Warner Bros.' Wendy Aylsworth Named President Of SMPTE

Wendy Aylsworth - PR Shot - 2011

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers is working in areas including high frame rates, cinema light levels, and Ultra-HDTV.

As the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers approaches its 100 year anniversary, it has elected Wendy Aylsworth as its first woman president.

Aylsworth, who is senior vp of technology at Warner Bros. Technical Operations, will begin to serve a two-term as president of the Society’s board of directors on Jan. 1. She succeeds Sony’s Peter Lude.

“It’s very exciting, especially given that the organization will be 100 years old in 2016,” Aylsworth said, talking to The Hollywood Reporter about her new role and SMPTE’s agenda.

“There is a lot of work going on in digital cinema,” she said. “A high frame rates study group is working on a report on short term guidelines and also looking what capabilities are needed in the long term. Our digital cinema work not only includes high frame rates, but encompasses [topics such as] screen brightness.”

In television's evolution, SMPTE has already created a set of technical standards for a proposed 'Ultra-HDTV' format -- which might result in 4K or even 8K television. Aylsworth reported that as interest in the format is building, SMPTE is turning its attention to examining how to transmit these large amounts of data through broadcast channels. “That is the next big step—how do you get that into the home?,” she said.

Digital distribution is also on the agenda of Aylsworth and the board, which intends to “look at places where content and entertainment is going, what standards are needed, and what education needs to be provided.”

To that end, Aylsworth reported that SMPTE is planning to hold a 2013 conference focused on entertainment content and the Internet.

Aylsworth joined Warners in 1994 when she established technology operations for the then-new feature animation division.

At SMPTE, she is in the process of wrapping up her two-year term as SMPTE’s executive vp. Earlier, she served as engineering vp and chaired the SMPTE committee that generated the initial digital cinema standards.

Also elected to hold SMPTE board offices beginning Jan. 1 are executive vp Robert Seidel, who is vp, engineering and advanced technology ?for CBS Television Network; financial vp Matthew Goldman, who is? senior vp, TV compression technology ?at Ericsson; education vp Patrick Griffis, who is senior director, technology strategy at Dolby Laboratories; and secretary/treasurer Ann Marie Rohaly, who is director of accessibility policy & standards ?at Microsoft.

SMPTE's annual technical conference and exhibition will be held Oct. 22-25 at Loews Hollywood Hotel.