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13/10/2014

Forbidden, IBC2014 And The Cloud...

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From my perspective, IBC2014 was one of the busiest IBCs ever, comparable to last year and with a palpable energy, writes Stephen Streater, CEO, Forbidden.

As an industry executive with an eye toward the cloud, I spent a good deal of my time at the show surveying users and industry insiders to gauge the status of cloud adoption and acceptance. I also browsed the show floor in pursuit of new trends and developments – especially those that stand to influence cloud services.
I came away with some distinct impressions: Lower prices on professional-grade products – such as those from Blackmagic Design and GoPro – are blurring the boundary between the broadcast market and the much higher-volume non-broadcast professional and 'prosumer' market. This is a significant change to the industry, which is increasingly impacting broadcast suppliers and will shape the way they do business in the future.
In general, I saw little evidence of real breakthroughs or innovation in traditional broadcast hardware or software.
Instead, I saw incremental improvements to existing products and technologies. On the other hand, IT and cloud services continue to advance rapidly and are quickly replacing the traditional broadcaster kit. The cloud as a whole is now widely accepted, and many even see it as a necessity for creating evolved, efficient workflows.
That acceptance might seem like the death knell for broadcast equipment suppliers, but all is not lost as long as those suppliers can embrace the IT trend. It appears that customers are looking first to traditional broadcast suppliers for IT, before going to IT vendors.
Customers probably hope that their traditional suppliers will step up to new cloud-based technologies because, after all, those suppliers already understand the unwritten requirements of a demanding broadcast environment.
I'm also confident that Forbidden Technologies made an impression of its own on conference-goers. The IBC conference picked up on Forbidden's development process of testing and, where appropriate, challenging and overturning preconceptions. Forscene – Forbidden's market-leading cloud video platform – was the subject of two Content Everywhere Europe conference sessions.
In the workflow session, a large facility described how they started using Forscene. They went on to explain how they had created a new workflow which reaps financial benefits by synchronising post-production and archiving for the BBC through Forscene.
This year, the great strides made by the cloud concept were evidenced by the dedicated cloud theatre. In Forscene's cloud session, a key client described how they used Forscene in their new wireless camera production and post-production workflow. The audience heard how using the cloud eliminates the delay between shooting and editing, providing better collaboration between production crews in the field and post-production teams back at base.
Ease of integration in the cloud was one thing that stood out at IBC2014 – and this only makes the value of our Forscene cloud platform more apparent. For example, at our own stand, we had a live demonstration of integration between Forscene and the new Sony mobile camera adapter, showing an end-to-end cloud workflow in Forscene. In talking with visitors to our stand and others at the show, we confirmed growing interest in Forscene workflows that let media makers acquire, log, edit, finish and publish video all within the Forscene platform. In these workflows, clients use Forscene not just for review and logging, but also for the nonlinear editing stages.
We also heard from many attendees that Forscene-only cloud workflows are attractive for editing and repurposing content for Web and mobile distribution. Sports editing and repurposing broadcast channels for the web and mobile are particularly amenable to this approach: the simplicity and speed of the Forscene interface are well suited for fast turnaround situations, and the cloud integration simplifies web and mobile distribution.
My own observations about the cloud gleaned from IBC2014 at large, coupled with the interactions we had during the theatre presentations and at our own stand, reinforced the value of Forscene as a powerful and mature platform which can support full production workflows entirely in the cloud. Which begs the question: "Once in the cloud, why leave it?"

Read the article in BFV online.

(IT/JP)
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