The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers(R) (SMPTE(R)), a leader in motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, media, entertainment, and technology industries, today announced that it will host the Entertainment Technology in the Connected Age (ETCA) conference (formerly Entertainment Technology in the Internet Age) from June 27-28 at the Heritage Theater in Campbell, California. Titled "The Race Is On!" the conference will explore the impact of emerging technologies on current and future delivery of a compelling connected entertainment experience. ETCA registration is now open, and early bird pricing is available through April 2.
"Given their rapid pace of innovation and ability to upgrade with a software download, today's broadband, Wi-Fi, and mobile networks are poised to leapfrog traditional distribution mechanisms," said Patrick Griffis, education vice president at SMPTE and ETCA conference program chair. "These technologies are transforming traditional media and its distribution, and we're bringing top experts -- engineers and executives -- to the heart of Silicon Valley to discuss how the connected world is changing entertainment and to provide actionable knowledge of technology and application trends."
The ETCA 2016 is an ideal event for engineers, creatives, and researchers focused on the future of connected entertainment. Conference sessions will include technical, creative, and ecosystem experts in an examination of how the convergence of connectivity, bandwidth, and technology improvements is changing entertainment.
While over-the-top Internet viewing is becoming more popular, this nascent delivery channel is changing as fast as content is being produced. At least three ETCA 2016 sessions will address these changing dynamics. The panel titled "Alive and Online: The 'New Linear' Television" will feature speakers from Verizon Digital Media Services, Pluto TV, You.i, Anvato, EchoStar, and other companies engaged with the transition of linear television to the online environment. Speakers will discuss the technologies and techniques they are using to build out their solutions, as well as how the Internet-as-a-television-platform enables instant creation of "new linear" channels, repurposing of traditional linear TV content for the Web, and on-the-fly hyper-personalization of a channel for any user.
"Live Through the Internet: Here Today, Even Better Tomorrow" will engage panelists in a conversation about the challenges and potential of live Internet video, what the future will bring, and how live coverage will evolve as Internet and video technologies advance. "Short and Sweet: The Rise of Multichannel Networks (MCNs) and Personalization" will extend the conversation on emerging and evolving distribution channels, focusing on where the multichannel, multiplatform network (MCN/MPN) video phenomenon is headed and on its potential impact on mainstream television and movie production companies.
New and expanding distribution methods are the subject of the sessions "Entertainment on the Road: The Connected Car" and "Being an MVPD in a Connected World." The former of these sessions will feature a dialogue about the revolution taking place in the automotive industry, particularly with regard to self-driving, car-sharing, and personalization, and how best to design delivery technology that brings entertainment into the car of the future. In this interview-style session, C-level original equipment manufacturer (OEM) executives from General Motors and Andretti Autosports will explain working with the culture and development timelines of the automotive industry and discuss what they think it will take to grow connections with audiences and stay ahead in the connected-car technology race. The latter session, "Being an MVPD in a Connected World," will look at the expansion of over-the-top (OTT) programming options, the potential classification of emerging video programming providers as multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), and possible impact of such a change from a technical requirements perspective.
The ETCA 2016 conference also will explore the changing nature of content in the connected age. During "VR Storytelling in a Connected World," experts will discuss the latest ideas for storytelling using virtual reality, as well as some of the prospects for delivering this experience via the Internet. "HDR: The Silver Bullet for Connected Content?" will examine one of the industry's most pressing questions through the experiences and insights of technologists who are making high-dynamic-range services a reality. Turning the focus toward audio, the panel session "Next-Generation Audio (NGA): Connected From Cinema to Couch to Car" will look at how new tools are being deployed in content-creation for producing, mixing, and transporting object-audio signals through production and codec to the consumer in cinemas and at home. The discussion will include engineers and creatives involved in content creation and sound design, production, carriage (with audio coding), and playback for cinematic and live (broadcast/streaming) content for including object-based audio.
Stepping further into the topic of content creation, ETCA 2016 sessions will delve into the changing postproduction technologies being applied to feed new distribution channels. "Interoperable Mastering Format: A Must in a Connected World" will explore the growing impact of content localization, and panelists will discuss the componentized delivery technologies that are helping them deal with the resulting proliferation of localized versions. "The Future of Video Encoding" will include speakers in a discussion on advances in video compression and decompression, promising new approaches, and where the technology is headed.
The desires and influence of the consumer drive many of the aforementioned aspects of entertainment in the connected age, and in the session "Analytics and Metadata: Perfect Together," data and analysis experts will describe proven methods of gathering and integrating the data needed for delivering insightful analytics in network management/demand, as well as market mapping/licensing. The conversation will touch on the value of social intelligence in driving larger audiences, summarize the best ways to study social intelligence as a source of traffic, and consider whether the combination of metadata and smart analytics is the holy grail of the industry.
Rounding the sessions are two exciting keynotes. First is from Ron Sanders, president of Warner Home Entertainment who will discuss Warner's perspective on the future of entertainment via the Web. Second is Roy Taylor, corporate vice president from AMD who will discuss the rapid pace of technology innovation in VR and the impact for connected entertainment.
Further information about the conference and online registration are available at www.etca2016.org. Further information about SMPTE is available at www.smpte.org.