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IBC is the world's leading media, entertainment and technology show. Six leading international bodies are the partners behind IBC, representing both exhibitors and visitors.

IBC calls for the best in innovation

Established as one of the most influential, most prestigious awards in the media, entertainment and technology industry, the IBC Innovation Awards continue to reflect the very latest in the use of technology to engage and excite audiences.

“The IBC Innovation Awards are the awards that everyone in our industry wants to win,” said Michael Crimp, CEO of IBC. “We see projects from around the world, from the biggest players to exciting new providers, all competing to win one of our coveted awards. The quantity and quality of entries continue to grow each year, and this year we are sure that we will see an ever more diverse set of nominations, which means an even tougher task for our judges.”

The IBC Innovation Awards are unique in celebrating collaboration to achieve real-world goals. Whereas new products are the focus of other industry awards, the IBC Innovation Awards are won by companies who have drawn on the latest technologies to create proven solutions that find new ways to meet today’s creative, commercial and technical challenges.

The three categories that make up the programme are Content Creation, Content Distribution and Content Everywhere. The international panel of independent industry figures also has the power to award a Judges’ Prize, which in the past has gone to organisations as diverse as French Canadian online content creator Groupe Média TFO and NASA, who accepted their award live from the International Space Station.

Michael Lumley, chair of the judging panel, said “It does not matter where the nomination comes from, nor the size and scale of the project. Winners can be the biggest multi-national broadcasters, or they can be app developers with a very specific audience. What the judges are looking for is innovation and collaboration in all its forms to solve a real-world challenge, something that makes the content more engaging or more commercially successful.”

“Whether you are established in the broadcast sector or focused on emerging technologies that are disrupting the industry, we encourage companies of all sizes and from across the industry to submit an entry for the IBC Innovation Awards – remember innovation is key,” concluded Lumley.

Call for IBC2018 Technical Papers submission is now open

IBC has announced that it is now accepting synopsis submissions for its prestigious Technical Papers for the IBC2018 Conference.

For over 50 years, IBC has been the world’s foremost forum for the unveiling, explanation, exploration and dissemination of the very latest concepts in media technology. Its published proceedings are a collected history of broadcasting and media technology written by engineers and scientists who have personally shaped today’s exciting and diverse industry.

The selected 2018 Technical Papers will not form part of a single conference stream, as in previous years. Instead, they will be integrated with business and strategic presentations within specific themes throughout the conference. This will bring ground-breaking technologies closer to the attention of more delegates, and will ensure these delegates have the opportunity to hear first-hand presentations from the world’s brightest innovators and researchers.

IBC looks forward to receiving proposals for Technical Papers dealing with any novel aspect of media technology. All submissions are peer-reviewed by a panel of professional experts and will be published on IBC365. Papers accepted for presentation at the IBC Conference will also have a chance of winning the highly coveted Best Conference Paper Award, presented at the IBC Awards.

The scope of media technology continues to diversify well beyond the traditional production and distribution of audio-visual content. Today the industry embraces such developments as: machine learning (AI), VR, AR, mobility, immersivity, user psychology, gesture recognising interfaces, blockchain, autonomous production, business data analytics, and the tracking and generation of sports data, to list just a few. IBC is especially interested in up-and-coming areas such as these and the potential that they have for influencing the future of the media and broadcast industry. The 2017 Best Conference Paper Award went to TV Globo of Brazil for its paper describing how its implementation of AI-based technologies has revolutionised business operations.

Nick Lodge, IBC’s executive producer of Technology, said: “We look forward to receiving many novel, exciting and surprising offers of papers which will inform the design of all the technology sessions at IBC2018. I am also delighted that at this year’s conference, new technology, will be linked more closely with other strategic topics, making it more accessible to more delegates than ever before.”

The deadline for submissions is Monday, 5 February 2018. Entries can be submitted at show.ibc.org/technicalpapers

IBC2017 reports record visitor numbers in its 50th year

In its 50th anniversary, IBC2017 has confirmed a year-on-year increase in visitor numbers, marking a record attendance of 57 669 across the six day event. Visitors from across the expanding media ecosystem had the opportunity to learn about the opportunities offered by technologies – including social media TV, OTT, VR, AR, Cloud, IP, Bots and 5G – and to meet the most intelligent robots.

Visitors to the 15 exhibition halls witnessed many exciting new launches; Launch Pad grew year-on-year with a record number of exhibitors; the Future Reality Theatre and Content Everywhere Hub free programmes were packed with diverse and new exciting content, embracing the transformation.

Conference delegates packed the Forum to hear from leading experts from Facebook, Google, CNN, HTC Viveport, Dolby, C4 and ITV to discuss and debate the hot topics challenging the industry with a focus on media convergence and global transformation.

IBC was excited to welcome robots Sophia and Professor Einstein™, the expressive, intelligent and exceptionally humanlike robots designed and created by Hanson Robotics Founder and Chief Executive, Dr David Hanson, Ph.D. Sophia responded to questions verbally and with complex facial expressions during the fascinating keynote session that covered both the technology and the ethics behind the advancement of robotics.

IBC introduced three new initiatives which were huge successes. The IP Showcase saw large audiences packed in to see real-world  demonstrations of proven IP end-to-end workflows for production and playout.

The Startup Forum held in association with Media Honeypot brought a new unique event structure matching startups and scaleups with investors. We welcomed special guest HRH Prince Constantijn, who is championing the Dutch startup ecosystem. The inaugural invite only C-Tech Forum brought together senior executives from across the media landscape to discuss and debate two key issues affecting the industry: Cyber Security and 5G. The Forums generated deep dive conversations and networking on two of the most exciting, challenging and important stimulants to impact the industry.

IBC chief executive Michael Crimp, said: “IBC 2017 celebrated its 50th anniversary with record attendance, bustling exhibition halls, new features and a dynamic conference. Now we look to the future and continue that conversation via our online community IBC365.”

The IBC2018 conference will take place from 13 to 17 September 2018: the exhibition runs from 14 to 18 September 2018.

Timeline Television to showcase its IP 4K HDR OB truck on SAM’s IBC booth

Snell Advanced Media (SAM) recently announced that Timeline Television’s newest OB truck – the first IP 4K HDR truck in Europe – will be featured on its stand at IBC 2017. The truck, UHD2, seamlessly handles fully uncompressed 4K/UHD, IP and HDR.

A state-of-the-art, triple expanding OB truck, UHD2 is home to a range of SAM technology including two Kahuna IP production switchers, IP Multiviewers and with SAM’s IP infrastructure technology providing the backbone. Also in the truck for IBC, SAM’s LiveTouch 4K/UHD replay and highlights system will be used for demonstrations.

Timeline’s UHD2 is designed to support 32 Sony 4K cameras. Its two Kahunas enable SDR and HDR to be run simultaneously along with down converted HD outputs. The set-up allows production teams to work in VSF TR03 (SMPTE ST 2110 draft) – the first time this has been done in an OB truck – enabling Timeline to work with video and audio as separate essence flows within an IP workflow.

Daniel McDonnell, managing director at Timeline Television said, “We worked closely with SAM to design a workflow based on the latest IP infrastructure and HDR technology available, providing customers with a highly scalable solution that can meet complex production requirements without the need to add additional OB support. Given the increased number of 4K cameras and replay positions that we wanted to support, IP made perfect sense and SAM’s technology even more so as it afforded us the maximum flexibility and scalability.’

Robert Szabo-Rowe, EVP and general manager, Live Production and Infrastructure, SAM commented, “We’re really excited to have Timeline’s award winning UHD2 truck on our stand at IBC as it’s a tremendous showcase for our technology and testament to our close partnership with Timeline in delivering true market innovation. The truck offers a great opportunity for visitors to IBC to experience how IP is being used today in a real life scenario.’

Daniel McDonnell, managing director at Timeline Television will be presenting a detailed case study on UHD2 within the IBC IP Showcase theatre (E106/107). More information on the IBC IP Showcase can be found here.

Mobile Encoder to be shown by Quicklink at IBC 2017

At IBC 2017, Quicklink, one of the leading global providers for software and hardware IP solutions, will showcase their Quicklink Mobile Encoder solution. The Mobile Encoder is designed for performance and portability, and transmits broadcast quality, low latency live video over IP from the most challenging network locations.

The Mobile Encoder has the ability to bond multiple internet connections in order to improve the speed and reliability of the internet connection, meaning excellent results can be achieved from a variety of networks. The encoder can simultaneously bond 15+ connections including Wi-Fi, USB and Satellite to create the most consistent and reliable connection.

The Mobile Encoder has recently been used by Geo News for UK Election 2017 coverage. The encoder was used to broadcast live from London, United Kingdom to their head-office in Karachi, Pakistan. While filming in London, Geo News experienced challenging weather and heavy rain, however this did not affect the live transmission and the Mobile Encoder worked flawlessly.

“The Quicklink Mobile Encoder played a vital role in the success of Geo News coverage of the UK Elections. Our experience with the Mobile Encoder using 4G LTE SIMS was great and the Encoder was used as a replacement of “Satellite Link’’ – Zeeshan Haider, (manager, IT & Telecom) Geo TV.

Along with the Mobile Encoder, Quicklink will also be showing the new Remote Communicator, Quicklink TX and Quicklink Playout Servers.

The Quicklink TX Mobile Encoder will be showcased at IBC 2017, RAI Amsterdam (Hall 3, stand B30) from 15 to 19 September.

IBC2017 offers insights into future technologies

Visitors to IBC2017 will be able to immerse themselves in a world of cutting edge technologies, with a host of opportunities to learn about the accelerating trends that are enhancing, customising or otherwise transforming the user experience (UX).

Media and broadcast professionals should not miss the Business Transformation  conference session entitled “Broadcast is about to be transformed’, with  speakers from Google, Freeview Australia, DMC and DTG discussing the myriad disruptions currently facing broadcast on all fronts. With IP-only delivery, on demand consumption, and  personalised user experiences, what can broadcasters do today to make the most of these transformations?

The series of Tech Talks on Sunday 17 September 2017 features several must-see sessions that step further into the future. “Inventing the Future – Decoding the Unknown’ promises to be a wide-ranging discussion with experts envisioning the technologies and applications that are likely to materialise in the near and distant future, and the impacts they might have on humanity. The panel includes senior executives from organisations including BBC R&D, NHK, 21Million, Nuance Communications and Disney Research.

“Artificial Intelligence – Driving the Next Wave of Innovation’ looks at the potential for AI, which is still largely uncharted territory. Attendees will hear from tech pioneers including Alex Zhukov, CTO at Videogorillas and Yoav Oz, co-founder of Spotad, about the latest developments in AI, how to harness them and how they might affect companies and consumers.

The session “In Conversation with…Bots: Messaging and Voice Platforms as the Next Battleground for Consumer’ signals that The Big Bot Battle’  surrounding Chatbots as an interface and service has begun, but there are still many challenges for this nascent platform – including functionality, adoption, monetisation, UX and payment integration. Panelists from organisations including Al Jazeera Media Network, The Bot Platform and TurnUp Music will debate emerging opportunities, challenges and winning applications for the media industry.

In the Platform Futures strand, Arash Pendari, founder of Vionlabs and tech evangelist for UX presents “Future User Experience: Mathematics or Art?’, a visual and information driven session with personalisation of content at its heart.

The Auditorium will host a Big Screen Experience entitled “Future Camera and Presentation Technologies and Applications leading to AR/VR, Immersive Media, and Holography’ featuring legendary cinematographer, visual effects supervisor and author, David Stump ASC, and light-field visionary, production executive, and motion-picture technology innovator, Jon Karafin. In conversation with Julian Pinn, managing director of Julian Pinn Ltd, they will discussing the latest technologies that are destined to revolutionise how we capture images and volumetric light-fields, and how to empower content creators to explore and display their own free-viewpoint creations of both live-action and computer-generated content within augmented and virtual reality immersive media playback environments, including future holographic displays.

IBC2017 Innovation Awards shortlist announced

IBC recently announced the shortlist for the IBC2017 Innovation Awards. Demonstrating a breadth of innovation in the electronic media, entertainment and technology industry, the international judging panel reviewed an array of compelling entries, settling on 11 finalists from around the world, all offering very different solutions.

The shortlist covers everything from a major football final to e-sports; from virtual studios to channel marketing; from mobile OTT on a massive scale to seamless content delivery on high speed trains. Taking to the stage during the IBC Awards Ceremony on Sunday 17 September will be representatives from Toronto to Singapore, the UK to India, and Spain to the USA.

For 2017, IBC’s 50th anniversary year, categories in the Innovation Awards were updated to reflect and respond to the shifting industry landscape. Three awards will be presented for the most innovative projects in Content Creation, Content Distribution and Content Everywhere. What has not changed is the emphasis on collaborative work to tackle a real challenge, and the trophies are taken home not by the technology partners but by the broadcasters, media enterprises and service providers who commissioned the project

“I was astounded by the quantity, and most important the quality, of entries this year,’ said Michael Lumley, chair of the judging panel. “It took a lot of intense discussion to get down to 11 finalists – it was a very tough task and there were many excellent projects which did not make the shortlist, often by a very fine margin.’

“The international spread of 2017 finalists reflects the global reach of IBC, and the global significance of these most highly-coveted awards,’ Lumley added. “I look forward to congratulating all the finalists and hearing the winners announced on Sunday night at IBC.’

Content Creation – three finalists

• ITV in the UK has been shortlisted for its Project Phoenix. The broadcaster needed to develop a system which managed the production of promos and trailers from commissioning to transmission. The result creates more than 1,000 marketing assets every month, with almost all versioning carried out automatically. Technology partners alongside ITV were 100 Shapes, Cantemo, Codemill, NMR, Pixel Power and Vidispine.
• Leading broadcaster Mediacorp made the shortlist for implementing a service-oriented architecture to break down silos across its global campuses and create a seamless production and delivery environment. Its new centre includes a 3,000 square metre newsroom producing online, television and radio news in four languages, together with six studios and a large theatre, more than 100 edit suites and OTT and broadcast delivery. Systems integrator Qvest Media brought in an enormous number of technology partners, including Actus, Adobe, ATCI, Autoscript, Avid, Axon, Baton, Blackmagic Design, Cisco, Dalet, DHD audio, EVS, Fairlight, Grass Valley, Harmonic, Hitachi, HP, IBM, Ihse, Lawo, Lund Halsey, Netia, Octopus, Oracle, Raritan, RCS, SAM, Scheduall, Shotoku, Sony, ST Electronics, Telestream, TriplePlay, TSL and Vizrt.
• Groupe Media TFO has transformed itself from a small, French language broadcaster in Ontario, Canada, into a major online presence producing much-loved children’s programming. Its Laboratoire d’univers virtuels, or LUV, took a fresh approach to virtual sets, using the power and cost-effectiveness of the Unreal games engine from Epic Games. Today TFO produces as many as 40 short videos, in real time, each day, from a single studio. As well as Epic, technology partners were CEV, stYpe and Zero Density.

Content Distribution – four finalists
• Arena Television is a UK-based outside broadcast provider, and led the industry in Europe with its first all-IP truck. It is regularly used to originate BT Sport’s 4k Ultra HD coverage of the English Premier League. Technology partners for this pioneering truck (and a second which is now also in service) were Cisco, Grass Valley, Lawo and Videlio Video Solutions.
• Dutch media company DMC has migrated from broadcast playout centre to comprehensive media logistics service. As part of this it has migrated to a fully virtualised private broadcast cloud that provides DMC’s clients with the asset management, publishing and distribution services they need, linking international content owners with 700 million European viewers. The new platform was developed with Cisco, Equinix, Pebble Beach Systems, Red Hat, Super Micro and VMware.
• Sinclair Broadcast Group operates 233 television stations in 108 US markets. As part of its programme to provide a common platform for on air and online services, it has developed a revolutionary approach to terrestrial transmission. The usual American model is “high tower, high power’: a single mast and transmitter. The new approach – developed by TeamCast and ONE Media for Sinclair – takes a cellular approach, using mini-transmitters just where they are needed in a large single frequency network.
• Viacom 18 is a joint venture in India between media giant Viacom and local service provider Network 18, running a multi-channel OTT network called VOOT. Faced with the prospect of delivering content to the 300 million smartphones in India, across networks which are often crowded and at high data costs, it took a fresh approach, developing a progressive web service that delivered high performance without taking valuable memory space. Within just a few days VOOT saw a 77% increase in conversion from visitor to video viewer and a 39% increase in session time per user. Google provided technology support.

Content Everywhere – four finalists
• BT Sport was host broadcaster for the 2017 Champions League Final in Cardiff, Wales, and went all in to engage with as many people as possible, in as many ways as possible. Separate trucks covered the game in HD and in 4k Ultra HD with Dolby Atmos sound – using the Arena truck nominated for the content distribution award. A unique 12 camera VR operation provided a rich 360˚ feed, including in-vision graphics, live replays and a separate commentary. The content was available online to all platforms as well as broadcast. Technology partners included Dolby, Ericsson, Moov, SAM, Sony, Telegenic and Timeline.
• ESL, the Electronic Sports League, is an eSports company that organises gaming competitions worldwide. For the finals of the 2017 Intel Extreme Masters tournament, held in Poland, it needed to find a delivery partner that could deliver live feeds to 13 broadcasters in multiple regions, with additional OTT and digital cinema delivery to some territories. ESL partnered with Deluxe to enable the delivery of live ESL broadcast feeds over the public internet. The eSports tournament reached more than 46 million viewers.
• For a decade Google Earth has given us the ability to explore the world using just the internet. Now we can immerse ourselves in its wonders using Google Earth VR. The new app uses touch, sight and sound to engage the viewer and to receive control feedback. New techniques render imagery smoothly, maintaining the immersion without confusion or motion sickness. Technology partners were Ant Food, Even/Odd, Joshua Moshier and Richard Devine.
• The final project on this year’s shortlist is a real content everywhere application – ensuring consistent media delivery on trains travelling in excess of 300km an hour. Renfe, Spain’s national railway operator, worked with Telefonica to ensure its 19 million high speed rail passengers can access premium content and live sports on trains and at stations as if they were at home. The project was led by Telefonica, with technology partners including Accedo, Cires21, Cisco, Hispasat, Iecisa, Indra, Nagra, Signiant and Teldat.

IBC2017 Awards Ceremony
The winners of these three awards will be announced during the IBC2017 Awards Ceremony, at 18:30 on Sunday 17 September, in the RAI Auditorium. Special guest host for the evening is scientist and broadcaster Dr Helen Czerski.

As well as the Innovation Awards, the ceremony will see the announcement of the Judges’ Prize, also in the gift of the same panel of international editors and consultants who have judged the Innovation Awards. Other awards to be presented during the ceremony include the IBC International Honour for Excellence, IBC’s highest award.

The ceremony is free for all IBC attendees.

IBC launches 365 online community platform

IBC has announced the launch of IBC365, a new online community platform and weekly e-bulletin that will share IBC’s business knowledge and insight through fresh and original content, throughout the year.

As part of IBC’s remit to be run “by the industry, for the industry’, the organisation recently commissioned extensive independent research to take the pulse of the broadcast and media industry and pinpoint areas where IBC could offer greater value to 1 700+ exhibitors and 55 000+ visitors of the IBC Show in Amsterdam in September. A key finding of the research was a desire for more IBC-generated industry insight outside of show time.

IBC chief executive Michael Crimp said: “For several years IBC stakeholders have asked for access to the wealth of knowledge generated by our wide range of industry experts. IBC365 enables us to deliver this invaluable market information and high quality content whenever and wherever it is needed. This will also allow us to reach out to new markets and draw them into the IBC community.’

In addition to serving the broadcast and media community, the research also identified a number of key adjacent markets such as Cloud, AR/VR, Mobile, IoT, Social Networks, Artificial Intelligence and Telcoms, which would benefit from IBC’s industry expertise.

IBC365 went live on 19 April 2017 with hundreds of articles and videos, including industry trends, executive interviews, thought leadership, technology papers and sponsored content across Production, Content Management, Delivery, Consumption and Technology Advances. Commissioned content specifically aimed at adjacent markets will engage them more fully with IBC. The editorial output of IBC365 will also align with the themes, sessions and speakers at IBC2017.

IBC’s leading team of writers, consultants and analysts includes Fergal Ringrose, formerly editor-in-chief of TVB Europe and the IBC Daily, as executive editor, and George Bevir, formerly Technology and Facilities editor of Broadcast and editor of Broadcast Tech, in the role of editor.

IBC365, can be found at ibc.org

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