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28 2018 Feb

2018 HPA Tech Retreat: What We Heard About HDR, HFR, ATSC 3.0, ACESnext and More

The HPA Tech Retreat this year was bigger than ever and just as fascinating, as it touched on topics as disparate as high dynamic range, high frame rates, ACES, artificial intelligence and computer vision. Here’s a high-level summary.

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

Panelists described the ongoing integration of HDR into production and post pipelines, as well as consumer devices. Dolby VP, Technology Pat Griffis clarified the basic definition of HDR which, he said, is more accurately characterized as color volume. “HDR has taken the lid off Pandora’s box and made many more colors available, not just contrast but brightness,” he noted, defining color volume as “the 3D palette of all the colors that can be reproduced at all allowable intensities.”

Read more at Studio Daily

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

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28 2018 Feb



Content Creation Community Gathers for Intensive One-Day Conference in Central London

Burbank, Calif. (February 20, 2018) ­­–– Building upon the foundation of the HPA Tech Retreat in the U.K. and the U.S., the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) has announced HPA Creative Tech UK 2018, presented by SMPTE Ltd., a one-day, intensive symposium featuring panels, technology, and networking. HPA Creative Tech UK 2018 will take place on 27 June at the Ham Yard Hotel in the heart of London’s Soho district.

In unveiling the preliminary program, Richard Welsh, co-chair of the event and SMPTE education vice president, noted: “This program touches on topics that are of utmost importance to the creative and technical communities. From cybersecurity to production tools, to the perspective of the creatives, the day will present the latest essential information and exchange in a wonderful venue with content creation industry leaders. The program was built to embrace serious and informative discussion on the timeliest topics and concerns facing our industry. And, for the first time, we have incorporated ‘live’ demo sessions including on-set systems, hacking, and more.”

A first look at the program was announced today. A keynote speaker and additional program information are expected shortly.

  • How Hacks Work Live event!
    Freakyclown (FC) and Jessica Barker - Redacted FirmSome of the last few year’s most high profile hacks have involved media and entertainment giants. Despite best efforts of broadcasters and studios to ensure the highest levels of security, breaches continue to occur often with reputation damaging and costly consequences.

    Renowned ethical hacker FC and socio-technical expert Barker will discuss and demonstrate the who, how and why of hacking. Live demonstrations of hacks will be interjected with discussions about how these hacks work, the human factors behind each attack and what we can do to mitigate against them. This talk demystifies cyber insecurity and tackles both the human and technical elements at play. Attendees will leave this talk with a greater awareness of how quick, simple and effective attacks can be and what they can do, from a technical and human perspective, to better defend their organization.

  • CES Update
    Mark Harrison, managing director of DPP and SMPTE regional governor for the U.K. will bring insight and perspective to the latest innovations and products seen at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show last month in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Remote on-set review: Live Demo
    Chris Clarke – Cerberus Tech
    Recent movies such as Solo – a Star Wars Story and Jurassic World 2 were able to leverage live broadcast video over IP to enable their second unit shoots to be relayed in real-time to the director back at base on the main set––at a higher quality than the main on-set monitoring. The ability to securely stream video from anywhere to anywhere over IP has transformed this part of the production process, enabling unprecedented collaboration and creative control. Learn how the team at Cerberus is architecting and enabling this new creative workflow, and see a live demo direct from the camera on-set to the HPA screen.
  • The Future of Everything – AI
    As discussion and consideration of Artificial Intelligence become dominate, Creative Tech UK will present leading thinkers on aspects of AI, ultimately helping to develop an understanding of its future, and how that future impacts industry and society.

Innovation Zone
As at HPA Tech Retreats in both the US and UK, the Innovation Zone be a key part of the event. This year at HPA Creative Tech UK a carefully curated collection of important technologies, products, and developments will be presented. Space is limited, and submissions will be carefully considered to support true innovations. For information, visit

Networking Opportunities
Between morning coffee, catered lunch, breaks, and a cocktail reception, HPA Creative Tech UK offers a number of opportunities for connection and conversation.

HPA President Seth Hallen commented, “For the past two years, our U.K. event has drawn an inspiring complement of industry thinkers to Oxfordshire for a few days of intense engagement. We have chosen to modify the format to accommodate the part of our audience and speakers who work in Soho. Under Richard’s leadership, the committee has put together a compelling lineup in a central and outstanding venue that will foster intense discussion, creative exchange, and focused networking over the course of a single day. We are looking forward to the HPA Creative Tech UK in its new London venue.”

Registration for HPA Creative Tech UK 2018 is now open. To register for the event, visit For sponsorship information, email Joyce Cataldo at





About the HPA Tech Retreat and HPA Creative Tech UK, presented by SMPTE Ltd.
The HPA Tech Retreat® is a gathering of the top industry engineering, technical, and creative talent, as well as strategic business leaders, focused on technology, from all aspects of digital cinema, post production, film, television, video, broadcast and related technology areas, for the exchange of information. The HPA Tech Retreat takes place annually in Palm Springs, California, and the 2018 HPA Creative Tech UK, presented by SMPTE Ltd., will take place in London, UK.

About the Hollywood Professional Association
Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) serves the professional community of businesses and individuals who provide expertise, support, tools and the infrastructure for the creation and finishing of motion pictures, television, commercials, digital media and other dynamic media content. Through their partnership with the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers®(SMPTE®), the leader in the advancement of the art, science, and craft of the image, sound, and metadata ecosystem, the HPA continues to extend its support of the community it represents. Information about the HPA is available at

About the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®)
For more than a century, the people of the Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers (SMPTE, pronounced “simp-tee”) have sorted out the details of many significant advances in media and entertainment technology, from the introduction of “talkies” and color television to HD and UHD (4K, 8K) TV. Since its founding in 1916, the Society has received an Oscar® and multiple Emmy® Awards for its work in advancing moving-imagery engineering across the industry. SMPTE has developed thousands of standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines, more than 800 of which are currently in force today. SMPTE Time Code™ and the ubiquitous SMPTE Color Bars™ are just two examples of the Society’s notable work. Now in its second century, the Society is shaping the next generation of standards and providing education for the industry to ensure interoperability as the industry evolves further into IT- and IP-based workflows.

SMPTE’s global membership today includes more than 7,000 members: motion-imaging executives, creatives, technologists, researchers, and students who volunteer their time and expertise to the Society’s standards development and educational initiatives. A partnership with the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) connects SMPTE and its membership with the businesses and individuals who support the creation and finishing of media content. Information on joining SMPTE is available at 

All trademarks appearing herein are the properties of their respective owners.


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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.