SMPTE to Produce Entertainment Technology in the Internet Age Conference

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Wed, 04/08/2015 - 12:41 -- Nick Dager

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers will produce the third Entertainment Technology in the Internet Age (ETIA) conference, this year scheduled for June 16-17 at Stanford University near Palo Alto, California.

Titled The Race Is On! the conference will explore past, current, and future technology requirements for delivering a compelling entertainment experience on the Internet. Early bird pricing for conference registration is now available through April 27.

"The convergence of connectivity, bandwidth, and technology improvements is rapidly expanding entertainment distribution over the Internet to the living room, mobile devices, and beyond," said Pat Griffis, education vice president at SMPTE and ETIA conference program chair. "At this year's conference, we will examine how areas once considered adjacent to traditional media distribution mechanisms have now become essential elements in delivering a compelling entertainment experience. We will discuss how the integration of these components, ranging from over-the-top services to the development of virtual reality content and equipment, is transforming the entertainment industry."

During the ETIA conference, more than a dozen sessions will bring technical, creative, and ecosystem experts together to explore how the Internet is changing entertainment and to provide context to help attendees understand both technology and application trends.

Advances and Challenges in AR/VR will explore the latest advances in virtual reality and augmented reality (AR) technology and how they apply to entertainment and enable new ways of telling stories. Moderated by Soren Harner, chief product officer of Meta, the session will examine the latest in display technology, mobile devices, and sensor technologies. Panelists will discuss how these technologies make it possible to blend virtual and real-world media, and how the Internet offers intriguing possibilities for collaboration, interaction, and modification of the storyline.

Panelists include Arthur van Hoff, chief technology officer of Jaunt; Steven Feiner, professor of computer science at Columbia Engineering, where he directs the Computer Graphics and User Interfaces Lab and co-directs the Columbia Vision and Graphics Center; and Chris Ullrich, vice president of user experience at Immersion, a leading innovator in tactile feedback technology.

A special evening session on June 16 will feature security and industry experts in a discussion of security on the Web, a particularly pressing concern given recent high-profile breaches and cyberattacks targeting the media and entertainment industry. Representing important aspects of the Web ecosystem, this well-rounded panel will explore the latest technical options and how content providers — including traditional studios and OTT incumbents — and cloud-solution providers are dealing with the challenges of securing content in the new age of Internet-based content distribution.

Panelists will include Usman Shakeel, principal solutions architect at Amazon Web Services, which includes the popular Amazon S3 online file storage Web service; Tom Paquin, chief technology officer of OnLive, developer of cloud computing services that support online gaming; Frank Artes, chief technology architect at NSS Labs, where he has helped form best practices for securing intellectual property within the computer gaming, motion picture, and television industries; Wendy Frank, partner at BFI Security Consulting and a specialist in mobile security, identity access management, data loss prevention, and privacy; and Ted Harrington, executive partner at Independent Security Evaluators, a company that hardens technologies for enterprises by attacking with the same methodology as a malicious adversary.

Further ETIA sessions will address a variety of other timely topics, including Internet image quality and the impact of more pixels (higher spatial resolution), faster pixels (higher temporal resolution), and better pixels (higher dynamic range and color gamut); the ideal balance of compression efficiency versus image quality and pixel mix; and the shift from the use of a gamma curve to the use of a new electro-optical transfer function — perceptual quantizer — based on human perception. Building on questions of efficiency and image quality, another session will explore the relationship between return on investment and image quality for OTT services.

Sessions also will examine challenges and solutions related to video delivery, app creation, device compatibility, and content management, as well as those associated with delivering live content — sporting events, concerts, or news — over the Internet to tablets, smartphones, and computers. Additional topics will include the emergence of object-oriented audio in the theater and for the home, along with its prospects for Internet delivery; disruptive innovation in game entertainment via the Internet; and the question of whether consumers will choose to buy and "own" content when it is readily accessible from the cloud. A session dedicated to net neutrality will review developments over the past year, as well as the impact of U.S. decisions on the rest of the world. 

The ETIA 2015 sessions are ideal for engineers, creatives, and researchers focused on the future of entertainment over the Internet. Further information and online registration for the ETIA 2015 conference are available at More information about SMPTE is available at