ETCA, June 2016 – This year SMPTE had a new venue for their Entertainment Technology in the Connected Age (ETCA) conference, relocating to Campbell CA in the center of Silicon Valley from their prior location at Stanford University.  The event was opened by SMPTE President Robert Seidel, who is also the CTO of CBS.  He started by emphasizing that for the past 100 years the group has focused not only on the global standards and methods for content creation, but also on the technologies behind getting that content to the people who can enjoy it.  This includes the identification and use of new devices and methods as well as the definition to be able to share content among them.

Robert was followed by Pat Griffis who is the VP of Education for SMPTE who is from Dolby Labs.  He gave a quick overview of the SMPTE Advanced Technology Conference (ATC) that is being held in October.  The 100th anniversary event will be at the Ray Dolby Theater in Hollywood, CA and will feature an opening night Red Carpet event.

The two day event discussed traditional broadcast over the air as well as the addition of Internet based streaming connections to mobile devices and computers.  A number of the discussions focused on the change from linear television where the programs are available on a set schedule to the on-demand capability of the viewers as well “binge” watching of shows.  It also discussed the place and method of getting user created content up to the cloud, and how to then get that content out to the global viewers.

The lunch time keynote was from AMD announcing their new consumer graphics card for VR applications.  The card that was introduced by Roy Taylor retails for $199 and is called the Radeon RX 480.  It has been qualified on all VR platforms – Occulus, Valve, and HTC.  The price point also makes the card viable for industries that are rapidly adopting AR for their workflows and IT departments.  The goal is to make the product available at a price that is not only acceptable by a large range of consumers, but also for both public and private schools.