Report- Sustaining and New Members Reception

To mark  the end of the 2012/13 Sesssion - the first year of the reformed UK section
- a Reception was held at Kings College London.

 Members gathering - Andy Cooper(back) Peter Weitzel :          Ray Goff, Bob Gentry and Andrew Foster ,   John Zubrzycki with Bill Hayes .          ..
SMPTE Governor Central region .     .

About Thirty members attended to meet and hear a report on the year activity given by Peter Weitzel Hon Secretary  and Treasurer

This is his report

 

Welcome to the final meeting of the first session of the reformed UK section.

We meet where people work – and this location –Kings College London is where I studied – and I felt it appropriate
that we had this terrace with views across the River to the Headquarters of ITV, and London office of IBM where we met 6 months ago. 

Kings College London was founded in 1831 to counteract “the Godless place of Gower Street” University College London which had been founded Without a Faculty of Theology.  
Kings was also the home of the first faculty of engineering– being founded in 1834
– and I am a part President of the Kings College Engineering Society – which predates all but the Institution of Civil Engineers in the UK. 
So Kings  has some 80 years more history than SMPTE.....

 

And it was about 80 years ago that SMPTE last had a section in the UK
– so I want to report to you, our members and friends, on the first year of the reformed SMPTE UK section.

We are honoured this evening to have Barbara Lange – the Executive Director of SMPTE – who will say a few words about SMPTE around the world – Particularly in the Far East and the ETIA conference at Stamford last week.
And can I also welcome SMPTE Governor William Haynes – Director of Engineering and Technology
at Iowa Public Television.

Barbara Lange, Executive director SMPTE converses with Bill Foster and Jacqui Gupta.

But back to a year ago – Many of you had voted for the formation of a UK section under the initiative taken by Rich Welsh our International governor, - the Board of Governors agreed but there was no UK group....
just an email from the governors.   
Rich put out an email to us all and a few from a variety of backgrounds got together.
Meeting first in Rich’s office – but then we held four weekly meetings at Eric Bastin’s works just behind BBC Television Centre.

That group was two in their thirties - Matt Desborough from Dolby, and Tim Harris – then at Digital Vision - who took the notes on his mobile phone! – two in their fifties – Bob Gentry – who has a distinguished career in the operation of TV – both in the USA and UK and Myself – with a long “Broadcast Projects” background – and much experience of Lecture arranging, and finally – Eric Bastin – Life Fellow and expert in projection – he is not here tonight because The Bathgate Regal cinema opened 75 years ago with a screening of "Robin Hood" and on the anniversary of 26th. June Avcom will be screening the same film, but hopefully with a restored print.

 
He provided much wisdom to what as often a very dynamic discussion as we worked out what a SMPTE section in the UK actually meant – the WHAT questions -.....  As no one had told us!!!

What you see in our first year has been so informed by those discussions –

Taking the SMPTE three pillars – Members Education  and Standards ,
 seeing  how these mapped into the wide range of industries which are all strong in the UK Media ecosystems
– there is no West Coast/ East coast divide here..... 

And how SMPTE fitted into others work – with IET, RTS and IABM -our IBC partners, AES and others,
and also Standards making bodies like DTG and DPP, and industry trade bodies IABM and UK Screen association and the Cinema Exhibitors Association. ... 

This gave us a great focus on “members coming together in a meeting” – as we are tonight – where we can discuss all aspects of our work across many industries   and companies
– and thus help everyone working in our ever increasingly fragmented industries to come together.

From this came the HOW – meetings not so obviously – and we were convinced that there was the support for a full slate of meetings – which we have delivered

 – and also that SMPTE had a Major Event which toured some sections in North America – The Regional Seminar –
we thought – “we will have that!!!”
 And not only did we extract it from the States, but we also had two performances – here in London and also in Salford.

 Our thanks to the UK sponsors of the Regional Seminar – the BBC Academy – with whom we hope to have a long and fruitful relationship, and Ericsson Broadcast Services......

The way SMPTE works is that we as a Section have no funding from the Home Office for our activities – we are entirely reliant on the generosity of companies and individuals to provide venues, sponsoring refreshments as well as encouraging staff to present and attend our meetings.

Here is the first “thank you” needed – to Channel 4   IBM   Ravensbourne, Screen Systems, Pixel Power, DTG, BSkyB ... and to Weitzel.tv who filled in with those events where we could not get sponsorship – starting with a great SHV visits to the NHK/BBC set up .  

Three of those who have sponsored SMPTE UK section meetings -
Andy Wilson Head of the School of Engeering BBC Academy    Richard Lidnsay-Davies Director General Digital Televsion Group (DTG) , Kevin Burrows CTO Broadcast and Distribution, Channel 4 and Chair of the Technical Group at DPP

That event before the official launch of the section had us meeting SMPTE members from Japan as well as the UK – so setting the international context of SMPTE. 
Our thanks  to John Zubrzycki – who gained his PhD here at Kings – for arranging that privileged behind the scenes look - and   if we could organise a meeting which logistically involved 3 sites – one a 20 minute taxi ride  from the others - we coudl organise anything!!!

SMPTE is very grateful to those companies who sustain the Society – and we have seen many UK centred companies increasing their level of membership- which provides funding to keep SMPTE able to do so many things in Standards and education. 
We are encouraging companies to join as (at least) Bronze members
– where you can receive discounts on the standards as well as being able to see what is going on with standards and commenting
– SMPTE needs more users to help us derive standards.

When we were worked out what the Section should do we also saw sustaining members as the employers of SMPTE members and thus encouraging their staff to Join, Attend and Speak at our meetings....  

But we needed more members and we were very pleased that the SMPTE proposition –
Meetings, the Motion Imaging Journal and many other things that SMPTE offers –
were very attractive to many people in our industries,
 Many of you joined – and we do need more people to join – so that we can put on more meeting and visits ...
so please can you promote SMPTE in your workplace and with your friends

We have in round numbers doubled the number of SMPTE members in the UK –   
which in our original planning we had as a "year three" target!

 We are very conscious that we have members outside London – and have met in The East and South and these with Salford will be holding a meeting or two next session in each cluster in addition to the 10 or some meetings in and around London.

One group which is spread across the UK are those students who are members of NaSTA, those who are running Student TV- but are not reading media subjects.....
We have spoken at two of their conferences – thanks to Andrew Foster and Laurence Murphy;  we also have student members at Ravensbourne, Salford and other Broadcast Engineering course at universities.
We look to working with the BBC apprentices when they join after the summer - who are working with ITV, Red Bee and Arqiva as well.

But back to meetings – I have already mentioned the Pre-Launch SHV event – but we were greatly honoured to be the first external group to hold a meeting in Dolby’s new building in Soho Square. Our Inaugural was a great evening – meeting so many from across our industries,  seeing HFR films being projected and listening to the ATMOS ™ object based Sound ... whilst trying to balance our Pizza and beverages  around the displays of  hand held devices.
The Dolby building is architecturally notable – and the delights of the arched Cellar were complemented by seeing the Digital Vision Nucoda Grading system- our thanks to the team from DV who de-rigged it – pushed various boxes through the streets of Soho and reassembled it all!

Our meetings have drawn in people with a variety of backgrounds and have also pointed out the importance of Standards in all the work we do - ...... and have set up so many conversations.

 

 Barbar Lange looks on - with Bob Gentrey and John Zubrzycki

The first Board decided that we would meet on third Thursdays thus avoiding clashes with other kindred societies and those we would meet where members worked – rather than at a lecture theatre!

But look at what we have covered –

DPP – a world leading collaboration which is not only setting the standards for file based Production and delivery for television – but also a major  educative initiative to make programme maskers aware of  how to make it work well for your production ( and also that the facilities houses  needs to be paid for the petabytes of storage  your project takes),

 The Cloud – a great introduction to what it is- and how people do not know or understand it – and three excellent expositions - on the aloud in outer industries’, In Media and unseeing the cloud 

 After Christmas a very long but totally enthralling presentation on S3D..... I think we all just about go the last train home!

We held an open mic evening – Andy Quested and Chris Johns in conversation with the audience – this was a success – so we have a reaped next years – and John Emmett and Peter Wilson have already agreed!

Open Standards hit the headlines again with the world’s first demonstration of DVB ST in 3D ... at a meeting also covering ST2052 –safe Harbor for Broadband subtitling in the USA.... and EBU –TT-

We need to remember our international connections and Hans Hoffmann – from the EBU and SMPTE VP Standards gave an extent presentation  and a very lively discussion - next year we will be taking one of his topics FOBTV....

And then a trip to the South and a tour of BSkyB uplink and play out site – followed by the most complete and rapid exposition of how HEVC works

And now we are here – marking our the first year and giving you the opportunity to meet the board, Barbara and Bill   as well as each other.......

That brings me to close by looking and thank the people who made this section such as success.

I have already mentioned the original board Eric, Bob, Tim and Matt –
the thoughts they put in cannot be underestimated -
and they selected Chris Johns (Chief Engineer Broadcast Strategy at BskyB) to be Chairman -
I know he did not know what he was letting himself in for!!!!   - But you always chose a busy man!!

 The next group  I want to thank are the Home Office staff – they do a great job - Peter Symes Director of Engineering & Standards   and I have known each other for far too many years (in excess of 30!) – but the help from Roberta Gorman  who runs the membership operation  has been tremendous -   and Joel (Director of Education) and Sally-Ann (Operations )have also been there to help me help you get benefits from your SMPTE membership.

  
Barbara Lange Toasts Peter Weitzel and the UK section

We in the UK have been very fortunate in that Barbara Lange our Executive Director in the UK for IBC Board meetings
– her organisation of Home office and visions of what SMPTE should be in the 21st Century... building on the almost 100 year legacy of the Society -have helped us greatly.

The next group to thank are those who allowed their names to be put forward to stand for the Board -
I know it surprised Home Office that the new Section had 9 people willing to serve
– and it was a pity that only three -
Andy Quested, Ben Roeder (himself a new member ) and David Austerberry could be elected ... 

Can I just mention two others – the youngest members in the whole of SMPTE to stand for election –
Russell Trafford Jones and Andrew Foster....  
I think that this above all shows that SMPTE has a future – I would like to see them on our board very soon.

But in our first year we lost a great friend and supporter of SMPTE UK – Bill Lovell – who died suddenly at a church meeting in March.  Many SMPTE members were in the congregation who filled (and more) the church for his memorial service.   The least we could do would be to hold a meeting next session in his honour and show the work that he was doing with ARRI, the Alexa and more. 

Finally – I have to convey apologies from Chris Johns our chairman, as he is working – in Brazil....

I am  sorry that he is not here as this is the occasion when I can announce that he has been awarded a
Fellowship by SMPTE..... 
A very well deserved recognition of his role in the technological advances in Television in the UK.

 

 

Barbara Lange then spoke

 

Can I thank the UK board   and particularly Peter Weitzel for getting the UK Section up and running in such a short time with growth and links to all in our industries.

I have been Executive Director for three years during which time SMPTE has focused on the three Pillars of Members, Education and Standards.

In fact the Board has just approved a 3 Year roadmaps with the aim   “to be the preeminent leader in the art, science, craft of the audio video and metadata eco system”

This means that we are embracing all the people and organisations which handle the Moving images’ – firms like Netflix and Google as well as those traditionally in Film and TV.

 Last week I was at the Entertainment Technology in the Internet Age conference at Stanford where we had nearly 300 people, about 40% of them not members yet! – covering creating content   for and how to deliver content via the internet.  

We are encouraging best practise in what we do with new manuals for how we work – in Standards, membership and finance Admins, the education one is on its way!

 But let me just highlight some of the things we are doing – in each of the pillars

 Membership

We are reviewing Sustaining membership - the companies who support our activities in many ways – we are researching and modelling what they are doing now and what SMPTE, its members and the companies need from the close relationship.

We are raising our individual members due this year – only be $10 – but we have not increased  dues in over 10 years ... so we need to keep pace and catch up with inflation!

Standards

You may have heard some of this from Hans Hoffman at your last meeting – but we have

  • Cinema audio work
  • Study Groups on UHDTV 
  • A joint taskforce on Networks media joint with VSF and EBU
  • And the works on archives IMF etc. continues

Peter has already pointed out ST2052 – on Closed Captions for broadband  

We have four quarterly meetings a year – and in February we met in Hong Kong which has a thriving SMPTE section...

Education

With a worldwide membership our Professional Development Academy uses web casts – monthly on key topics plus quarterly standards editions, and our virtual Classroom for starting CCNA accreditation.

And more face to face the Regional Seminar – which has been in the USA and Canada, but the UK section, has brought it to London and Salford, and as a result it is being presented in France and Italy as well... and may be in India and Hong Kong.

While I know and apologise for the delivery issues – but the Motion Imaging Journal is still the leading publication for the Moving image..... And you can get access to only to the current edition – but to every edition full-text searchable since 1916....

And we have our conferences

 At NAB we run the Technology Summit on Cinema – this year including John Landau speaking on higher Frame rate 3D   - we had the best attendence ever!

I have mentioned ETIA at Stanford ...   exploring the technology, creative, and business requirements for delivering a compelling, high quality, monetizable entertainment experience over the web.

And our main conference - The Annual Technical Conference to be held in Hollywood at the end of October. This is the event where we all come together, hear the leaders in our industry and discuss the technologies of film TV and beyond – it is marvellous event...
 And at the Honors and Awards dinner we will be welcoming and honouring Chris Johns as a one of the 14 new SMPTE fellows.

But we also do things in partnership with others – Broadcast Asia, CEATAC, HD masters here in London, CE week in New York,  and our two key Europe relationship –

 With the EBU in Geneva and at IBC (where SMPTE is one of the owning Partners)
- I look forward to seeing you there this September.

Before I close can I just mention the SMPTE Digital Library which we are selling to universities and researchers across the world – and our continuing investment in IT systems to make SMPTE ever more efficient in the digital age.

And finally – the whole of SMPTE is working up to our centennial in 2016.

But SMPTE is its members – and I am very pleased to be here and meet you
 – and to thank Peter Weitzel, Chris Johns  and you - the  UK section -  for achieving so much in the your first year.