SMPTE Brings UHD Ecosystem Seminars to London and Salford in February 2015

UK Section to Launch Series of Highly Practical Education Opportunities

LONDON, U.K. — 8th January, 2015 — The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®), the worldwide leader in motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, media, entertainment, and technology industries, announced today the launch of its 2015 Section Seminar series. The topic of the 2015 seminar series is “Navigating the Ultra High Definition (UHD) Ecosystem” and will begin its worldwide journey with the SMPTE UK Section in London and Salford.

The London seminar takes place on Monday 9 February at EEF’s Broadway House in Westminster. The Salford event will be held on Wednesday 11 February at BBC MediaCity Quay House and is offered free to SMPTE members courtesy of the BBC Academy. This is the third consecutive year that the BBC Academy has sponsored the Seminar locally in Salford.

“Since the Section was reformed in 2012 we have brought the Seminar to the UK,” said Peter Weitzel, SMPTE UK Section Hon Secretary and Treasurer. “We are proud to be the first Section to present this year's topic, helping to shape the content for the rest of the Society.”

The seminar will touch on the potential impact of new and emerging UHD standards — from SMPTE and other organisations. Attendees will learn about UHD related technologies and the impact they are beginning to have on professional content creation facilities. Experts will lead this day-long interactive experience designed to give participants an overview of today’s vision of the UHD ecosystem, the ways in which these technologies will affect both the broadcasting and cinema industries, and potential impact on viewer engagement.

“SMPTE is looking at the entire UHD ecosystem including higher frame rates (HFR), wide colour gamut, pixel density, high dynamic range (HDR), peak brightness and immersive audio. Our standards group recently published its second Study Group Report on the UHD ecosystem,” said Richard Welsh, SMPTE Governor for the EMEA and Central & South America Region and CEO at Sundog Media Toolkit. “Confirming that SMPTE is leading the way in practical implementation of UHD throughout the production and distribution chain, its first HDR standard, ST 2084, was published in September 2014 and work toward standards that address colour gamut and distribution is underway.”

Key elements of the seminar are:

  • The landscape of UHD – the basic definitions, challenges that must be overcome, the areas in which standardisation work is under way, and how UHD will impact motion imaging content creation in the future.
  • Audio and UHD - techniques such as object-based audio and the evolution of traditional multichannel sound will be addressed.
  • High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) compression standard – the features and methodologies will be explained, including how it can manage greater volumes of data and how HFR and increased static resolution will require more efficient coding to achieve acceptable bit rates.   
  • Ways that mezzanine compression is currently used to reduce the impact on existing infrastructure and the improvements that are necessary in the production workflow.
  • UHD interface standards and the need for faster and increased storage capacity will be explored.
  • How UHD related technology might be shaped into workflows that deliver quality imaging and audio to the creators and distributors in a way that is cost effective.
  • Finally, a case study will be presented on practical experience in live UHD production and a section on possible timescales for solving the implementation challenges. The rollout to different areas of our industries will be discussed as well as the potential strategies for global implementation. 

The seminar is a must-attend event for engineers and technicians that will deploy and use UHD systems, as well as those involved with content creation, distribution, and deliveries. Professionals with an interest in UHD technology such as editors, manufacturers, and equipment suppliers will benefit as well. Space for each seminar is limited.

Further details and registration can be found at


About the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®)

The Oscar® and Emmy® Award-winning Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®), 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.

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, sustain the Society. 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

About the SMPTE® United Kingdom Section

The SMPTE UK Section was re-established in 2012 by unanimous approval of the SMPTE Board of Governors following a petition brought by Richard Welsh, SMPTE Governor for the EMEA and Central & South America Region and CEO of Sundog Media Toolkit. The Section is currently chaired by Chris Johns, chief engineer of broadcast strategy at Sky, with Peter Weitzel of as Hon secretary and treasurer. Section Managers are David Austerberry, editor and journalist; Simon Gauntlett, CTO at Digital TV Group; Andy Quested, head of technology, HD and UHD at BBC; Ben Roeder, CTO at Sohonet; Nigel Seth-Smith, strategic technical marketing at Gennum Corporation; and Russell Trafford-Jones, head of customer support at V-Nova. The Section has seen a high degree of interest and support from across the creative, manufacturing, and service organisations in the UK’s thriving media landscape. Widespread support for the Section and its work is evident with rapidly increasing membership from all parts of the industries and across the UK; this has allowed the SMPTE UK Section to grow from 100 members to 400 members at the close of 2014.

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