SMPTE® Expands Virtual Classroom With Courses on IP Media Transport and Navigating the UHD Ecosystem

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New Courses Address Critical Industry Topics, Offer Access to Expert Coaching Within a Structured, Interactive Online Education Environment

Pat Griffis, SMPTE education vice president

With the art and science of the traditional film and broadcast industries being transformed by Silicon Valley technology, this knowledge is essential

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®), the worldwide leader in motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, media, entertainment, and technology industries, is expanding its virtual classroom with the introduction of two new courses — “The Essentials of Internet Protocol (IP) Media Transport for Broadcasters: Moving Real-Time Video and Audio Over Packet Networks” and “Navigating the Ultra High Definition (UHD) Ecosystem.” Designed to provide focused, technical knowledge critical to working in today’s digital media industry, the SMPTE Virtual Classroom courses also include the Society’s Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA) Routing & Switching Program.

The Essentials of IP Media Transport for Broadcasters
The first course will begin April 6 and run for six weeks. Subsequent courses will begin on July 13, Oct. 5, and Nov. 23.

To offer today’s media consumers a rich array of content on their choice of viewing devices, production and broadcasting facilities must implement complex infrastructure. With an understanding of IP video technology, content creators can establish streamlined, networked file-based supply chains that enable greater efficiencies and support greater scalability in meeting consumer demand.

“The increasing utility and ubiquity of packet-based network infrastructure for the creation, storage, transfer, and streaming of professional media make it more important than ever that broadcast engineers understand the basics of IP-based media transport,” said Pat Griffis, SMPTE education vice president. “With the art and science of the traditional film and broadcast industries being transformed by Silicon Valley technology, this knowledge is essential to the efficient and successful delivery of media across key media consumption platforms and all variety of viewing devices.”

SMPTE’s course on the essentials of IP media transport for broadcasters will give engineers, technicians, and professionals a solid grasp on the key principles of IP video and audio transport as implemented in modern production and broadcasting facilities. This virtual course offers industry members a unique opportunity to learn about these elements from the very organization whose standards continue to lead the future of networked media transport.

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to describe the facility workflow domains for networked file-based and streaming media transport; compare and contrast serial digital interface (SDI) and IP-based workflow models; discuss the components and protocols used in an IP-based video production workflow; explain how to choose and configure video and audio codecs across business applications; and select appropriate image and audio synchronization methods during mixing and switching.

With a more comprehensive understanding of Internet delivery systems, participants will be able to discuss distribution outlets and common delivery protocols such as MPEG DASH, short for Moving Picture Experts Group Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP); Adobe Systems HDS (HTTP Dynamic Streaming); Apple HLS (HTTP Live Streaming); and Microsoft Smooth Streaming. They also will be able to identify factors that can impact network performance and perform basic troubleshooting for network-related workflow issues.

Navigating the UHD Ecosystem
The first course will begin June 1 and will run for eight weeks. Subsequent courses will begin on Sept. 14, and Dec. 7.

This SMPTE course is essential for engineers, technicians, and craft engineers who will deploy and use UHD systems, as well as those involved with content creation, distribution, and delivery. Editors, manufacturers, and equipment suppliers with an interest in UHD will benefit from the course, as well.

“SMPTE has been studying the entire UHD ecosystem, looking at higher frame rates (HFR), wider color gamut, pixel density, high dynamic range (HDR), peak brightness, and immersive audio,” said Richard Welsh, SMPTE governor for the EMEA and Central and South America Region and CEO at Sundog Media Toolkit. “Leading the way in practical implementation of UHD throughout the production and distribution chain, SMPTE published its first HDR standard, ST 2084, in September 2014. This course will take advantage of SMPTE’s extensive study and standards work to provide participants with an understanding of UHD and its future.”

The course begins with a review of UHD essentials, the standardization of basic parameters, and the impact that UHD will have on the industry. Turning to display technology, a critical element in making UHD practical, the course will examine techniques that support higher pixel densities and look at the current status of display manufacturing. In considering audio for UHD, the course will outline technical options for immersive sound systems, including object-based, scene-based, and discrete channel-based systems.

A subsequent discussion of UHD broadcast distribution and broadband delivery methods will focus on UHD compression, primarily high-efficiency video compression (HEVC), for transport across broadcast channels and IP-based networks via broadband Internet. The course then will examine how production and acquisition techniques are affected by working with UHD in uncompressed and compressed forms. Particular attention will be devoted to UHD interface standards and the need for faster storage with increased capacity.

Moving on to take a detailed look at UHD production workflows, the course will focus on prospects for an industrywide reference architecture — from camera to post to storage and archive — and present a case study on live UHD production. The course will conclude with a consideration of the strategic dimensions of UHD, including possible timelines and potential barriers to success.

Complete details and registration for all SMPTE Virtual Classroom courses, including the CCNA Routing & Switching Program, are available at http://www.smpte.org/education/courses. Space in each course is limited to 12 participants.

More information about SMPTE is available at http://www.smpte.org.

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About the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®)
The Oscar® and Emmy® Award-winning Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®), a professional membership association, is the preeminent leader in the advancement of the art, science, and craft of the image, sound, and metadata ecosystem worldwide. An internationally recognized and accredited organization, SMPTE advances moving-imagery education and engineering across the communications, technology, media, and entertainment industries. Since its founding in 1916, SMPTE has published the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal and developed more than 800 standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines.

More than 6,000 members — motion-imaging executives, engineers, creative and technology professionals, researchers, scientists, educators, and students — who meet in Sections throughout the world sustain the Society. Through the Society’s partnership with the Hollywood Post Alliance® (HPA®), this membership is complemented by the professional community of businesses and individuals who provide the expertise, support, tools, and infrastructure for the creation and finishing of motion pictures, television programs, commercials, digital media, and other dynamic media content. Information on joining SMPTE is available at http://www.smpte.org/join.

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