IBC is great. Although half the size of NAB, it is for sure the most visited industry fair in Europe and a sure bet if you want to experience the latest and greatest innovations and overall trends within the TV industry today. This year the attendance was at a record high with the total number of attendees being 55000.
Of course, the shear size of the event and the number of companies attending makes it hard to narrow down the key take away, but here is what we left IBC feeling excited about.
4K and 8K Ultra HDTV
As you know, most attention has been given to the 4K flavor of Ultra HDTV – meaning 4 times the HD resolution. But Japan is quickly moving towards a commercial launch of 8K Ultra HD – a whopping 16 times the resolution of the now widespread HD standard. Broadcast trials are set to begin with the 2016 Rio Olympics, and with a targeted completion in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
High Dynamic Range
If you are a resolution freak like we are, you’re going to have a field day. High Dyamic Range (HDR) was on many people’s lips this show. Basically it means you get a wider range of colors, from the blackest black to the whitest white, and you can capture contrasts and light intensity as never before. The acronym has been generating plenty of interest in cinematic circles lately and it is now coming to life within broadcasting as well. At IBC, Delia Bushell, managing director at BT TV and BT Sports in the UK, spoke about how and why they are looking into adding HDR to their newly launched Ultra HD 4K sports channel. Sky Broadcasting is also is in the process of testing HDR. However, there is one big hurdle for accomplishing this – equipment – as cameras and other equipment need to support the new format in order to bring it to life.
Breaking the bundle
Another trend that was evident on IBC was the power of choice in media consumption, brought to the top of the agenda by eager OTT providers. But whether this is enough to actually break the popular pay TV bundles remains to be seen. The consumer behavior is there as they are getting accustomed to niche content, and they want to view it where and when they want, meaning that pay TV operators need to follow suit. The rapid growth of Esport is one clear testament to that fact. Recent estimates from Newzoo say that Esport alone will be a $765 million market by 2018.
Internet of Things
Pay TV operators also have a great opportunity to play a key role in the Smart Home and with the introduction of the Internet of Things. Combining all the possibilities of big data gathering and analytics with the power of the big screen and household appliances, alarms, climate control systems and telephone services. Neotion presented an interesting take on this where an operator can monitor not only the media library but also lights, smoke alarms and security cameras.
In summary all we can say is that there is clearly an exciting world awaiting TV operators, a world which will be consisting of rapid change and ever-evolving opportunities for some time to come. A world where those best able to adapt to their new surroundings will be left standing and in this truly Darwinian world, the innovators will surely be those who prevail.
We can’t wait to see what the next show will bring!
Director of Product Marketing at Zenterio