Thoughts from IBC on the Broadcast Industry

I know that I am famous among some of my long term readers and subscribers for starting my editorials with a comment that “this has been a busy week”. Well, this one has been a really busy week. The IFA and IBC shows almost join and that means 13 days out of 14 at trade shows. As a result, we had not planned to bring out an issue this week, but there is so much building up that we had to get it done otherwise we would really overload you in the next couple of weeks.

I’m writing this in the press office at IBC (I probably should be at a press conference!) and have already attended three press sessions, with Sony, Ericsson and SES. Sony has a lot of new broadcast monitors using OLED and LCD technology, while all three companies talked a lot about the changing business models in the broadcast business, with the broadcast infrastructure getting so complex because of OTT and internet video. This has provided a big opportunity for all three to offer very complete solutions to those that want to run TV channels and look after the content and marketing but be less involved with everything in between.

In the case of SES, this extends to being able to offer the distribution as well, via its satellite fleet or via the internet. Sony, on the other hand can help with content creation as well and expects to be able to turn its Professional business to win 50% of its revenue from services in the future. Ericsson enabled a completely new TV platform for Knippr in the Netherlands to create a product for cord-cutters and ‘cord nevers’ in just nine months.

Everywhere, there is discussion of HDR and UltraHD/4K. However, one of the most impressive demos that I saw at IFA was the LG demonstration of high frame rate UltraHD content using the HLG HDR system. It was very, very good, but nobody else at IFA or IBC was talking about HFR. Yet. In my (not always so humble) opinion, once HDR is ‘done’ (and that will take some time, although BT2100 is very helpful), the topic will really come up again as HFR, critically, means better sports coverage and that completely drives the pay TV business.

Anyway, we’re planning to try to get the IFA report out for next week and IBC after that. There’s lots to come!

Finally, I heard some sad news that Rob Musson, for more than twenty years at Eizo, has died this week after a long illness. I’m sure that many in the monitor market in the UK, and especially anyone in the medical field will miss him. I will miss his expertise. My thoughts are with his family.