At the October 20 meeting...

Production for the Next Millenium

Managing Content for the Changing Shape of Television

By Paul R. Beck

The October 20, 1999 Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE) New England Section meeting event was held at WHDH-TV, Channel 7 in Boston.

The featured speakers were Steve Dirksmeier and Steve Wynn from Sony Broadcast & Professional Group.

Meeting hosts were Jim Shultis, Director of Engineering at WHDH-TV, and John C. Gates, SMPTE Section Chairman, and Robin Shahid of Sony Broadcast and an SMPTE Section Manager served as the Meeting Coordinator/Planner.

Steve Wynn gave the principal address which related to the emerging picture sizes and image formats which have evolved for DTV Broadcast Television and the Cinema Industries since the 1940s, relating them to the new High Definition wide-screen formats which are currently proposed and rapidly being adopted worldwide.

Specifically, Mr. Wynn touched upon the commonality of the new 16:9 image formats which are very close to the various Cinema wide-screen formats, such that with the new Digital Television systems in the next year or so, the professionally-produced motion pictures will "fit better" than the earlier cinema works which were produced in the conventional 4:3 image format.

The presentation touched on how interchange between these formats will be accomplished with various imaging stretching techniques, 'pan & scan' approaches, and even multiple pictures on the new wide-screen format simultaneously. In short, the future of new 'Wide Screen' television pictures will be brighter, bigger, better and bolder, all for clearer and sharper images for the consumer and industrial/institutional end-user.

Also discussed is the 'convergence' for image display screens which will accommodate both the new Digital Television systems and the various computer displays from business or home computers. Itís a Brave New Digital World!

Paul R. Beck is Director of Engineering at the TRF Unit at Emerson College and New England Section Secretary/Treasurer of SMPTE/New England. He can be reached at 617-824-8834.

Posted: 2 February, 1999
Robert Lamm, SMPTE/New England Newsletter/Web Page Editor