Programme details for The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) conference 

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SMPTE has announced the for the fifth annual Entertainment Technology in the Connected Age (ETCA) conference in California, 8 – 9 May 2017.

The SMPTE organisation standards work has supported a century of technological advances in the entertainment technology industry hosts its fifth annual ETCA conference.

Patrick Griffis, SMPTE Executive Vice President and ETCA programme chair said, “now in its fifth year, SMPTE is pleased to be hosting this year’s ETCA on the Microsoft campus in the heart of Silicon Valley, where engineers, executives, creatives, and researchers will gain a unique perspective on the technologies that are arguably redefining entertainment as we know it, while engaging with the leaders who are making it happen.”

The two-day conference themed ‘Redefining the Entertainment Experience’, kicks off with keynote Bob DeHaven, General Manager of Worldwide Communications & Media at Microsoft Azure.

DeHaven will discuss the proliferation of the cloud, the advent of the internet-of-things (IoT) and the resulting demands of available high quality video content and experience for the end user.

The keynote, titled ‘At the Edge: The Future of Entertainment Carriage’, will explore the varying complex relationships forming to embrace these new requirements.

DeHaven will speak about the roles of network providers, content delivery networks (CDNs), network optimisation technologies, as well as cloud platforms contribution in achieving the industry’s evolving requirements.

‘Next-Generation Entertainment: A View From the Fox’ will be presented by Hanno Basse, Chief Technical Officer at Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

Basse will share his views on the technical challenges of enabling next-generation entertainment in a connected age and how Fox plans to address them. 20th Century Fox distributes content via outlets ranging from cinema to Blu-ray Disc, over-the-top (OTT), and even virtual reality (VR).

Multiplatform production and monetisation using up-to-date creation, analytics, and search technologies will be explored in the conference session ‘Rethinking Content Creation and Monetization in a Connected Age’.

Panellists will discuss the parameters required to achieve original artistic intent while maintaining a just noticeable difference (JND) quality level for the consumer viewing experience in the conference session ‘Is There a JND in it for me?’, exploring what new content creation, delivery, and display technology innovations will mean for the viewer.

“Video Compression: What’s Beyond HEVC?” likewise will explore emerging techniques and innovations, outlining evolving video coding techniques and their ability to handle new types of source material including high-dynamic-range (HDR) and wide colour gamut (WCG) content, as well as video for virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR).

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Discussing delivery “Linear Playout: From Cable to the Cloud” will explore the current distribution landscape, looking at the consumer apps, smart TV apps, and content aggregators/curators that are enabling cord-cutters to watch linear television.

New business models and opportunities to shape these services as well as the consumer experience will be focussing on the tools used for digital ad insertion, audience measurement, and monetization while considering the future of cloud workflows.

Innovative technologies and standards that will enable the industry to overcome inconsistencies of the bitrate quality of the internet will be explored in the session ‘Adaptive Streaming Technology: Entertainment Plumbing for the Web’.

‘Would the Internet Crash If Everyone Watched the Super Bowl Online?’ will move the discussion to live streaming, examining the technologies that enable today’s services as well as how technologies such as transparent caching, multicast streaming, peer-assisted delivery, and User Datagram Protocol (UDP) streaming might enable live streaming at a traditional broadcast scale and beyond.

Internet protocol (IP) infrastructure and the impact of next-generation systems will be covered in ‘IP and Thee: What’s New in 2017?’, the Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) suite of internationally accepted open standards for digital television, and fifth-generation mobile networks (5G wireless) on internet-delivered entertainment services.

While the session, “Weather Forecast: Clouds and Partly Scattered Fog in Your Future” examines how local networking topologies, dubbed ‘the fog’ are complementing the cloud by enabling content delivery and streaming via less traditional and often wireless communication channels such as 5G.

“Giving Voice to Video Discovery” will highlight the ways in which voice is being added to pay television and OTT platforms to simplify searches.

Panellists will discuss the benefits and challenges of implementing voice effectively, and the impact this trend will have on viewing behaviour. In a session that explores new consumption models, “VR From Fiction to Fact” will examine current experimentation with VR technology, emerging use cases across mobile devices and high-end headsets, and strategies for addressing the technical demands of this immersive format.

“This year’s program is extremely strong, and we look forward to a thought-provoking two days,” said Griffis. Complete conference details, including registration information and early bird prices are here.