New York Met Opera, Dutch police receive IBC honors

The Metropolitan Opera of New York City received the IBC International Honor for Excellence, the greatest honor IBC bestows, during this year’s awards ceremony Sept. 15 at IBC2009 in Amsterdam.

The opera made its first broadcast in January 1910 and has since used radio and television to bring opera to a wider audience. In 2006, it launched a new venture, the transmission of operas captured in HD and transmitted to digital cinemas in the United States and around the world.

“I guess we are a little surprised, being an aging art form, to be winning a technological award, but we’re thrilled to be the recipients and we want to thank you, IBC,” said Peter Gelb, speaking live via HD satellite from New York during the awards presentation. The award itself was presented to Mark Schubin, the engineer in charge of the opera’s technical team

During the awards ceremony, IBC also recognized KLPD, the Netherlands Police, for its Amber Alert service, which broadcasts information about lost or potentially kidnapped children. Rather than limiting the system to television, KLPD wanted to use every communications medium available to spread the message as widely and as quickly as possible.

Dutch communications specialist Netpresenter stepped up to the challenge and developed the functionality that the police wanted, a single point of access to push messages across all media, including online messages to individuals and businesses who have registered for the service. The Amber Alert messaging is sent to computers, as SMS and instant messages, and presented as Web site alerts and RSS news feeds.

During the awards presentation, IBC also recognized ESPN, Radio Télévision Belge Francophone (RTBF) and Arab States Broadcasting Union with the 2009 IBC Innovation Awards.