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Welcome

The SMPTE UK Section is a vibrant and inclusive group of members from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, all of whom work with the technology of moving pictures, associated sound and metadata – creatively, practically and innovatively in any format, and on any platform.

This group, unique in the UK, brings together technical professionals at all levels of experience and seniority to share ideas and network. We have many early careers members, and actively encourage students, apprentices, and graduates to network and learn through SMPTE.

The UK Section holds monthly evening meetings, where we get together to socialise and discuss topics impacting our industry. Take a look at the meetings listed below, sign up and come along! Priority is given to SMPTE members, but newcomers are very welcome. At every event, there will be an interesting technically-oriented presentation, plenty of time to network with industry peers, and ample refreshments courtesy of our sponsors and supporters.


Next meeting

SMPTE UK visits... The National Physical Laboratory

Register here!

Date: Tues 4 Oct 2022

Time: Food and networking from 6pm, Event begins 7pm, Event ends 8.30pm, Drinks and networking til 9.30 pm.

Location: Hampton Road, Teddington, Middlesex, TW11 0LW

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What do radar, packet switching, the ACE computer and the Caesium atomic clock have in common?  They all originated from NPL!

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is the UK's National Metrology Institute (NMI), developing and maintaining the national primary measurement standards, as well as collaborating with other NMIs to maintain the international system of measurement. As a public sector research establishment, they deliver extraordinary impact by providing the measurement capability that underpins the UK's prosperity and quality of life. They develop the metrology required to ensure the timely and successful deployment of new technologies and work with organisations as they develop and test new products and processes.

In this digital age, NPL’s world-leading measurement science provides confidence in data, which enables innovation and international trade to flourish. NPL align their capabilities with the most important national challenges like energy, health, security, net zero and the prosperity of the nation, and lead major national programmes that deliver impact across the UK. The next generation of atomic clocks at NPL, using laser cooled trapped ions or atom should achieve accuracies around 100 times better equivalent to gaining or losing no more than one second in the age of the universe.

Over 120 years since they were first established, NPL still remains true to their core mission. Join us in leafy Teddington to hear from scientists and experts alike, and network with fellow SMPTE members over ample refreshments courtesy of our hosts, the NPL!

Just like all SMPTE UK events, this meeting is open to existing professionals and students alike. Attendance is free of charge.


Previous meetings

SMPTE UK drinks at the International Broadcast Convention

On Sat 10 Sept 2022 over 200 SMPTE UK members and friends gathered for drinks at IBC2022 in Amsterdam! We were joined by SMPTE Exec Director David Grindle and his team from Head Office in New York, and many SMPTE global members. We had a wonderful time of networking, and courtesy of our hosts BT Media & Broadcast enjoyed ample refreshments in the sunshine after the show!

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SMPTE UK visits... Amazon UK

On 6 Sept 2022, around 100 SMPTE members and friends had a wonderful evening's visit to Amazon UK's headquarters at Principal Place, London.

We had a presentation in three parts: Tim de Marco talked about how Amazon Prime Video delivers content to global audiences. Tim Burton of 7fivefive talked about practical media workflow deployments using cloud infrastructure. Thomas Edwards of AWS talked all about how the cloud makes a transformative difference to broadcast and media workflows.

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We were treated to ample pizza and beer, and enjoyed a great time of networking with many key members of the UK and global media industry.

Just like all SMPTE UK events, this meeting was open to existing professionals and students alike, with groups of students from Solent and Surrey Universities joining in and networking.

We are grateful to Amazon for their generous hospitality, and for the ample refreshments!


SMPTE UK... Goes to the pub!

On Tuesday 12 July 2022, to round off our successful series of in-person meetings in 2021-22, we gathered for an informal meet-up on a balmy summer's evening in the Crown and Sceptre pub, just a few minutes' walk from BBC Broadcasting House and BT Tower in London's West End. Conversation ranged from the importance of timing in all things broadcast, to where people will be staying in Amsterdam for IBC. Some of us wore our SMPTE UK baseball caps, flying the flag for the Society!

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SMPTE UK Media Technology Conference 2022

On 29 June 2022 we held a conference in London in partnership with the Broadcast Tech & Sport Group. 170 delegates from across the UK's broadcast and media industry met to learn, debate and network at the BFI Southbank, London.

It was a hugely successful event, with many hot topics raised and discussed. If you'd like to contribute to the SMPTE UK Media Technology Conference 2023, do get in touch with us!


SMPTE UK visits... The BFI Southbank

On Tues 10 May 2022, around 100 SMPTE members and friends visited the BFI Southbank in London for a truly wonderful evening explaining and demonstrating the technical operation behind the BFI's cinema exhibition programme.

The BFI Technical Services team has been supporting the BFI’s diverse and complex cinema exhibition programme since 1957 when the National Film Theatre first opened its doors. Critical to the success of the programme is the ability to screen every possible projection format and this is as true today as it was back then. With up to 1200 different titles screened each year on formats ranging from 16mm CinemaScope to 70mm Todd-AO, through to the latest D-Cinema laser presentation, this is always a challenge.

Dominic Simmons guided us through the BFI’s exhibition technical operation and highlighted the complexities and pleasures of working in this unique venue, including projection of some classic movie moments including Stanley Kubrick's classic '2001: A Space Odyssey', Steven Spielberg's 'Jaws', and Mike Hodges' 'Get Carter'. Adrian Bull of Cinelab completed the evening with a glimpse of the on-going role of film in movie production.

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SMPTE UK gratefully acknowledges the generosity of the BFI for hosting this event and Cinelab for supporting our ample welcoming hospitality.

Just like all SMPTE UK events, this meeting was open to existing professionals and students alike, with groups of students from Solent and Surrey Universities joining in and networking.


SMPTE UK debates… Cloud Live Production

On Weds 6 April 2022 at BT Tower in London, 70 SMPTE members and friends including students from Salford, Solent and Surrey universities came together for a high-calibre meeting all about Cloud Live Production, followed by drinks and views on the 34th floor. Many thanks to our generous hosts BT Media & Broadcast for the amazing views and ample refreshments!

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Hosted by Andy Rayner, Chief Technologist at Nevion, our panel of industry experts included:

  • Noor Hassan, Amazon Web Services
  • Robert Wadge, BBC R&D
  • Richard Friedel, Fox
  • Paul Briscoe, TAG VS

Together, they debated the evolution to an all-software live production chain and the ongoing journey to that point. Starting with the end-user requirements, our technology visionaries plotted the path based on what the creatives want to achieve. We heard from vendors who have actually built some of this, and exposed the challenges which remain. And we asked the question: Are these actually technology barriers, or issues that creatives have with the new ways of working?

Watch the recording of the event here:

HubSpot Video

 


SMPTE UK debates… The future of Audio, Objects and the Cloud

On 8 March 2022 we held a Section meeting all about the future of the entertainment experience. 60 SMPTE members and friends met at Deluxe's UK headquarters, enjoyed wood-fired pizzas and good beer, and settled down for a thought-provoking evening exploring different aspects of object-based media.

SMPTE UK Deluxe

Personalising Audio for a greater user experience, Object-based media with video for enhancing story telling capabilities, and how cloud services can potentially help bring this to a reality.

Chaired by Chris Johns, Chief Engineer, Broadcast Strategy at Sky, our panel of experts included:

  • Simon Tuff, Senior Engineer at the BBC
  • Dr Lauren Ward from the University of York
  • Rich Welsh, Senior Vice President of Innovation, Deluxe
  • Elfed Howells, CEO of Macroblock Ltd

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Just like all SMPTE UK events, this meeting was open to existing professionals and students alike, and was a great example of how SMPTE enables people from all stages of their career to learn and mix together in a friendly environment.

We're very grateful to Deluxe for kindly hosting us for the evening at their UK Headquarters, and providing ample refreshments!


SMPTE UK visits... an On-set Virtual Production
On 2 - 4 Feb 2022 we held a spectacular three-day hybrid event at ETC in Ealing, London.

Watch the recording

A hybrid 3-day event with in-person demos of the real-time technologies used for In-Camera VFX and Virtual Production.

SMPTE along with supporting partners 80Six, ETC, disguise, Solent University and head Sponsor Mo-Sys, hosted an interactive 3-day hybrid event providing attendees the opportunity to experience first-hand the intricacies of on-set virtual production in the context of a mixed reality set up within a ‘pop-up’ LED Volume built by the team behind Virtual Production Studios by 80six at ETC Playhouse in West London especially for SMPTE and its members.

This included a tour of the VP workflow for creating in-camera VFX (ICVFX), supported by cutting-edge technologies from 80six' inventory: ROE Visual, Unreal Engine, Mo-sys camera tracking and Disguise media servers.

Lighting a production when using LED backdrops is undoubtedly a hot topic and debate right now given the lighting aspect of the LED itself. As part of this showcase, attendees had the opportunity to discover the ground-breaking fos/4 range of luminaires from ETC that introduced a patented deep red emitter into the LED array, filling in a portion of the spectrum we did not realise we were missing – a must-see for the technologically-savvy and those with a passion and interest in lighting and colour.

The event showcased these cutting edge technologies in a production-ready setting and was globally live streamed, offering a tour of the technology, that dives into the key components of OSVP technology and ICVFX. 

The global live stream included an update from SMPTE’s Rapid Industry Solutions group and their latest work on OSVP including the groups recently awarded Epic Mega Grant, and an expert panel Q&A for both our in person and virtual live audience.


SMPTE UK celebrates... Young Innovators and Emerging Talent

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Over 70 SMPTE members and friends, including many students from Solent, Surrey and Ravensbourne Universities met at the fabulous Sky Central Cinema in Osterley on Thurs 9th Dec 2021. We heard from three new entrants to the media industry, Emily Bergun, Jon Bourne and Dan Turner. Each delivered a lightening talk on their area of knowledge, followed by a Q&A - led by Polly Hickling.

  • Emily talked about Virtual Machines and Cloud Services, and how she worked on building a Cloud Production Gallery at Sky, saving lots of CO2 in the process.
  • Dan told us about loudness in theatrical mixing and how this contrasts with the regulated environment of home entertainment. He talked about the use of Dolby Fader 7 and posed the question about how this affects dialogue intelligibility in theatres.
  • Jon talked about AI in Media Asset Management and bravely showed us a live demo of object detection. He then showed how he has successfully used face detection to do automatic video compilation.

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The evening was a wonderful celebration of the talents of newcomers to our industry, but also served as a great networking opportunity with students and graduates mixing and chatting with SMPTE UK members from across the UK media industries.

Many thanks to our hosts, Sky for the ample refreshments!

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Bill Lovell Memorial Lecture 2021: Prinyar Boon

On Thurs 11th Nov 2021, over 50 SMPTE members and friends were welcomed to the DTG offices in Vauxhall for the Bill Lovel Memorial Lecture 2021. This event is a celebration of SMPTE members in a very social way and after having to miss the 2020 BLL we were really looking forward to getting together and the DTG made us very (very) welcome!

This year Prinyar Boon let us into his life of music, rock climbing, playing in a band, the early days of television, being shipwrecked and of course his passion for all that’s new and exciting in media technology today.

The trouble with each BLL is getting everyone in their seats and starting the event – why? Because our main attraction is always in demand and “doing the room” meeting and greeting - but we finally settled for a really good talk full of anecdote, personal thought and a lot of laughter!

We will say no more about Prin’s talk here – watch the video and enjoy.

Thanks once again to all who contributed to the event and Prin’s story and of course to our sponsors, the DTG for their support and “ample refreshments!”


SMPTE UK visits... BBC Research & Development

On Tues 19th October 2021 we held a virtual section meeting. 85 of us, including SMPTE members from the US as well as a posse of media students from Solent university in the UK, joined researchers from the BBC as they presented their work on a number of exciting subjects looking to the future.

We covered several great topics:

  • Communities of Practice, empowering the next generation of makers
  • Channelling our inner Greta Thunberg to pursue Sustainability in Media
  • How to make a Public Service Internet, that's not a dumpster fire of content
  • Debunking Disinformation and Deepfakes by protecting trusted content

We also heard from the BBC Graduates, who each did a 60-second brief on the work they're involved in, and at the end of the meeting, we did a reverse Q&A, where the BBC Graduates asked the SMPTE board questions about the industry.

The meeting was recorded, and you can re-watch it here.

HubSpot Video

Please note the presentation on HLG has been removed from the recording due to content rights.


SMPTE UK – back together again after lockdown! So…what’s been going on in our industry over the past 18 months?

SMPTE UK September 2021

On Weds 22nd September we held our first section meeting of 2021. 50 SMPTE members and friends gathered together in the iconic ‘Crown and Two Chairmen’ pub in London’s Soho for a wonderful evening of discussion and networking. We had an energetic and opinionated panel session featuring the following industry personalities:

  • Chris Johns, Chief Engineer, Sky
  • Bruce Devlin, Mr MXF
  • Carys Hughes, Design Engineer, Sky
  • Andy Quested, Chair ITU-R Working Party 6C
  • Andy Beale, Head of Engineering and Innovation, BT Sport

The panel covered a lot of ground - bringing young people into the industry (and convincing their parents!), Rise, remote production, standards bodies and filibustering, Low Earth Orbit satellites, business models, 4K HDR versus HD HDR, iPhone Outside Broadcasts, and the next Big Thing: Object Based broadcasting.

Lots of discussion followed, but the big topic of the evening was clearly bringing young people into our industry. We all agreed there is a problem with attracting students to study broadcast engineering and to apply for jobs in our industry.

SMPTE UK has big plans for reinforcing links with universities and encouraging graduates. But as individuals we all have an opportunity to invest in inspiring young people to join our industry. Have a look at the Rise Up Academy, and help out!

Thanks to our sponsors for this evening: pixitmedia for the ample refreshments!


SMPTE is a members’ organisation - we gather together for community, to educate one another, and to set standards, and we'd really like you to play a part.

Become a SMPTE member and receive these benefits:

  • Meeting others working in our industries - through section meetings
  • Receiving 10 copies of Motion Imaging Journal a year
    - full of the latest techniques and news from SMPTE sections around the world (instructions)
  • Regular SMPTE Webinars
  • Access our archive - Look back over SMPTE's work over the past 102 years
  • Attending events, conferences and courses at discounted rates
    – you can easily save your subscription and it can be offset against tax
  • Discounts on conference papers, proceedings and Standards in the SMPTE Digital Library
  • Preferential booking for our meetings 
  • Take part in standards work ensuring interoperability and directing the way our industries move
  • Be an active member of the world’s largest Members society dedicated to those working with the moving image, its audio and metadata on any platform.

At only $165 – about £125 tax deductible - you get so much and an opportunity
to enhance your career putting you in touch with others working across the creative
and video industries of the UK and around the world.

(Student members free then just $15 about £11 a year and recent Graduates get a discount on full membership!

We look forward to welcoming you at our next meeting.

We really want to hear your ideas and suggestions as we build up SMPTE UK. Feel free to get in touch if you have topics for talks you think people would be interested to hear; or a venue we could use for one of our evening meetings. We're always on the hunt for a new broadcast or media facility to tour!

Add your name to our mailing list — click on 'Join our Friends List' at the top of this page, or contact us.


Meet the UK Board of Managers

Chris Johns, Sky UK (Governor)

John Ellerton, BT Media & Broadcast (Chair)

Tim de Marco, Amazon Prime Video (Jul 2022-Jun 2024)

Christina Nowak, Newchapter Productions (Jul 2022-Jun 2024)

Ian Trow, BT Media & Broadcast (Jul 2022-Jun 2024)

Prinyar Boon, PHABRIX Ltd. (Jul 2021-Jun 2023)

Carys Hughes, SKY UK (Jul 2021-Jun 2023)

Polly Hickling, Solent University (Jul 2021-Jun 2023)


Legal Information

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