(l-r) Hans Hoffman of EBU; Juergen Burghart CEO of FKTG; Pat Griffis, SMPTE education vice president; Dr. Rainer Schaefer, vice president of FKTG; Barbara Lange, SMPTE executive director; and Siegfried Foessel, FKTG president.
London, UK/Berlin, Germany (June 11, 2015)—The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) partnered with the Fernseh- und Kinotechnische Gesellschaft (FKTG), in collaboration with the EBU's Technology and Innovation department, to hold the SMPTE Forum 2015.
"Entertainment Technology in the Internet Age: A European Perspective," hosted in Berlin by the Fraunhofer Institute May 7-8, attracted industry leaders for discussion and debate about the evolution and future of internet-based media delivery and consumption across Europe.
"During the SMPTE Forum 2015, we covered a great deal of ground, delving into topics and technologies whose future is exciting, even if uncertain," said Dr. Hans Hoffmann, ETIA program committee chair and head of media fundamentals and production technology at the EBU. "Internet-delivered content plays a central role in a quickly growing array of compelling applications, in and beyond the world of entertainment. The SMPTE Forum 2015 afforded attendees a unique opportunity to hear from key players behind the continuing advance of content delivery in Europe from a technical or business perspective, as well as from a creative standpoint."
Chris Fetner, director of global content partners operations at Netflix, opened the first day of sessions with a keynote address on the state of internet entertainment in Europe. The need for efficiency in content delivery was a primary focus of his speech, and Fetner stated that the industry needs open standards—such as SMPTE's Interoperable Master Format (IMF), which Netflix has adopted in order to realize key efficiencies—if it is to continue innovation for the next century.
A subsequent panel on the creation and distribution of entertainment content for the web repeated the notion of standards. Though over-the-top (OTT) content now represents just 2 to 3 percent of overall viewing, ongoing growth will force broadcasters to invest in technologies that support OTT delivery. While content remains king, the current challenge is to deliver quality images via the internet in a cost-effective way.