He worked in sales and product management for Philips Broadcast and Central Dynamics Limited before joining Grass Valley Group. From 1983 to 2007 he held a number of positions with responsibilities that include strategic planning, intellectual property management, and technological liaison. He represented Grass Valley in many organizations including the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) where he served two terms as Engineering Vice President and one as Financial Vice President.
In July 2007 he left Grass Valley to join SMPTE staff as Director of Standards & Engineering, managing the engineering department, and responsible for the infrastructure supporting SMPTE’s standards committees.
Symes holds patents and is the joint recipient of Emmy awards for the architecture of the digital picture processor. He is a Senior Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEEE), and a Fellow of SMPTE.
He has written and presented numerous papers at industry conferences and is the author of three books on video compression, all published by McGraw Hill. He has also contributed to other books, including Understanding Digital Cinema (Focal Press, 2004) and two editions of the NAB Engineering Handbook.
Symes retired from SMPTE at the end of 2016 and formed Symes TV Consulting to offer expert witness services, standards representation, and other consulting services to the industry.