So long, HPA Tech Retreat 2018, and thanks for all the blockchain…

Some of the strongest programming in years covers topics such as cloud workflows, movie screens becoming giant LCD displays, IMF, HDR, video fakery and, of course, blockchain.


Wow, the Sohonet team are only now starting to recover from HPA Tech Retreat 2018, and what a week it was.

A wide range of practical presentations helped illustrate how problems like archiving, live sports broadcast, previsualization, and pipeline management could be improved through the application of IMF, AR/VR, real-time simulation software and cloud compute resources. And that was just scratching the surface.

Staying true to the HPA mission of providing practical applications of the technologies, standards and processes that are the brainchild of their sister organization, SMPTE, the program for both the core Tech Retreat, as well as the TR-X workshop on Monday and the Supersession on Tuesday, were chock full of great insights.

Before we call out some particularly interesting sessions, it’s worth noting that the annual overviews of technology trends (by Tech Retreat Godfather Mark Schubin), CES (Peter Putman) and Washington legal drama (Jim Burger) were again highlights that few wanted to miss.

But it was in the sessions that some fascinating new topics were broached:

Tedial’s Julián Fernández-Campón’s presentation on the use of IMF in media asset management fostered some interesting audience feedback, as did the grouping of sessions on Wednesday afternoon on the future of cinema presentation without projectors. Who knew that a discussion of how much black was the right amount of black could be so riveting?

After a fine Welcome Dinner (with drinks sponsored by your humble reporters at Sohonet), and another night of epic “networking” in the lobby bar, a somewhat subdued crowd took in Thursday’s sessions, including the aforementioned discussion of blockchain and ways that it might be applied to M&E beyond cryptocurrency. (Judging by the discussion at our Friday morning breakfast roundtable, many questions remained but it was clear that the topic had captured the imagination of the audience.)

During one of the final presentations on Friday afternoon, eFilm’s Joachim Zell revealed his ultimate wish–to direct. His live previz demonstration with Adam Myhill, featuring Unity3D’s cinematics software, was astonishing not only for the capabilities of the application, but also for JZ’s fixation on robots and George Clooney.

Beyond the conference program, the Innovation Zone was packed with cool tech from the likes of Dolby, Sony, Technicolor, Lytro, CineCert and many others, with the new venue in Palm Desert providing more than ample room to grow.

The Sohonet team was excited to showcase the latest features of FileRunner and ClearView Flex and to connect with our colleagues and customers. 2018 is off to a rousing start. Hope to see you all at NAB!

Sohonet @ HPA Tech Retreat 2018

Sohonet Sponsored Drinks HPA Tech Retreat 2018