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19/06/2017

Shortlist For IBC2017 Innovation Awards Announced

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IBC has announced the shortlist for the IBC2017 Innovation Awards.

A total of 11 finalists have been selected, with the shortlist covering various aspects of the industry; from a major football final to e-sports, from virtual studios to channel marketing, and mobile OTT on a massive scale to seamless content delivery on high speed trains.

This year, for IBC's 50th anniversary year, categories in the Innovation Awards were updated to reflect the shifting industry landscape. Three awards will be presented for the most innovative projects in Content Creation, Content Distribution and Content Everywhere.

Content Creation
• 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.

• Mediacorp implemented 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 a 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 Média TFO has developed from a small French language broadcaster in Ontario, Canada, into a major online presence producing children's programming. Its Laboratoire d'univers virtuels, or LUV, took a fresh approach to virtual sets, using 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
• Arena Television is a UK-based OB provider. Its all-IP truck is regularly used to originate BT Sport's 4K UHD coverage of the English Premier League. Technology partners for this truck, plus a second which is now also in service, were Cisco, Grass Valley, Lawo and Videlio Video Solutions.

• DMC, the Dutch media company, has migrated from broadcast playout centre to comprehensive media logistics service. It has migrated to a fully virtualised private broadcast cloud that provides its 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 an 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 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 developed 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
• BT Sport was host broadcaster for the 2017 Champions League Final in Cardiff, Wales, and tried to engage with as many people as possible, in as many ways as possible. Separate trucks covered the game in HD and in 4K UHD with Dolby Atmos sound, using the Arena OB truck. A 12-camera VR operation provided a 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 is an eSports company that organises gaming competitions worldwide. For the finals of the 2017 Intel Extreme Masters tournament, 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.

• Google Earth VR; this 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.

• Telefonica worked with Renfe, Spain's national railway operator to ensure the latter's 19 million high speed rail passengers can access premium content and live sports on trains and at stations. The project was led by Telefonica, with technology partners including Accedo, Cires21, Cisco, Hispasat, Iecisa, Indra, Nagra, Signiant and Teldat.

The winners will be announced during the IBC2017 Awards Ceremony, at 6.30pm on Sunday 17 September, in the RAI Auditorium. The guest host for the evening is scientist and broadcaster Dr Helen Czerski.

Michael Lumley, Chair of the judging panel, said: "I was astounded by the quantity, and most important the quality, of entries this year. 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. I look forward to congratulating all the finalists and hearing the winners announced on Sunday night at IBC."

www.ibc.org

(JP/MH)
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