On May 17 and 18 a unique conference will take place at the BFI Imax theatre in London when two of the premier societies supporting the broadcasting industry, BKSTS and SMPTE, join forces with TVBEurope to present HD Masters 2006: Delivering High Definition Television, writes Fergal Ringrose.
The business model for HD has been widely addressed, and several conferences dealing with the 'why' of HD have already been staged. This conference is different -- it deals with the 'how'.
Although many of those charged with the technical responsibility for the move to HD have extensive experience of broadcasting technology, they still have a relatively limited understanding of the details of HD, and the real impact of this technology on their operations. The primary aim of this conference, through a mixture of panel sessions and user case studies, is to provide those people with the information they need to be able to assess the technical implications of 'going HD'.
The conference is aimed at a pan-European audience. The typical delegate will be a chief technical officer or senior manager within a broadcasting organisation, almost certainly with many years of experience in television. He/she will have responsibility for implanting technical change within their organisation. It is likely that the organisation has already laid out broad plans for a move to HD -- but are the technical details of that move fully understood? Really?
The detail of the conference content is being finalised, but the overall structure of the two-day event is as follows:
Day 1 - Standards: What are they and how do they differ? Which one is right for your facility? How do you test and measure the signals and systems? 1080p 50: Is it the Holy Grail and if so how do you get there? Examination of cabling and infrastructure issues, the conversion nightmare and compression issues -- the consequences of concatenated compression and originating standards. Acquisition and Production: Getting the pictures from set to final edited programme without compromising resolution. Is it all as seamless as it appears -- and what about that mixed format environment? Camera and camera lens requirements for HD. Multichannel audio implications and HD audio. Do I have to do my news in HD?
Day 2 - Contribution and Distribution: Getting signals into and out of the broadcast facility without losing any bits. What's the HD DigiBeta equivalent of the future? Will all material be file-based? How do you store all that material? Where is the RoI in the move to HD anyway -- can the technology measure up to your board's demand for long life cycle? What is the cost premium on HD, when you get right down to the bottom line?
Viewing experience: So how, and on what, do you view HD in the broadcast facility and in the home -- and are you really watching 'HD'? What devices will drive HD in the home? How will people view what you produce, and how will that impact on the technologies you should employ? 'Broadcast quality' used to be the best, but what is it now? How do broadcasters tackle the DVD/HD-DVD challenge?
If you have an interest in attending HD Masters 2006, please contact HDMasters@cmpinformation.com or call 0044 207 202 2011 and fax 0044 207 202 2004 with delegate enquiries. If your organisation is interested in sponsoring or supporting the conference, please contact Steve Grice at 0044 20 7921 8307, firstname.lastname@example.org