Global gathering: IBC 2009 preview

Sports broadcasting and 3D set to top the bill at this year's IBC.
Sports broadcasting and 3D will top the bill at this year's IBC.
Sports broadcasting and 3D will top the bill at this year's IBC.


Despite the cautious approach that many in the broadcast industry have taken to their travel commitments this year, the blue ribbon broadcast shows have held their own in 2009. NAB may have seen reduced footfall, but exhibitors and the top level decision makers turned out in force. The same can be said of CABSAT.

In the face of these challenges, IBC 2009 will feature an enlarged proportion of free conferences and education sessions designed to offer visitors the most return on the outlay associated with the show.

“This is the year to invest in knowledge and so we are supplying new and enhanced visitor attractions such as training and free exhibition briefing sessions, to ensure that IBC offers the best value for money ever,” says Michael Crimp, IBC, COO.

“We know the macroeconomic environment has forced exhibitors to review their marketing commitments and we respect their continued support. I believe they see us as a safe pair of hands in uncertain times,” adds Crimp.

Free sessions at an expanded IBC Training Zone will also be on offer at the 2009 show.

Sports broadcasting will take its rightful place at the top of the agenda. The opening keynote conference session will feature representatives from some of Europe’s top sports broadcasters including Arnaud Simon, broadcast director, Eurosport.

“We are in a key moment for sport,” says Simon. “Sport on TV flourished in the 1970s, but we must make changes now if those same sports are still to be popular with a TV audience in 50 years.

“We must always ask; is the younger audience still enthralled? Look at a traditional televised sport like tennis, for example. How many complete tennis matches have you watched over the last year. Will people still watch a five hour tennis match in five years time?”

Simon points to the example of Twenty20 cricket, a shorter form of the sport developed with young TV audiences in mind.

“The entertainment value of sport is crucial to its survival,” notes Simon.

“The new technology is exciting because it opens up possibilities. The experience of watching sport in 3D, for example, is amazing. I’m looking forward to learning about all the new tools and devices at IBC 2009,” says Simon.

“We launched our HD channel in 2008, we will launch an iPhone application later this summer and when it comes to the internet, the Eurosport site is already available in nine different language versions. We have developed a VoD offer and we are trialling an online TV service as well. It’s essential to be up-to-date in new technology and to make sure we are delivering our content on the most appropriate devices.”

Rohde & Schwarz
Hall 8, Stand 8.D35

Rohde & Schwarz will focus on the new DVB-T2 standard at this year’s IBC.

The company will showcase its transmitter, and test and measurement (T&M) solutions for the successor to DVB-T. In addition, the R&S NX8500 VHF high-power transmitter will make its debut at Amsterdam.

Rohde & Schwarz claims the liquid-cooled transmitter will impress visitors with its extremely energy-efficient and cost-saving operation. Moreover, the R&S SCx8000 compact transmitter, which was introduced at NAB, will now also be presented as an outdoor solution.

DVB-T2 is the next phase in the evolution of the established DVB-T standard for digital terrestrial television.

By using new processes, DVB-T2 offers 30 percent higher transmission capacity, which allows more channels and, above all, program content to be transmitted in HD quality.

Rohde & Schwarz supports the introduction and expansion of DVB-T2 with a portfolio of T&M and transmission equipment.

Hall 8, Stand 8.B67

IPV, the largest independent supplier of low bit-rate, frame-accurate video technology, will launch its Teragator relational metadata aggregation and management engine at this year’s IBC.

Teragator provides a platform to aggregate metadata sources and data mining services to identify and manage complex relational links between assets and provide a simple visually compelling graphical user interface to represent and interact with these links.

In combination with IPV’s low bit-rate video technology, users can browse through the contents of any or multiple libraries to identify related, more appropriate content, quickly and simply, driving improved workflow and cost-efficiencies in finding, retrieving and managing assets and associated metadata and ultimately maximising earnings from a media asset portfolio.

Historically metadata used to describe resources contained only structural data; file type, timecode, reel number for example.

With the advent of digital libraries and file-based workflows, metadata has become as important as the asset itself. Metadata that describes any single source may exist in multiple formats – plain text, an XML file or a relational database record – and be distributed across numerous physical locations and business systems. Teragator allows the user to aggregate these disparate elements extracting the semantic content from the aggregation.

To this end, Teragator has huge implications for those businesses that rely on media assets to generate revenue, whether using a single library or those having operations with multiple databases and distributed assets, according to IPV.

Hall 8, Stand 8.E76

Audio measurement technology developer RTW will demonstrate its revamped Loudness family of products at IBC 2009. The range which consists of the SurroundControl, SurroundMonitor and DigitalMonitor products, will be on display with their latest extensions.

The highlights include the SurroundControl 31900SD and 31960SD monitoring controller systems. Both feature an HD- and SD-capable SDI de-embedder interface as well as analogue and digital audio inputs and outputs. The new SDI interface can access all 16 (4 x 4) audio channels implemented in SDI streams and use them for both visual display and audio monitoring.

As a member of the Dolby E Partner family, all standard and SDI versions of SurroundControl are available with a Dolby E and Dolby AC-3 decoder option, giving access to coded data streams for analysis and control without external decoding.

The extended versions of SurroundControl 31900/31960 feature an eight-channel surround monitoring controller with a downmix matrix as well as the surround sound analyser.

Front Porch Digital
Hall 7, Stand 7.B15

Content management infrastructure developer Front Porch Digital will be demonstrating the DIVAsolo archive solution for the first time at this year’s IBC.

DIVAsolo is the world’s first all-in-one migration path from legacy videotape to content storage management and archiving on secure, high-density data tape, according to the company.

The system combines three existing technologies; SAMMA Solo, which performs large-scale, real-time videotape migration to multiple essence formats; DIVAworks, which combines an LTO4-based data tape library with Front Porch Digital’s flagship product, DIVArchive, for managing storage and security of digital files; and DIVAdirector, which enables metadata management and the search, proxy browsing and management of stored digital content from a user’s desktop.

DIVAsolo enables content owners to rid themselves of the headaches associated with videotape management and introduces an infrastructure that preserves file-based assets and makes them easy to access and repurpose, claims Front Porch Digital.

Hall 8, Stand 8.E23

Phabrix, a provider of test and measurement instruments, will be demonstrating the Phabrix SxE device at IBC this year.

Offering 3G-SDI, HD-SDI, and SD-SDI analysis with eye and jitter measurement on a handheld platform, this world’s first is sure to be one of the big hits of the show, according to the manufacturer.

The new unit has all the features of Phabrix’s 2008 IABM award winning Phabrix SxA with a combined generator, analyser and monitor enabling the user to generate at one standard and analyse at another.

With AES support and 16 channels of audio, the Phabrix SxE has already been pre-ordered by many existing customers that were satisfied with the Phabrix SxA.

The Phabrix SxE offers automatic measurements, multiple eyes, dedicated jitter screen, histograms and decade filters, features more associated with more expensive and cumbersome bench bound products.

OB companies particularly will see the Phabrix SxE as a much needed tool with eye measurements and error detection on cables as well as cable length parameters. In a new announcement, Phabrix will also be releasing its Phabrix SxD, a dual link version of the range targeted at high end post facilities and studios offering 3G Level A and Level B support.

“The Phabrix SxE is a key technological advance for the broadcast industry and for Phabrix,” said Philip Adams, Phabrix’s founder and managing director. “We’ve a lot to shout about on our stand this year with the Phabrix SxE, Phabrix SxA and Phabrix SxD all available.”

The company goes into IBC off the back of a strong year and has recently sold multiple SxA units to Snell.

“Before the PHABRIX SxA’s we had to share one immobile resource. Now we have enough SxA’s for each engineer to have access to one,” commented Gavin Walker, Snell’s CTO.

Digital TV Labs
Hall 2, Stand 2.C29

DVB conformance equipment manufacturer Digital TV Labs will give a show debut to what it claims is the world’s first approved test centre for the Common Interface (CI) specification.

CI Plus is an extension to the DVB Common Interface, the technology introduced to allow a conditional access module (CAM) to be connected to TV reception devices to facilitate secure pay TV services over third party networks.

CI Plus provides a higher level of security than DVB-CI with continuous encryption. The latest version of the company’s Evora iSuite test package will also be on display.

Evora enables broadcasters, operators and receiver manufacturers to launch conformance test regimes to ensure platform-wide interoperability between receivers.

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