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SMPTE-HK 22nd Anniversary and SMPTE Centennial
Seminar, Workshops, Product Showcase &
Dinner Party
4 November 2016

The seminar, entitled “Immersive Motion Imaging Technologies,” was held at the auditorium of the Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI).  Local and overseas experts were invited to present talks on new developments and applications related to 4K, HDR, VR and IP infrastructure, especially in OTT applications.
The Seminar started with a welcoming speech by Michael Chan, Associated Academic Director (Design), HKDI of Vocational Education (Lee Wai Lee), who highlighted the importance of cooperation between the trade organization and academia and he looked forward to more
future joint projects.  Barbara Lange, Executive Director of SMPTE, who had just attended the SMPTE centennial ceremony in the US, flew to HK to join the events and delivered a keynote speech.  She briefed audience the 100 years of SMPTE’s history and progress and projected its future developments.  One of the focuses was on students in which free membership would be offered for the first year and more student events to be organized in addition to scholarships granting to outstanding students.  Lange also screened SMPTE centennial celebration video clip to share with audiences.
Zhang Jianping, Honorary Chairman of East China Television Technology League (ECTTL), gave his congratulatory message to celebrate Hong Kong Section’s 22 Anniversary and SMPTE’s centennial and he also briefed the audience on the new developments of VR and 4K/UHD in China.
Victor Wu, Sales Engineer Manager of Grass Valley, and Li Hua, Engineering Director of Ideal Group China, delivered a joint presentation on the topic “4K and IP Infrastructure with Tencent's OB Case Study.”  Wu presented Grass Valley's Glass-to-Glass Solution to build a 4K system with IP infrastructure.  He cited four trends which were changing the broadcast industry: live production and automation driving infrastructure investments; 4K rapid adoption in 2017; IP transition gaining momentum in the broadcast studio; and consumption behavior changing as audience wanted to view it anywhere, anytime and on any devices.  Grass Valley was to provide Native IP with AIMS roadmap in mind.  Li carried on to introduce the Tencent's 4K OB Van planning based on the TICO compression and SMPTE 2022-6 standard. The presentation demonstrated the design of OB VAN including the working space design, video system design, audio system, other components in the system.  All kinds of signals for control and transmission were based on TCP/IP network, while the non-IP interface was used as system backup for IP connection.
Richard Jones, Strategic Accounts Manager of Grass Valley, gave a talk on “Playout and Move to Virtualization.”  Playout virtualization was becoming true since it might bring some space, power and cost savings, while improving the utilization and management flexibility.  Nevertheless, there were a few issues to be addressed such as video processing left few CPU resources and intensive graphics were difficult to virtualize. The automation and scheduling cloud could help it to become a real cloud computing. Jones concluded that broadcast optimized virtualization and an eco-system were needed for playout virtualization.
Simon Roehrs, Regional Manager of Broadcast Solutions and Applications, and Stephen Birdsong, Product Manager of Rohde & Schwarz, both jointly presented “4K/HDR End to End Workflow & Delivery with Dolby Vision.”  HDR was expanding the palette of the filmmakers to express their creative intent.  The presentation explained how the content creators could justify and make use of HDR for their productions.  There were three main challenges: Master/Deliver/Archive in IMF, HDR/SDR conversions, and HDR format proliferation.  Standard and format war still lingered on, and PQ and HLG standards were still under consideration regarding their the back-compatibility and performance.
Vincent Chan, Senior Director of Sales Engineering & Architect APAC of Harmonic Inc., delivered a topic on “UHD and Video Quality Innovation.”  He summarized the implementation of UHD today and looked ahead at EBU UHD Phase 2.  It was predicted that about 28% of UHD TVs deployed in 2017 would be HDR.  There were challenges such as delivery licenses not available for UHD bandwidth, no clear plans of broadcasters, lack of HDR standard, premium content protection not available, and service providers waiting for Phase 2. Chan pointed out that UHD Phase 1 so far had a limited success.  Phase 2 had to bring in additional benefits to make it take off,  and it would require massive video work flow transformation.  Besides, content providers needed to understand clearly all the factors (HDR, HFR, BC, NGA) and plan a 100 fps/IP workflow.  2016 was UHD’s year and 2017 would see more HDR deployment, he concluded.
“21st Century Virtual Reality – Presence Capture and Beyond” presented by Markus Lanxinger,  Senior Customer Care Specialist of Nokia Technologies HK Ltd., with a VR live streaming demonstration at the venue.  Lanxinger started with the OZO VR workflow.  OZO live ran on GPU-assisted reference hardware which converted the OZO’s compressed 1.5Gb/sec HD-SDI signals into standard 4K UHD video signals. These signals were then delivered via quad-link HD-SDI, providing an advanced real-time stitching functionality, spatial audio processing, color correction, and a variety of advanced options to perfect the captured images.  The OZO live's complete workflow involved third-party components for encoding and delivery.  The OZO Player SDK might be used for rendering content on the client side, and choice of encoders could be used to export to multiple delivery formats.  The methods to encode OZO for delivery were also explained.  A live streaming demonstration of OZO camera was arranged with sets of head mounted displays which were passing among the audience in the auditorium for their personal experience.
“Rhapsody,” a short film made by HKDI students, had won an award at the “SMPTE-HPA Students Film Festival 2016” under the category of the “Best Use of Virtual Reality in Storytelling.”  Representing SMPTE and HPA, Barbara Lange took this opportunity to present the award to Kubota Masaharu and Lam Nok-kan, who accepted the award on behalf of Chan Ming-chun, the team leader.  Excerpts from the short film were screened and the two students shared their experiences of making of the film.
The final highlight of the seminar was the Technical Forum, “UHD TV 4K – from Acquisition to Distribution.”  This session was chaired by Wicky Law, Chair of Hong Kong Section.  Fintan McKiernan, CEO of Ideal Group SE Asia, was the moderator.  Panelists included Kevin Chu, AVP Broadcast Engineering of PCCW Media Ltd., Ng Wai-fai, Engineering Manager of AsiaSat, Johnny Yeung, Senior Manager of Production Facilities Division of Television Broadcasts Ltd., and Terence Yiu, Engineering Manager of Phoenix Satellite Television Co. Ltd., and Barbara Lange of SMPTE.  In response to the question on SMPTE’s role regarding the deployment of HDR and 4K, Lange opined that the best way was to formulate and promote standards which could facilitate the rollouts of new services and products.  Law ponted out that Hong Kong mainly put focus on production so it was important that users could familiar with those products, as a result more training courses were required and this would be one of the main forces to push the use of 4K.  On the broadcaster side, Chu of PCCW said that his TV station did not have 4K production at present but did have 4K programs for broadcast on OTT and Now TV.  For Phoenix TV, Yiu said that although they had acquired 4K cameras three years ago and conducted post production workshops, the station was not keen on 4K production and HD-HDR as the market was not ready for the technologies.  On the other hand Yeung of TVB said that they had actively promoted 4K production and had purchased 4K production equipment, but they still needed lots of preparations to parallel with the market developments and the adoption of HDR standard.  Currently, they had purchased 4K programs to be broadcast on mySuperTV.  He pointed out that having major event programs could increase the popularity of 4K.  Ng of AsiaSat said that there were 4K programs being transmitted on satellite but the main concern was the transmission cost.  Through the active discussions between the panelists who also exchanged their views with some audiences, the forum had raised a number of issues to be addressed by the experts and the kick off of 4K still remained to be seen.
There were about 450 professionals, guests and students in attendance.  Over 100 of speakers, local members, and guests joined the anniversary dinner after the seminar.  During the dinner gathering, KL Lam, SMPTE Asia Pacific Governor, thanked James Butler of Ideal Group for his sponsorship of the seminar and dinner.  Wicky Law, Section Chair, acknowledged other supporting organizations, speakers, and forum panelists who helped make the anniversary events possible and presented them with certifications of appreciation.
Three workshops were organized as part of the anniversary events.  Sponsored by Rohde and Schwarz HK Ltd., “4K Workflow in HDR and Distribution to Cinemas, Home Theaters and Mobiles” was jointly presented by Simon Roehrs, Regional Manager, Broadcast Solutions and Applications of Rohde & Schwarz, Yeewei Chai, CEO of Mocha Chai Laboratories Pte Ltd, Junbin Chen, Colorist of Mocha Chai Laboratories Pte Ltd., Stephen Birdsong, Product Manager of Rohde & Schwarz, and Aby Matthew and Zheng Minghao of Dolby.
The workshop focused on HDR production and regrading and mastering of existing projects.  It highlighted important considerations for HDR workflows, e.g., specific color, pipeline in ACES, selection of the right reference display and handling of metadata, and other requirements.  Dolby Vision was used as an example to illustrate what should be taken care of in an HDR production.
“Next Generation OTT : Taking Advantages of Cloud Workshop,” sponsored by Mediatech (International) Ltd., was presented by Mark Cousins of Elemental Technologies. It concentrated on the software-based video processing which could increase flexibility and reduce deployment time and cost for OTT services. The presentation showed a variety of components that allowed the customers to deliver their content on whatever devices on which consumers wanted to view.  A single software-defined video solution could scale all the way from mobile profiles to traditional broadcast delivery, including 4K and HDR.  As multi-screen became a mainstream, unified headends would simplify operation and improve pay TV operators’ economics.  Cousins showed that the solutions were deeply intergrated with AWS services, allowing customers to have enhanced capabilities to quickly, easily and economically scale workflows on-premises or in the cloud.
Gary Chan of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology carried on to present a topic on “From Cloud to Fog: Innovating Large-scale Internet Video Broadcasting.”  Solutions encountered in traditional cloud broadcasting were introduced.  Chan cited their Streamphony research, a software suite for Content Delivery Network (CDN) which would enable large-scale high bit-rate streaming over the global Internet to desktops and mobiles and an advanced Internet multimedia streaming cloud based on their research had been deployed by industry leaders for commercial users such as China Mobile Hong Kong.
To tackle the drawback of traditional cloud streaming, Chan explained that fog streaming was proposed where streams of data were shared locally in smart devices rather than obtained from the cloud.  Fog devices were any end hosts with computing, storage and network connectivity.  The research team would continue their work to design a mobile fog overlay utilizing limited resources to achieve the best video playback quality.
“Data Management Technician (DMT),” sponsored by G-Technology and conducted by Austin Mak, a freelance Digital Imaging Technician (DIT), aimed to offer a systematic approach to train film and television production crew members who were involved in the management of data generated by professional digital cameras.  The course covered the role and task of DMT, the recommended practices and workflows from receiving the data pack to completing data archives and reports with traceable documentations and parity checking methods.  A hands-on tutorial was provided to operate data management software to handle media generated by different professional digital cameras on the market, and the procedure to transfer data to a mass storage system. 
There was also a Product Showcase in which seminar and workshops participants could view the sponsors’ and supporters’ latest gear.
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