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28 2018 Feb

So long, HPA Tech Retreat 2018, and thanks for all the blockchain…

Some of the strongest programming in years covers topics such as cloud workflows, movie screens becoming giant LCD displays, IMF, HDR, video fakery and, of course, blockchain.

Wow, the Sohonet team are only now starting to recover from HPA Tech Retreat 2018, and what a week it was.

A wide range of practical presentations helped illustrate how problems like archiving, live sports broadcast, previsualization, and pipeline management could be improved through the application of IMF, AR/VR, real-time simulation software and cloud compute resources. And that was just scratching the surface.

Read more at Sohonet

27 2018 Feb

HPA Tech Retreat Round-Up: HDR, ATSC 3.0 and the Cloud

The 2018 HPA Tech Retreat, held Feb. 19-23 in Palm Desert, Calif. saw record-breaking attendance and nearly a full week of presentations from industry engineering, technical, and creatives, covering everything from digital-cinema to post-production.

Read more at M and E Daily

27 2018 Feb

Distributed Ledgers Could Revolutionize Content Storage

At the 2018 HPA Retreat in Palm Desert, CA Michelle Munson and Serban Simu, founders of Aspera, an internet content transfer acceleration company (bought by IBM in 2014) revealed some details and a demonstration of what their new startup company,, plans to bring to the media and entertainment, and other industries, that need to move massive amounts of data. What they showed was stunning and could change the nature of how we use and move content, perhaps changing the current conception of cloud storage and other services.

Read more at Forbes

27 2018 Feb

The 2018 HPA Tech Retreat: Digital In The Desert

2018 brought a new venue (The J.W. Marriott) for the annual Hollywood Professional Association Technology Retreat and a program chock-full of interesting talks, not to mention the usual enormous Innovation Zone (formerly the Demo Room). I first attended the Retreat in 2002 out of simple curiosity, and back then there were perhaps 100 – 120 in attendance. Zoom ahead to 2018, and well over 600 people made the trek to Palm Desert.

The primary focus of HPA has been and continues to be post-production, and in recent years there have been numerous presentations on managing workflows, metadata, and “director’s intent.” So it went this year, with an entire section of the Innovation Zone devoted to the Interchange Media Format (IMF, not the International Monetary Fund).

Read more at HDTV Expert

26 2018 Feb

HPA 2018: Panel Discusses Hurdles to Mass Adoption of HDR

In the ongoing journey to integrate high dynamic range (HDR) into U.S. movie theaters and homes, a panel at this week’s HPA Tech Retreat in Palm Desert, California explored the topic from several angles. Everyone knows that HDR is much more than a single format: HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, HLG (hybrid log gamma) all compete in the marketplace. But Pat Griffis, Dolby Laboratories vice president technology in the office of the CTO and a SMPTE fellow, wanted to clarify the basic definition of HDR as more accurately seen as color volume.

“Color volume is the 3D palette of all the colors that can be reproduced at all allowable intensities,” explained Griffis. “What’s missing [in our discussion of HDR] is how bright each of the colors are, and that’s where the three dimensional color volume comes in. HDR has taken the lid off Pandora’s box and made many more colors available, not just contrast but brightness.”

Read more at ETCentric

26 2018 Feb

HPA 2018: Updates on ACES 1.0, The Evolution to ACESnext

ACES (the Academy Color Encoding System), which makes certain that the color decisions made early on in production are preserved through to the finished master, has evolved since it first launched in December 2014. At the HPA Tech Retreat, NBCUniversal vice president of creative technologies Annie Chang reported that, in 2015, 15 titles were done in ACES, compared to today’s 49+ titles. “We’ve seen the growth not just in feature and episodic, but in the gaming community and corporate clients like IKEA,” she added.

Read more at ETCentric

26 2018 Feb

HPA 2018: Efforts to Ensure That TVs Display Creative Intent

With the Academy Color Encoding System (ACES), filmmakers have been assured that the color decisions on set are carried through production and post, all the way to archives. But there’s a missing piece: the TV sets, mobile phones and other devices that display what consumers use to watch it. During a panel at the HPA Tech Retreat, led by the International Cinematographers Guild advanced production technology specialist Michael Chambliss, several industry figures discussed how to make sure that consumers see the images as intended.


26 2018 Feb

HPA 2018: Real Networks Explores the Future of T-Commerce

T-Commerce, which allows consumers to buy items they see on TV shows directly from their set, is not new. Predicted since the 1980s, it’s appeared as Enhanced TV, T-Commerce and Shopification. The idea that a viewer could simply click on a sweater worn by her favorite sitcom character and purchase it is heady, but the difficulty of making items clickable frame-by-frame was (and is) a massive stumbling block. At the HPA Tech Retreat, RealNetworks described its T-Commerce solution, powered by computer vision.


26 2018 Feb

HPA Panel Examines Road To ATSC 3.0 And Repack

Broadcasters at this week’s HPA Tech Retreat discussed two timely television technical topics: the introduction of the ATSC 3.0 DTV transmission standard and the on-going TV spectrum repack initiative.

The “Broadcasters Panel” included Dave Siegler, vice president of technical operations for the Cox Media Group; Del Parks, senior vice president and chief technology officer for the Sinclair Broadcast Group; Skip Pizzi, vice president of technology education and outreach at the NAB; and Fox Network’s Rich Friedel, who also chairs the Advanced Television Systems Committee’s board of directors.


23 2018 Feb

Colorfront unveils HDR image analyser

Colorfront has unveiled its ‘cost-effective’, next-generation Colorfront HDR Image Analyzer at the HPA Tech Retreat in Palm Springs.

The software has various tools for the analysis of HDR standards – including HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma), PQ (Perceptual Quantizer) and Rec.2020 – on 4K/UHD content. It runs on commodity hardware and so negates the need for ‘expensive hardware-based video analyzer solutions.’

Included in the software’s toolsets are waveform, histogram and vectorscope monitoring, plus image analysis features such as nit light level meter; error logging; pixel picker; framestore with split-screen; line mode, which can focus the region of interest onto a single horizontal or vertical line; out-of-gamut false color, and audio phase metering.