The International Broadcasting Convention opens its doors Friday, Sept. 8 in Amsterdam and the early buzz is that HDTV will be a dominant force on the show floor and in the convention meeting rooms.
European broadcasters and satellite and cable providers have just begun moving into HD, and are now facing some of the same challenges U.S. broadcasters had to overcome years ago. In fact, the convention kicks off on Friday with an all-day “HDTV Lift-Off” theme with program highlights including “Why HDTV is inevitable” a backhanded way of acknowledging continued skepticism in Europe about the need for HD.
While Europeans overcome their doubts they’ll be opening up new sales channels for manufacturers. “As HD programming becomes increasingly important, the ability to address both HD and SD playback without doubling up of master control infrastructure is of great value to broadcasters and thematic channel providers,” said Eugene Plawutsky, product manager at Miranda.
Miranda, for example, will demonstrate Vertigo XG, a graphic system that allows a station's programming to be format converted and then independently branded in SD and HD at either 1080i or 720p, an important capability as European broadcasters embrace HD.
With dual, independent branding engines, users can ensure the HD and SD outputs are free of the usual aspect ratio compromises common in today's simulcast scenarios. Plawutsky says the system is ideal for the playout of graphics such as branding templates with data tickers and crawls, station logos and local weather, as well as interstitials and promos.
European facilities are also embracing flat-panel monitors in master control, making it possible to view both SD and HD camera and tape feeds on the same monitor. Zandar Technologies will introduce a number of enhancements to its MultiViewer line, including support of 1080p HD output resolution, automatic aspect ratio management, and auto-sensing of HD and SD signals. Also new this year is the ability to display 12 or 16 inputs on one monitor.
Home networking technologies will also be unveiled, with Renesas Technology and Metalink Ltd demonstrating a complete wireless home entertainment network system based on the Renesas SH-4 SuperH family of RISC microprocessors and Metalink’s IEEE802.11n-compliant WLANPlus technology at the Metalink IBC stand.
The demonstration will consist of three MPEG-2 (or six MPEG-4) HDTV streams transmitted wirelessly at wireline quality between media servers and several HDTV sets.
Toshihide Hosoi, Renesas Technology executive manager or corporate strategy planning division, says the product meets a growing demand from consumer electronics makers for wireless HD transmission capability. “They want to enable multimedia applications throughout the home,” he says.