IBC Attendance Down 7 Percent

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS: The 2009 IBC Show ended on an optimistic note after organizers crunched the numbers.

The final tally wasn’t as bad as many anticipated: according to the IBC, 45,547 attendees walked through the doors of the RAI in Amsterdam over the course of the five-day show, down 7 percent from last year’s 49,250. There were almost 100 less exhibitors--1,355, compared with last year’s 1,451.

“Taking exhibitors out of the calculation, visitor numbers were even more impressive, falling by less than 5 percent,” said IBC’s Michael Crimp. Sony, Snell and Vizrt were among the notable no-shows this year. Nevertheless, the companies were there to meet customers and show organizers expressed confidence that some of the absent exhibitors would return next year.

In addition to the ever-popular “doing more with less” theme that seems to have permeated most industries worldwide, other highlights included:

3D: Officials from BSkyB, which plans to launch a 3D channel in 2010, predicted that the technology is “going to be big, really big. We take it extremely seriously and it is not a game for us,” according to the IBC Daily. 3ality Digital, a pioneer in 3D production, captured live, real-time 3D images at “The Beach,” a popular destination for IBC attendees, which were beamed on the IBC Big Screen.

Attendees to Sunday night’s IBC’s Innovation Awards were treated to a 16-minute preview of James Cameron’s highly anticipated “Avatar” 3D film, to be released later this year. And David Wood of the EBU warned of potential eye strain problems if 3D becomes more popular.

M&A: Several notable buyouts were announced just prior to the show. BlackMagic Design said it was acquiring color corrector Da Vinci. BlackMagic provided a number of details about product focus and direction, including an emphasis on future development for Resolve and Revival products. (See “BlackMagic Design Acquires da Vinci.”)

Avid came forward to confirm that it had recently acquired MaxT, a developer of online collaborative editing systems, but was mum about future plans for the company. Grass Valley said negotiations for the company’s sale are in the final stages and that it expects to announce a buyer before year’s end.

PRODUCTION: Organizers were pleased with the debut of the IBC “Production Village” designed to serve as a central repository for providing hands on experiences with the latest production gear, as well as side by side comparisons and training theatres.

VIRTUALIZATION:Harris announced its “Harris Virtual World,” based on the popular Second Life avatar-based and designed for secure business to business interactions. Quantel launched virtualization software for Final Cut Pro, designed to minimize latency and improve and accelerate file management. -- from TV Technology

More IBC tidbits:
September 14, 2009: “3D is it at IBC”
“There are the usual production, post, and transmission suspects, but Nagravision is showing a 3D program guide and Viaccess is showing 3D conditional access,” she said. “The IBC Innovation Awards Ceremony featured 16 minutes in 3D of James Cameron’s upcoming feature “Avatar,” and David Wood of the EBU said that “3D programming should come with a health warning. Sky TV is showing 3D, and the person giving out the glasses there said it gave her a headache.”

September 14, 2009: “IBC Hands Out Innovation Awards”
The IBC Awards this year recognized sports, opera and a new file-based international program exchange system. The HD cinecast project of New York’s Metropolitan Opera team was among those technologies honored at last night’s awards ceremony. The effort was bestowed the IBC International Honour for Excellence, the group’s highest award.

September 15, 2009: “TV Technology Europe Announces Recipients of STAR Awards at IBC2009”
“STAR awards are given to interesting new products that help a user save money or accomplish a task in an easier way,” said Mark Hallinger, Editor of TV Technology Europe. “The products selected help advance the industry--some were chosen because of technical novelty or innovation, some because they filled an important gap in the production or transmission chain, and some because they were just cool products.”