Tuesday, July 21, 2009

SMPTE Conference & Exhibition, Sydney 2009

SMPTE Conference & Exhibition, Sydney 2009 looks good. The exhibition at Darling Harbour is free and worth a visit (open until Friday), even if you don't attend the conference. The online registration process worked well, but unfortunately has now closed.

Best stand of the show was Global TV's purpose built double expanding side semi trailer HD Outside Broadcast unit. This has 62 m2 of internal space, which is almost as large as my apartment. The ergonomics of the layout are interesting with two rows of operators facing out into the smaller telescoping parts of the trailer on either side. This provides for a higher walkway in the middle.

However, the smaller TRP HD OB Vans built for Thoroughbred Racing Productions by Sony’s Professional Solutions Division appears to be less cluttered than Global TV's design.

There was an excellent display of video and broadcasting equipment, but what struck me was how old fashioned much of the equipment looked. Essentially TV and video production is now done with computer networks which have cameras, microphones, screens and loudspeakers as perheperals. But the industry is still treating this much as they did in the days of analogue.

One problem with SMPTE was the lack of systems for integrating with social networking. Recently I took part in a conferecne at Parliment House Canberra, which was streamed online. While the Parliment's video people did a good job of providing audio and video, their systems could not handle blogging or IM streams.

On one stand I noticed a tiny EEE PC. This is much like a tiny mammal hiding between the legs of the dinosaurs, shortly before the dinosaurs became extinct. In the same way most of the equipment on display at SMPTE 2009 is close to extinction due to devices like the EEE PC.

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