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The Ubiquity Of The Cloud

Cloud-based platforms have not lost their steam, artificial intelligence continues to smarten workflows, and manufacturers making mighty machines in smaller sizes were recurring themes at IBC2018.

IBC, one of the most influential media, entertainment and technology shows, has come and gone for another year with a flood of hardware and software on display. The show ran from September 13–18, 2018. IBC2018 attracted more than 55,000 attendees from 170 countries, exhibiting more than 1700 of the world’s key technology suppliers and showcasing a debate-leading conference.

The IBC2018 exhibition covered 15 halls across the RAI, Amsterdam. There is an ongoing march toward cloud-based broadcasting, as it was apparent at the show. The themes are in the subtleties. To begin with, integrating public cloud services has become increasingly important to companies. Overall, the majority of cloud and web-based services on offer this year are more than happy to integrate other players into their ecosystem. It could be argued that welcoming third party players helps to ease the transition to the cloud. Easing data security fears is still getting a few mentions as very public data breaches continue to rattle the nerves of anyone with a credit card, or other sensitive information stored on someone else’s server. A larger, perhaps unspoken theme that subtlety emerged is the fear of automation – in the cloud or elsewhere. IBC2018 saw manufacturers recognizing that SDI workflows are still very much important, but IP is not to be ignored. Or is it the other way around? There is an evident transition toward IP, but for now HD-SDI is not going anywhere.

One thing that is certain is that hardware is getting less and less bulky, which may postpone that predicted software-only broadcasting future a little longer yet. These smaller form products do not suffer from performance issues, and if anything has even more power crammed into their compact size. The catchphrase at IBC2018 has been you can take it on the plane with you. Of course, consumers have the smallest live production hardware in their pockets already; a smartphone. Smartphones are convenient and usually always one hand. Clearly, there is scope for them to take on a larger role in live production. YouTube videos are becoming more polished, smartphone videos are regularly featured on the news. They are not quite the trendsetter yet but these too are getting increasingly powerful and may very well feature in future round ups.

The IBC2018 conference program is a global destination for discovering and debating the many different challenges and opportunities facing the electronic media and entertainment industry, both in its sessions and in the range of networking opportunities it affords. The conference was reflective of the impact of change on the media, entertainment and technology scene and to bring leading personalities to the stage to dissect those changes. Over the 5 days of the conference over 1400 delegates and guests from across the globe heard from the line-up 400+ speakers, enjoyed networking opportunities and were inspired to embrace the changes in the industry together. A key initiative for the conference this year and threaded throughout the program was diversity. A targeted effort saw women make up 37 percent of conference speakers, up from just 14 percent last year.

IBC2019 will be held at RAI Fairground from September 13–17, 2019 in Amsterdam,. This event has a conference that runs alongside the trade fair from 12th to 16th of September.

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