i3 | July 31, 2020

Virtual Forum, Real Progress

Veronica A. Lancaster, AStd

In the wake of COVID-19, society has learned how to work and live in a very different world. Technology has allowed people to work, order essentials for direct delivery, and be entertained … all while we’re at home. Video meetings have become essential to business, school and even social gatherings. Talking my aging, retired father living in Montana into a video chat was quite an interesting experience. But once we got through setup and how various family members would login, we had a fun connection.

With a ban on large gatherings in most of the U.S. and travel options being reconsidered, we have found new ways to stay connected. For more than two decades, CTA has held face to face meetings twice a year to gather together technology engineers, CTOs, product planners, designers, executives and others to discuss where the industry is headed. These are important opportunities to connect. In the face of a global pandemic, we had to create the same opportunities in a virtual environment. That is how the first virtual CTA Technology & Standards Forum was born.

Keeping the Conversation Going

During May 11–14, we hosted virtual sessions with industry experts discussing the role of AI in health care solutions, the impact of COVID-19 on the business landscape, gesture control, XR and more. Previous Forum events were limited to face to face attendees. This virtual environment allowed us to get creative. Sessions could be recorded and made available to members and attendees after Forum. In fact, you can find them on CTA.tech/Events. We held 19 different standards meetings on various topics such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, digital health and robotics. More than 600 people participated in Forum, more than three times as many as attend when meeting in person.

Getting thinkers together creates an environment that fosters solutions. Our virtual Forum was no exception and produced tangible results. An Ultra HD Advisory Group was formed to investigate UHD interoperability issues and coordinate with global efforts with a goal of improving the customer experience.

Following a lively session on gesture control, the Gesture Control Advisory Group was formed to investigate the landscape and identify a subset of common control functions that can be expressed through gestures.

Although we are excited by the accomplishments of our members during spring Forum and expect our fall Forum to be virtual also, we look forward to meeting again in person where we network with each other and develop business relationships.

CTA Standards Work

CTA-2101, Vital Signs Toolkit: This project will develop a toolkit providing best practices for measuring and tracking vital signs through remote patient monitoring solutions, including consumer wellness devices.

CTA-CEB32.10, Recommended Practice for ATSC 3.0 Television Sets, Watermarking: This latest bulletin in CTA’s recommended practices for ATSC 3.0 addresses audio and video watermark reception and processing defined by ATSC.

CTA-2053-A, Receiver Specifications for ATSC Security: This standard is being revised to address receiver certificate handling and processing to meet security needs for ATSC 3.0 and remove any outdated information.

CTA-2099, Standard Method of Measurement for Matching In-Home Amplifiers and Loudspeakers: This new standard describes how to determine the maximum output capability of loudspeakers, subwoofers, and amplifiers intended for use in consumer/residential applications.

CTA-2100, Standard Method of Measurement for Soundbars: This new standard describes how to combine the output volume, frequency, and directivity response into an overall performance rating for the soundbar system.

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