Aug 28th 2014

IBC-dian summer

The glorious weather we experienced throughout the months of June and July has seemingly departed for another year. And while some are holding out for an Indian summer, the blustery wind and falling leaves can only mean one thing for anyone in broadcast. That’s right, IBC is here again.

The International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) is arguably the MWC of the broadcast industry. It’s an event not to be missed by anyone involved in the creation, management or delivery of content, and attracts over 50,000 attendees each year. In the run up to the show, we’ve been talking to a number of the key trade journalists to ask what they think the hot trends will be at this year’s event.

Unsurprisingly, 4K is on everyone’s lips, but they’re not raving about it in the way that you might expect. In fact, most of the journalists we spoke to don’t see it going mainstream for at least another few years.

So what do they really think? I’ve included a few snippets from the guys and girls we spoke to below. If you’d like to hear how we can support you at this year’s event, then why not get in touch? Drop us an email or give us a call on +44 (0) 20 7434 5550. See you there!

“4K has been overblown. It’s something we currently don’t need yet.”

“I’m not getting a sense that there’s going to be a big new hot topic this year. 3D was hot 2-3 years ago, 4K was hot 1-2 years ago, multi-screen delivery was hot last year – but I think this year we’re just going to see more of the same. Whether I like it or not, the emphasis will continue to be on delivering content to multiple screens (TV, PC, phone, tablet…), how you optimise it, how you protect it, how you make it a more compelling proposition.”

“The BBC has transmitted stuff in 4K for the world. 8K will be at IBC this year. So in a way 4K is already here. There are warehouses full of 4K ready TVs waiting to be sold. It’s now down to consumers.”

“4K will continue to be a hottish topic – but IMHO it’s floundering a little at present. That’s primarily because there really isn’t the content around yet to justify the significant outlay on a screen. Plus, there are still some issues being worked through. Keep your ears open, and you’ll hear people increasingly differentiating between 4K and ‘UltraHD’. They’re not one and the same.”

“I’d say we were 3 years away from 4K becoming mainstream, perhaps more. There’s a lot of technology still to be developed for ‘full fat’ 4K to become a reality – and one of the industry’s dirtier and better-kept secrets is that anyone who buys a 4K TV today is likely to find it obsolescent within a couple of years, as the 4K we have today isn’t ‘full’ 4K like it’s supposed to be. Things like connection/interface technologies are still not in place to allow 4K resolution with complete colour depth.”

“The other thing to bear in mind about 4K is that, on any screen less than about 47 inches, you pretty much can’t tell the difference between HD and 4K. That may give 4K a value proposition in the USA, where TV sets are generally larger – but here in Europe…?”

“4K will go mainstream, but in time. It’s just very expensive at the moment, but we can look at how the price of HD has come down and see the same will be true of 4K”

“I can’t see it going mainstream for a decade. There just aren’t enough TVs out there (we’re not even fully penetrated on HD), and the content just isn’t there yet, and won’t be either for a while.”

“Broadcasters are understandably still resistant. The big question is ‘how confident can I be that if I put multiple video at full bandwidth on the same piece of wire that it will reliably get from A to B every single time without exception?’”

“In a nutshell, why on earth buy a 4K TV when there aren’t any 4K TV channels?”


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