey L. Thompson, RNN TV
  Mark Young, Fandango/NBCUniversal

With Netflix’s  number of subscribers exceeding HBO’s or Comcast’s, YouTube’s viewers exceeding 1 billion, and Hulu Plus now having over 5 million subscribers, OTT video delivery has firmly established itself in the mainstream of video entertainment.  With these developments have come experimentation and improvement in production and programming, in user experience and content recommendation, as well as better use of technology for monetization.  This session will explore whether there is a sustainable business case for premium content via OTT and its future.

  • How has OTT video moved from a low-cost TV-alternative to a premium video experience by using content, technology and innovation in UI, analytics, encoding, formats and business models?
  • What business and technological changes are required to grow premium OTT market?  What are the barriers?
  • What are MVPD’s doing in this space?  What can they learn from OTT’s?
  • What is the future of OTT video?  Will it replace or complement traditional TV and other forms of video entertainment?

Lunch On Your Own

Tools of Trade: Translating Traditional Content for the Web

Moderator: Jan Skoglund, Google
Speakers/Panelists: Martin Wahl, Microsoft
  Renganathan Ramamoorthy, Google Chrome
  Doug Stallard, YouTube
  Anil Kokaram, YouTube

Video and audio streaming is dominating internet by eating up more than half the traffic. In this session we’ll discuss the need for techniques for efficient compression (VP9 and HEVC) and infrastructures for the future to avoid video breaking the internet. From YouTube, we have a talk on how to provide high quality/premium content without flooding the system. This session will also include updates on HTML-5. From Chrome we have a talk on next generation video compression, VP9 and/or HEVC, and how the HTML5 media extensions ("DRM") have been deployed since introduced last summer. Also a discussion of cloud service distribution models.

Disruptive Innovation in Movie Making, Sports, and Games

Moderator: Chris Bregler, NYU & ILM
Speakers/Panelists: Marv White, ESPN
  Kim Libreri, LucasFilm
  Erik Johnson, Valve Software

The worlds of film, sports and games are colliding.  Each film release, each sports season, and each generation of games brings startling innovations:  this is the most challenging and exciting time for anybody involved in movie making or sports reporting. For almost a century there were only two ways to watch movies or sports:  in the theater or stadium, or on the TV.   The Internet and Moore’s Law drastically changed this.  Fans still go to the theatre and to the stadium, but they go with their networked devices. Slow-motion play-back is still in vogue, but now we have the virtual yellow football line, web based sports analytics, and 3D motion capture that blur the line between live and recorded action.  At the same time, movie makers use games and real-time motion capture on-set and collaborate in real-time around the connected world and in the cloud. This panel brings together experts from filmmaking, gaming, and sports technology to discuss the new possibilities and new challenges in these emerging fields.

Networking Coffee Break

Storytelling - Transmedia Style

Moderator: Roland Angst, Stanford University
Speakers/Panelists Charlie Jablonski, Industry Advisor
  Maya Zuckerman, TransmediaSF
  Tom Annau, JauntVR

Recent technological advancements have led to exciting new ways of telling stories. Specifically, the ubiquity of the internet and advances in displays, mobile devices and sensor technologies has made it possible to create highly immersive virtual and augmented realities. Sensors, such as 3D scanners, eye and hand tracking devices and GPS on mobile phones, make it possible to capture information in real time that can be used to modify a storyline. Displays, such as immersive 3D goggles, augmented reality glasses, and light field projectors, make it possible to merge virtual and real world media. And finally, the internet makes it possible for users to collaborate, interact and modify the storyline. This panel will discuss the opportunities and challenges involved in immersive as well as “fragmented storytelling”, (also known as “transmedia storytelling”) where a story is scattered across different media and devices.

Technology Overview of Interactive Exploration Zone Participants

Interactive Exploration Zone and Reception

The “Exploration Zone” will include technology pioneers in kiosks presenting technologies to enable the Entertainment Holodeck concept. The Exploration Zone opens simultaneously with reception so attendees can eat, drink, discuss, and peruse the future at their leisure.

Participants include: JauntVR, Leap Motion, Game Face, Google Glass, Homestead High-Low Cost Head Worn System, The Stanford Indoor Scan Project, The Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Stanford Indoor Scan Project, The Stanford HIVE (Highly Immersive Visualization Environment), GoPro, Sixense Entertainment, Inc., PhaseSpace, Avegant, Seebright.

Special Evening Session
The Holodeck: Entertainment for the Next Generation

The Holodeck is a fascinating fictional vision of the ultimate immersive experience emerging from the popular Star Trek series.  Much like the technology that transformed the fictional idea of the communicator into what has become the mobile phone, could new technology from the likes of Oculus Rift, 3D Gesture Space (Kinect, Leap), etc. coupled with holographic audio, touch/haptics, and other sensory technologies give us the building blocks to create the ultimate immersive entertainment experience? Join us in a not too distant future speculation of what is possible and what is already happening.

Join us for two evening conversations on the Holodeck: Entertainment for the Next Generation. First a 1:1 with Bing Gordon, KPCB, hosted by Dave Singhal, Light Field Interactive. Following this is a panel discussion with Dave and Bing, along with Paul Debevec, USC ICT, Kati London, Microsoft Research, David Cohen, Variety and Jon Peddie, Jon Peddie Research, who will also moderate.


June 18, 2014

Registration Opens

Continental Breakfast

Opening Remarks

Pat Griffis, Conference Chair & SMPTE Education Vice President, Executive Director Technology Strategy, Dolby Laboratories
Dr. Joyce Farrell, Conference Chair, Stanford Center for Image Systems Engineering
Barbara Lange, SMPTE Executive Director

Keynote: Evolving Web Business Models for Entertainment

Darcy Antonellis, CEO, Vubiquity
Moderator: Pat Griffis, Dolby Laboratories

"Camera to Consumer" tools and technologies continue to push monetization opportunities well up into the entertainment content production environment. Coupled with new licensing models and applications of intelligent, targeted advertising across all outlets and platforms, terrific monetization opportunities are emerging. Come learn how these evolving business models are enabling new monetization models for the web and the implications for entertainment across platforms.

Everyone’s a Winner! How User Data Coupled with Technology Can Facilitate Business Models Regardless of Platform or Device

Moderator: Allan McLennan, The PADEM Group
Speakers/Panelists: Tony Emerson, Microsoft
  Van L. Baker, Gartner Inc.
  Darcy Antonellis, Vubiquity
  Taras Bugir, Decentrix

The first and foremost aspect of an improved business model is the size of viewer/user base and their  engagement level. Whether it’s an information-centric website or a new OTT service, finding, capturing and motivating user interest and consumption is critical for success. Many components drive this success: network efficiency, content and now most importantly knowing your audience.  The media and entertainment marketplace is involved in a momentous shift in connecting to new audiences on multiple IP-connected devices providing efficient connections and transparent media associations through the use behavior no matter where in the world they may be. These engagements are creating a new entertainment experience not only on the primary screen, but also on companion devises such as tablets and mobile phones, which are cued-up to benefit via LTE multi-cast and data intelligent networks. Whether you are offering entertainment, education, or political fodder, retaining and offering a great connection and value is a critical success factor. Come learn from some of the business innovators how new technology is changing the rules of engagement.

Networking Coffee Break

Sponsored by


Is the Big Stick TV Antenna Dead?

Moderator: Jim Burger, Thompson Coburn LLP
Speakers/Panelists: Mark Aitken, Sinclair Broadcast Group
  Michael Bergman, CEA
  Jeff Weber, 2Door Partners
  Jerry Whitaker, ATSC

An ever decreasing fraction of the American public receives their Over-the-Air (OTA) broadcast TV directly from the broadcaster’s big stick. Instead, the vast majority consumes broadcast TV over cable or satellite (and a few from the Internet). Yet the TV broadcasters are located on an immensely valuable – and potentially capacious – swath of spectrum – using what some call “inefficient and outdated technology”. Wireless carriers are widely deploying LTE Advanced transmission technology, which is touted as a far more efficient use of the spectrum. LTE permits broadcasting content one-to-many using LTE multicast. The technology has not gone unnoticed. This year, Verizon experimented multicasting the Super Bowl to a very small area. Meanwhile, with notable exceptions (e.g., the Super Bowl), appointment TV is becoming less important than WWH (When I want to watch it, Where I want to watch it and How I want to watch it). Is the OTA big stick future dim or rosy for the current broadcasters? If dim, will the next OTA broadcasters be the wireless carriers?  And how does the US compare to the rest of the world on this issue? Come to this session to hear perspectives on these questions.

Lunch On Your Own

FCC Net Neutrality: A View from the Insider

Moderator: Pat Griffis, Dolby Laboratories
Speakers/Panelists: Jim Burger, Thompson Coburn LLC
  Matthew DelNero, Deputy Chief, FCC Wireline Bureau
  Jon Healey, Los Angeles Times

Net Neutrality, while always a hot topic, is even hotter after the DC Circuit Court ordered a redo by the FCC of its Net Neutrality rules. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced that he was introducing new Net Neutrality Rules. Some have argued that the new rules will be substantially weaker than the old rules. Mr. Wheeler says that these rumors “are flat-out wrong.”

Hear directly from the FCC’s expert exactly what these rules will and won’t say. Will they allow paid-for “fast lanes?” Will they protect consumers from harmful ISP behavior? Listen to a fireside chat as two experts interview Mr. DelNero and ask your own questions of the FCC expert.

Networking Coffee Break

Sounding Good Over the Web: Accessible, Immersive, and Personalized Audio

Moderator: Sunil Bharitkar, Dolby Laboratories
Speakers/Panelists: Sripal Mehta, Dolby Labs
  Roger Charlesworth, Charlesworth Media/DTV Audio Group
  Philip Hilmes, L126/Amazon

Multiple industry efforts are looking at how to improve audio practically and experientially for broadcast and online audio delivery.  How do we improve dialogue intelligibility and support video description for the visual and hearing impaired?  What is immersive audio for mobile devices?  How can a consumer personalize the audio experience?  What steps does the industry need to take to make sure that enhanced audio is a core component of next generation services?

Getting Sporty With the Web: Live Sports Everywhere!

Moderator: Ken Kerschbaumer, SVG
Speakers/Panelists: Clark Pierce, Fox Sports, Emerging Technologies
  Jim DeFilippis, TMS Consulting
  David Aufhauser, Pac-12 Digital
  Joe Novello, CrossFit Games

Delivering live sporting events to tablets, smartphones, and computers continues to be a growing area of interest for broadcast rights holders, teams, and leagues. But there are plenty of challenges, including designing a user-friendly app and interface, authenticating users easily, and creating original content and event coverage in a cost effective manner. Learn how organizations like Olympic Broadcasting Services, Fox Sports, and the Pac-12 Network are making sure sports fans everywhere have a compelling and high-quality experience.

Preserving the Artistic Intent: Oh What a Wicked Web We Weave on the Web!

Moderator: Paul Chapman, FotoKem Industries Inc.
Speakers/Panelists: Jim Helman, MovieLabs
  Bill Feightner, Colorfront
  Josef Marc, Archimedia

Artistic Intent is the hallmark of storytellers and preserving it is not simple, given the variety of applications from Cinema to Blu-ray to DVD and now the Internet. Preserving proper color, aspect ratio and frame rate which creatives carefully define to tell their stories is the starting point.

However, there are  new content creation options such as extended dynamic range, wider color gamuts,  as well as new  device constraints (e.g. power saving for content rendering) for internet-enabled tablets, phones, etc. which impact artistic intent in new ways beyond classic compression artifacts. There may be solutions to preserve artistic intent via metadata and standards if industries agree to cooperate. This session will review how internet technologies can enhance story-telling and can potentially preserve artistic intent and further the dialog on how industries can collaborate to provide a better overall experience.

Wrap and Take Aways

Pat Griffis, Conference Chair & SMPTE Education Vice President, Executive Director Technology Strategy, Dolby Laboratories
Dr. Joyce Farrell, Conference Chair, Stanford Center for Image Systems Engineering

A review of the highlights and key takeaways from this year’s conference with an open dialog with audience on reactions, insights gained, and topics for the future.

17:45 Adjourn