For the December 15 meeting of the Washington DC section, SMPTE Engineering Vice President Peter Symes braved the disruption of a winter storm warning to educate the section about the standards setting activities of SMPTE with a presentation titled: Standards Development and the SMPTE Role - Policy, Procedure, Patents, & Procrastination.

Peter's presentation discussed the various types of standards bodies, their roles in image-related technology, and the different ways these bodies deal with business and technical issues. He explained how standards work is increasingly difficult because the pace of technology in today's world demands rapid development, yet the complexity of the standards means that true interoperability is very difficult to achieve. He also mentioned that standards are now big business as intellectual property incorporated in standards can represent billions in royalties, and commented on how this also affects the standards process. Peter gave a useful summary of major work items within SMPTE, and how these may impact the industry.

While the winter weather reduced the audience to a handful of members and guests, those who were there much appreciated Peter's insights into the SMPTE standards process, and also welcomed the opportunity to discuss with a SMPTE national officer various aspects of SMPTE administration and policy for the sections.

The meeting took place at the headquarters of the National Association of Broadcasters and thanks are extended to NAB for their hospitality and for providing refreshments.

-Graham Jones, Section Manager and Program Chair 


SMPTE Engineering VP Peter Symes with Washington DC Section secretary/treasurer James Snyder (left) and chairman Karl Kuhn (right)

Peter Symes Powerpoint presentation (PDF)