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Chris Pfaff Tech Media LLC Celebrates 20 Years!

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Twenty years ago, there were no smartphones (with full web browsers); broadband was 5 MB/s downlink; 1 TB of storage cost $10,000; there were no social networks; the iPod was the hottest tech toy; there were more than 8 Tier 1 cellular carriers in the U.S.; MP3 and BitTorrent were creating headaches for the music industry; Nielsen was still king of ratings; OTT was mostly a cable Internet industry term; AI was still in the labs; DVD defined digital video; HDTV was still a niche offering; mobile video was non-existent; VR was only for industrial customers.

It was at that time – on November 21, 2002 – that I founded Chris Pfaff Tech Media LLC. To help bleeding-edge tech entrepreneurs gain market traction. To bring new ideas and approaches to legacy industry segments. To bring global visibility to early-stage ventures. 

From WAP to TikTok; from holographic storage to Flash drives; from contextual content to projected holograms; from facial recognition to virtual humans, and beyond, Chris Pfaff Tech Media LLC has been there. And – in many ways – was there. At the protean start. 

Many, many thanks to all of the collaborators, colleagues, and clients who worked with us on this epic journey at the beginning of the 21st century and over the past two decades. 

Here’s to the next 20 years.

And beyond.

 

Thanks to:

William Wilson Kevin Curtis Roy Elkins Moses Asom Eric Petajan George Caravias Narain Gehani Barry Cinnamon Michael Wood George Searle Steve Lubin Duncan Campbell Daniel Goldscheider Larry Henderson Steven Socolof tony Verderosa Edward Boddington Troy Sample Jason George Matt Frost Jani Houponen Sam VashIsht Irwin Kornfeld Paul Smith Mike Folgner Eric Eccles Thanasis Iatrou Nikos Kyriopoulos Chris Gottschalk Robin Rush Harry Kargman Boris Fridman Stein Erik Sorhaug Romain Eude Jacques Edouard Guillemot Stelio Tzonis Hans Eriksson Amorah Sandberg Fredrik Oscarson Michal Suchon Laurent Weill Colas Overkott Paul Amsellem Werner Haan Helmut Bems Agnes Chung David Hoga Tobias Soppa Jonathan Levy Bencheton Thierry Coutanceau Jean-Christophe Perier Christophe de Courson Petri Martikainen Richard Collins Janne Neuvonen Pasi Ilola Tony Hope Heini Vesander Mikki Kuusi Ville Makinen Wilhelm Taht Roope Suomalainen Hannu Anttila Harri Pesola Heikki Rotko Kaius Meskanen Mika Rautiainen Ville Hulkko Hannu Verkasalo Joonas Makkonen Olli Rundgren Topias Soininen Jesse Heikkila Vesa Perala Jani Penttinen Jouni Maaranto Tarmo Virki Laura Avonius Will Cardwell Nilay Oza Tuomas Kosonen Jari Tuovinen Peter Vesterbacka Laurent Martin Vamsi Palukuru Jussi Autio Chris Thur Jussi Harvela Antti Keranen Jari Mieskonen Sami Hyrylainen Jarno Eerola Projjol Banerjea Arkady Fridman Are Traasdahl Helge Hoibraaten Karl Kathuria Miguel Silva Jonathan French Paul Finster Lindsay Stewart Christina Castellano Brian Kline Juraj Siska Oliver Lietz Jason Porath Tom Link Cheng Wu Hal Vogel Jon Vlassopulos Seth Schachner Christian Egeler T.J. Vitolo Mohammad Raheel Khalid Brian Johnson Kanwaldeep Kalsi Jan Ameri Eero Kaikkonen Janet Greco Fred Pfaff Margus Uudam Andrew Knight Rob Rosenberg Suren Pai Sanjay Macwan  Claude Theoret Martin Enault Stephane Rituit Olivier Trudeau Anick Beaulieu Richard St. Pierre Daniel Japiassu Thomas Jelonek Kristjan Laanemaa Urmas Peiker Mike Klyszeiko Kris Kolo Nathan Pettyjohn Anne-Marie Enns Tracy Swedlow Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen Joel Unickow Trygve Refvem Jarno Vanto Sami Paihonen Pekka Parnanen Anton Gauffin Sami Niska Ekaterina Gianelli Andrew Johnston Pia Erkinheimo Beni Cohen JR Dawkins Robert O’Neill Nita Pilkama Imram Ahmed Jakub Majkowski Andrew Bud Peter Northing Ted Iannuzzi Felix Froede Kris Ramanathan Werner Haan Patricia Steele Bradley Glenn Simon Schatzmann Jonathan French David Hoga Agnes Chung Christoph Huning Jonathan Levy-Bencheton Thierry Cottenceau Jean-Christophe Perier Christophe de Courson Petri Martikainen Richard Collins Janne Neuvonen Pasi Ilola Tony Hope Heini Vesander Miki Kuusi Ville Makinen Wilhelm Taht Roope Soumalainen Hannu Anttila Harri Pesola Heikki Rotko Kaius Meskanen Mika Rautiainen Ville Hulkko Hannu Verkasalo Joonas Makkonen Olli Rundgren Topias Soinenen Vesa Perala Jani Penttinen Tarmo Virki Laura Avonius Will Cardwell Nilay Oza Tuomas Kosonen Jari Tuovinen Claude Theoret Martin Enault Stephane Rituit Olivier Trudeau Anick Beaulieu Richard St. Pierre Daniel Japiassu Thomas Jelonek Kristjan Laanemaa Urmas Peiker Mike Klyszeiko Kris Kolo Nathan Pettyjohn Anne-Marie Enns Tracy Swedlow Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen Joel Unickow Trygve Refvem Jarno Vanto Sami Paihonen Pekka Parnanen Anton Gauffin Sami Niska Ekaterina Gianelli Andrew Johnston Pia Erkinheimo Beni Cohen JR Dawkins Robert O’Neill Nita Pilkama Imram Ahmed Jakub Majkowski Andrew Bud Peter Northing Ted Iannuzzi Felix Froede Kris Ramanathan Werner Haan Patricia Steele Bradley Glenn Simon Schatzmann Jonathan French David Hoga Agnes Chung Christoph Huning Peter Vesterbacka Laurent Martin Vamsi Palukuru Jussi Autio Chris Thur Jussi Harvela Antti Keranen Jari Mieskonen Sami Hyrylainen Jarno Eerola Projjol Banerjea Arkady Fridman Are Traasdahl Helge Hoibraaten Karl Kathuria Miguel Silva Jonathan French Paul Finster Lindsay Stewart Christina Castellano Brian Kline Juraj Siska Oliver Lietz Jason Porath Tom Link Cheng Wu Jon Vlassopulos Seth Schachner Christian Egeler T.J. Vitolo Mohammad Raheel Khalid Brian Johnson Kanwaldeep Kalsi Jan Ameri Eero Kaikkonen Janet Greco Fred Pfaff Margus Uudam Andrew Knight Rob Rosenberg Suren Pai Sanjay Macwan Patricia Steele Bradley Glenn Simon Schatzmann Jonathan French David Hoga Agnes Chung

Chris Pfaff produces, moderates ‘Virtual Theatre: The Metaverse Smashes the Four Walls’ panel at VR AR Global Summit Online North America – June 3, 2021

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Chris Pfaff produced and moderated the ‘Virtual Theatre: The Metaverse Smashes the Four Walls’ session at the VR AR Global Summit Online North America on June 3, 2021, featuring some of the leading producers of immersive theatre and dance, including: Kiira Benzing, from Double Eye StudiosBlair Russell, from CruxBrandon Powers, from Brandon Powers Projects, and Lorne Svarc, from Technodramatists.

You can view the entire session at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQdKsKS3qnw

 

The panel discussed the emergence of XR theatre production, including VR and AR integration with narrative original and adaptive works, as well as how to blend XR technologies with live and virtual audiences.

Kiira Benzing (upper left); Brandon Powers (upper middle); Blair Russell (upper right); Lorne Svarc (lower left), Chris Pfaff (lower right)

Brandon Powers shows some of ‘Queer Skins’

Kiira Benzing shows off some of ‘Finding Pandora X’

Blair Russell demos new work

Lorne Svarc demos new work

Lorne Svarc shows some of ‘AliBi’

Blair Russell introduces a new virtual world

 

 

 

Chris Pfaff moderates Streaming Media East Connect session, ‘Ad-Supported Streaming Takes Over?’ – May 19, 2021

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Chris Pfaff moderated the Streaming Media East Connect session ‘Ad-Supported Streaming Takes Over?’ on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, featuring some of the content and technology leaders in the Free Ad-Supported TV (FAST) space, including:

  • Damian Pelliccione, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Revry
  • Chris Yates, general manager, on-demand, Redbox
  • Nick Colsey, VP, Business Development, Sony Electronics
  • Srinivasan KA, Co-founder, Amagi
  • Philippe Guelton, EVP of Online Networks & President of Crackle Plus at Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment

You can watch the full panel at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmxMh1u8BQ0

 

Chris Pfaff (upper middle); Srinivasan KA (upper right); Philippe Guelton (middle left); Nick Colsey (middle middle); Chris Yates (bottom left), Damian Pelliccione (bottom right)

 

Chris Pfaff and Jerimiah Hamon in one-on-one fireside chat at TVOT LIVE! Spring 2021

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Jerimiah Hamon, chief scientist of Firstlight Media, one of the leading data science figures in the OTT industry, conducted a one-on-one fireside chat with Chris Pfaff – ‘Your Data or Your Gut?’ – at the TVOT Live! Spring 2021 edition on April 27, 2021. Hamon discussed his views on what data science brings to the business of building an effective and engaging OTT offering. How predictive analytics can deliver a superior experience.

 

You can watch the full panel at: https://youtu.be/STpbnjxNsVE

 

 

Chris Pfaff (left) and Jerimiah Hamon (right)

 

 

ABOUT ‘YOUR DATA OR YOUR GUT?’

Media and entertainment executives have a long history of “knowing” what sells, but nowadays are gut feelings enough of a foundation for a winning business strategy? As more and more choices vie for consumers’ attention and loyalty, can the content industry really leave subscribers’ viewing choices to chance?  Jerimiah Hamon, Chief Scientist at Firstlight Media, is a computational mathematician with a background in military intelligence, healthcare and medical research, and now consumer behavior and entertainment. He is expert at correlating and automating the links between stimuli and viewer responses to enable more precise targeting of video content. In this wide ranging conversation with  Chris Pfaff, CEO of Chris Pfaff Tech Media, Jerimiah will lift the veil that surrounds data science, explaining: the top misconceptions executives have about data; the pillars of a successful data strategy; and the advanced psychographics that are making data more accurate than ever.

Chris Pfaff moderates all-star panel at Media Meet & Greet Spring 2021: ‘OTT Platforms for All Sizes: Not All Content Wears the Same’

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Chris Pfaff produced and moderated a supersession at the Spring (NAB-themed) Media Meet & Greet event ‘OTT Platforms for All Sizes: Not All Content Wears the Same’ on April 22, 2021, presented by Broadband TV News, and sponsored by Amagi Corporation. Avner Ronen, from Samsung Electroics; Tony Huidor, from Cinedigm; Paul Edwards, from ViacomCBS’ Pluto TV, and Sriivasan KA, from Amagi, discussed the explosion of free ad-supported television (FAST) and the growth of niche content channels in this 42-minute session. Kudos to Janet Greco and the Dealroom team for a great event.

You can watch the full session at: https://dealroomarchivedsessions.s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/46556092/269e189d-45f5-40f7-9c01-4470b75320e1/archive.mp4.

 

Paul Edwards, ViacomCBS’ Pluto TV: (upper left); Tony Huidor, Cinedigm (upper middle); Avner Ronen, Samsung Electronics (upper right); Srinivasan KA, Amagi (bottom left), Chris Pfaff, Chris Pfaff Tech Media LLC (bottom right)

Technodramatists delivers on virtual theatre promise with ‘AliBi’ on Zoom – February 6, 2021

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The virtual theatre universe was rocked on Saturday, February 6, 2021, when AliBi, Technodramatist’s “reality-bending livestream theater experience,” brought together an audience of more than 90 people on Zoom, while streaming live from the Gene Frankel Theatre in downtown Manhattan. The adaption of Tristen Tzara’s Dadaist play ‘Handkerchief of Clouds’ immersed the audience in a love triangle. A private investigator uses augmented reality, motion capture and voice recognition software to solve the homicide of one of the lovers, while suspects attept to dance their way out of trouble. The performance mixed live effects with live music and dance in a brilliant, original production. Created by Lorne Svarc, artistic director for Technodramatists, and directed by Brian Rardin, the show feature Grammy Award-winning experimental musician Johnny Butler with choregrapher duo AnA Collaborations. Butler stars with Alex Jenkins and Nick Anselmo and features Anne Bates as Alison Bi. Lead technologist Yashwanth Irragatappu, virtual and physical set designer Yichan Wang, lead designer Min Kawk and technical director Hy Braverman delivered a seamless live and virtual production. Long before any theatre productions returned to New York stages, Technodramatists made a mark on 2021 with ‘AliBi.’

Media Meet & Greet – A Virtual Holiday Hang for the Global Media Industry – December 17, 2020

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The European media community’s inaugural pre-holiday Meet & Greet event, held on December 17, 2020 on the Deal Room Events platform was a milestone for how networking events in 2021 should look: well-moderated discussion and connections between colleagues – many of whom have never met before – all in a robust virtual platform.

The event, produced by Janet Greco, leveraged Deal Room’s renowned networking features for connecting with individuals who fill out profiles in advance. With a proscribed time limit of 20 minutes per meeting – now conducted by video chat – the Deal Room platform has been successfully implemented by various event producers, most notably Arctic15, the leading Nordic venture investment event. Media Meet & Greet brought together more than 70 individuals – broadcasters, technology vendors, OTT producers, and consultants – who conducted meetings, and attended talks on the ‘Future of Work’ by John Howkins, ‘Navigating Innovation in Lockdown,’ with Vanessa Vigar, and ‘The Rise of Hyperlocal,’ with Andrew Stirling.

Chris Pfaff moderated The Pub, a convivial session that discussed ‘Streaming or Screaming.’ The event was capped with a live appearance from Los Angeles by noted rock composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist Carl Restivo (Grammy nominated songwriter for ‘Go All The Way’ from the ‘Twilight’ soundtrack, musical director for Tom Morello, Perry Farrell), who performed three solo guitar numbers that he felt were appropriate: Chuck Berry’s ‘Roll Over Beethoven,’ as the event was on the composer’s 250th birthday; ‘Have a Cigar’ by Pink Floyd, as a statement on the music industry, and ‘So Lonely’ by the Police (as we have all been locked down for nearly a year). Over the span of just a few hours, the event was a hopeful, and enlightening, way to end the year and look forward to further such gatherings that smash time and distance and bring connection to an industry that has undergone seismic shifts in an unprecedented year.

You can check out the next events at: www.broadcastprojects.com/media-meet-greet. You can register for the ‘Barcelona Sunrise’ event – from February 15-25 – at: https://ti.to/media-meet-greet/media-meet-greet-barcelona-sunrise-2021

 

Executive producer of ‘Media Meet & Greet,’ Janet Greco, welcomes the audience

Chris Pfaff (upper left) moderates the ‘Streaming or Screaming?’ discussion in The Pub, one of the virtual discussion rooms in the Media Meet & Greet session for the European media industry on December 17, 2020. Joining the session were Vanessa Vigar (upper row, 2nd from left); Andrew Stirling (upper row, 2nd from left); Lee Morin (upper row, far right); Trygve Refvem (middle row, far left); Janet Greco (middle row, 2nd from left); Tracy Swedlow (middle row, 2nd from right); Gilberto Flores (middle row, far right); David Short (bottom row, far left); Benjamin Schwarz (bottom row, 2nd from left); Laura Riggs (bottom row, 2nd from right), Uwe Kühhirt, from Fraunhofer (bottom row, far right)

Carl Restivo (bottom) sings live from LA to end the Media Meet & Greet event; Janet Greco (upper left) and Chris Pfaff (upper right) rock out

 

 

Quickstream introduces Quickstream Cloud – October 28, 2020

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Quickstream™, a leading provider of software-defined, cloud-based solutions for live video, announced on October 28, 2020 the release of its Quickstream Cloud product, the first one-click video cloud exchange for the broadcast industry. The Quickstream Cloud solution is the first live video cloud solution designed for the delivery of broadcast-quality feeds globally to any partner in 15 minutes. It is the first inexpensive live cloud video solution of its kind, and is as easy to use as a shared document.

On a live webinar on launch day, Michal Suchon, founder/CEO of Quickstream, conducted a live demo of Quickstream Cloud features, and engaged in a panel discussion, moderated by Chris Pfaff, that also featured:

  •   Dr. Eric Petajan, principal systems engineer, Video, CV, AI, AT&T
  •   Wojtek Bialek, broadcast manager, Da Vinci GmbH
  •   John Hammond, producer, Property TV (pTV)

Quickstream Cloud acts as a unique live global video exchange network, enabling effective live video contribution in the cloud. As a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering, customers can sign up, connect with Quickstream Cloud and exchange live content in an instant, on-demand fashion. The product builds on the company’s flagship product, Quickstream Node gateway, which enables broadcasters to design flexible IP workflows and bridge between video infrastructures. Quickstream Node is the most complete IP video signal distribution product on the market, capable of transporting high quality, high-resolution audio/video feeds with minimal latency. Full encoding, decoding, and transcoding support for the OTT market is currently in beta.

 

You can view the full Quickstream Cloud introduction webinar at:

 

 

Michal Suchon, founder/CEO of Quickstream, introduces Quickstream Cloud, and how to create and share a channel

Wojtek Bialek, from Da Vinci GmbH, discusses his use of Quickstream

 

Dr. Eric Petajan, from AT&T, discusses 5G and the cloud

 

John Hammond discusses the opportunity for TV producers using the cloud

 

Chris Pfaff moderates the New York-Krakow-London gathering

 

Chris Pfaff chats with Kadri Ugand, founder of Go Beyond Capital, and co-founder of GameFounders, at Arctic15 Online – October 19, 2020

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Kadri Ugand, GameFounders co-founder and founding partner at Go Beyond Capital, held a 20-minute fireside chat session with Chris Pfaff on Monday, October 19, 2020, the first day of the inaugural Arctic15 Online event. Kadri is one of the leading figures in the global gaming industry, and has developed a keen eye toward growing start-up teams, having invested in 71 studios across 26 countries. She discussed how she applies her expertise to purpose-driven, mindful companies based on environmental, social, governance (ESG).

Kadri Ugand discussed her new fund, Go Beyond Capital, and discussed her investing thesis for GameFounders

Hanne Nuutinen (onscreen) and Laura Vänskä (above, 2nd from left) successfully stage managed and directed the first virtual Arctic15 event

 

VR Theatre and VR Collaboration: Chris Pfaff moderates expert sessions at the 2nd VR AR Global Summit Online – October 1, 2020

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The second VR AR Global Summit Online swapped what would have been Vancouver as a destination for a truly global audience, this time mastering the Hopin platform to greater effect than its June inaugural online effort.

Chris Pfaff moderated two panels at the 2nd VR AR Global Summit Online. The first, ‘Producing in XR: How to Create Unique Stories for Immersive Audiences’ panel, featured Maciej Wisniewski, founder of 99 Cent Opera, Espii Proctor, principal/creative & technical director, Espii Studios, and Michael Owen, CEO of MediaCombo. Maciej showed off more features of his forthcoming Edelweiss, VR, Act 1 (EVR-1), the first blockchain music-driven game of its kind, while Espii discussed her wide range of multimedia performances and story worlds, including spatial sound design. Michael showed off some of his recent work, including a VR installation at the Pollock-Krasner House on Long Island, where he and his team recreated the artistic works and experience of the great artists Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner.

 

‘Producing in XR’ originally streamed at 10:30 am EST on Thursday, October 1, 2020. You can view it at:

 

The second panel that Chris Pfaff moderated, Collaboration Tools in VR: Developing Virtual Creativity in the Age of Social Distancing,’ featured Kiira Benzing, producer/director of Double Eye Studios, and Jussi Havu, CEO of Glue. Kiira demonstrated her recent ‘Finding Pandora X’ Greek tragedy adapation, which had just been awarded ‘Best Immersive VR Experience’ at the Venice Film Festival 2020. Jussi showed off a new version of what is now the leading collaborative enterprise platform for VR meetings, and discussed Glue’s expansion of its virtual meeting and creativity technology.

 

‘Collaboration Tools in VR’ originally streamed at 11:15 am EST on Thursday, October 1, 2020. You can view it at:

 

Michael Owen shows off some of the impressive XR work that MediaCombo has produced for museums and cultural institutions

Maciej Wisniewski demonstrates the music-driven narrative structure of his VR blockchain game, ‘Edelweiss, VR 1’

Espii Proctor discusses virtual theatre production

Kiira Benzing demonstrates her ‘Finding Pandora X’ work

Jussi Havu demonstrates new features for the Glue collaborative VR platform