SMPTE and Stanford University's SCIEN Draw Leaders From Silicon Valley and Hollywood to ETIA Conference


First-of-a-Kind Event Provided Unique Opportunity for Diverse Leaders to Address Future of Internet-Delivered Entertainment

Last Updated: June 28, 2013 5:51 pm GMT
(White Plains, New York--June 28, 2013) The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) today announced the successful conclusion of the "Entertainment Technology in the Internet Age" (ETIA) conference, produced with the Stanford Center for Image Systems Engineering (SCIEN). This first-of-a-kind "summit" brought more than 300 executives, academics, and creative professionals from both Silicon Valley and the entertainment industry together to explore the technical, creative, and business requirements for delivering a compelling, high-quality, monetizable entertainment experience over the Web.

Panels in the first conference session addressed content creation for the Internet. Representatives from Sceneplay, Inc., Carnegie Mellon, and Riverside Entertainment joined specialist Peter Hirshberg to discuss new tools and concepts in content creation. The latter noted that up to 77 percent of TV audiences have a second screen in use while they watch, and 25 percent of all tweets are about television. Experts from Google, Mozilla, and Adobe discussed the evolving application of HTML5 for interactive Web media.

Representatives from Disney, CineCert, LLC, and Sandflow Consulting LLC took on the subject of future file formats for entertainment and provided an in-depth look at Interoperable Master Format (IMF) and the benefits it promises for those companies, like Disney, that create more than 35,000 versions of a single movie in order to accommodate different requirements. OnLive, Digital Entertainment Insights L.L.C., Marmalade, and IMVU, Inc. panelists looked at how Internet technology is enabling new models for gaming and game development.

In the second session, "Distributing Content Via the Internet," Dolby's Richard Doherty led experts from Netflix, Inc., Akamai Technologies, and Elemental Technologies, Inc. in discussing the DASH delivery format and how it enables streaming services. UltraViolet, MovieLabs, and Sony panelists addressed next-generation content in the cloud, touching on new models of content investment and consumption, while Cisco®, PBS, Fox, and TMS Consulting panelists spoke on mobile Internet media and strategies for providing a rich user experience. SMPTE Education Vice President and Co-program Chair Pat Griffis led a conversation with Pixar and NVIDIA panelists on the preservation of artistic intent. SCIEN's Dr. Joyce Farrell chaired a session with Dolby and Cisco experts on how to achieve quality on the Internet.

A special evening session, "Legal and Illegal Distribution Over the Internet: Can We Find Common Solution(s)?" offered passionate and sometimes conflicting perspectives on piracy issues in this post-Napster age. Hollywood content creators claimed that Silicon Valley doesn't do enough to protect their content, and Silicon Valley argued that Hollywood's model of content provision is not compelling in the digital age. While Google's Fred von Lohmann stated that the safe harbor provisions in the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) have spurred innovation, Sony's Mitch Singer said that such provisions spawn bad behavior and encourage Internet service providers (ISPs) to close their eyes and ears to illegal activity.

In a fireside chat, nScreenMedia's Colin Dixon spoke with Vivek Khemka of Dish Network about its agile and robust hybrid satellite/broadband delivery model. Dixon also noted that by the end of 2012, U.S. consumers had downloaded a staggering 278 million second-screen TV apps. Of these, 11 percent were the Shazam app and 12 percent Netflix. Session three, "Paying for Content Via the Web," featured PADEM Group, Samsung, Microsoft, and Decentrix, Inc. in a discussion of payment models for IP-delivered content.

In the final session, "Enjoying the Content (The User's Experience)," Media Systems Consulting, nScreenMedia, Mobovivo Inc., Echo, and Fox Broadcasting examined the second screen, its benefits in enhancing the viewer experience, and technical challenges in implementing it effectively. Dr. Dulce Ponceleon of IBM led the conversation on "Analytics on the Internet," which included her IBM colleague Rajasekar Krishnamurthy, as well as Google's Dan Russell, in describing two significant approaches to data gathering and analysis.

"Content Discovery and Personalization," led by Florian Pestoni, engaged V2 Solutions and Vidora experts in a discussion of how best to provide viewers with their preferred content. "Closed Captioning of Internet-Delivered Content — Why, When, and How?" provided an introduction to the legal situation from James Burger of Thompson Coburn LLP, followed by a technical solution offered by TBT Inc.'s Michael Dolan.

"The insightful presentations from content creators and the high-tech vendors that help push content across the Internet made this a valuable event," said SMPTE Executive Director Barbara Lange. "The ETIA conference was a new type of educational venture for us, as was partnering with Stanford University, and we're pleased with how well it hit the mark. The passionate dialogue between Silicon Valley and Hollywood during this foundational event and the media interest in ETIA conference proceedings demonstrate the importance of a forum in which all variety of stakeholders can address critical issues in entertainment technology."

Information about SMPTE and its many educational programs is available online at

About the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
The Oscar® and Emmy® Award-winning Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), a professional membership association, is the worldwide leader in developing and providing motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, technology, media, and entertainment industries. An internationally recognized and accredited organization, SMPTE advances moving-imagery education and engineering across the broadband, broadcast, cinema, and IT disciplines. Since its founding in 1916, SMPTE has published the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal and developed more than 600 standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines. SMPTE members include motion-imaging executives, engineers, creative and technology professionals, researchers, scientists, educators, and students from around the world. Information on joining SMPTE is available at

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