SMPTE president Patrick Griffis has given the society’s 7,000 members an “easier and less expensive” means for keeping in touch with key technologies and new skills opportunities during the Covid-19 crisis.  

Pat Griffis headshot

Griffis: “SMPTE is working to serve a number of educational initiatives”  

“People sheltering at home are consuming more media content than ever, so SMPTE is working to serve a number of educational initiatives,” he said.   

The first bonus is a 50% discount on virtual courses on subjects like IP media delivery, HDR workflows, UHD, IMF essentials, and imaging system fundamentals.  

Then there are the famed SMPTE webcasts on essential technology concepts, free to access here

Members also get access to what SMPTE calls ‘topic-specific knowledge micro-sites’. These opportunities include sharp focusses on blockchain, microservices, and AI.  

Asked about the turmoil in skill sets, Griffis said: “The single biggest macro trend for professional media is the transition to a software-based ecosystem, coupled with a move to IP delivery systems. Educating media professionals about the new software-based tools and technology provides important skill sets for the future.” 

On the technology front SMPTE is looking at media microservices or service interoperability APIs; a language metadata table (LMT) registry in partnership with MESA; a spectral similarity index for the technical relationship of LED light sources and camera sensors as proposed by ACES; and software-driven standards.  

SMPTE is working with the EBU on APIs for media. Griffis stated: “The idea of microservices is to break-up a set of features to individual API’s to allow a flexible mix and match, depending on the application. To understand this concept, think of an app like Microsoft Word.” 

Explaining the LMT Registry, Griffis said: “We are working with the Media Entertainment Alliance to define/constrain a common terminology for language tabs, for use with professional media. 

“This could potentially make SMPTE a central point of registration for metadata, to avoid duplication/conflicts as a service to the media industry as a whole,” Griffis added.  

In terms of software-driven standards, tools like Github are seen as vital to development. 

“This expertise will become increasingly important for effectively innovating and managing future standards. It is a key priority for us,” said Griffis.