Show Me the SMPTE! @smpteconnect

Ryan Salazar, Founder
Ryan Salazar, Founder
Broadcast Beat Magazine

Hands-down the leading technical society in the motion imaging industry is SMPTE (The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers). With membership spread across the world in sixty-four different countries, it has hundreds of members (including cameramen, consultants, designers, editors, educators, engineers, field users, manufacturers, technical directors, and technicians). If you’re looking for information about compression, encryption, or networking in the industry, a SMPTE show is the place to be.

SMPTE Conferences & Exhibitions are the PREMIER events of media and technology for the industry. For motion imaging, media technology, production, operations, and the like, this is the show to network with world-renowned technology thought-leaders in the motion picture studios, broadcast and distribution networks, production and post-production community, software companies, systems integrators, manufacturers, display technologies and distribution providers.

With brilliant thinkers both in and outside the box, SMPTE is the industry’s leading nonprofit association and is an accredited industry standards-setting body.  It provides technology education and information to the motion imaging industry.

At a SMPTE Show, anything can happen with such a wide range of vital talents from engineers and technical professionals to high-level business leaders in the motion picture studios, broadcast and cable networks, production and post-production community, software companies, systems integrators, manufacturers, display technologies and even distribution providers! Once you’ve been to a SMPTE Show, do you really need to attend any other events?

SMPTE Show facets contain all the elements of the studio industry – from creation and management, to distribution and display of the moving image. The annual convention is a sight to behold, boasting several days of highly-technical sessions with the industry’s top masters, a high-tech exhibition hall and unequalled networking… each SMPTE event is exceptional opportunity!  But in case you aren’t able to attend, I wanted to present some of the highlights of typical shows.

For the detail-oriented, there are numerous technical sessions, and the technology-focused exhibit hall. After an exciting welcome reception in the exhibit hall, the high-profile Industry Keynote Luncheon, the prestigious Honors & Awards Ceremony & Dinner there are still the invaluable opportunities provided by networking with top industry leaders. The fantastic products and sponsors that are on display carry these events over the top!

All the industry standards are represented in a SMPTE Show’s amazing exhibit hall. It may seem impossible, but somehow each show is better than the last. Each show carries heavy hitters like: AJA, Blackmagic, Grass Valley, Adobe and Telestream are all there, and of course Signiant, with its spectacular file management!

The SMPTE Technical Conferences usually have presentations from such industry leaders as Verizon, Technicolor, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Electronics, Skywalker Sound, Snell, Qualcomm, Motorola Mobility, NVIDIA, NHK, Microsoft, IBM, HBO, Harris, Harmonic, FUJIFILM, Ericsson, Dolby Laboratories, Cisco, Belden, and the BBC.


SMPTE‘s example, leadership, and sheer spectacle aren’t limited to its shows. It also hosts a number of one-day technical seminars at select areas. These popular sessions impart crucial knowledge to attendees to learn about a particular technology through a concentrated session taught by leaders in the field.

Higher frame rates of 48, 60, and 120 frames/second is the promise of digital technology and was the central focus of the 2012 Show, for example, many technical conferences cover many obscure points of the industry, with many going off on tangents.  For instance, in 2012, the conferences were about topics such as “Applying File-Based Workflows” with experts in the field such as Christopher J Lennon (Harris Corporation, USA), Harold Geller (AD-Id, USA), Ian Hamilton (Signiant, Inc., Canada) & Tony Vasile (Signiant, Canada), and “Real-Time Workflows” featuring the likes of Thomas True (NVIDIA Corporation, USA) & Andrew Page (NVIDIA Corporation, USA), and Heiko Sparenberg (Fraunhofer IIS, Germany) & Siegfried Foessel (Fraunhofer IIS, Germany).

For the last ninety-seven years, SMPTE has been the internationally recognized leader in standards for the motion imaging industry, and facilitated interoperability for the now burgeoning world entertainment media.  It was just announced this Nov. that the next round of SMPTE leadership will be elected on Jan. 1, 2014. These bold visionaries will then carry the brilliant torch that is SMPTE forward, continuing the legacy of excellence in the industry. Officers have a 2 year term and regional governors a one year term. Slanted for a place at the helm of this sterling organization are: Alan Lambshead (Vice President of Engineering at Evertz Technologies Limited) as Standards Vice President; Matthew Goldman (Senior Vice President of TV compression technology at Ericsson) as Finance Vice President; and Paul Stechly (President at Applied Electronics) as Membership Vice President.

Nine governors were elected to serve in SMPTE posts around the world and as of this writing are: KL Lam (former Vice President of Broadcasting and Engineering Operations at Hong Kong Cable TV thru 2011) as the Asia-Australia Region Governor; and John Philip Maizels (a Consultant at Entropy Enterprises and Productions), as Governor of that same region; Richard Welsh (CEO of Sundog Media Toolkit) as the Governor for Europe/ the Middle East/ Africa/ and Central & South America.

Those new to the governors positions as of this writing are: Randy Conrod (Product Manager for Digital Products at Harris Broadcast) as Canadian Region Governor; Karl Joseph Kuhn (Senior Applications Engineer at Tektronix) as the Eastern Region Governor; John Ferder (Director of Studio and Post-production Engineering at CBS) as a New York Region Governor; Dan Burnett (Senior Director of Sales at Ericsson Television) as a Southern Region Governor; Mark Narveson (Patent Attorney at Patterson & Sheridan) as a Western Region Governor; and Paul R. Chapman (Senior Vice President of Technology at FotoKem Industries, Inc) will remain a Governor in the Hollywood region.

At the annual SMPTE Show, a smashing success is a given.  One wonders how year after year they’ll come up with more WOW than before – but they do it each and every time!  Is SMPTE just unparalleled at keeping up with the technology or do the technologies have to keep up with SMPTE?!

With the prominent and active role of SMPTE in IBC Shows and the amazing SMPTE record of continual improvement, every show they’re a part of is certain to be absolutely stunning! For more exciting SMPTE news, stay blogged-in!


Broadcast Beat Magazine is an Official NAB Show Media partner and we cover Broadcast Engineering, Radio & TV Technology for the Animation, Broadcasting, Motion Picture and Post Production industries. We cover industry events and conventions like BroadcastAsia, CCW, IBC, SIGGRAPH, Digital Asset Symposium and more!
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