NAB Show's Technology Summit on Cinema (TSC)


The Technology Summit on Cinema will take place 16 - 17 April 2016
The 2016 NAB Show Exhibits will take place 18 - 21 April 2016

Richard Welsh has been appointed TSC program committee chair and named his fellow committee members from this year, Hogan, Pete Ludé, and Jim Whittlesey; along with new additions Abi Corbin, director/writer; Christy King, chief operating officer at Levels Beyond; Cynthia Slavens, director of post-production at Pixar Animation Studios and Chris Witham, director of digital cinema at The Walt Disney Studios, to the TSC 2016 program committee.

NAB Show is the world's largest electronic media show covering the creation, management and delivery of content across all platforms. With more than 102,000 attendees, 164 countries, and 1,789 exhibitors, in 2015; NAB Show is the ultimate marketplace for digital media and entertainment. From creation to consumption, across multiple platforms and countless nationalities, NAB Show is home to the solutions that transcend traditional broadcasting and embrace content delivery to new screens in new ways.

Recap of 2015: SMPTE Members and Sustaining Institutions Featured Prominently on NAB Show's Exhibition Floor, in Conference Sessions, and at Awards Ceremonies

A full wrap-up article on SMPTE’s 2015 NAB Show activities is included in the May/June issue of the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal.

View more photos on Instagram and Flickr.

The 2015 NAB Show's Technology Summit on Cinema TSC, produced in partnership with SMPTE, concluded successfully on 12 April 2015, having provided attendees with a fresh perspective on the past and future of storytelling. More than 650 people attended the two-day summit, “Building the Future of Storytelling,” which offered a roadmap for future success and also explored potentially disruptive innovations that could ultimately redefine the cinema experience of tomorrow.

Bill Hogan, TSC 2015 Program Committee Chair

“The audience for this year’s program was fantastic, as were the technical sessions, which featured intriguing discussions by renowned industry executives, experts, and creatives,” said SMPTE Fellow Bill Hogan, the 2015 program chair for the TSC. “The various panels, presentations, and productions showcased during this year’s summit reflected the rapidly changing nature of cinema technology — revealing how far we’ve come, and how far we might yet go.”

In a keynote titled “Leveraging New Technology to Preserve Creative Intent,” David Keighley, SMPTE Fellow, chief quality officer and executive vice president at IMAX Corporation, and Jan Yarbrough, senior colorist at Warner Bros., with Carolyn Giardina of The Hollywood Reporter moderating, discussed the relationship between enhanced technical capabilities and the filmmaker’s creative vision.

The conversation covered topics ranging from creative opportunity to standards for screen brightness and bit depth to effective storage media. Keighley stressed the importance of raising the bar with respect to the quality of the image projected on screen, and Yarbrough explained the balance he must strike in maintaining creative intent and making the most of new technology when restoring library titles.
Aimée Ricca, Associate Producer; Bobby Hewitt, Editor; Barbara Lange, Co-Executive Producer; Howard Lukk, Director; Randall Dark, Producer; and Travis LaBella, Cinematographer

The TSC featured an exclusive “first look” at SMPTE’s “Moving Images” documentary, which is being produced by Randall Dark and directed by Howard Lukk, with cinematographer Travis LaBella. The feature-length documentary is slated for release in conjunction with SMPTE’s centennial celebration in 2016, and it focuses on the evolution of motion-imaging technology, as well as the people behind it. The four-minute preview, edited by Bobby Hewitt and featuring music from the band, Life In Film, highlighted some of the first moving images from the early 1890s along with clips and interviews extending up to the present. 

During the TSC, SMPTE also generated buzz — on the show floor and on Twitter — with the screening of the first video in its #LIFEWITHOUTSMPTE public awareness campaign, a multichannel initiative showcasing the Society’s contributions to media and entertainment. View the first video, demonstrating the value of SMPTE Time Code.

Pat Griffis, SMPTE Education VP

Speaking to a specific SMPTE contribution to the industry, the session titled “DCP Update and Future Delivery Options: Satellite, Fiber, and Internet” examined SMPTE Digital Cinema Packaging (SMPTE-DCP) and featured a discussion of SMPTE-DCP’s unparalleled support for higher bit rates, dynamic 3D subtitles, Material eXchange Format (MXF), fully encrypted subtitles, and auxiliary data.

Scott S. Broock, vice president of content at Jaunt; David S. Cohen, senior editor of features at Variety; and Arthur van Hoff, chief technology officer of Jaunt

The summit’s second keynote, “Virtual Reality: Coming to a Display Near You,”engaged Arthur van Hoff, co-founder and chief technology officer at Jaunt VR, in a conversation about cinematic virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). “What we are all aiming for is not VR; it’s really the ‘holodeck’ experience,” van Hoff said. He discussed AR technologies, including the Microsoft® HoloLens, explained why AR is significantly more difficult than VR, and described the many applications — live concerts, sports, travel, film, news, advertising, and education — in which VR offers a lower-cost alternative with tremendous potential.

The session titled “Cinema and Virtual Reality: Perfect Together?” extended that conversation, delving into the state of the art in immersive cinema experiences and exploring ways the technology might develop in the future. Richard Welsh, SMPTE governor for EMEA and the Central and South America region and CEO of Sundog Media Toolkit, moderated the panel, which featured experts including van Hoff and Ted Schilowitz of 20th Century Fox, Barco, and Jaunt VR. The panel further explored future applications of VR and AR within the theatrical environment.

Richard Welsh, David McKimmie, and Ted Schilowitz

“At this year’s TSC, we talked about how disruptive technology such as VR and AR are poised to transform the experience of moving images, and we plan to take the discussion to the next level in 2016, the year of the SMPTE centennial celebration,” said Welsh, who has been appointed TSC program chair for 2016. “Given all the new developments taking place in cinema technology today, we’re confident that the program will feature some very exciting innovations in cinema technology.”

Next year’s TSC will be hot on the heels of CinemaCon, scheduled for 16-17 April 2016 as part of the 2016 NAB Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Welsh has already named his fellow committee members from this year, Hogan, Pete Ludé, and Jim Whittlesey; along with new additions Abi Corbin, director/writer; Christy King, chief operating officer at Levels Beyond; Cynthia Slavens, director of post-production at Pixar Animation Studios and Chris Witham, director of digital cinema at The Walt Disney Studios, to the TSC 2016 program committee.

Following on the success of the TSC, the Society’s presence at the 2015 NAB Show reflected the significant engagement and importance of SMPTE members in advancing the industry. SMPTE Executive Director, Barbara Lange, took part in the session titled “OTT Video Going Global — A New Game for Traditional Broadcasting,” and SMPTE Eastern Region Governor John McCoskey delivered the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) keynote and participated in the session titled “Protecting Our Assets: Cybersecurity and the Media.”

SMPTE Toronto Section Chair Paul Briscoe presented “Making Signals with SMPTE 2059 Networked Genlock” at the Broadcast Engineering Conference (BEC), which coincided with the Society’s formal announcement that the SMPTE ST-2059 had been completed and published. Immediately preceding the 2015 NAB Show, SMPTE also published the ST 2081 and ST 2082 document suites, covering serial digital interfaces (SDI) at 6 Gb/s and 12 Gb/s. Looking ahead to future standards development, SMPTE also used the NAB Show as an opportunity to announce a request for proposals (RFP) for a technology for an open standard for binding Ad-IDs to commercials and entertainment ID registry (EIDR) metadata into programming content. View more about SMPTE Standards live from the show floor, with Howard Lukk, on TWiT TV.

SMPTE Executive Vice President Matthew Goldman and SMPTE Member Lukasz Litwic presented “Implications of High Dynamic Range on the Broadcast Chain for HD and Ultra-HD Content” at the BEC, where they and their Ericsson colleagues Olie Baumann and Philip White won the NAB Show Best Paper Award. At the NAB Technology Luncheon, several SMPTE members were honored, including SMPTE Fellow Richard Friedel, who was recognized with the NAB Engineering Achievement Award.

Richard Friedel

During other NAB Show events, SMPTE Western Region Governor Sara Kudrle was named a 2015 Technology Woman to Watch honoree by TVNewsCheckand SMPTE Institutional Sustaining Members Elemental, Quantum, BLT Italia srl, and Nexidia earned 2015 Game Changer Awards from the IABM. SMPTE Past President Wendy Aylsworth, senior vice president of technology at Warner Brothers, and SMPTE Fellow Dave Siegler, vice president of technical operations at Cox Media Group, were presented with 2015 Technology Leadership Awards from Broadcasting & Cable. 

The annual student social, this year sponsored by Rohde & Schwarz, Netflix, and GoPro, brought students to the SMPTE booth to interact and learn from SMPTE members and officers. A draw for students sent one lucky winner home with a GoPro camera, which happens to be powered by the GoPro CineForm codec that last year was standardized as SMPTE ST 2073 video compression (VC)-5.
Bill Miller, Bob Siedel, Pat Griffis, Barbara Lange
During the show, the Society announced plans for a Student Film Festival, produced in collaboration with the Hollywood Professional Alliance® (HPA®) that will take place during the SMPTE 2015 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2015), 26-29 October in Hollywood, California. SMPTE 2015 also will feature a Netflix-sponsored Oktoberfest party, the full-day SMPTE Symposium on VR, and a new silent auction accompanying the Honors & Awards ceremony. Proceeds from the auction will support the education initiatives and goals as outlined in the SMPTE Centennial Campaign’s Next Century Fund, which recently topped the $1.5 million mark with a commitment from Technicolor.

The HPA Awards are also reaching a milestone, celebrating 10 years in 2015, and SMPTE announced the call for entries for two of the industry’s most prestigious awards: the HPA’s Engineering Excellence Award and its Judges’ Award for Creativity and Innovation.

The Society made an impact at the 2015 NAB Show with broad representation across exhibition floors and conference sessions. During the show, 135 SMPTE member companies exhibited and more than 90 individual members served as speakers, contributing their expertise on topics ranging from the latest industry standards to the future of audio and moving images.

SMPTE @ the 2015 NAB Show in a nutshell, courtesy of Broadcast Beat:

Photo Credit: Robb Cohen Photography, courtesy of NAB