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Friday is HDTV Day at IBC

IBC2006 organizers are organizing the annual show into separate "theme days," dedicating each day of the conference to a particular topic of interest to the international broadcast community. Friday, Sept. 8 is "HDTV Lift Off" day.

"There are three pillars to the day: content -- how you produce HD; business -- how you can deliver HD and what will deliver audiences; and of course technology -- what are the key issues," said David Wood, head of new technology for European Broadcasting Union and organizer of the day's events.

The HD sessions will kick off on Thursday, Sept. 7 at 4:00 p.m. with "HDTV and D-cinema - a marriage waiting to happen?," a conference that will explore the potential confluence of the two technologies, examining the emergence of the 1080p HD format and the recently established DCI d-cinema standard. Peter Wilson, Chairman of the European Digital Cinema Forum in the U.K. will chair the event with David Monk of MonkVision, City University in London, Antoine Drzymala of CEPI in Belgium and Lars Haglund of SVT, Sweden's public broadcasting network on the panel.

Friday's sessions will kick off at 8:30 a.m. with an HDTV early bird "techtorial" with John Ive, management consultant & technologist with IveTech in the U.K., and David Bancroft, manager, advanced technology with Thomson UK, leading the session. That will be followed by "HDTV -- what are the content challenges?," chaired by Arie Smit, Dutch Digital Platform, The Netherlands, with panelists Gert Zimmermann, Plazamedia GmbH, Germany, Andy Quested, BBC HD, UK, Stephanie Holm, National Geographic Channel, UK, Timothy Joyce, National Geographic Channel International, US, Nevin Katrancigil, Turkish Radio & Television Corp., Turkey, and John Emmett, Broadcast Project Research Ltd, UK.

At 11:30, David Wood, head of new media for the EBU in Switzerland will deliver the keynote: "HD:slow to arrive, quick to revolutionise the industry," with Fritz Pleitgen, director general president-elect EBU, Richard Waghorn, controller, Distribution for the BBC, and Sissela Andren project coordinator, HD Strategy and implementation, Sveriges Television in Sweden participating on the panel.

The afternoon sessions will begin at 2:00 p.m. with "HDTV -- what are the business challenges?" Along with conference chair Brian Sullivan of BskyB, the panel will include Brad Hunt, executive vice president, chief technology officer with the Motion Picture Association of America, Thomas Wrede, vice president of product management with SES Astra in Luxembourg, Arild Hellgren with NRK in Norway, Ivo Lochtman, vice president of content for UPC, The Netherlands, and Martin Emele, head of technology for ProSiebenSat.1 Produktion GmbH in Germany.

"HDTV -- what are the technology challenges?" will follow at 4:00 p.m. with Ralf Schaefer, Fraunhofer HHI, Germany, Philippe Coppens, manager of technology & product infomanagement with Pioneer Europe NV in Belgium, Tony Spath, vice president, international marketing, Dolby Laboratories, UK, and Jeff Lawrence with Intel Corp. in Belgium. Dietrich Westerkamp, director, standards coordination with Thomson Germany will chair the panel.

The day will conclude at 5:30 with digital cinema screenings in the RAI Auditorium.

"We are going to watch some of the finest HD productions in the finest possible viewing conditions, with excellent projection and 5.1 sound," Wood said. "We will certainly have excerpts from BBC's landmark natural history series Planet Earth and from the 2006 Winter Olympics. We also hope to be able to show some examples of 1080/50p content from Scandinavia -- the future of HD."