The Continuous Evolution of Compression: Squeezing the Bits While Maximizing Quality and Maintaining Creative Intent

LOS ANGELES —  The Hollywood Section of SMPTE®, the organization defining the future of storytelling, will explore the evolution of video compression, and new ideas for keeping files small, while preserving quality and creative intent, at its monthly meeting, scheduled for March 26th at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Compression technologies used in preparing entertainment content for delivery to consumers have advanced considerably over the past 25 years, but the advent of high-resolution video formats has caused image size to grow at an even faster rate. In order to efficiently stream movies and TV shows to the home, media files must be reduced in size, but that compression should be done in a way that maintains sound and picture quality, and preserves the creative intent of directors, cinematographers and other artists who contributed to the production. Finding the perfect balance between quality and bitrate can be elusive.

At its March meeting, SMPTE Hollywood will host a roundtable discussion among post-production and distribution experts from Deluxe, Disney+, Netflix, Streaming Video Alliance and UHD Alliance and Disney Digital Studio Services. They will discuss the pros and cons of various compression strategies and offer advice on how to best implement compression at each stage of post-production mastering and delivery. Focusing on compression for streaming, the panelists will describe best practices for navigating the journey from master deliverable to consumer monitor.

Panelists include:

  • Maureen “MO” O’Rourke (event producer & moderator) SMPTE Section Manager, Technical Lead Quality Control Operator at Disney Digital Studio Services
  • Jim DeFilippis (event co-producer) CGO, Technology Made Simple
  • Brian Kenworthy, Technology, Product and Operations Leader, Deluxe Entertainment Services Group
  • Scott Labrozzi, VP, Core Media Processing / Engineering Fellow, Disney+
  • Andrey Norkin, Senior Research Senior Research Scientist – Video Algorithms, Netflix
  • Jason Thibeault, Executive Director, The Streaming Video Alliance
  • Mike Zink Vice President, Technology at Warner Bros.; Chairman, UHD Alliance

“A lot of heart and soul goes into the production of a giant master and artists behind it understandably want to maintain quality as their work is compressed for delivery,” said O’Rourke. “Maintaining quality and creative intent is among the most challenging and exciting issues facing the streaming world today. Today’s best practitioners work veritable feats of magic to ensure that art doesn’t suffer.”

What:   SMPTE Hollywood Section, March Meeting

Topic:    The Continuous Evolution of Compression: Squeezing the Bits While Maximizing Quality and Maintaining Creative Intent

When: Thursday, March 26th, 6:30PM — Reception. 7:30 p.m. — Presentation and Panel Discussion          

Where: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Linwood Dunn Theater, 1313 Vine St., Los Angeles, CA 90028


SMPTE meetings are FREE. Non-members welcome.

 About the SMPTE® Hollywood Section

The Hollywood Section of SMPTE® was initially organized as the West Coast Section in 1928. Today, as its own SMPTE Region, it encompasses more than 1,200 SMPTE Members with a common interest in motion-imaging technology in the Greater Los Angeles area. The Hollywood Section offers free meetings monthly that are open to SMPTE Members and non-members alike. Information about meetings is posted on the Section website at

About SMPTE®
The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers®, or SMPTE, is defining the future of storytelling. The Society’s mission is to enable the technical framework that allows the global professional community to make media for artistic, educational, and entertainment purposes and to distribute that content for the benefit and enjoyment of people worldwide. As a global volunteer-driven society of technologists, developers, and creatives, SMPTE is engaged in driving the quality and evolution of motion pictures, television, and professional media. The Society sets industry standards that help businesses maximize their markets more cost-effectively, provides relevant education that supports members’ career growth, and fosters an engaged and diverse membership community.

Information on joining SMPTE is available at

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