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IBC 2019

The annual IBC – International Broadcasting Convention exhibition and conference – once again took over the Amsterdam RAI in the Netherlands, hosting 50,000 visitors from around the globe from September 13 to 17, 2019. Some of the biggest names in broadcast and imaging were there including camera manufacturers, Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Sony, and Panasonic; software and accessory brands, Adobe and SanDisk; and camera phone giants, Samsung and Huawei.

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Some of the major announcements made at IBC 2019 included:

Blackmagic. Fast on the back of launching the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 6K camera, the innovative company had a big presence at IBC. Pick of the new products at the show was the ATEM Mini – a live production switcher that enables multi-camera switching when live streaming on YouTube or Facebook. This links up four cameras and comes with a selection of effects – and most importantly at a USD 295 price that will appeal to many vloggers. Also launched at the show were two new video monitors/recorders. The Blackmagic Video Assist 12G units are designed to give you a better view of your image as you are filming, whilst recording your footage to the drive. There are 5-inch and 7-inch models available from USD 795.

Grass Valley. The company debuted the GV Orbit unified IP configuration, control, and monitoring system. The consolidated software solution is specifically structured for the dynamic orchestration of broadcast media networks, whether SDI, hybrid, or pure IP. GV Orbit comprises one integrated package delivering an extensive diagnostic toolset for handling everything from multi-viewers to routing control and monitoring via a single interface. Users can easily add or remove devices, change control surfaces, or rename signals, panels, and workflow indicators on the fly. GV Orbit is architected to sit on distributed data services (or DDS real-time middleware) and autonomously recognizes and displays any new device on a network, with all device parameters immediately accessible.

Riedel. Riedel’s Smart Panel was increasingly embracing the there’s an app for that philosophy, thanks to an API that has allowed manufacturers like Haivision, Pebble Beach, Data Miner, and others to place their products under control of the Smart Panel. The goal, says Joe Commare, marketing manager, Riedel North America, is to allow the 2RU Smart Panel to put extra capacity to use by allowing other manufacturers to make use of the panel’s dials and customizable buttons and screens to create an interface for a task. Also new is Mediornet’s ability to handle embedded timecode and for a Mediornet multi-viewer to support portrait mode. The Bolero intercom system, meanwhile, was rocking along and now will run over AES 67 SMPTE ST 2110 networks without the need for a matrix.

Ross Video. The company launched Gator-Toolbox, an innovative UHD signal-conversion problem solver. It adapts any-to-any HD, UHD, and HDR signals in a compact openGear card, with optional fast and adaptive standards converter. Gator-Toolbox includes all the tools needed to adapt UHD and HD signals to a broadcast production and live-event workflows, where low-latency and quality-UHD, HDR, and WCG are required. Ross has also launched Ultritouch 4, a 4RU version of the 2RU Ultritouch facility-monitoring and control panel. The new version features not only a larger touchscreen area and front-facing loudspeaker for audio monitoring but also includes a front-panel headphone jack and USB port for peripherals. The new SkyDolly from Ross leverages Furio’s technologies to unleash the creative potential of ceiling-mounted cameras. SkyDolly delivers smooth, repeatable on-air quality presets and movements, suitable for live, automated, and virtual or augmented-reality productions.

TSL Products. TSL Products showcased three product lines – power management, audio monitoring, and control systems. These [three areas] are all integrated together and can be remotely managed.

Sigma. Sigma already has an impressive range of cine lenses designed for use with professional cinema cameras – but at IBC it is introducing a new range of FF Classic Prime Line primes. These are designed to work with the ongoing move to shooting in 8K, and also offer full compatibility with Cooke i-Technology, which allows extended metadata to be recorded from the lens as the camera records.

Panasonic. Panasonic has teamed up with SimplyLive to put together an all-in-one production and SloMo Replay system, designed specifically for entry-level and mid-tier sports broadcasters and content producers. The combo comprises SimplyLive’s ViBox and the Panasonic AK-UC4000 studio camera. With its high-quality output, innovative workflows and functions, and significant cost advantages, the combination is the perfect entry-level solution for smaller companies and productions.

Nikon. The company unveiled its all-in mirrorless moviemaking set-up – the Nikon Z6 Essential Movie Kit, built around the video-friendly 24.5MP full-frame 4K Nikon Z6 body. Comprising filmmaking essentials, such as the Atomos Ninja V monitor, SmallRig camera cage, and spare batteries, Nikon describes the Movie Kit as providing the pure essentials to get rolling quickly, with all the core tools to make high-quality movies, while leaving filmmakers free to customize further components to suit their personal preferences. The Nikon Z6 Essential Movie Kit pairs nicely with the recently announced firmware that will make Z6 and Z7 the first consumer cameras to officially support raw video output.

Sennheiser. Sennheiser showcased its wide range of wireless microphone systems, including the XSW-D, AVX, evolution wireless, and Digital 6000 and Digital 9000 systems. These provide high-quality wireless transmission in various frequency ranges – 2.4 GHz, 1.9 GHz, and UHF. In the AMBEO immersive-audio area, two full end-to-end workflows for multichannel and Ambisonics productions are being displayed. Within the framework of the AMBEO for VR partnership program, Solid State Logic showcased a live immersive television-mix, recorded with the Sennheiser AMBEO VR Mic and various spot microphones.

Canon. IBC was the first showing of Canon’s latest member of the Cinema EOS range. The C500 Mark II offers 5.9K video and makes the switch from CFast memory cards to the recently introduced CFexpress cards. It will go on sale in December for £16,999.99/USD 15,999.
Sony. The star announcement for Sony at the show was not the A7S III as expected, but a new flagship XDCAM interchangeable-lens video camera. The FX9 features a full-frame sensor and can shoot in 6K. It borrows color science from its top-end Venice camera (used to film the new Downton Abbey movie), and also inherits autofocus technology from the Sony Alpha mirrorless-camera range. Also making its first public outing was the Z750 flagship shoulder-mounted ENG camcorder that shoots 4K video using a triple 2/3in CMOS sensors.

Broadcast Solutions. The company introduced the Streamline S12T self-driving OB truck. The 12 4K UHD camera OB based on 12G SDI UHD single link maximizes the use of space and cameras in a vehicle with a compact size. The company also showcased a concept van that is based on a Mercedes Sprinter and can be tailored for different mobile-production purposes. It was shown primarily as a wireless-transmission-hub vehicle powered by Silvus Technologies IP mesh radios. With roots in US military communications research, Silvus’s StreamCaster radios were developed to handle the most challenging military operations on earth. This cutting-edge wireless transmission technology ensures bidirectional communications and data/video transfer even under the harshest conditions. It is based on mobile network MIMO technology to enable stable connections between multiple sites, even under non-line-of-sight conditions where other wireless technologies fail.

This year, interactive content took the limelight from VR. This is not to say VR and augmented reality was not present at IBC in Amsterdam. Throughout the exhibition halls you could see plenty of headsets and software to build the immersive environment, but on the conference stage, it was barely mentioned.

AR is progressing very quickly from the pale imitation, which captured the imagination through the Pokémon Go app, but the illusive business case continues to frustrate. That said, an important trend, which was evident through several sessions, was the interactive content.

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