IBC2012 Looks at OTT, Other Innovations

Despite the financial pressures of the Eurozone, exhibitors are showing confidence in IBC2012, with the 2012 trade show on target to break its record for visitor numbers. More than 55,000 attended last year, and organisers anticipate a five-percent increase in numbers for 2012.

The exhibition has sold the largest amount of floor space in its history this year. There are fourteen themed halls to browse, housing the latest innovations from more than 1,300 exhibitors.

IBC2012’s track record makes attending it a must for vendors. “I think IBC is seen as a safe pair of hands, and an essential part of growing long-term business,” said IBC chief executive Michael C


According to Olivier Bovis, Sony Europe’s head of AV Media, the annual event is an important opportunity for meeting customers and demonstrating how its products can help meet their clients’ business needs. “By working in close collaboration with partners and customers and listening to their feedback, we are uniquely placed to develop entirely new technology platforms where necessary for the industry,” he said.

New technologies on Sony’s stand include a working model of its new mass storage Optical Disc Archive System. First announced at the NAB Show this year, the disc-based system is being pitched as an alternative or complement to other long-term storage solutions; the chief one being LTO.

“The Sony system is designed to store high volumes of data for long-to-medium storage purposes and comes with more than 50 years of shelf life. It will work well alongside LTO, but will be much more flexible in operation,” said Bovis.

Panasonic, one of the key technology suppliers for London 2012, says that IBC delegates should expect to see working models of some products announced at the 2012 NAB Show. They include improvements to the AG-HPX250, the company’s first P2 HD handheld camera recorder.

“There will also be a few surprises,” hinted Panasonic Press Officer Tom Gibson. “It will be the first 3D Olympics, so you can expect a few announcements to come from that; plus some new cameras and newsroom-based product announcements.”

Over-the-Top (OTT) TV is set to be a hot topic both at the conference, and for content management, transcoding and delivery vendors demonstrating how their platforms are all ready to serve this new market.

Video content management system manufacturer KIT digital will be showcasing an enhanced version of its VOD Store solution, which is part of its Cosmos product range. “We’ll be showing richer e-commerce facilities and more flexible PPV and subscription offers, as well as new features that offer full multilingual support,” said Alfie Kirkpatrick; senior vice president and product manager for KIT Cosmos.

Kit will also be rolling out its VoD system for use on Connected TV and Xbox platforms. The manufacturer’s VOD Store promises to deliver approximately 80 percent of broadcasters’ needs. “The other 20 percent, we will customise for the broadcaster’s specific requirements,” Kirkpatrick said.

The one piece of technology that KIT does not currently make in the OTT delivery chain is transcoders. This is why IBC is an important meeting point for KIT’s key partners in this area, such as Digital Rapids and Harmonic.

The latter company will be showcasing ProMedia Xpress, its new, high-performance, file-based transcoder. According to Peter Alexander, Harmonics’s senior vice president of marketing, “ProMedia Xpress facilitates cost-effective, faster-than-real-time transcoding of content for multiscreen VOD delivery; enabling operators to efficiently launch new services without compromising the quality of their offering.”

Harmonic will also be exhibiting a complete range of solutions designed to help broadcasters and operators successfully navigate the changing world of video—including a demonstrations of MPEG DASH and HEVC. “We will demonstrate cost-effective, highly efficient workflows that deliver excellent video quality and bridge the gap from traditional broadcast to next-generation multiscreen services,” Alexander said.

Harris also hopes to highlight the relevance of its core technologies for the OTT market—from baseband infrastructure and file-based processing to compression and networking; as well as nonlinear ad sales/traffic scheduling systems.

“In today’s rapidly changing world, broadcasters need insight from partners capable of showing where this evolutionary process could lead us,” said Richard Scott, Harris Broadcast Communications’ senior vice president of global sales and services. “With this market position comes a responsibility not only to supply the technology, but also the thought leadership about where our industry is heading, and what is the lowest risk route of arriving where our customers need to be.”


New to IBC this year is a section devoted entirely to file-based production, in the Workflow Solutions Village in Hall 9.

Visitors to the village will find a presentation theatre offering case studies covering live sports, automated QC and cloud creation for broadcasters; plus “look and learn” presentations by current users. These master classes will include speakers from MTV, ITV, Princess Productions, BBC and Channel 4. IBC’s Connected World area is also housed within the new hall.

Headlining the IBC2012 Conference are ITN Chief Executive John Hardie, Samsung Electronics Executive Vice President David Eun, and, fresh from the Olympics, the BBC’s Roger Mosey; director of London 2012.

This year’s opening keynote, “The Rise and Rise of Broadcasting? The Next Chapter” examines why broadcasting models have survived in the face of new and competing media—and how broadcasting will fend off challenges from the emerging platforms of connected TV, mobile and OTT operators such as Netflix. Participants in this session include some key names in European broadcasting such as Brian Sullivan, CEO of Sky Deutschland; Mark Hollinger, president and CEO of Discovery Networks International; and John Tate, the BBC’s director of Policy & Strategy.