IBC this year will be a barometer for the media industry. Attendance will be down. Budgets will be tighter. Many countries have seen a year of recession. Advertising revenue - the life blood of many free to air broadcasters including many EBU Members – has fallen dramatically. Before 2008, the media industry grew and prospered, and this was reflected in the attendance at IBC, and in the ‘spirit’ of the attendees. Since autumn 2008, the last IBC, there have been staff cuts and pessimism. This year, those attending will be using attendance and spirit to gauge whether the worst is over. Will the industry turn upwards, or will the bad weather continue?



EBU Village


The IBC continues its ‘EBU Village’ this year, located, as usual, off the concourse adjacent to the IBC Conference. The EBU Village (stand 10.D21) is intended to provide a hands-on view of some of the key technologies for EBU Members. There are booths for projects in which the EBU has a major interest, such as DigiTAG, WorldDMB, DTV4ALL, and a section with issues under study by the EBU Technical Committee and EBU TECHNICAL, such as 1080p/50, Loudness, and Hybrid Broadcast/Broadband. The EBU is also associated with a range of parallel activities and meetings. In the days before IBC there will be a meeting of the Heads of Research of the non-commercial media research laboratories, the BBC, IRT, RAI, CRC, EBU, and NHK. This group will be examining the extent to which there work overlaps, and whether there could be more collaboration between them.



The EBU (together with ETSI)I has also arranged a half-day workshop, on the day before IBC, on the new world of ‘Hybrid Broadcast/Broadband. Specialists from EBU TECHNICAL and a large number of engineers and managers from EBU Members are giving papers and presentations during the IBC Conference. Go here for a list or visit the EBU Village. As usual, EBU staff takes advantage of IBC to meet with professional equipment manufacturers. One of the discussion topics will be the impact of the recently completed EBU-SMPTE work on timecode. This year will also see new discussions with the proponents of digital radio technologies about the prospects for a single worldwide digital radio receiver.



What is hot?


What is ‘hot’ at this year’s IBC? We cannot forget ‘3D TV’ as a headline. Hybrid Broadcast/Broadband is also firing up the imagination of the world’s technical and creative community. Less present than in previous IBCs are the two largely ‘subscription’ funded media, television broadcasting to handhelds and IPTV. Perhaps this is a sign of the depression’s influence? In any event, watch out for not just 3D TV, but 3D on handhelds. Will this really ‘stand out’?

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