Broadcasters were urged to start leveraging the emerging technology available to start explaining stories rather than simply ‘following the money’, by Lord David Puttnam in his IBC Masterclass address. Citing George Clooney’s Oscar-winning Good Night, and Good Luck (2005) quote “unless TV started again to teach, and to illuminate, and to inspire then it was no more than merely wires and lights in a box”, he wrapped up the sentiment of innovation that set the tone for IBC 2016.
The 49th IBC closed in Amsterdam in late September with record numbers of attendees (almost 56,000) coming together to discuss the challenges and opportunities that face an industry in transition. The key themes were as expected – technology evolution towards a more IT/IP/Cloud model, a ramping up of UHD activity on the back of HDR and WCG developments, an early look at immersive experiences such as AR/VR and the growth of data-driven decision making in areas such as targeted advertising, personalisation and more.
Most notable new technology on show in the exhibition was VideoFlow, a managed TV transmission solution that is capable of moving broadcast quality programming over the public internet. Their solution lets companies boost the reliability of IP networks for efficient professional video transport without sacrificing video quality.
UHD was also widely discussed and represented amongst both vendors and attendees. The addition of HDR and WCG to 4K (and even without 4K) under the UHD banner is driving many initiatives at the product, content and channel level. IBC also featured a larger gathering of VR and AR than ever before and all sides of the industry are looking at how to embrace these new tools to enhance storytelling and content immersion.
“IBC really is the only forum that attracts a global audience, the most comprehensive exhibition, and the best thought-leaders to spark the debate,” said Michael Crimp, CEO of IBC.
“But IBC, above all else, is about bringing people together to share knowledge and to do business. It is clear, from the buzz around the whole show, that this has been a great year.”
The exhibition featured over 1,800 exhibitors, including 249 companies at their first IBC. Across the five days, 435 speakers took part in more than 100 sessions.
Crimp said that it is part of IBC’s role to help facilitate key industry issues. “Clarity on IP standards will certainly help purchasing decisions and unlock business for everyone. We will be happy to host the next stage of development next year, too,” he said.
The difference between the European and US OTT markets make for interesting comparison studies.
Crimp said that in Europe there has been growth in pay TV players delivering standalone OTT services such as the Now TV service from Sky, and Netflix has been widely signed up by IPTV players such as Belgacom and DT. He added that there is more OTT activity from European broadcasters such as Cirkus TV, which is backed by ITV. These trends are fairly unique to Europe, though there are examples of them elsewhere.
Crimp added that the European market is somewhat complex to reach, with language and localisation being just one of a number of factors. All of these players have decent scale to make the investment work as well as sufficient shareholder focus to diversify revenue streams outside of the U.S. and North American market.
Specialist IPTV systems integrator focusing on service providers and enterprises. CombiTel offers unmatched value to its clients based on its unique mix of skills and many years of experience in both Telecommunications and Broadcasting. We have a proven track record and happy customers in Australia and New Zealand.
More information: combitel.com.au