SMPTE has announced that its Washington DC Section’s 2017 Bits by the Bay conference, held May 24-25 in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, sold out—as it has since its inception in 2010—with nearly 150 registered attendees.
“Bits by the Bay distinguishes itself from other major industry conferences by bringing technology advances down from the theoretical and development levels to the implementation level,” said Peter Wharton, secretary/treasurer of SMPTE, SMPTE fellow, and vice president, technology and business development, at BroadStream Solutions. “Designed to nurture local SMPTE members by helping practitioners and executives in the region improve their skills and prepare for industry changes, Bits by the Bay is also one of the most affordable technology conferences.”
Bits by the Bay is the Mid-Atlantic’s leading regional television technical conference that educates practitioners and executives on the industry’s latest technical advancements. Following opening remarks by SMPTE president Matthew Goldman and SMPTE director of membership Roberta Gorman, this year’s conference delved into three core areas: software-defined operations, studio video over internet protocol (SVIP), and news media coverage.
The conference theme on the first day was software-defined operations. Presentations covered topics ranging from the fundamentals of software-defined workflows to hybrid and cloud-based operations, software-based media processing, virtualization, artificial intelligence (AI), and the underlying economics. Presentations also examined the transformative role of the Interoperable Master Format (IMF) in workflows and ATSC 3.0 in transmission. Mark Schubin, engineer, provided his entertaining annual lunchtime keynote address, this year highlighting the advancements and absurdities of the 2017 NAB Show. The day concluded with a panel discussion and audience question-and-answer session, followed by a cocktail reception on the docks over the Chesapeake Bay and a beach party/cookout.
The morning session on the second day expanded on SVIP presentations from 2016, providing an update on the SMPTE ST 2022, ST 2059, and the emerging ST 2110 standards with a detailed explanation of video, audio, ancillary data, timing, and troubleshooting. The conference also examined methods for transitioning existing facilities to IP and for implementing hybrid SDI and SVIP systems.
The afternoon session focused on news media and began with a keynote presentation from Peter Doherty, senior operations producer of the Washington bureau at ABC News, who detailed coverage of the 2017 presidential inauguration and how news coverage has changed with the new administration. Doherty’s keynote was followed by presentations on live-event best practices, IP-connected cameras, and OTT delivery of live events to massive audiences.
Bits by the Bay concluded with a panel discussion by diverse experts including Karl Paulsen of Diversified, Steve Lampen of Belden, and SMPTE fellow John McCoskey of Eagle Hill Consulting, with SMPTE secretary/treaurer and fellow Peter Wharton, also of Broadstream Solutions, acting as the moderator. The discussion was followed by an audience question-and-answer session.
“We’re not certain whether the engaging panel or thunderstorms that rolled through deserve the most credit, but our final panel went almost an hour past its scheduled end,” said SMPTE’s Gorman. “Finally, as the storms lifted and the event came to a close, attendees finished up by feasting on hard-shell Chesapeake crabs, a Maryland tradition.”
The 2017 Bits by the Bay sponsors include: AC Video Solutions, Aspera — an IBM brand, Avid, BroadStream Solutions, Calrec Audio, Communications Engineering Inc., Chesapeake Systems, Clear-Com, Comrex, Dalet, Diversified, Digital Video Group, Eagle Hill Consulting, Ericsson, Evertz, Grass Valley — a Belden brand, Harmonic, Imagine Communications, JVC, Masstech, Quantum, SAM — Snell Advanced Media, Sony, Spectra Logic, Tedial, Tektronix, Telestream, and Utah Scientific. The event’s affordable registration rate, as low as $125, was made possible by the outstanding generosity of these sponsors, who provided record support this year.
Nick Gold of Chesapeake Systems, Rick Singer of Singer Media Engineering, and Peter Wharton of BroadStream Solutions produced the conference with the assistance of local SMPTE section volunteers.
Bits by the Bay is scheduled to return to Chesapeake Beach May 23-24, 2018.