ISE was once a dedicated AV show but has expanded its remit with a move to Barcelona and is now slowly muscling in on NAB and IBC territory. Here’s what’s happening at ISE 2023.
ISE, the unpromisingly named Integrated Systems Europe, used to be all about trekking to the Amsterdam RAI in the middle of winter and spending time shivering in venues while thinking how much nicer it all is in September for IBC. And if that sounds like a reach it’s not; from a show that was once dedicated to all things functional about the AV industry — business videoconferencing in the pre Zoom era, medium to high-end networked home stereo systems — there are now more and more people heading to both shows as ISE starts to deliberately overlap with a lot of the technology we’d normally associate with broadcast video.
A few years ago it was digital signage and systems for 4K video distribution that would pique the interest. Now it’s PTZ cameras and a steadily increasing number of XR and AR systems.
Okay, it perhaps doesn’t have the launches and the new products in the video sector that IBC and NAB have, but there’s still a lot to see. And a move south to Barcelona’s Fira Gran Via exhibition centre, home of MWC aka Mobile World Congress, has only served to boost its popularity with a shivering North European contingent.
PTZ tech & more on show
Let’s start with Canon, which highlights just how the show is starting to appeal to a broader audience. On the one hand its showcasing its PTZ range and how its auto tracking software is breaking through to new markets in education and corporate; on the other its showing how a variety of cameras “from large format cinema to remote control PTZ” meets all sorts of corporate content creation needs and how its mirrorless joins in the fun too. Want to get hands on with an EOS R6 Mark II? This might be the first place you get to do so.
It’s also going big on XR and VR. Its partnering with INFiLED to demonstrate how its PTZ cameras with in-built FreeD protocol can seamlessly interact with the virtual scenes of an LED wall for a true-to-life result, while showcasing a variety of VR content captured with the Canon EOS R5, EOS R5 C and RF 5.2mm F2.8L DUAL FISHEYE Lens.
Canon is showing a variety of VR content at the show
Sony is following a similar approach, but mixes in a few bits and pieces that are perhaps more traditional ISE fare, such as its BRAVIA 4K Professional Displays and the world’s smallest WUXGA 3LCD laser projectors which are making their global debut at the show. Chief interest is probably going to be held by its rather breathtaking Crystal LED displays, and the immersive Virtual Production System Solution that they enable which combines the Crystal LED B-series (137”) and VENICE cinema camera, alongside a camera tracking system and real-time engine to enable in-camera vfx work. It too also has a range of AI automation solutions for high quality video shooting in Corporate and Education environments, including Edge Analytics and its latest PTZ cameras.
Mark Roberts Motion Control (MRMC, now a Nikon company), bought well-regarded PTZ specialist Agile Cameras in 2021, and has folded its tech into its own. As a result its stand hosts a selection of PTZ heads, rail and camera motion solutions, including the automated subject tracking software Polymotion Chat, which tracks subject movement to provide broadcast quality, natural-looking content, without losing resolution.
It’s also making some justified noise about its QRS-1 Quiet Rail System, a cost-effective modular track designed for studio, event and mixed production environments that works with either a MRMC robotic head or a third party PTZ camera.
Displays have been a part of ISE for years and were one of the chief visual attractions of the show as a variety of manufacturers slugged it out to have bigger and better LED walls. This year that also means LED walls for virtual production and the show has attracted most of the major players in that space as well as companies involved in virtual production tech in general such as Aximmetry, Brompton, Lightware Visual Engineering, Mo-Sys, Recience, and ROE.
Disguise is one attendee that is being particularly active and should be easy to spot as it has a 21x8 metre LED virtual production stage built with partners ROE Visual and in collaboration with ARRI. It’s going to unveil EX 3, its soon-to-be-released video playback solution for location-based experiences, as well as provide the first look at a next-generation IP-VFC card, designed to deliver 4K 60p video-over-IP content on a massive scale with minimal latency.
It will also be showcasing the newly-launched disguise APIs that allow users to build their own tools on the platform, all of which should help open the door to a more tailor-made solutions in a connected ecosystem.
And if you recognised the name ARRI in there then yes, that’s all part of the convergence with the broadcast and video sector that we talked about at the top of this piece. You’ll also find AJA, Atomos, Blackmagic, intoPIX, Lawo, Matrox, Panasonic and more at the show as well. So we’ll keep our eyes firmly peeled while we’re out there and report back if anything exciting happens.