10 things not to miss at IBC

Where to go and what to see at the industry's number 1 trade show.
IBC starts on September 9.
IBC starts on September 9.

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The world’s biggest trade show for the broadcasting industry is upon us again. The IBC Conference kicks off at RAI Amsterdam on September 9, with the IBC Exhibition starting a day later. As well as being a barometer for the health of the industry, IBC is an opportunity to view the latest equipment, learn and see where the industry is heading. To help you make the most of your time in Amsterdam, Digital Studio suggest 10 things that you shouldn’t miss at IBC.

1. Super Hi-Vision in action

Super Hi-Vision was first shown at IBC in 2008, where it surprised audiences with its mind-blowing 7680 x 4320 resolution – more than 16x that of high definition – and 22.2 audio channels. Developed by Japanese national broadcaster NHK, it has advanced further in the last two years and now it’s back at IBC.

New for 2010 are practical full-resolution cameras, with three image sensors each of 33 million pixels. One of these will be set up permanently in the centre of Amsterdam, sending live pictures back over fibre to IBC. As well as the theatre, with its high brightness projectors, the signal will also be seen on special 58” diagonal plasma screens with 0.33mm pixel pitch.

Staff from NHK and its partners will be on hand throughout IBC to talk about the practical implementation of Super Hi-Vision for museums and galleries, town centre screens for major events, and eventually perhaps for broadcast to the home. If you want to know what one possible future of TV looks like, don’t miss this demonstration.

Next: Training

2. Training, training, training

Covering the weekend of this year’s IBC, the two days of The IBC Digital Media Training Workshops are run by international training company Future Media Concepts. A series of courses are aimed at intermediate to advanced users and are based around the tools that the industry commonly uses.

The practical, intensive hands-on training covers platforms such as Apple Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer and Adobe Production Suite; with subjects including DSLR video, video production, 3D production workflow and motion graphics. One of the course options is a full, two-day programme covering Final Cut Pro Certification.

Post Production Zone in Hall 7 will also play host to a series of show floor demonstrations. Sessions and workshops cover a range of topics ranging from production techniques to desktop post-production tools from popular software providers.

All post production sessions are free and give visitors the chance to get hands-on experience with the products under supervision from expert trainers. Nividia, Avid, Cinegy and Blackmagic Design are amongst the companies scheduled to hold sessions.

Next: Sporting chance

3. Sports Day on September 11

Sports Day will look at how big sporting events such as the World Cup were covered in the new world of high-def and 3D broadcasting. How was outside broadcast coverage for the first time on the African continent managed and did HD deliver? And how did the World Cup fare in 3D and is this the future of sports broadcasting?

Manolo Romero, who has worked on the coverage of every Olympics since Mexico 1968, will give the keynote speech on Sports Day. Also making an appearance are Dave Mazza of NBC, fresh from the challenges of the Vancouver games, and Roger Mosey, the BBC’s leader for the 2012 London Olympics.

Sports sessions run through the conference on Saturday 11, spanning both the content creation and business streams. Other sessions will look at interactive and online services, a sporting case study and how stereoscopic 3D could change the face of sport on television. The 3D session will be led by Peter Angell of HBS, the host broadcaster for the FIFA World Cup.

Next: Restoration knowledge

4. Restoration advice on September 12

One of the IBC Conference highlights this year is the Sunday 12 September session ‘Digital restoration - new technology, new business’, which will look in detail at digital restoration tools and techniques. High profile speakers include Chuck Dages of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, who will examine some recent projects and address the business opportunities brought about by new delivery technologies.

Paul Collard from Ascent 142 will look at the challenges inherent in several projects, one dating as far back as 1928, while Reliance Mediaworks’ Sandeep Divekar will talk on 4k restoration, detail enhancement and approaches to the 2D to 3D conversion process. Mediaworks is the company that worked on the restoration of the original Apollo 11 Moon landing footage for NASA.

Next: 3D

5. 3D Day on September 13

By the end of this year, a number of stereoscopic 3D channels will have launched worldwide and many more broadcasters will have conducted trials. 3D TV is on its way and the range of programming being made in 3D is increasing.

While pressure to create quality 3D content is growing, there is still a gap in understanding about the technology, filming techniques and the investments required to make it all happen. The IBC Conference dedicates a whole day on September 13 to closing that gap with a series of presentations, tutorials and practical demonstrations designed to educate and encourage producers.

A primer is scheduled for those new to the subject on September 12, before the Stereo 3D Day begins on September 13. Here, all aspects of the emerging 3D content chain will be looked at, from acquisition to distribution. The day will be hosted at the IBC Big Screen Theatre.

Next: Future opportunity

6. The Connected World

A new element added to the show this year is Connected World, where the IPTV, Mobile and Digital Signage Zones will be brought together under one roof in Hall 9. Connected World will showcase the many opportunities being created for the electronic media industry by IP, broadband and mobile distribution.

At the heart of Hall 9, the Connected World Hub will stage a series of free-admission seminars, presentations and business briefings to help visitors understand the implications and opportunities of the Connected World. The Connected World Hub is also the new home for IBC’s Exhibition Business Briefings.

Now in their fifth year, Business Briefings allow IBC visitors to learn from the experiences of companies that are already building businesses based on fixed and wireless broadband technologies, IPTV, mobile and digital signage. The Demo Stage @ The Hub will host demonstrations that illustrate how content is and will be managed, distributed and consumed across diverse consumer electronic devices.

Next: Technology of the future

7. New Technology Campus (NTC)

IBC’s New Technology Campus (NTC) attracts researchers from the world’s foremost companies and academic institutions. Members of IBS’s Technical Papers Committee are constantly on the lookout for the latest technological innovations and the best are selected to go on display in the Campus.

Previous shows have hosted the delivery of the world’s first live-by-satellite and fibre-optic international broadcasts. Last year saw demonstrations of virtual objects; context-aware and adaptive content and stereoscopic 3D technology. These live demos help give visitors an understanding of where the industry may be heading.

Next: Hands-on experience

8. Production Village

Production Village, which made its debut in 2009, is where end users can try out the latest broadcast camera technology and network with fellow professionals.

The Production Village 2010 is now located in Hall 11, where it will showcase a collection of the latest camera technology, from DSLRs to 3D rigs to specialist cameras. Companies involved in the Production Village 2010 include Nikon Europe, Fraunhofer Institute, Indiecam, Canon, Vitec and Panasonic, which will all show a range of cameras and camera accessories.

One of the successes of last year’s show were the Production Village demonstration sessions, which deliver hands-on free training for all attendees in a custom-built environment. A programme run by six industry experts covers a range of subjects, including 3D and HD workflow, lighting and working with small cameras. The sessions are divided into three levels – Foundation, Advanced and In-Depth – allowing delegates to choose the level of information appropriate to their needs.

The Production Village also houses the production base for IBC TV News, which provides a working studio where visitors can watch the various TV and web productions being put together on the show floor.

Next: Avatar

9. Avatar’s Special Edition on the IBC Big Screen

A year ago, IBC received permission to show an extended 16-minute excerpt from the as-yet-unreleased Avatar. On Monday, September 13 at 18:30, there will be a complete screening of Avatar (Special Edition) courtesy of 20th Century Fox International and with the permission of Lightstorm Entertainment.

This new special edition contains an additional eight minutes of content over the original film and will be screened using the Real D stereoscopic 3D system. Admission is free, but this is certain to be a popular show; be there in plenty of time to be sure of your seat.

Next: Toy Story

10. Toy Story 3 in Dolby 3D with 7.1 surround sound

Fifteen years ago, Toy Story revolutionised the digital animation industry. Courtesy of Buena Vista International, IBC visitors will be able to see latest instalment in the series, Toy Story 3.

This is no ordinary screening though. Toy Story 3 will be shown in Dolby 3D, the least widespread of the three main 3D cinema formats, and Dolby 7.1 surround sound.

This opportunity to watch the latest in digital cinema is free to all visitors, but seats are limited. Be there early well before 18.30 on Saturday 11 to secure a seat.

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