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IBC2014 Awards Stretch From Football to Opera

IBC celebrated its awards on Sunday 14 September. The honours went to innovative production and extraordinary resilience; new ways of engaging audiences and better platforms for traditional transmission. Inevitably, in a World Cup year there was plenty of football, but there was also an award for one of the world’s great opera houses.

The IBC2014 International Honour for Excellence, the highest award IBC presents, went to FIFA TV for its continuing innovation in coverage. The audience was treated to a fascinating video history starting at the very first World Cup in Uruguay in 1930, and covering the highlights and memorable moments of each tournament up to today. There was also a second video, this time projected in 4k, capturing the sights and sounds of this year’s tournament in Brazil.

The award was accepted by Niclas Ericson, director of FIFA TV. “I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of FIFA,” he said. “It also pays a fitting tribute to the dedication of our industry-leading service providers who help us deliver the very best coverage of the FIFA World Cup to football fans all over the world.

“Together, we are able to make the World Cup a truly global experience for everyone. We look forward to continuing this pioneering work with the broadcast industry as we offer the unique platform of the FIFA World Cup to help drive technology forward.”

Earlier, Ericson had also collected the IBC2014 Judges’ Prize for this year’s FIFA World Cup, awarded in particular for its collaborative efforts to introduce new services in multimedia, and production in 4k, 8k and 360˚ surround video. Representatives of no fewer than 14 companies – HBS, Sony, NHK, TV Globo, Telegenic, EVS, Deltatre, Eutelsat, Eurovision EBU, Netco Sports, Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute, Boxframe, Dolby and Fujinon – joined him on stage for the presentation.

IBC presented a Special Award to Wiener Staatsoper – the Vienna State Opera – for its online service staatsoperlive.com, which provides coverage of as many as 40 live productions a year, to everything from smartphones to 4k Samsung smart TVs, with synchronised second screen services such as subtitles and the score.

The award was received by the company’s director, Dominique Meyer, who said “For us as an opera house with 150 years of tradition, presenting an art form that looks back on 500 years of history, to be rewarded with one of the most renowned awards in this highly innovative industry is a wonderful acknowledgement. It shows how vivid we are, looking from a glorious past into a promising future.”

The prestigious IBC Innovation Awards, which mark successful collaborations between technology providers and users, went to Sky Sports in the UK, Sky News Arabia in the United Arab Emirates, and Turner Sports in the USA. The prize for the best conference paper was awarded to four engineers from Italian national broadcaster RAI for their work on the practical implementation of HD to mobile devices using the emerging DVB-T2 Lite standard.

“The big theme coming out of IBC this year is about engaging with audiences on every level, providing content everywhere,” said Michael Crimp, IBC’s CEO. “That is completely reinforced by this year’s awards. At the ceremony itself it was fascinating to see how two bodies so completely unlike each other as football’s global governing body FIFA and the

Vienna State Opera both choose to use the same techniques and technologies to make their broadcast and online audiences feel as close to the event as those who could be there.”

“I am proud that IBC can recognise these efforts through our awards.”

IBC2014 Innovation Awards

Each of the 10 finalists in the IBC2014 Innovation Awards had already beaten off competition from several hundred other nominations to make it to the shortlist and on stage on Sunday night. In each case the honour went to the broadcaster or service provider who had brought technology companies together to solve real-world challenges.

Sky Sports in the UK wanted to make its flagship Monday Night Football show even more dynamic, informative and engaging for its audience. The project required two major graphics companies, ChyronHego and Vizrt together with Motion Analysis Corporation to collaborate on the stunning visuals. It took the first award of the night, for content creation.

“This award is the culmination of so much hard work by so many teams at Sky and from our technology partners,” said Mike Ruddell, head of technology at Sky Sports. “Looking back at early Monday Night Football programmes it is amazing to see how far the technology has come, and just how much richer the experience is for our viewers. What’s next?”

Highly commended in this category were Cumulus Media from the USA and Channel 4 from the UK. Cumulus Media applied IP technologies, and a neat iPad audio mixer, to simplifying the “radio row” at red carpet events. Its technology partners were Axia Audio, Broadcast Software International and Telos Systems. Channel 4 was shortlisted for its brilliant app to support its coverage of the Grand National, one of the world’s great horse races. Using technology from Civolution, Monterosa and TurfTrax, Horse Tracker gave the viewer the position, the speed, the jumps left to face and much more on each of the 40 horses in the race.

Two years ago Sky News Arabia was a finalist in the IBC Innovation Awards for its original design and build. This year it took the Innovation Award for Content Management for Project SkyNet, which uses the networked resources of its bureaus around the region to provide business continuity and disaster recovery. Blackmagic, Haivision, Nevion, Vizrt and Zixi provided the technology platform.

“On behalf of Sky News Arabia, our technology partners, management team and board members, I would like to thank IBC for this prestigious award,” said Dominic Baillie, the broadcaster’s chief technical officer. “Innovation has been key to the success of this project and at Sky News Arabia it is central to our philosophy.”

Also called to the stage were two highly commended projects. New UK broadcaster BT Sport has universally implemented the DPP format (AMWA AS-11 standard) for file-based delivery, using Amberfin technology from Dalet Digital Media. Groupe Média TFO has transformed itself from a small broadcaster to a massive online presence, delivering French language content from Toronto, thanks to its technology partners Adobe, Applied Electronics, EMC Isilon, IPV, Oracle and Signiant.

In the third category, Turner Sports took the IBC2014 Innovation Award for Content Delivery. Its NBA League Pass gives basketball fans access to every game online, and home and away feeds and commentaries, with dynamic advertising on smart TVs and the web.

With technology partners Adobe, Akamai, DNF Controls, Elemental, FreeWheel Media and Harmonic, Turner now has a platform that can deliver every game over broadband to any subscriber. That means as many as 30 games a night, or over 800 streams published in real time, giving the subscriber the chance to watch four games simultaneously.

The highly commended finalists in this category came from India, the UK and Germany. Airtel Digital TV in India now delivers contextual tweets directly onto the subscriber’s television screen if they want it, without the need to update its nine million set-top boxes in the field, thanks to technology from BrizzTV Media Labs.

Sky Deutschland has unveiled Snap, its online media library for subscribers on a whole range of platforms. It assembled a formidable technology team, including Accedo, Atos, Capgemini, Coeno, Contone, CreateCtrl, Deloitte, Fincons, HP, ID Media, Namestorm, NTT Data, SHS Viveon, Sky Italia, TDS, Wirecard and Weeks.

The success of the BBC iPlayer meant that it had far outstripped its original headend technology. BBC Future Media, in association with Amazon Web Services, Atos, Codeshop, Elemental and Omnia, created a new content factory which currently published 50,000 hours or 100,000 clips a year for four screens and over 1000 different devices.

IBC2014 Exhibition Design Awards

This year’s IBC exhibition was the biggest ever, with more than 50,000 square metres of stands and around 1,500 exhibitors. IBC recognises the best of the exhibition stand design in three awards.

Veset took the award for the best use of shell scheme space, the judges commenting on the brilliant lighting panels with clear messaging. Highly commended was Trivis Weather Graphix.

For free design stands smaller than 100 square meters, it was Tech4home that carried off the award. The use of their product in combination with the stand design caught the judges’ eye. Highly commended were Limelight and a stand shared by Digispot and Single Malt Audio.

Sony was the winner among the larger free design stands, thanks to its imaginative use of materials and texture, very clear top-down messaging and good integration between the stand and the building. Highly commended was Nagra.

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About IBC

IBC is the premier annual event for professionals engaged in the creation, management and delivery of entertainment and news content worldwide. Attracting 52,000+ attendees from more than 170 countries, IBC combines a highly respected and peer-reviewed conference with an exhibition that exhibits more than 1,500 leading suppliers of state of the art electronic media technology and provides unrivalled networking opportunities.

For more information visit www.ibc.org

To register for IBC2014 visit www.ibc.org/register

Find out more about the IBC Conference – www.ibc.org/conference

Find out more about the IBC Exhibition – www.ibc.org/discovermore

Find out more about IBC Content Everywhere Europe – www.ibcCE.org/europe

IBC2014 Dates:

Conference: 11 - 15 September 2014

Exhibition: 12 - 16 September 2014

About IBC Content Everywhere

Powered and created by IBC, the IBC Content Everywhere global series of events has been created in response to demand from IBC visitors and exhibitors to help professionals from the broadcast, telecommunications, online and IT sectors seize the new opportunities being created by the explosive growth in the consumption of TV and video content on IP-connected smartphones, tablets and laptops.

IBC Content Everywhere combines a high quality exhibition with features specifically designed to help visitors quickly and efficiently expand their knowledge and understanding of the latest trends, strategies and developments in online TV and video. With dedicated events in Europe, MENA and LATAM, IBC Content Everywhere covers rich media production, devices, apps, digital marketing, social media, content personalization, big data, cloud services, second screens, investment and much more.

IBC Content Everywhere Europe 12 – 16 September 2014 Amsterdam

IBC Content Everywhere MENA 18 – 20 November 2014 Dubai

IBC Content Everywhere LATAM Date TBC 2015 Sao Paulo

Find out more about IBC Content Everywhere at www.ibcCE.org

Find out more about IBC Content Everywhere Europe at www.ibcCE.org/Europe

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