Technology Committee Reports

Report of the Study Group on Immersive Audio Systems: Cinema B-Chain and Distribution

Monophonic sound was transformative for the art of motion pictures. Every sound format that followed has attempted to improve the sense of reality by adding more channels feeding ever more speakers. With rare exception, those speakers were located behind the screen and around the audience, effectively on the same horizontal plane. Even though the ensuing decades transitioned from optical film to digital media, the planar sound concept lives on with 5.1 and 7.1 soundfield configurations. (In this document, any references to “5.1” also include 7.1 unless noted.)

The movie industry is now evolving toward an expanding range of audio formats with additional audio signals driving height and overhead speakers to achieve a more immersive experience. Broadly stated, the Immersive Audio Study Group (IASG) was formed to explore ways to deliver these capabilities using a common distribution method and possible shared B-chain attributes.

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Beyond the Digital Conversion: The Integration of Information Technology and Professional Media

Report of the SMPTE Study Group on Media Production System Network Architecture

The design and architecture of Professional Media Networks (PMN) is becoming increasingly important with the ever-increasing use of shared packet switched networks (PSN). These PMNs are used for applications such as live contribution and production, post-production, and presentation. Typically these are built upon Internet Protocol networks and used for the production of media, including the carriage of media essence (audio & video), metadata, synchronization and control traffic. Where media traffic coexists with other sorts of communication and business traffic (multi-service networks), it is particularly important to balance the requirements of media production network traffic with other types of network traffic. This other traffic may or may not be related to the Professional Media Network workflows.

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Report of the UHDTV Ecosystem Study Group

This report, dated 28 March 2014, represents the final considerations of the Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers (SMPTE) study group investigating the Ultra-High Definition Television (UHDTV) Ecosystem. The report provides recommendations for further work, which will be further analyzed within SMPTE.

The industry has developed technologies for increasing image pixel arrays, capturing higher frame rates, extended color gamut and other image parameters beyond those currently defined for High Definition Television (HDTV).

Image formats for UHDTV have been approved by, SMPTE[1] and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU)[2]. It has been indicated that commercial deployment of UHDTV could begin as early as 2014 for UHDTV1 and 2016 for UHDTV2. While the intent is distribution of the content to the home, overall questions for the professional industry sector are:

  • How to interchange content with these new formats in the professional real-time and non-real-time domains (considering uncompressed, mezzanine and contribution quality)
  • What exchange and interface standards are needed
  • What issues need further investigation to provide compatible workflows with current HDTV and SDTV systems

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Joint Task Force on Professional Networked Streamed Media (JT-NM) Report

JT-NM (with some 250 members) compiled a list of user requirements, and issued a Request for Technology. 27 companies responded with technology proposals.
A team from JT-NM analyzed the responses and compared the proposed technologies with the user requirements.  This resulted in a Gap Analysis Report that is available for download.

The Mission Statement of the Task Force is

In an open, participatory environment, help to drive development of a packet-based network infrastructure for the professional media industry by bringing together manufacturers, broadcasters and industry organizations (standards bodies and trade associations) with the objective to create, store, transfer and stream professional media. 

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