UltraViolet - Views from the practitioners
This panel of experts was held at the London Video Rendezvous (16 June 2012).
Jim Taylor is the author of DVD Demystified and Blu-ray Disc Demystified, the best-selling book series published by McGraw-Hill. Jim is currently Head of Technology and Product Development at DECE, the cross-industry group working on UltraViolet, the electronic equivalent to DVD and Blu-ray.
Called a "minor tech legend" by E! Online, Jim created the acclaimed Internet DVD FAQ and the UltraViolet FAQ, speaks and writes about digital video and audio technology, and holds several patents. Jim was named one of the ten 2007 Content Agenda Setters, one of the 21 most influential DVD executives by DVD Report, and one of the Pioneers of DVD by One to One magazine.
Jim has worked with interactive media for over 30 years, developing computer software, laserdiscs, CD-ROMs, websites, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs, along with teaching workshops, seminars, and university courses.
Jim was previously Chief Technologist and General Manager of the Advanced Technology division of Sonic Solutions, which was acquired by Rovi in 2011. Prior to joining Sonic in 2001, Jim was DVD Evangelist at Microsoft.
Bob Auger, founder of consultancy Newm?rique, has worked in most sectors of sound and video production. After the BBC and Granada, he joined Manchester film company Greendow in late 1970s, where he worked on early experiments with stereoscopic 16 mm film production.
This pioneering work - both for anaglyph and with polarised glasses - was not a success and instead Bob concentrated on his main passion as an audio engineer, including the 'lost' RCA sessions from Joy Division.
He later joined the board of Molinare, the leading London post house, before co-founding Electric Switch in 1993, creating Videodisc, CD-i and VideoCD titles. In 1997, the company became the first independent DVD authoring house in the UK and delivered the first-ever DVD with anaglyph 3D content.
Following a year in Hawaii producing 400 educational DVDs for North America and China, Bob returned to the UK in 2002. Since then he has concentrated on unscrambling the technology of the digital world in print, at conferences and in his role as consultant.
Lesley Johnson is Head of Production for BBC Worldwide Consumer Products (formerly 2entertain). She has held the role since 2006 when she oversaw a release slate of 450 titles a year, including the BBC's landmark series Planet Earth, and brands such as Doctor Who and Top Gear. Today, Lesley's role also encompasses digital operations and the implementation of new consumer technologies.
In a wide ranging broadcast career, Lesley has held senior editorial and operational roles across the television industry. She stated life as a print journalist and on camera as a reporter at Sky News. She founded the Westminster news facility Millbank Studios, which in its first year won the contract to provide live pictures from the House of Commons Committees. In the late Nineties, Lesley moved on to become Head of Production for Lifestyle at LWT and then Granada Television where she looked after This Morning, Loose Women, Better Homes and launched channels MUTV and Shop!.
Lesley has worked with some of the industry's top presenting talent including Sacha Baron Cohen, Natasha Kaplinsky and Richard Hammond in their very first TV roles. Whilst commissioning content at Granada Sky Broadcasting she won a Broadcasting Press Guild Award for a quirky documentary on the bike racing habits of middle aged Sotheby's auctioneer.
Today, Lesley manages a team of multi-skilled producers whose day job ranges from interviewing Louis Theroux for his iTunes room, to project managing releases in the both physical and digital space.
Maria Ingold is the CEO of mireality, a technical consultancy in video-on-demand delivery. Prior to mireality, Maria was Head of Technology for FilmFlex Movies, jointly owned by Sony and Disney and one of the most successful on-demand movie services in Europe. She is an advocate for UltraViolet.
Named one of VOD Professional's Top 50 most influential people in UK New Television, Maria has created complete end-to-end VOD solutions for cable and broadband, pushed through changes to the DTG D-Book 7 to accommodate the secure delivery of premium pay content to other services and devices.
Maria set FilmFlex's technical strategy and architected its technical solutions. At a fraction of the cost and resource of other major VOD services, Maria designed and implemented FilmFlex's full infrastructure - to encode/transcode, manage and distribute content from over 30 suppliers (including all the studios and large UK independents) to multiple platforms. This includes the FilmFlex service on Virgin Media cable and the broadband VOD film service which she delivered for Virgin Media Online Movies and Film4oD and which now also powers hmv-on demand. She also launched 3D films onto Virgin Media cable, enabling Virgin to beat BSkyB to the punch.
Mixing a background in Computer Science and Fine Art, Maria has 21 years of experience across interactive multimedia, games, TV and film. She is also a TV and film judge for BAFTA, a coach in transformational growth, an artist and is publishing a novel.