The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) (//, rarely //), founded in 1916 as the Society of Motion Picture Engineers or SMPE, is a global professional association of engineers, technologists, and executives working in the media and entertainment industry. As an internationally recognized standards organization, SMPTE has published more than 800 technical standards and related documents for broadcast, filmmaking, digital cinema, audio recording, information technology (IT), and medical imaging.
SMPTE also publishes the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal, provides networking opportunities for its members, produces academic conferences and exhibitions, and performs other industry-related functions. SMPTE membership is open to any individual or organization with an interest in the subject matter. In the US, SMPTE is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization.
The Motion Picture and Television Engineers was founded in 1913 by Charles Francis Jenkins, who was the first president of the organization.
SMPTE's educational and professional development activities include technical presentations at regular meetings of its local Sections, annual and biennial conferences in the US and Australia and the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal. The society sponsors many awards, the oldest of which are the SMPTE Progress Medal, the Samuel Warner Memorial Medal, and the David Sarnoff Medal. SMPTE also has a number of Student Chapters and sponsors scholarships for college students in the motion imaging disciplines.
SMPTE standards documents are copyrighted and may be purchased from the SMPTE website, or other distributors of technical standards. Standards documents may be purchased by the general public. Significant standards promulgated by SMPTE include:
SMP(T)E'S first standard was to get everyone using 35-mm film width, four sprocket holes per frame, 1.37:1 picture ratio. Until then, there were competing film formats. With the standard, theaters could all run the same films.
SMP(T)E's standard in 1927 was for speed at which sound film is shown, 24 frames per second.
SMPTE's taskforce on "3D to the home" produced a report on the issues and challenges and suggested minimum standards for the 3D home master that would be distributed after post-production to the ingest points of distribution channels for 3D video content. A group within the standards committees has begun to work on the formal definition of the SMPTE 3D Home Master.
In 1999, SMPTE established the DC28 technology committee, for the foundations of Digital Cinema.
The SMPTE presents awards to individuals for outstanding contributions in fields of the society.
The Progress Medal, instituted in 1935, is SMPTE's oldest and most prestigious medal, and is awarded annually for contributions to engineering aspects of the film and/or television industries.
The Eastman Kodak Gold Medal, instituted in 1967, recognizes outstanding contributions which lead to new or unique educational programs utilizing motion pictures, television, high-speed and instrumentation photography or other photography sciences. Recent recipients are
Related organizations include