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28/09/2015

IBC 2015 Encompasses The Ever-Changing Industry, Pt I

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We are all off to IPC at IBC, to pay our respects to SDI (and Rec. 709) and wonder if the standards that replace them will last anything near as long, writes George Jarrett. More importantly, how many standards do we urgently need, and will the market wait for them to become workable?

Many people believe that industry should develop several de facto standards that prove to work well, and are subsequently ratified.

We will get a full understanding of what pervasive disruption really means, and marvel at the huge rise in VOD revenues around Europe. Amongst the nitty-gritty arguments, we will hear people rightly insisting HDR implies higher or extended dynamic range, and that we are no longer led by technology because nothing happens now without making a business case for it first.

Throughout IPC at IBC, visitors must give the smaller companies some serious close scrutiny – because OTT monetisation, new piracy obstruction tools, cloud apps, ad insertion, big data services, application provisioned networks, publishing direct to social media, saving data directly to Amazon S3, uniquely fingerprinted reference files, and delivering multiple streams in multiple bit rates and protocols are not the preserves of the big brands.

Some of these big players have evolved through acquisition, as Imagine has done under Charlie Vogt, so IPC at IBC and IBC in the cloud will be the time to check all those marriages made in heaven, such as Sony's workflow advances since it acquired Memnon Archiving.

The stunning demos offered by companies like ARRI and Quantel (under its new name) put across the wonders of how top craft skills produce stunning images, but just as rewarding to take in will be the demos on the EBU (Hall 8) and DVB (Hall 1) stands, where independent views about IPC at IBC and the full toolset for consumer 4K act as antidotes to overdosing on vendor presentations offering to lead you through the hybrid forest to the IP candy store. And do not be seduced by the logic and justification behind proprietary systems.

IPC at IBC needs SMPTE in residence, and the dynamism of the IABM. And happily the impact of the DPP will not temper under its new identity. The excellent Rising Stars program, through sessions like The Heart of Hell – Craft Skills, will set up the debates about where our traditional craft skills are heading, and how they will have to evolve for the IP era, for using the sweet spot of 1500 Nits, for working collaboratively in the cloud.

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) will be in the IBC shareholders' village (8.F51f). The most active IBC ownership group during the show, its range of influence will involve the special advances in technology session 'UHD: Where do we stand, and where are we going?' in which SMPTE Executive VP Matthew Goldman, who is senior vice president of technology, TV compression, at Ericsson, will chair.

Speakers will cover how the implementation of UHD will affect broadcasting and theatrical releases, and explore the full UHD ecosystem in the areas of new compression methods, resolution, higher dynamic range, and wide colour gamut.

Those speaking will include Hans Hoffmann, head of media production technology at the EBU and Spencer Stephens, executive VP and CTO at Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Matthew Goldman also will participate in a second SMPTE session titled: 'Breaking the Codec: are current video compression standards enough?'

Other SMPTE members with prominent speaking roles will appear in the
EDCF Global Update session, and the panel for the session 'Immersive Cinema: Sound' will be made up almost entirely of SMPTE faces.

Throughout the show, SMPTE Members will volunteer their time and expertise to provide guided tours of the exhibition floor to Rising Stars participants.

The Digital Production Partnership (DPP) – now a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee – has become a big factor at IBC over the last five years, and this time its published three new guides; 10 Things You Need to Know about UHD, 10 Things You Need to Know about Connectivity, and Home Truths No. 1: Reaching Nirvana – over IP.

JVC (11.G30) has a new version 2.0 firmware upgrade for its GY-LS300 4KCAM handheld Super 35 camcorder. The key feature set are adding a 'JVC Log' mode that practically duplicates the look of film, new Cinema 4K and Cinema 2K recording modes; a unique Prime Zoom feature that uses the camera's innovative technology to allow zoom capabilities when using prime lenses, and a histogram. Users can also trigger recordings via HDMI/SDI and JVC LUT support for the Atomos Shogun external recorder.

ARRI (11.F21) will have its expected flagship cameras – ALEXA 65, the ALEXA SXT and ALEXA Mini, as well as the AMIRA, which has grown its market share in everything from sports to cookery shows, and to indie films. ARRI has reduced the cost of its extended warranties, offering a fixed cost of ownership and a level of service that goes beyond the standard.

Show reels screened on its booth and Big Screen event will highlight some of the productions that have used not only ARRI's cameras, but also its lighting fixtures and its comprehensive selection of cine lenses, typically the new Anamorphic Ultra Wide Zoom. On the lighting side, ARRI will have the new SkyPanel, a bright but compact LED soft light that comes in two sizes, as well as both fully color tune-able and remote phosphor versions.

Avid (7.J20) will showcase much of what it announced at NAB, starting with Avid Interplay | MAM 5, a highly scalable and fully customisable MAM system to help media corporations find and gain more value from media assets, and to streamline operations, and trigger new revenue opportunities.

The Avid Artist | DNxIO hardware interface is designed to accelerate high-resolution video production. In combo with Avid Media Composer, it enables high-res video ingest, editing, monitoring and output.
Avid VENUE | S6L is a live sound mixing system that features an intuitive touch-based interface, enabling sound professionals to easily handle the largest, most complex tours and events.

Sibelius, the music composition and notation software, has reached next release status and now ships as part of the MediaCentral Platform. It gives users flexible and affordable licensing and subscription options, and new workflow features.

Sony (Elicium Hall C.101) – IP in the core, and showcasing how IP-based technologies impact on broadcasters, a major twin focus – will give stand visitors 4K with HDR and HFR some stunning demo images. It will also put on a big show solutions that constantly improve media workflows through improved functionality of the production systems or their ease of use. The entire workflow spectrum is a hot area since Sony acquired Memnon Archiving Services SA. For news gatherers there is new functionality for wirelessly streaming live footage directly from cameras as they shoot. Several of the XDCAM PXW-series will now be capable of streaming footage live, and Sony's CBK-series of wireless adapters will unlock live streaming for any camera with an SDI connection. Another major will be put behind Media Navigator scalable asset management tool. It supports a wide selection of modern media formats, including 4K, and is aimed at production companies, regional broadcasters and other industries.

Continued In Part Two...

This article is also available to read at BFV online.
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