IBC Reflects Changing Media Landscape

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS: Although the supply chains of Japanese manufacturers came under pressure as a result of the devastating tsunami in March, this year’s IBC Show is being used by many, including Sony, as a platform to emphasize that “they’re back” and operating at close to full capacity again.

“IBC 2011 is an important opportunity to acknowledge the incredibly strong relationships we have with our customers,” said Olivier Bovis, head of AV media of Sony Professional Europe. “Following the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, our customers have supported us wholly while we resolved various supply chain issues and got ourselves back on track.

“On the back of what has been a pivotal year in terms of product innovation and landmark customer wins, IBC will be an opportunity to look to the future and talk to customers about their business aspirations over the coming year,” he added.

For Sony and others, the IBC Show is still the key European event to deliver these important corporate messages. If last year’s stats are anything to go by, more than 48,000 attendees from over 140 countries will gather at Amsterdam RAI centre, Sept. 8-13 to check out 1,300 exhibitors in 13 halls.

Sony has said that its stand at IBC will have a strong focus on customers, with specifically designed areas for each customer segment. As part of this focus, the stand will include a large content theatre that will showcase cutting edge video from customers in both 3D and 4K. There will also be a big push on Sony’s key sports partnerships, such as the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) and its March acquisition of the ubiquitous ball tracking technology Hawk-Eye, to show how the company is strategically investing and collaborating with other innovative companies to drive change within the sports broadcasting industry.

Fellow Japanese electronics company JVC will also be at the show this year with a range of professional camcorders and monitors and its own new advances in 3D and 4K technology. JVC will showcase a prototype of its 4K camera, whose make-up will be “integral to the next generation of JVC camcorders” as well as its first professional 3D camcorder, the GY-HMZ1.

JVC’s ProHD tapeless camcorder range meanwhile includes the shoulder-mount GY-HM750, with simultaneous recording to two SDHC cards for an instant backup, and the GY-HM790 camera for both studio and ENG applications. The GY-HM790 will also be shown with the FS-790 optical fibre solution, suitable for broadcast, OB and live events.

According to Avid, this year’s show highlights will include the newest developments in its graphics solutions which, it claims, are providing broadcasters with brand-enhancing, cost-saving, powerful graphics workflows for on-air graphics production.

Avid will also debut its ISIS7000 v2.4, expanding its real-time shared storage system. There will also be value-add enhancements to NewsVision, the company’s entry-level HD news system that gives local and regional broadcasters the ability to achieve greater speed and efficiency with file-based news production.

Visitors to Miranda Technology’s stand meanwhile will be able to view the manufacturer’s “strengthened” production studio signal management and monitoring systems as well as its integrated IT-based playout solutions, which combine iTX automation and playout with graphics and monitoring systems.

What was notable at last year’s event was the presence of some of the industry’s most senior executives such as Gerhard Zeiler and Sir Michael Lyons, who chose the conference to set and challenge the media agenda.

This year IBC has incorporated a new exclusive Leaders’ Summit strand into its program, hosted by the respected journalist and broadcaster Andrew Neil. Running across Thursday and Friday, the summit will see top business leaders such as Sir Martin Sorrell, founder of ad giant WPP as well as Sky’s COO Mike Darcey discuss what the industry’s businesses leaders need to do to keep pace with the changing media landscape.

In light of the recent hacking scandal currently engulfing Rupert Murdoch’s empire, the sessions on “leadership in a digital age” and “demanding managerial challenges” promise to be fascinating.

While the invite-only summit is an extra cost to delegates and is aimed primarily at business leaders, some of the same issues and faces appear in Thursday morning’s opening keynote, “The Future of Broadcasting.” The panel—which includes William H. Roedy (former chairman and chief exec of MTV networks) and Luke Johnson (entrepreneur and former Channel 4 chairman)—will discuss how broadcasters will respond to the dilution of ad revenues and the threat posed by new mobile and Internet delivery platforms.Another coup for the conference is Joanna Shields, vice president and managing director of the EMEA for Facebook, who is to present the convention keynote address.

Shields, who was recently named as Wired magazine’s number 1 ‘UK Digital Power Broker’ will focus her speech on the relationship and revolution social media has developed with broadcasting, and a look to the future implications of the pairing.

IBC will also recognize Sir David Attenborough, a pioneer in natural history programming for the BBC, with the IBC2011 International Honour for Excellence. Attenborough is being honored for his remarkable career in television and, in particular, natural history. His career spans almost 60 years, with his Atlantic Productions documentary “Flying Monsters 3D with Sir David Attenborough” one of the most acclaimed programs commissioned by Sky 3D.

The International Honour for Excellence, which will be given out at the IBC Awards Ceremony, Sunday Sept. 11 at 6:30 p.m., is the highest award which IBC bestows. It is presented to individuals and organizations which have taken the best technology available—and driven technology forward—to create the finest broadcasting content. ~ by Ann-Marie Corvin for TV Technology