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virtual NAB Innovation Conference

vNAB Innovation Conference

The Entertainment Technology Center @ USC will host its third annual NAB Virtual Conference on March 20th & 21st, 2017 at Google in Venice, CA. This year, the 2-day extension of the April NAB Innovation Conference presents “Next Generation Media Technology: AI, VR and Cloud Innovations”. Join thought leaders and catalysts from the entertainment, and service industries for an insider’s look into the emerging technologies disrupting everything from the creative process to business models and consumer behavior.

Topics covered include:

  • Emergence of Artificial Intelligence
  • Innovations in Cloud Technology and Cyber Security
  • Rapid Development of Augmented and Virtual Reality in Entertainment Media

Keynotes include:

    • “Cloud Transition Patterns for Media Enterprises”— Shailendra Mathur, VP of Architecture, Avid
    • “Hollywood at Netflix Scale”— Casey Wilms, Content Platform Engineering, Netflix
    • “Video metadata platforms: How to futureproof automation”—Anthony, Disney
    • “VR For Everyone: Daydream and Google Play Apps”—Serge Kassardjian, Global Head of Media Apps Business Development, Google Play

Please click here to view/download the event brochure.

Monday March 20th, 2017

8:45 am - 9:15 amRegistration
9:15 am - 9:30 amConference Welcome
Erik Weaver, Global Director Strategy M&E, HGST
9:30 am - 10:00 amSecuring Content in the Cloud
The last 3 years have seen a major shift in how Hollywood film studios view public cloud usage. WIth an increased awareness and generally acceptance of the security and scalability these clouds offers to the VFX and animation vendors creating pre-release content, the focus has now shifted to ensuring best practices implementation.
Adrian Graham, Google
For the deck/ppt click here
The global system behind a viewer’s transaction of watching a movie or TV show impacts viewers and show creators every day. What if all stakeholders had the same facts – Writers, Producers, Directors, Unions, Studios, Networks, Distributors, Theaters, Broadcasters, Cable Providers, Satellite providers, OTT providers and viewers? Blockchains offer precisely this opportunity. In this article we are going to explore new methods for enabling accountability in pre-production, production, post production, distribution, consumption and reporting with a secure chain of custody and metadata to be accessed, including key social attributes such as viewing method, display usage, rights compliance, and digital rights management.
Steve Wong, HPE
For the deck/ppt click here
10:30 am - 11:00 amHacking IoT: the new threat for content assets
Connected devices play an important role in creating and consuming both theatrical and broadcast content, ranging from smart TVs, to connected cameras, to wireless routers, and more. However, these same devices also introduce new security risk, and new attack surfaces against which malicious adversaries can launch their campaigns. Presented by the elite security research group behind esteemed hacking concepts such as IoT Village, this session examines data-based industry trends, the ways in which connected devices are compromised, and what to do about it.
Ted Harrington, ISE
For the deck/ppt click here
11:00 am - 11:30 amWhen brands come alive…
Incredible (and tiny) innovations in technology have inspired brands to invent new modes of engagement. Some of those customer experiences have, in turn, recoded our behavior and expectations. Today, brands have an opportunity and an obligation to be behave as living entities – conscious, intelligent, empathetic, hyper-personalized. The implications are immense and thrilling.
Tali Krakowsky,
11:30 am - 12:00 pmBuilding Highly Scalable Immersive Media Solutions on AWS
Immersive media content such as 360 degree video places a unique set of demands on cloud-based infrastructure from a complete end to end solution point of view. A key goal for any solution of this nature is to keep costs low while not impacting availability, scale and compute performance. In this talk we will look at how to solve ingest, processing, storage and delivery of live and on-demand content for immersive media delivery, and present a reference design for 360 degree streaming using best-practice architectural patterns.
Konstantin Wilms, Principal Solutions Architect M&E, AWS and Chad Schmutzer, Specialist Solutions Architect SPOT, AWS
For the deck/ppt click here
1:00 pm - 1:30 pmThe Future of Visual Effects in the Cloud
"The Cloud has provided a fundamental shift in the way studios are able to approach large scale rendering workloads. We’ll examine the history of feature film workloads on cloud and how visual experiences such as VR are impacting the delivery pipeline and workflows."
Todd Prives, Google
For the deck/ppt click here
1:30 pm - 2:00 pmVisual Effects in the Cloud: Power and Control
Visual Effects Supervisor Kevin Baillie had a hunch to bet on cloud computing 6 years ago. That bet birthed award winning visual effects studio Atomic Fiction and software company Conductor Technologies. Baillie will share visuals from blockbusters such as Deadpool and Star Trek Beyond to illustrate the cloud’s immense power, and share cautionary tales of the importance of control in the face of such massive resources.
Kevin Baile, CEO, Atomic Fiction
2:00 pm - 2:30 pmSupercharge performance using GPUs in the cloud
GPUs have thousands of compute cores and when coupled with lightning fast memory access they accelerate machine learning, gaming, database queries, video rendering and transcoding, computational finance, molecular dynamics and many other applications. With GPUs in the cloud, you can scale your calculation-heavy application without constructing your own data center. We'll give an overview of what we're offering in Google Cloud and talk about how to put GPUs to work. We will also showcase a number of commercial applications which require GPUs.
John Barrus, Google
For the deck/ppt click here
2:30 pm - 3:00 pmCloud Transition Patterns for Media Enterprises
On one hand media enterprises using workflows involving thick apps and traditional server based workflows have business opportunities of lifting and shifting from on-prem infrastructure to off-prem cloud or centralized data centers. On the other hand, cloud native micro-services architectures and web apps provide options to implement new services and apps rapidly and dynamically. This talk provides insights into the different hosting patterns observed from these media enterprises, and discusses a common framework provided by Avid’s Media Central Platform to realize the business opportunities under the different hosting models.
Shailendra Mathur, VP Architecture, AVID
For the deck/ppt click here
3:00 pm - 3:30 pmHybrid Redefined and the future of digital assets
Learn how HGST accelerates, simplifies and preserves digital assets in hybrid workflows. HGST’s scale-out object store provides a high performance and cost efficient data lake that prevents cloud lock-in for hybrid media workflows; from post-production to content distribution.
Joan Wrabetz, VP Marketing at HGST, Western Digital
3:30 pm - 4:00 pmThe distributive aspect of cloud on the digital world
The shift to digital is requiring all types of companies to implement new commerce and collaboration models to engage customers, partners and employees, and support new connectivity and data models for analytics, IoT, and other digital services. To sustainably survive digital disruption, traditional organizations in media and entertainment are transforming their business architectures and IT delivery architectures together. Jason will highlight some specific customer case studies in media and entertainment and talk about how preparing for this shift is of paramount importance to the industry.
Jason Sherwood, Sr. Manager, Equinix Global Solutions Architects, Equinix
For the deck/ppt click here
4:00 pm - 4:30 pmIP for Sports broadcast
Using IP technologies to replace traditional video transmission for remote event production has opened up a world of possibilities for increased production values and richer content exchange. This tech can bring improvements to productions, large and small.
Michael Harabin, V.P., Technology, Engineering & Media Management, Pac-12 Networks
For the deck/ppt click here
4:30 pm - 5:00 pmCloud Apps for Media Processing: IMF Packaging-on-Demand
This talk will address how IMF can benefit a facility where versions matter. It will briefly consider how IMF works and then look at use cases of where automation can be used to ensure optimal handling of titles both at the point of creation and also over time as versions are created, managed and distributed. Developed as an effort to reduce complexity and costs for multi-version content publishing for production, post-production and program preparation workflows, the Dalet xN IMF Maker service will be presented as an example.
Eric Carson, Senior Business Development Manager, Dalet
For the deck/ppt click here
5:00 pm - 5:30 pmEnd to End Media Workflow in the Cloud
How would traditional workflows of Production, Post Production and Content Distribution change with the scale and economics of cloud ? We’ll discuss the current of state of art with examples and demos.
Jeff Kember, Technical Director, Media, Office of the CTO, Google
5:30 pm - 6:00 pmThe Truth: Massive Scale Deployments in the Cloud
Although cloud is becoming the norm for most IT-infrastructure refreshes, the scale, growth and specificity of rich media content (HD, HDR, 4k, 8k) driving our industry seemingly prevent the wide-scale abandonment of long-term, on-prem “heavy metal” asset handling, processing and storage deployments.
Brian Campanotti, Director of Business Development, Oracle
6:00 pm - 6:30 pmMulti-cloud content workflows- leveraging the unique characteristic of Cloud
"Multi-cloud content workflows- leveraging the unique characteristics of each cloud infrastructure provider with high-speed content transfer and workflow automation across multiple cloud vendors."
Jay Migliaccio, Director of Cloud Services, ASPERA
6:30 pm - 7:00 pmHollywood at Netflix Scale
Netflix will release 1000 hours of Original programming in 2017. Learn how Netflix is building the infrastructure to manage assets at the world's largest studio.
Casey Wilms, Content Platform Engineering, Netflix
7:00 pm - 7:30 pmAvalanche - Global File Management with C4 is releasing a powerful new file navigator based on the open source C4 framework. C4 dramatically reduces the cost and complexity of remote file management, and Avalanche makes it drag and drop. This talk will go behind the scenes to show how C4 is used to solve the most fundamental challenges of production in the cloud.
Joshua Kolden, CEO, Avalanche
7:30 pm - 9:00 pmCocktail Reception

Tuesday March 21st, 2017

8:45 am - 9:15 amDoors open
9:15 am - 9:30 amLooking beyond the script – The practical use of computational linguistics for story adaptation and project development
A short case study on the use of natural language processing techniques to support the screenplay adaptation of a popular young-adult novel series. Rather than trying to ‘crack the code’, Double Bishop supports development strategies by revealing hidden insights and bridging interpretive feedback with objective analysis and recommendations.
Anton Andreacchio, Managing Director, Double Bishop/JumpgateVR
For the deck/ppt click here
9:30 am - 10:00 amIntelligence Content Discovery through Machine Learning
Machine Learning has enabled Google to change the experience within products like Photos and YouTube. ML has allowed us to understand the content of images and videos, so that we can recommend and search for your favorite clip or photo. With Cloud Machine Learning, we are now bringing that technology closer to you. With the new Video Intelligence and Vision products, you can now find entities and faces within your video content.
Ram Ramanathan, Product Management - Cloud and Machine Learning, Google
10:30 am - 11:00 amVideo metadata platforms: How to futureproof automation
With all the vendors, promises and demos around automated metadata and machine learning, it can be overwhelming to plan a path forward. In this talk we’ll cover a modular and futureproof descriptive metadata architecture and explain how we’re implementing machine learning and automation to avoid vendor lock-in.
Anthony Accardo , Director R&D at Disney ABC Television Group, Disney
11:00 am - 11:30 amImprove Efficiency by Double Digits – Leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
How will artificial intelligence and machine learning help drive efficiency throughout the M&E Industry? In this talk, John Motz will explore the future of machine learning and how it is enabling companies to automate manual workflows to become more efficient and more productive.
John Motz, CTO, GrayMeta
11:30 am - 12:00 pmHow broadcasters can get in the VR game with sports
"With new distribution deals from the NFL on Twitter to ESPN on Sling ­ how we watch TV is now driven by the
consumer demand to do more while we watch tune in to watch our favorite team. Enter virtual reality. VR is the first truly transformative technology for sports broadcasting in years – to date, the biggest improvements we've seen have been HD (just better picture) and ""the yellow line."" With VR, we can actually take you to the game, like you're sitting courtside or on the 50­year line, while still being able to check their Twitter, trash talk and follow their team in real­time. "

Saswat Panda, CTO, Livelikevr and Michael Davies, SVP Fox Sports
For the deck/ppt click here
1:00 pm - 1:30 pmTechnical Introduction 360 / VR / AR / MR
All The “R”s. The technical basics, the differences, and real-world examples of 360 video, VR, AR, and MR. The emotional connection they each make, and where they shine in creative, B2B, and B2C presentations.
Lucas Wilson, CEO, Superspherevr
For the deck/ppt click here
1:30 pm - 2:00 pmThe future VR and Panoramic Cinema experiences. - Panel Moderated by Lelyveld
Multiplexes and arcades are once again faced with the challenge of drawing an audience as home entertainment improves and an explosion of entertainment and social engagement options vie for their time. This series of talks will explore ideas multiplexes and arcades are considering; from offering wider and bigger screen experiences to rethinking the spaces as multi-sensory group immersive experiences.
Ted Schilowitz, Greg Downing, Richard W. Taylor II, Phil Lelyveld, Greg Ciaccio, ETC
2:00 pm - 2:30 pmVR For Everyone: Daydream and Google Play Apps
Google Play has become a critical platform for app developers to reach a wide and diverse audience. As VR is a nascent technology, both platform and developers have an opportunity to create a marketplace that offers a similarly broad and diverse catalog. In this talk, Serge Kassardjian shares how Google Play is adapting its store management approach to programming the launch portfolio of apps for Daydream – with the goal of moving VR from a novelty to a mainstream movement.
Serge Kassardjian, Global Head of Media Apps Business Development, Google Play
2:30 pm - 3:00 pmFrictionless Adoption: Removing Barriers to Creating, Distributing and Experiencing Immersive Experiences
Marcie Jastrow, SVP of Immersive Media, Technicolor and Head of the Technicolor Experience, discusses the current state of immersive experiences and how we are working toward a ‘frictionless’ adoption by consumers. By exploring the methodology of how consumers embraced past technologies, Marcie explores what needs to happen in order for immersive media to be accepted into mainstream culture. What is that breakthrough piece of content that will bring people into the headset, and how do we keep them engaged? Marcie explains how, through education, the Technicolor Experience Center is working toward a seamless ecosystem to drive the adoption of this emerging medium.
Marcie Jastrow, SVP Technicolor Immersive Center
3:00 pm - 3:30 pmBeyond Gaming: Incredible, Useful & Interesting Ways VR is Used Today
When you think of VR you likely picture a gamer wearing a VR headset, immersed in an animated battle against dark and evil forces. But VR goes so far beyond gaming - cutting across music, non-profits, sports, filmmaking and commercials to name just a few. In this session, you’ll hear from experts who have focused their life’s work on creating immersive experiences thanks to VR.
Laura Williams Argilla, Adobe
3:30 pm - 4:00 pmCreating a Diverse and Inclusive VR/AR Industry: A Cornerstone for the Future of Storytelling
Diversity has long been an important yet misunderstood topic, and this appears to be especially true in the emerging industry of VR/AR. This session will explore VR as a storytelling medium, the impact of diverse voices on culture, and current initiatives in the VR/AR industry to create an inclusive industry. The talk will also cover best practices for fighting our own biases in the workplace.
Jenn Duong and Julie Young, Co-founders, SH//FT
4:00 pm - 4:30 pmFinding the Superhero Within: Social Change in VR
Explore how VR experiences can be an effective tool in understanding social issues with the creators of Wonder Buffalo.
Ned Atkins, Christina Berg, Drew Diamond, Brian Frager, ETC
4:30 pm - 5:00 pmSidestepping the Uncanny Valley: Physical Asset Capture in Wonder Buffalo VR
Let’s talk the Holy Grail of this emergent storytelling medium: photoreal fidelity in a real-time rendered experience. Light fields hold immense promise to break down these barriers in time, but what can be done today? The Entertainment Technology Center @ USC teamed up with major studio and technology partners to explore the cutting edge of physical asset capture in an interactive VR experience, exploring the very real computing and workflow challenges along the way. Learn best practices and pitfalls uncovered in the creation of Wonder Buffalo VR, a real-time rendered Unity experience that made waves at Sundance and SXSW 2017 through its integration of photogrammetry, volumetric video and interactive CG elements.
Brian Fager
For the deck/ppt click here
5:00 pm - 5:45 pmVolumetric Capture, Panel Moderated by Schwartz
Rainer Gombos (Realtra), Tim Milliron (Lytro), Ben Stein (8i), Andrew Schwartz (Radiant Image)
5:45 pm - 9:00 pmCocktail reception


Our Youtube channel can be found here
Watch the vNAB videos below



  • To advance technology and innovation within the entertainment industry
  • To provide a neutral setting for the entertainment industry, technology and electronics companies and to identify and discuss pressing issues
  • To understand the impact of technology on the consumer experience and the creative process
  • To connect and leverage the University of Southern California’s extensive research facilities, faculty and student body with companies
  • To provide insight about emerging consumer habits
  • To convene industry peer groups and partners to share knowledge and experience
  • To create an environment for testing and evaluation of proposed technology solutions
  • To help identify new business models for the entertainment industry
  • To improve the consumer experience and advance the art of entertainment as the 21st century unfolds

ETC Events

ETC/Sprockit Symposium  (Panels and 1:1 Start-ups – Invitation Only)
(February 29)

ETC Quarterly Board Meeting (closed meeting)
(March 6)

ETC Quarterly All Members Meeting (closed meeting)
(March 21)