David Shapton reports back from a first day in the maze of halls and crowds of people that is IBC2023.
IBC - the International Broadcasting Convention - has been part of the Amsterdam scene as long as the canals. Well, not quite. It just seems like that. Only those who remember joining the EU instead of leaving it might remember that the first IBC was at the Lancaster Gate Hotel in London and later moved to Brighton. If there is a trendier place than Brighton, Amsterdam would be on the shortlist. Don't speak Dutch? No worries. Amsterdammers switch to English in the middle of a word. Don't speak English either? No problem: Dutch people speak multiple languages, like changing TV channels.
Few people would feel nostalgic about the RAI. The convoluted exhibition centre in Amsterdam, home to IBC, is a three-dimensional labyrinth. With the number of exhibition halls approaching the high teens, it's big, bustling and as user-friendly as a rattlesnake. And yet, there's something compelling about it. Once you get used to feeling permanently lost (I'm convinced they change the layout of the buildings when I'm not looking), you learn that there are good things within. The chance conversations with people you've known for twenty years but not seen for nineteen. The equally unplanned discussions with people you've only just met but who are destined to become friends and new colleagues. And the latest technology that just occasionally blows your mind.
Yesterday was the first day of this year's IBC, and it was as impressive and confusing as ever. Even before the show started, we headed for the Sony booth. Well, it's not a booth but more of an entire mini-exhibition in itself. Sony takes these events very seriously.
We looked at the latest from the Networked Live team - Networked live is a confederation of technologies and services that increasingly represent what the world of broadcasting will look like in a few years (and, in some cases, now). Built around a hybrid of local and cloud resources, it uses video over IP - particularly the ST2110 flavour - to move video around the world flexibly and reliably. Crucially, it lets broadcasters cover remote events, with elements like video switching done remotely. You can imagine the cost savings if you don't have to take an OB truck and production crew to a sports event for an entire day but can cover one event and switch immediately to another, using the same gear.
Then we moved on to the Burano, the new Venice-like camera that's 30% lighter and has a built-in E-ND filter and In-Body Stabilisation that works with both E-mount and PL lenses. We shot an interview about the camera, which you'll see here soon.
We shot another interview at Pixotope, a Virtual Production company with an incredibly effective software engine. They're bringing down the cost of virtual production, and they're a favourite of TV shows and broadcasters that want to bring more visual sophistication into their productions.
Our final interview was with Adobe's amazing Paul Saccone, who - not many people know this - was, in a previous life, the guy who came up with the name ProRes for a certain Apple codec. We are not worthy! Paul and I had an ad-hoc discussion about AI and Adobe. You'll see it on these pages soon.
And we're back again in the halls (checks watch) in a few hours. Tot ziens!