IBC2012 Innovation Awards reflect changing media landscape

IBC organizers have announced the shortlist of finalists being considered for the content creation, content management and content delivery categories of the IBC Innovation Awards, and many are taking advantage of multiscreen options to enhance the viewing experience.

The IBC Innovation Awards recognize the practical application of leading-edge technology. A successful entry primarily shows how the technology is benefitting the user, whether that is a broadcaster, content producer or the audience at home. Shortlisted projects come from North and South America, Europe and the Middle East.

A fourth award, the Judges' Prize, along with the winners in each category, will be announced at the IBC Awards Ceremony, on Sunday, Sept. 9, at the RAI, in Amsterdam.

Michael Lumley, chair of the IBC2012 Innovation Awards judging panel acknowledges that new multiscreen distribution is changing how broadcasters innovate. "What was once a television industry has now blossomed into a world where creative talents make content which engages with and excites audiences wherever they are, whatever device they have to hand," he said. "The scope and scale of this year's entries reflects this huge expansion, and gave the judges a tough challenge to come up with a shortlist of just 10 projects.”

The first of the three nominations in the Content Creation category recognizes that audiences routinely use laptops, smartphones or tablets at the same time as watching television, and that a new immersive experience can be created by synchronizing a second-screen app with the broadcast program. Broadcaster FX UK wanted to enhance its audience's experience of post-apocalyptic horror series “The Walking Dead” and asked Red Bee Media to develop not just an app but — using technology from Civolution— a means of linking the app to the television program, whether it is a live broadcast or from a DVR.

Sports broadcaster ESPN is recognized for enhancements to its coverage of Grand Slam tennis, to help viewers understand the strategies, not to mention the efforts that top players employ to gain an advantage over their opponents. Developed by Orad with support from Hawkeye and Spidercam, the system analyzes processes and presents a huge amount of data fast enough for commentators to illustrate key points as each match progresses.

TV Globo Network in Brazil is shortlisted for its in-house development Vate, a way to help directors and camera operators provide flawless coverage of unpredictable live events. Developed for “Danca dos Famosos,” the Brazilian version of “Dancing with the Stars,” Vate memorizes shots set up by the director and operators during rehearsals then prompts them with the sequence of shots during the live broadcast.

Editor’s note: Next week’s edition of “IBC Update” will cover the shortlist of finalists in the content management and content delivery categories.