AMSTERDAM—As the broadcast industry attempts to latch on to the
“next big thing,” manufacturers in the meantime are continuing to consolidate.
Both are working harder than ever to remain relevant in a rapidly evolving
transition in both big screens and small.
These were among the trends in Amsterdam this week as IBC, the broadcast
industry’s second largest trade show got underway. Broadcasters there searched for new ideas to maintain their role as the primary source of video entertainment
and information, even as a new generation of media consumers rejects the
status quo. People now expect multiscreen, ubiquitous video and data
to be available on any device, at all times, for sharing and interacting with on social media platforms.
Indeed, multiscreen delivery was time and time again confirmed as the number
one issue among broadcasters at the show, which logged nearly 50,000 visitors
by show’s end. At a press conference, Avid revealed the results of a media industry
survey conducted by U.K. research firm Ovum, which left little doubt as to what
was uppermost in broadcasters’ minds. Approximately 85 percent of respondents
cited multiplatform distribution as “critical” to future growth and 78 percent
predict that content will be customized based on individual user profiles.
“The key message from this survey is that the audience is taking
control,” said Adrian Drury of Ovum.
Meanwhile, media companies seeking to monetize their assets believe that one-third of their media is inaccessible to consumers, and currently 75 percent
are exploring future cloud deployments. But the survey also revealed an
industry that is upbeat about its future; 60 percent said the broadcast industry
will strengthen over the next five years, with U.S. respondents slightly more
CAMERON ON 3D
Open-based media platforms, social networking, 4K resolution, cloud-based
production and distribution and even the often-dissed 3D format were topics of
conversations in the exhibit halls and conference forums. James Cameron and
Vince Pace returned to the show to promote new 3D production options, including
a 5D production scheme that allows 2D and 3D footage from a single shoot. The
two also provided the first public showing of 3D footage of Cameron’s
record-setting deep sea dive in the Marianas Trench, in the form of a trailer
for an upcoming 3D film “James
Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge 3D.” Cameron’s and Pace’s 3D production enterprise,
Cameron Pace Group, also announced a deal with U.K.-based Sky TV to shoot Ryder
Cup Golf in 3D, when the tournament takes place in Illinois later this
AND IN 4K+
In the 4K arena, Sony continued to promote its F65 4K camera, including a demo
that merges footage from two 4K F65 cameras to create
zoomable panoramic with HD output. Canon showcased its new EOS C500 and the
EOS-1D C 4K DSLR cameras, with an expanded range of 4K-resolution EF Cinema Lenses
also on display. Japan broadcaster NHK, which has wowed IBC audiences for years
with its Super Hi-Vision 8K demos, showed an 8K camera capable of capturing
images at 120Hz to provide highly enhanced motion.
A major industry merger that happened right after NAB as well as another
anticipated major industry sale were in the spotlight at the show. Harris
Morris, the president of Harris Broadcast, which is now on the block, said that
the sales process is “moving forward as scheduled” and expressed “confidence”
that it would be completed by year’s end. The company also announced its new
Versio Channel in a Box as well as its Invenio Asset Management platform.
Belden provided more details about its recent acquisition of Miranda
Technologies. It announced that while the Miranda name would continue, the
Telecast brand, which it acquired several years ago, would be integrated into
the Miranda brand.
Snell indicated its distaste for 1080i as well as its desire for a progressive
world by announcing that it would offer 1080p support in all of its product
lines at no charge. Grass Valley announced a slew of product enhancements,
including the new LDX Series of camera systems. The product line, initially consisting
of the LDX Première, LDX Elite, and LDX WorldCam offer full compatibility with
Grass Valley's line of 3G Transmission solutions and is based Grass Valley’s
Xensium-FT third generation CMOS imagers. Company President Alain Andreoli
announced that by the middle of 2014, its entire product line would be new and
that all of the new products will “target the mid range market,” with options
~ Tom Butts