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by Peter Savage
T he broadcast industry’s shows are so much more than
what’s on show and, yes, it is worth spending time in the
bars as Peter Savage explains.
Time has flown by again. It seems nothing like a year since I sat
down – during the Olympic Games – to write last year’s preview of
IBC and here I go again: fingers flicking across my computer keyboard or, as it
happens this time in the middle of a house-move, tapping on my iPad.
It has been a tough year. Business seemed to be pulled forward by the
Games, then slowed, and the result is that a lot of manufacturers haven’t hit
their numbers. In my view, the main impact – which I expect to see at IBC – is
that manufacturers will try to give great deals to end users and/or try to fill the
channel with their products.
Will new products materialise?
What I hope won’t happen is that a big manufacturer will announce a new
product, saying it is just around the corner, then not deliver for six months, as
this could potentially destroy an already slow market. Unfortunately, I think this
might happen in the camera market – I believe ARRI might, at some point not
too far ahead, announce a new low-end camera and that would obviously have
a significant effect on the market. Let’s hope that, if it does announce this, it will
be able to deliver.
Will new players take over?
Apart from this potential camera news, I am most interested in the future of
television. I’ve heard rumblings that all the major IT manufacturers (Apple,
Microsoft and Google) are spending large amounts of money on creating their
own pay-TV channels, and that could significantly change the face of television
overall. The reality is that these companies have yet to acquire enough content,
but if (and it could be when) they do, watch out cable operators - these three,
amongst the world’s largest companies, are trying to muscle in on an industry
that, in actual fact, has had no new players since the advent of satellite.
That begs the question: why would these
companies want to get into our industry?
One reason might be that the likes of Apple could make a television, so doing
similarly is a defensive move by its two rivals. Or it could be because of the
increase in internet-based services is taking people out of standard distribution.
I shall be watching and listening intently in the halls - and yes the bars - of IBC,
as it is this type of change that could significantly affect the way some of my
clients buy kit.
Exploring new halls
It is also essential to watch the storage market, as once again it seems that
IT and television are on the route to merging. We’ve recently seen much-
52 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 81 SEPTEMBER 2013
improved demand for post-production
equipment, largely built on the back
of the increase in demand for storage
products as the world becomes
ever more tapeless. This and the
proliferation of smaller editing software
packages have made me concentrate
on a whole new set of halls at IBC.
Originally I spent my time in acquisition
followed by some post-production; the
big players were all around halls eight,
nine and ten. Now I spend almost
as much time at the other end of the
show, looking at IT-based products.
Not forgetting acquisition
Of course I shall not ignore acquisition
but I will probably concentrate on
the new grip products as they seem,
recently, to have become very popular
with cameramen who are trying out
new, funky ways of making their
cameras do better and closer shots.
That means checking out some of the
new lens adapters, the new ranges
of lenses themselves, and many
other peripherals used in capturing
remarkable images for you and me to
watch. Reality check
Oh, and I forgot the real reason why
I go to IBC: to see all my industry
friends. It is a great show for catching
up with people I should have kept up
with but haven’t seen for a long while –
so I hope I will see you there to share a
small glass of something. Have a good
show! If you would like to know more about how
we work with broadcast companies do
contact me at email@example.com
and/or write to the tv-bay editor. To read
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