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.

Here’s a quick look at some of the news to come out of the event:

• In a panel — moderated by Seth Hallen, Pixelogic SVP and HPA president — on the state of high dynamic range (HDR), Pat Griffis, VP of technology for Dolby, Don Eklund, CTO of Sony Pictures, BBC Worldwide production standard lead Andy Quested and Samsung’s Bill Mandel tackled market confusion around the technology and unresolved spec issues, but also the clear benefits of HDR for the consumer, according to a write-up by ETCentric.

“We have some content that looks great in HDR, but not every filmmaker wants to push the limit,” Eklund said, according to the article. “They’re looking to tell stories and take you out of reality. But with live content, it’s a no brainer. You really missed something if you didn’t see the Olympics in HDR.”

• In a discussion on the next-gen broadcast standard ATSC 3.0, Dave Siegler, VP of technical operations for Cox Media Group, Fox Network’s Rich Friedel, Del Parks, SVP and CTO for Sinclair Broadcast Group, and Skip Pizzi, VP of technology education for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) looked at the state of ATSC 3.0, and debated the services best features, according to a TV Technology report.

“The good news is that the standard has been released and the government has allowed us, on a voluntary basis, to broadcast [ATSC 3.0],” Friedel, said, according to the report. “Things are very exciting in ‘ATSC land.’ It’s really real and you’re going to see it on the air.”

• The Hollywood Professional Association used the HPA Tech Retreat to announce a new one-day event: the HPA Creative Tech U.K. 2018, being held June 27 in London. The one-day symposium, presented by Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE), will feature panels and discussions around the latest technology in the industry.

“This program touches on topics that are of utmost importance to the creative and technical communities,” said Richard Welsh, co-chair of the event and SMPTE education VP. “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.”

HPA president Seth Hallen added: “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 U.K. in its new London venue.”

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• The Mill group technical director Roy Trosh, Matt Thomas, VP of sales for SHIFT (the rebrand of MediaSilo and Wiredrive), Sohonet CEO Chuck Parker, BeBop CTO and co-founder Dave Benson, and Cerberus technical director Chris Clarke were part of a panel that discussed production using cloud technologies, with the panelists sharing optimism regarding the industry’s acceptance of the latest tools, according to an ETCentric report.

“The use of the cloud is evolving rapidly,” Thomas reportedly said. “Five years ago, everyone was security conscious and concerned about the cloud. Now everyone is looking for hybrid solutions and new services are popping up.”

Sohonet’s Parker added: “Now we’ve moved on to the challenges of pushing assets to the cloud. We’re looking at bandwidth, sizing, caching, and other issues.”


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