Looking back at IBC 2017


Duncan Payne TV-Bay Magazine
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IBC feels like a bit of a dim and damp memory now, but a few over-riding memories do remain however, not least of which was the Arri party to celebrate its 100th year. It was like an old-school manufacturers IBC/NAB party, back when manufacturers had marketing budgets, and lots of sales people. It got IBC off to a great start; thanks Arri.

Among the major IBC kit announcements was the Sony Venice digital cinematography camera, which is pitched right at the Alexa/RED market. The full specs are impressive and its due for delivery in February, but the software upgrades to make it full frame and anamorphic will be chargeable options available at a later, as yet unconfirmed date. These options can be bought as weekly or monthly licenses, so an owner doing the odd anamorphic job can just pay for a temporary license as and when they need it. My suspicion is that by the time this camera lands, Arri may well have announced their next big thing. RED has just done similar with their Monstro. Maybe Arri will call theirs a Gigantro? Hmmm, maybe not.

Panasonic has been talking about the EVA forever it seems, and we finally got to see an impressive show reel on the stand. Theyve packed a lot into a little box, and at IBC they were promising end of October for first deliveries. Surprisingly for a big manufacturer, they are actually on track for this, so depending on when you read this, you may already have seen one. Its unlikely that youll have one if you didnt place an order early though, as I understand backorders are substantial.

This small form-factor camcorder sector is dominated by the ubiquitous FS7, and Canon has also recently launched its latest camera, the C200. Ive seen the results and this does look nice, and the auto-focus function may be a god-send for cameraman trying to get these super hi-res images pin-sharp. The tracking auto-focus is excellent, even in low light.

Back to Sony, who have introduced an 8K studio camera. This must be with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in mind, but with Panasonic having the Olympics wrapped up in contractual cotton wool, I wonder why its been launched now when they are busy trying to get 4K, HDR and HFR fully embedded. And on the morning that I left for IBC, this screen was still appearing on my TV, so launching 8K seems a little premature?

Other notables include the Motion Impossible remote dolly system. Think really awesome remote control car with a motion control heavy duty camera rig on it, capable of moving on a track or over any terrain. The two owners are a perfect mix too, a techy geek and a freelance cameraman and the industry is getting to love their product.

In terms of general technology advances, AI, VR and AR were prominent, although its interesting to see that just after IBC, Nokia pulled the OZO VR camera, stating that the market was developing slower than expected. Computer learning seems likely to be embraced for some functions like logging of metadata in sports, and there was talk of computer-based cutting of live shows, which is terrifying. IP is still a hot topic, particularly in OB circles, with the key manufacturers getting closer to a fully IP solution that doesnt need as much hand-holding and problem solving on the fly.

I attended a post IBC Broadcast Tech event in London and concluded that we still seem to be a little way away from full remote production on live events, such are the delays still prevalent in even the fastest fibre lines. The enormous data involved in multiple 4K, HDR, HFR video feeds still require on-site production. The same cannot be said of post-production, and I can see the expansion of work-from-home VR work and editing where immediacy is not as key. The prohibitive Soho rates and the post-Brexit depressing departure of many highly trained Europeans could potentially see key creatives moving back to their homeland while still remaining on staff.

Back to IBC, and trade shows in general¦did anyone stay until day five? Im told it was deathly quiet. IBC should be four days maximum. Visitors to IBC generally fall into two categories; industry staffers, and business owners and freelancers. Staff would probably prefer to visit on week days, and would need two days to see all that they need to see, with the bonus of an overnight to enjoy the Amsterdam night-life, which is an undeniable bonus of the event. Business owners and freelancers may prefer to go at weekends to avoid losing work, so a Thursday to Sunday IBC would easily cater for everyone. I spoke to a major manufacturer exhibiting there, who sends seventy staff to the show. Cut the show by a day and thats seventy fewer hotel rooms to pay for and seventy days less subsistence - IBC is hungry (and thirsty) work! Id say that was the best part of £20K saved, with little or no downside for them. Multiply that by all the exhibitors and you have millions of pounds flowing out of our industry, that could be put to better use. Maybe more parties?

Id also argue that you might achieve as much by attending smaller events where you can actually get hands-on time with the kit. The many dealer events are excellent, BSC in Battersea is superb, and the KitPlus shows themselves are also a great way of seeing the kit and having sensible conversations with the key manufacturers. After four days and nights of IBC, I challenge even the most hard-core manufacturers rep to be making any sense on day five. But undeniably, the big events like IBC, NAB and BVE are excellent network facilitators. To spend a few days where all of your customers and suppliers are is the best way of building rapport and stronger relationships.

The three of us at Adamantean worked out that between us wed attended 57 IBCs. But It was our first as Adamantean, and were still blown away by the messages of goodwill, and business that weve received. Going it on your own and starting our own business was scary, as many of you will already know having done it yourselves, but if the early signs are anything to go by, it was the right decision. Thank you all for your support, its really appreciated.


Tags: iss128 | ibc | arri | red | panasonic | adamantean | sony | eva | nokia | ozo | Duncan Payne
Contributing Author Duncan Payne

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