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CCW to Focus on 4K and Multiplatform Workflows

CCW returns to the Javits Center in New York, Nov. 13-14.

NEW YORK—Broadcasters hungry for practical and aspirational information on the latest industry trends need look no farther than New York City when Content and Communications World returns to the Javits Convention Center, Nov. 13-14. This is the eighth year of the annual event, formerly known as HD World/Satcon.

“What began as a show primarily focused on broadcast has grown to include video and audio applications for film and documentary production, streaming media, enterprise and government video, universities, houses of worship and more,” said Michael Driscoll, event director.

This year, CCW has three new show theaters on the exhibit floor: “Broadcast and Beyond,” “Streaming Media,” and “Production + Post.” These stages feature “educational end-user oriented sessions mixed in with sponsored sessions,” Driscoll said. “They allow us to have more content than in previous years to drill down on specific technologies and solutions.” The stages will host more than 50 sessions open to all attendees.

Driscoll says the 2013 show will explore 4K, multiplatform distribution, collaboration between production and post, digital cinema, SMPTE standards evolution, advances in file based workflow, pro audio production and delivering better quality HD today.

“From in-depth meetings from our advisory board, we’ve learned that creating and delivering content across multiple platforms effectively, the challenges of storage and archiving, learning what’s next with 4K and staying ahead of the evolution of workflow processes are the issues much of our audience is eager to discuss,” Driscoll said.

The show’s “Super Sessions” will return this year, with eight showcased on the main stage. For attendees who may want to learn in a hands-on manner, CCW offers the Manhattan Edit Workshop training and special workshops presented by Adobe and Canon.

Technology consultant Mark Schubin will also tackle the questions that surround 4K as part of CCW’s conference. First as a moderator for “Better HD in the Age of 4K,” Nov. 13 at 11 a.m. and then as a speaker for the “Bang for your Buck” session at 3:30 p.m., he will endeavor to answer questions about the higher resolution’s practicality and purpose.

While Schubin isn’t exactly a 4K naysayer—“there’s no question that there’s an inexorable march to higher quality of television”—he also isn’t convinced that the higher resolution will impress enough to sway broadcasters to make the necessary infrastructure upgrades to transmit in 4K, which would likely necessitate a switchover to fiber because of current data rate limitations.

Schubin assesses the situation from a broad and historical perspective: “The driving factor of the overwhelming [presence] of 3D or 4K was consumer electronics manufacturers. It had nothing to do with a demand by broadcasters or by producers.”

To illustrate his point, Schubin references European Broadcasting Union studies that seem to indicate that higher frame rate and high dynamic range might provide a more noticeable upgrade for consumers, without adding so dramatically to broadcasters’ data rate.

But he’s reserving judgment as to what will provide the most bang for broadcasters’ buck. “Well, it may be the channel that does high dynamic range is that special, or it may be the channel that’s higher frame rate that’s that special. And it may be the channel that goes to 4K is just not considered that special.”

However, he notes that there are applications for 4K, which he thinks are good practices for broadcasters to consider adopting now.

“It does have some practical applications immediately. For example, a lot of dramatic programming on television is being shot with 4K cameras,” Schubin said, noting that it’s more effective with single camera, film-style shoots. “A lot of commercials are being shot with 4K cameras,” he said.

He’s also a fan of how CBS deployed 4K at Super Bowl XLVII in February with its use of its “Heyeper Zoom”high frame-rate 4K replay and zoom camera systems.“In my opinion, what CBS did in this year’s Super Bowl was a perfect example of what should be done with 4K,” Schubin said.

The 4K trend will also be represented on the CCW exhibit floor, which Driscoll said will be the “largest expo floor in our 8-year history,” with many vendors displaying 4K’s possibilities.

“Miranda will be demonstrating its end-to-end 4K UHDTV production workflow at CCW,” said David Cohen, director of marketing and communications for Miranda Technologies in Montreal.

The “camera-to-control room” solution includes the Telecast CopperHead 3404K camera-mountable transceiver, Nvision 8500 Enterprise Class routers, Kaleido-MX and Kaleido-Modular-X series multiviewers. Compatibility with fiber-optic cable enables these Miranda products to solve the data rate challenges Schubin considered.

“The growing prevalence of 4K UHDTV content being introduced into broadcast workflows brings with it the associated need to process, convert, store and distribute all this content,” said Cohen. “This is creating a growing need to improve the speed of throughput in the workflow, which we believe will accelerate the transition to IP.”

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