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IBC2013 Preview 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 peter.savage@azule.co.uk and/or write to the tv-bay editor. To read more of these articles, see our website: www.azule.co.uk