IBC Eyes 3D, IP Delivery

European show welcomes back Sony and Snell, adds exhibit hall

Broadcasters and the technology vendors that support them gather this
week (Sept. 9-14) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands for the 2010 International
Broadcasting Convention, where they will assess new technologies such as
stereoscopic 3D and discuss the financial future of their business.

Last year’s show saw a dip in both attendees and exhibitors
from 2008 as the broadcast industry weathered
one of the toughest economic years in its history.
Attendance dropped from 49,250 to 45,547, and exhibitors
decreased from 1,451 to 1,355. But with the
broadcast business recovering in 2010 and the National
Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas last April
posting a slight bump, vendors are hopeful that this
year’s IBC will be healthier.

While IBC organizers won’t make predictions, they
expect to see at least 1,300 exhibitors at the convention,
the second-largest technology show for the professional
video industry after NAB. That number will
include large production vendors Sony and Snell, which
skipped last year’s IBC to spend their marketing dollars
on making more individual visits with customers.

This year, IBC has also added a new exhibit hall, the
800-square-meter Hall 13, to give some legacy exhibitors
more space and welcome new vendors to the show.

“I think it will be better attended than last year,” says
Mike Knaisch, president and CEO of archiving supplier
Front Porch Digital. Knaisch added that he expects to
be hearing a lot about stereoscopic 3D, which is “kind
of a carry-over from NAB.”

“They’ve opened a new [exhibit] hall, so exhibitors
must be showing up,” adds Jim Hurwitz, director of
product marketing and management, Telecast Fiber
Systems. “I’m hoping that with all this interest in 3D,
people will be coming. I’m hopeful that there will be a
willingness to invest in the future of TV.”

Telecast Fiber will be one of many vendors demonstrating
new 3D–capable products at the show. And developments
in 3D technology will be discussed in detail during
IBC’s companion conference, including the session, “The
Rise and Rise of Stereo 3D” on Sept. 11, with executives
from NDS, Ericsson and Sony; and “Post-Producing 3D
Features” on Sept. 12, chaired by Warner Bros. SVP of
Technology Wendy Aylsworth and featuring executives
from Disney, Technicolor, Dolby and Deluxe Digital.

The technical challenges and producing in stereoscopic
3D will also be a big part of IBC’s “Sports Day”
on Sept. 11, including a session on the 3D broadcasts of
the 2010 FIFA World Cup and 3D sports’ potential led
by Peter Angell, head of production and programming
for Host Broadcast Services, and featuring ESPN SVP of
technology Kevin Stolworthy.

Of course, the future of TV doesn’t just mean 3D,
but also the delivery of content through the Internet
to a wide range of IP–enabled or “connected devices,”
including computers, broadband-enabled TVs and Bluray
players, and a growing number of “over-the-top”
set-top devices including expected new products from
Google and Apple.

In that vein, IBC is dedicating Hall 9 to “Connected
World,” a collaborative exhibit that groups multiple
vendors showing the latest in alternative distribution
technologies such as IPTV, mobile TV and digital signage.
The Hall’s centerpiece will be a “Connected Home
of the Future,” demonstrating the distribution of TV,
video and digital content via connected set-top boxes
and receivers, hybrid TVs, LCDs, netbooks, game consoles,
tablets, media players or mobile phones.

The opportunities presented by IP video delivery will
also be discussed in detail during the companion IBC conference,
which as in previous years is aligned into three
tracks: “Technology Advancements,” “Content Creation &
Innovation” and “The Business of Broadcasting.” Sessions
on Sept. 9 include “Going Social: the Implications and
Opportunities of Interactive Media,” chaired by Charles
Cheevers, ARRIS’ CTO for Europe; “When Broadband and
TV Become One: The Technical, Commercial and Content
Implications of an Impending Merger,” featuring executives
from NTT in Japan and the BBC and TSL in the U.K.;
and “Connected TV: The New Deal Between Content and
Devices,” featuring a keynote by Ian Trombley, EVP of
technical operations for NBC Universal.

The opening keynote of IBC’s sports day, “Olympics
Games Coverage: Past, Present & Future,” will be delivered
by sports production legend Manolo Romero, managing
director of Spain’s Olympic Broadcasting Services.
He will then be joined by Dave Mazza, SVP of engineering
for NBC Olympics, who will talk about the recent
Winter Games in Vancouver; and Roger Mosey, director
of London 2012 coverage for the BBC, who will discuss
preparations for the next Summer Olympics.

Romero, who has been involved with every Olympics
production since the 1968 Summer Games in Mexico
City, will also be presented with the IBC International
Honor for Excellence at the convention’s’ annual IBC
Awards on Sunday night, Sept. 12.

ScheduALL Showcases
Collaboration for
Large Broadcasters

ScheduALL, whose enterprise resource management software
is used by large media companies and transmission
providers to schedule and track daily operations, will demonstrate
two new products at IBC, aimed at making it easier
for such fi rms to both contract for and share resources like
satellite time, production trucks and freelance personnel.

The Hollywood, Fla.–based company’s new ERM application
(ERMa), which has just finished beta testing,
enables disparate ScheduALL systems to communicate
with each other. With the $25,000 ERMa software module,
anyone who owns a ScheduALL system can partner
and share inventories with another ScheduALL system
in real time.

ScheduALL CEO Joel Ledlow says that large customers
such as Disney and CBS are already
using ERMa to better utilize in-house
capabilities in multiple locations, such
as putting a scanner in London to work
for a project in Los Angeles, as well as
to make it easier to share and resell satellite
capacity they aren’t using.

“They can ‘friend’ each other, see
the inventory in real-time and make a
booking,” says Ledlow.

ScheduALL has also created AVvA, a
cloud-based solution designed to tie freelancers into the
company’s software platform. AVvA, which is available
as a free service and can be accessed from any Internet
connection, books freelancers directly into workflows as
if they were in-house resources. Ledlow says the system
eliminates the need for media companies to use multiple
emails and phone calls to find, contract, schedule,
manage and report on freelance personnel for different
projects and assignments.

Snell Bows
Control, Routing

U.K.–based Snell will introduce Centra,
a new control and monitoring platform,
which is designed to deliver unified
control, monitoring and playout to large
broadcasters. By integrating with both
Snell and third-party broadcast and IT
technology, Centra aims to create new
operational efficiencies by bringing centralized
confi guration and control to all
areas of real-time content preparation,
infrastructure management, studio, and
OB (outside broadcast) productions.
Productions can be switched and infrastructure
can be reconfigured at
the press of a button. Snell will also
introduce the Sirius 830, the latest
in its line of large-scale, multi-format
expandable routers. The 16RU Sirius
830 offers a more compact 288 x 288
frame size for mid- to large-scale studio
or OB productions, with the ability to add an additional
144 independently controllable outputs for connection to
any Snell or third-party multiviewer solution.

Orad to Introduce
Adobe Plug-In

Israeli graphics and virtual set supplier Orad will introduce
a new software plug-in designed to work with
Adobe’s popular After Effects compositing application.
The new graphics manager plug-in—the AE-GFX Manager—
is designed to efficiently manage the rendering
and cueing tasks for After Effects.

Prior to Orad’s solution, operators had to physically
sit next to an After Effects application and manually
change any text or image and render it repeatedly for
every “bug,” graphic or promo used. With the new plugin,
operators can now convert an After Effects project
into a template, send a text/image parameter or ingest
a new text or image to the After Effects project directly
from the AE-GFX Manager, and then send it for automatic