This year's IBC conference will highlight broadcasting’s current obsessions, which include some old topics such as workflow alongside social media and connected TV.
Some common threads will unite the various themes of IBC 2012 in Amsterdam next month, both on the floor and within the conference that runs on all six days of the event.
While delegates on the floor will hope to be wowed by the latest in display technology anticipating future frameless TVs that blend into the wall, the conference will be more engaged with the challenges broadcasting faces in its long-lasting engagement with IT that has yet to become a full blown marriage. Lingering doubts over at least the timing of this marriage will be highlighted at the IBC 2012 conference by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) in its presentation, “The Convergence of Broadcast TV and the Internet - Are They All Connecting?”
One thing that will emerge during the conference is that while the move to IT and file-based workflows is irreversible, questions remain over whether and, if so how quickly, the cloud model of distribution will take off, despite some notable successes already. The cloud’s appeal has been driven by some of the other industry trends, especially the fragmentation of delivery standards, display formats, platforms and target devices.
It promises to restore the original idea of write once play anywhere that prevailed in the era when all transmission was analogue terrestrial via PAL, NTSC or SECAM, depending on the territory.
But, while the cloud model involving infrastructure shared between different customers will undoubtedly take over for smaller operators and content distributors, many large broadcasters and rights holders remain skeptical over its ability to meet their requirements not just for security, but also reliability and capacity. The irony here is that cloud providers contend that their shared infrastructures can do better than dedicated networks on all three of these counts by benefiting from economies of scale to deliver redundancy and expandability, while being able to exploit the latest technologies for secure content delivery.