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United Kingdom

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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.


29 June 2022: SMPTE UK Media Technology Conference

Join Us in London This June! We're proud to present the SMPTE UK Media Technology Conference 2022 at the BFI Southbank, London, produced in partnership with the Broadcast Tech & Sport Group.

In-person and unashamedly technical, this landmark event will bring together leading industry technologists to present and debate topics affecting the whole industry at the present time. Guaranteed to be opinionated and challenging, discussion will run through the entire event. Audience participation will be encouraged.

For more info and to book, click here:

Register here!


Coming Up

SMPTE UK... Goes to the pub!

When? Tuesday 12 July, 18:30 - 21:00

Where? The Crown and Sceptre, 86 Great Titchfield St, London, W1W 6SD

What? To round off our successful series of in-person meetings in 2021-22, we're gathering on a Tuesday evening in a Central London pub, just a few minutes' walk from BBC Broadcasting House and BT Tower. Come along, buy yourself a drink and join us for an informal evening's industry chat. Meet the new SMPTE UK board of managers and help us with ideas and suggestions as we plan the next exciting year for SMPTE UK!

This one is simply a meet-up so no tickets will be made available. Just turn up and find us in the pub. Some of us will wear our SMPTE baseball caps so you'll spot us easily! We look forward to seeing you there.


Previous meetings

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.

SMPTE UK @ BFI2 SMPTE UK @ BFI1

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!

Tower 1  Tower 2

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:

SMPTE UK April 2022

 


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

SMPTE UK Deluxe 2

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.


On Thurs 9th Dec 2021 we held a section meeting in London:

SMPTE UK celebrates... Young Innovators and Emerging Talent

Dec1

Over 70 SMPTE members and friends, including many students from Solent, Surrey and Ravensbourne Universities met at the fabulous Sky Central Cinema in Osterley. 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.

Dec6

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!

Dec5


On Thurs 11th Nov 2021 we held a section meeting in London:

Bill Lovell Memorial Lecture 2021: Prinyar Boon

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!”


On Tues 19th October 2021 we held a virtual section meeting:

SMPTE UK visits... BBC Research & Development

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.

SMPTE - Edit - small-1

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


On Weds 22nd September we held our first section meeting of 2021:

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

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 — scroll down to "Local sections" then tick "United Kingdom" 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)

Paul Gardiner, Sony (Jul 2020-Jun 2022)

Andy Rayner, Nevion (Jul 2020-Jun 2022)

Phil Tudor, BBC (Jul 2020-Jun 2022)


Legal Information

SMPTE LTD a company limited by Guarantee Number 8676388

Registered Office:
5 Yeoman’s Court, Ware Road, Hertford, Herts, SG13 7HJ

Past Events

February 2, 2022

SMPTE UK Virtual Production Event

SMPTE UK visits... an On-set Virtual Production
December 9, 2021

SMPTE UK celebrates... Young Innovators and Emerging Talent

SMPTE UK celebrates... Young Innovators and Emerging Talent
November 11, 2021

UK Section November Meeting

Bill Lovell Memorial Lecture 2021: Prinyar Boon
October 19, 2021

UK Section October Meeting

SMPTE UK visits BBC Research & Development
September 22, 2021

UK Section September Meeting

SMPTE UK – back together again after lockdown! So…what’s been going on in our industry over the past 18 months? Join us for an informative and opinionated panel discussion with lots of opportunity for audience Q&A and debate! Bring your questions for our expert panel
November 26, 2019

Virtual Production