The annual EBU Production Technology Seminar kicked off in Geneva yesterday morning with a record participation. Two keynotes opened the seminar. First a presentations from Robert Amlung, journalist and Head of Digital Strategy at ZDF German Television, and then Thomas Saner, Senior Advisor at SRG SSR, the public broadcaster in Switzerland. “Publishing online is not just a change of technology. It’s a change in the way we as broadcasters conceive ourselves” said Robert Amlung. Audiences have started using media in more diverse ways and this has had (is having) a big impact on broadcasters’ technology and workflows. In response to this, Amlung stressed the need for broadcast technology to become more software centric in the future.
Publishing on a multitude of linear and non-linear platforms also asks for new production and distribution architectures. Thomas Saner shared his experience of developing a layered architecture approach. This allows broadcasters to decouple infrastructure and applications, thereby reducing costs. It also permits an intelligent use of cloud and internet technologies in media production and distribution.
File-based digital archives, media clusters, publishing content and the optimization of IT broadcast systems were some of the key themes discussed during the use case sessions throughout the day. The IRT presented the MXF profiles used by ARD in practical use and participants also had the opportunity to hear about the Montreux Jazz Festival Digital Archives Project from Alain Dufaux, EPFL.
Before breaking for tutorials, the afternoon session finished with two talks on producing for the internet and social media. Two presenters (each taking the user perspective) took to the stage to speak about “What’s the buzz with social media?” and how to meet the needs of young audiences with new short forms of content. Emmanuel Rottey, responsible for the news website, social media policy in the newsroom and digital first workflows at VRT, emphasised why it is more important than ever before for broadcasters to consider and use social media and how this affects production.
Elger van der Wel, currently working on new innovative ideas and products at the NOS Lab, continued the discussion on how to attract young audiences to content. First and foremost, it is important to understand the needs of young audiences and their preferences. In his experience, he pointed out that young audiences are interested in getting information but on the platforms of their choice. They also want to be entertained and participate more in the process (for example, sharing and commenting on content).
Day 1 came to a close with a set of parallel tutorials on low cost radio and TV production, investigating object-based production and delivery, creating services and applications using FIMS standards and the elements of a media network architecture. Throughout the day, participants also had the opportunity to visit a large range of demonstrations and participate in a black level test.