IBC 2015 on Course for Record Attendance

IBC closed with record attendance of 55,128 delegates and 1,800 companies. There were 250 speakers in many sessions, panels and keynotes and the exhibition seems to be on a positive curve. (although we found that signage and wayfinding wasn’t very good on the show floor, only offset by quite a clever app that could help visitors find their way between booths).

Of course, most of our time was spent on HDR, HFR and other directly display-related issues, but some other trends seem clear. One was that OTT is becoming “just part of the scene” rather than something new and frightening. This will be enabled by another trend we spotted, a move to software-based Conditional Access that runs alongside DRM that allows TVs to be connected to Pay TV without the need for CAMs and CI slots (although, as far as we know, the CI slot remains a mandatory hardware feature for TVs in EU countries).

Hollywood is very excited about the creative possibilities of HDR and WCG and we think that the arrival of UltraHD Blu-ray will really boost consumer interest at CES in January. However, there are still a lot of standardisation issues to be solved and we added the UltraHD Alliance, the UHD Forum to the DVB, SMPTE, MPEG and ITU as significant players in who is deciding what happens.

Commercially, the most successful company might have been V-Nova that had 12 new and substantial partners on the show floor for its Perseus codec technology which was only made public at TV Connect in April.

We commented last week on the lack of new concepts in user interaction at IFA and the same lack of real progress was apparent at IBC. We remain convinced that if you could work out how to eliminate or replace the remote as the key controller, you could really have a huge impact on the user. However, it’s clearly not easy. If you want to stay with existing paradigms, Ruwido had the most impressive execution.

In the Technology area, NHK showed the next version of 8K which has HDR as well and there were several demonstrations of VR and 360° video.

Anyway, onto the stories!