IBC recognizes winners of innovation awards

ESPN’s Virtual Playbook, the service-oriented architecture at Radio Télévision Belge Francophone (RTBF) and Arab States Broadcasting Union content exchange were recognized Sunday, Sept. 13, as the winners of the 2009 IBC Innovation Awards.

The awards, which recognize innovative applications of technology, were presented to winners in three categories: creation, management and delivery.

ESPN’s Virtual Playbook, supplied by EA Sports, received the innovation award for content creation. Working with the game developer on a version of its “Madden NFL ’09” game for the Microsoft Xbox XDK, ESPN links its studio cameras into the game software to recreate plays from actual games on the studio floor. The technology lets ESPN commentators interact with players and become part of this augmented reality to better explain plays to viewers. The technology has been so successful that ESPN has begun using it as part of its coverage of NBA basketball.

The migration of RTBF’s broadcast operations to a tapeless workflow, known as NumProd, was recognized with the innovation award in the management category. Suppliers for the project included Dalet, EVS, Orad, Avid, MediaGenix, Fairlight, Front Porch Digital and FAB. Aimed at controlling costs and streamlining operations, the project relies on a service-oriented architecture to manage TV, radio and online workflows from production to delivery. A single backbone architecture provides for complete control and monitoring of all media technology.

Arab States Broadcasting Union, the winner of the award in the delivery category, was recognized for the MENOS content exchange project. Suppliers included Newtec and Arabsat.

MENOS, or multimedia exchange network over satellite, supports fast exchange of content as files over IP using a store-and-forward approach among ASBU’s 28 members in the Middle East. Besides content, the system also hosts data and telephony interchange.