IBC Day 3: News from the Show Floor

AMSTERDAM—IP is no longer a “future”—it is here and now. A visit to the IP Showcase at IBC 2017 (located in E.106) can confirm that real-time IP for production, playout and contribution is a practical, flexible, efficient reality that is ready to go live. An impressive array of diverse equipment from more than 50 vendors astonishes visitors as soon as they join the IP Showcase experience. This all-IP super-system includes almost any equipment that could be part of a linear broadcast workflow. All of the equipment is working together to demonstrate real-world IP interoperability based on SMPTE ST 2110 final draft standards and AMWA NMOS specifications. About 130 video signals are managed, routed, processed and delivered simultaneously. To prove ease of use as well as interoperability, the demonstrations are divided into logical application pods—live production signal flows, contribution and playout signal flows, etc.—all shown under the control of familiar user interfaces.

Imagine Communications introduced Versio Platform, a modular and highly customizable media workflow platform designed to optimize playout and related operations to meet individual operational and business objectives. According to the Firm, Versio Platform represents the industry’s first cloud-native, microservices-based and modular playout solution designed from the ground-up for pure-IP, geo-dispersed environments using commercial-off- the-shelf (COTS) hardware.

Versio Platform provides content producers and distributors with a menu of tightly integrated functional building blocks, including playout engine, automation and input/output requirements, on a function-by-function basis to support precise workflow requirements. Numerous value-added options, such as advanced audio track routing, multi- language captioning, UHD and proxy generation, can also be implemented incrementally—and on an as-needed basis. The platform also provides users with a choice among multiple deployment models, including premises, cloud (private or public) or hybrid.

Blackmagic Design is showcasing Ultimatte 12, a real-time hardware compositing processor that’s perfect for broadcast quality keying, adding augmented reality elements into shots, working with virtual sets and fitting the next generation of broadcast graphics. Ultimatte 12 features new algorithms and color science, powerful edge handling, improved color separation, reliable color fidelity and better spill suppression. The advanced 12G-SDI design gives Ultimatte 12 customers the flexibility to work in HD today and switch to Ultra HD when they are ready. Customers get sub pixel processing for great image quality and textures in both HD and Ultra HD. Ultimatte 12 is compatible with virtually all SD, HD and Ultra HD equipment, so customers can use it with the cameras they already have. Ultimatte 12 is controlled via Ultimatte Smart Remote 4, a touch screen remote that connects via Ethernet. Smart Remote 4 features physical buttons for switching and controlling any attached Ultimatte 12. There are also buttons for quickly loading and saving presets, along with a touch screen that provides total control over every parameter. Customers can also create their own custom control solutions. 

The keynote session “The Future with Robots that Are Like Us” allowed attendants to familiarize with man-like robots and the artificial intelligence technologies. David Hanson, founder and CEO of Hanson Robotics, was joined on stage by Sophia, Hanson Robotics’ latest and most advanced robot, and Professor Einstein, the first consumer robot from Hanson Robotics. Both robots can listen to the human voice and dynamically interact with other people.

Professor Einstein is an amazingly expressive humanoid robot who walks, plays games to improve memory and teaches science. Sophia is an evolving genius machine with human likeness, expressiveness, and a remarkable story as an awakening robot. Up to now, Sophia has become a media darling, has given numerous interviews to multiple media outlets and has been hosted in a talk show. Sophia’s AI learns from conversations with real people in the real world as she quests to learn what it means to be human. Looking at the real-time interaction between Sophia and a real human while they are (properly) talking to each other gives anyone a previously unexperienced feeling. Hanson said human-like robots will likely have a role in the TV and Media industry, for example actively acting like characters in lieu of computer-generated ones, as well as in supporting man-made activities.

The IBC Show runs through Tuesday, Sept. 19 at the RAI in Amsterdam.