News Stories

KNBC 4 Interviews David Wertheimer Concerning Hackers

David Wertheimer, executive director of Entertainment Technology Center at USC, says hackers operate a little like terrorists, forming small groups to do their deeds, but Tuesday’s arrests show they can be traced and arrested. Would-be hackers should take note of this: You can hide in cyberspace, but you also can be caught.

Link to Interview

NAB: Panel Shines a Light on UltraViolet

[by Walter Schoenknecht, TV TECHNOLOGY]

For many, references to “the cloud” are all too apt — an amorphous, poorly-defined fog that looks different to everyone who sees it.

But a cross-industry consortium has wrestled the cloud into submission to paint a vivid picture of the ways in which cloud storage will soon benefit content providers and consumers.

Monday’s NAB Show Super Session “Power to the Consumer! Here Comes UltraViolet!” assembled a cross-disciplinary team of interested parties to discuss Ultra- Violet, an initiative of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE).

The system, set to debut later this year, provides common paths, methods and tools for distribution of visual media across a range of devices, media and platforms.

Moderated by David Wertheimer, CEO of the Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California, the session attempted to define and describe the UltraViolet project, a collaboration among more than 60 players from different industries.

One of the first goals of UltraViolet, Wertheimer said, was to deliver content in the ways consumers are most comfortable with. Richard Berger, senior vice president of Global Digital Strategy at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, outlined UltraViolet’s cross-media underpinnings: physical products such as DVD and Blu-ray Disc and digitally-delivered streams and downloads. “The good thing about UltraViolet is that we have something for everybody,” he said.

Wertheimer said consumers still have great affection for physical media, whether to assuage fears of format compatibility or simply to maintain their movie collections. As a result, he said, “digital sell-through” was a difficult task for distributors.

Mark Teitell, general manager and executive director of DECE, UltraViolet’s parent consortium, said consumers also resisted being channeled to a single purchase outlet, preferring to select their retailer of choice. Many were worried that a digital purchase in one specific format might leave them “marooned” if the device or platform faded from public use.

Christopher Allen, Best Buy general manager, described the challenges UltraViolet faces. “There’s still a passion for the entertainment experience; there’s still a passion for collecting,” he said. “But how do you bring the best of that ownership model that people like, and blend that with the best that the Internet and technology can bring?”

Scott Fierstein, senior director for Interoperability Standards at Microsoft, described the “pillars” the consortium chose as the foundation for UltraViolet: interoperability between services and devices; a consistent, predictable usage model across platforms; and a strong visual identity — a logo — that implicitly guarantees compatibility for both devices and content.

Fierstein also said that creating an effective, platform-agnostic digital rights management (DRM) scheme was key. “I think this is the most innovative thing that came out of UltraViolet,” he said. “From the consumer’s perspective, the technology is truly transparent.”

Tim Dodd, media vice president and general manager at Neustar Media, described consumers’ perception of “the right” to move their physical media purchases into the cloud for portable viewing. “I think that, for a while, we’ll be in a hybrid physical/digital environment,” he said. Bill Wheaton, vice president for digital media at Akamai Technologies, said that unauthorized download of content was a concern, but that the benefits of UltraViolet were, in themselves, a deterrent.

See the original post here: http://nabshowdaily.com/2011/WednesdayEdition/119188

NEXT ARTICLES >

Studio Technology Leaders Dinner 2017

The Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California held its 2017 Studio Technology Leaders Dinner at NeueHouse in Hollywood. Sponsored by Western Digital, HGST and Equinix, the event honored former Sony Pictures CTO Spencer Stephens with the Bob Lambert Technology Leadership Award. The evening featured a panel of studio execs discussing new directions in film production, and a screening of “Wonder Buffalo,” the third R&D short produced under the auspices of ETC@USC’s Project Cloud to explore and test next-generation production processes. 

“Wonder Buffalo,” a coming-of-age story, was made possible through ETC’s 2016 Technology Award to filmmaker Christine Berg, who wrote the script with Simon Shterenberg.

The duo developed the project at the Writers Guild Foundation’s Veterans Writing Project, with the support of Disney/ABC Television Group, Warner Bros., NAGRA Kudelski Group, Technicolor, 8i, Realtra, Equinix, Sony Electronics, Amazon Web Services, the Creative Visions Foundation, The World Building Institute and the USC School of Cinematic Arts. It was also executive produced by Erik Weaver, HGST global director of M&E strategy and market development and former head of ETC’s Project Cloud.

ETC executive director Ken Williams noted that the short tested not only cloud production and post production technologies, but was also processed entirely in HDR, and tested volumetric capture, photogrammetry, ambianic sound and interactivity, via a room-scale virtual reality component. “Wonder Buffalo” was shown at Sundance and invited to SXSW.

Williams (below left) presented the Bob Lambert Technology Leadership award to Spencer Stephens (below right), whose early career involved data communications and photography.
ETC_Williams_Stephens_AwardStephens joined Disney TV Animation in 1997, as the company transitioned from traditional to digital production. He later joined Chris Cookson’s Technology Operations at Warner Bros., ultimately building the 4K production capability for Warner’s Motion Picture Imaging post house, which he then ran. He followed Cookson to Sony Pictures where he became CTO. He’s left Sony, but is not retired.

Walden Pond chief executive Wendy Aylsworth, a previous Bob Lambert Technology Leadership awardee; Sony Pictures Home Entertainment senior vice president Richard Berger; and former Sony Pictures Technology president Chris Cookson all spoke about Stephens’ achievements.

“If I’m in a crisis, I want Spencer by my side,” said Berger. “The scope of his knowledge knows no bounds.”

Stephens thanked Williams, the ETC board and Dean Elizabeth Daley of the USC School of Cinematic Arts for the award, and Cookson for hiring him twice. He also recalled his close connection with Lambert, who recommended him for the Disney job and then introduced him to Cookson.

Last, ETC hosted a panel of studio executives, including 20th Century Fox CTO Hanno Basse, Sony Pictures Entertainment CTO Don Eklund, Paramount Pictures EVP Anthony Guarino, Warner Bros. Technology EVP Justin Herz, Walt Disney Studios CTO Jamie Voris and Universal Pictures CTO Michael Wise. Moderated by Williams, the panel addressed pain points in the production process, significant opportunities opened up by technology, and how studios are handling change.

Panelists described the challenges of handling thousands of VFX shots from multiple cameras with differing resolutions, color spaces and formats, and putting it all together under increasingly tight deadlines. They noted that “Wonder Buffalo” has helped to shine a light on the issues, which also include the sheer size of files and massive number of deliverables. They also identified security as a “huge issue.”

New technologies have produced automated workflows and enhanced global creative collaboration, as well as significantly accelerated real-time rendering. Panelists noted that physical media isn’t going away any time soon, and that consumers are the big winners in an era in which there are so many platforms and distribution is not getting in the way of finding and enjoying content.

They also underlined that the studios have gone through many technology changes over the decades and that their resilience in managing change bodes well for the future, even as viewers redefine entertainment.

Youtube Feed

No items [Check here why]

Industry Events