Everyone said the Saturday and Sunday of IBC would be the busiest days of the event, and they were certainly correct. The calm and tranquil atmosphere quickly gave way once the weekend hit, as attendees flooded the various halls at the Amsterdam RAI. It was a welcome change though, as the energy made the days both productive and invigorating.
Much of what we saw revolved around companies fulfilling or realizing the promises they made back at NAB, as attendees were able to get their hands on products that have just started shipping or will be shipping very soon. Michael Horton and Daniel Bérubé’s comments about companies announcing products at NAB while shipping them for IBC have proven to be incredibly clairvoyant.
If you missed our intro or Part 1 articles around IBC 2014 make sure to check those out. We’ve covered a lot of ground, but there’s still plenty of IBC to go as the event rages on into the early part of the week.
The Promises of NAB Fully Realized
Canon announced the CINE-SERVO 17-120mm T2.95 zoom lens at NAB along with the XF-Camcorders, and those we both big news earlier this year. IBC saw both of those products available, as attendees were able to get their hands on them and get a sense of how they’ll be able to utilize these products.
“Lenses are as big as anything,” said Peter Yabsley from Canon. “For the CINE-SERVO, we’re talking about a 17-120 range which is fantastic in terms of versatility, but the XF-Camcorders are just as versatile in a different way. They’re a great practical tool to get the shot you need, and they’re good for both pros and people who might not have much experience with this kind of hardware. You can play around with the settings however much you want, but can easily switch everything to auto if you can’t or don’t want to adjust anything.”
2014 is also a big year for Canon as it commemorates the 80th anniversary of Canon’s first camera, the Kwanon. The Kwanon was produced in prototype form in 1934 and made a huge impact on the camera industry at the time. There was news in both directions for Canon at IBC though, as they also announced the implementation of new UHDTV standards to improve 4K workflow with their latest firmware updates.
IBC saw a couple announcements from Panasonic that detailed their launch of a 4K Remote Camera Head as well as shipping details around the Varicam 35 and Varicam HS. As we’ve seen with a few of the companies that are releasing new cameras though, what was especially evident at IBC was that Panasonic was coming full circle.
“The Varicam shipping announcement is a fruition of what we announced at NAB,” said Steve Cooperman of Panasonic. “We’ve got an amazing camera that is going to work for the production and business side. Universally, people like the Panasonic ‘look’ and we didn’t want to get rid of that, so our focus was to give users the flexibility they wanted around how they shoot and go to post-production as well as maintain and create opportunities for them when it comes to owning and renting the camera.”
Another big announcement from Panasonic at IBC was around their workflow optimization promise that will help make film and TV production significantly easier. These sorts of ambitious claims have been made before, but with the ability to simultaneously record in two different formats and codecs together with its in-camera color grading function, you’ll have the ability to record 4K master and HD simultaneously and begin color grading on site.
Paradigm Shifts in the Industry
Back at NAB, information about Imagine Communications’ acquisition of Digital Rapids was made public, and it was big news. Ever since Harris Broadcast became Imagine Communications and GatesAir, the companies have worked to create and cultivate their separate identities. IBC saw Imagine continue to develop that identity as they are focused on impacting the way we think about production logistics and infrastructures.
“The new name was incredibly appropriate for us because everything created here is from the imagination,” said Glenn LeBrun, VP of Product Marketing at Imagine Communications. “The split allowed us to focus on our broadcast customers, but not just the big names. We’re also talking about traditional service providers. What we really look at is the media software part of the business. How do you get the content into the workflow? How do you get it into your archive, etc.”
Imagine Communications is focused on easing people out of traditional production mindsets and habits into being more comfortable working on and in the cloud, and they feel they’ve moved past some initial hesitancy on the part of the market around this concept. Among their announcements at IBC was news about their launch of Zenium for Microsoft Azure media services, their end-to-end professional services for IP-enabled, software-defined and cloud-virtualized world as well as their launch of Landmark Express.
4K has been on the tip of media & entertainment professionals’ tongues for the last several years, and discussions around the “wants” and “needs” when it comes to 4K continue to this day. At the ATTO booth though, we found those conversations could be moot points very soon.
“People are already talking about moving to 8K and needing to support an 8K display at NAB next year,” said Wayne Arvidson, from ATTO Technology. “The media and IT worlds have converged in a very real sense, and the focus is around how a production workflow can integrate with IT to handle these needs. There’s also a virtualization process that spans both departments which means companies and organizations really need to sort out the logistics of 4K and now 8K.”
Avid is committed to redefining how their users think of and approach a workflow, and at IBC they talked through some of those specifics. Scott Simmons already gave us his thoughts around Avid’s big news regarding resolution independence coming to Media Composer, but their message was a more developed vision around what they laid out earlier this year.
“What we’re focused on at IBC is the continuation of the Avid Everywhere story that started at NAB,” said Dave Colantuoni, Senior Director at Avid. “When we say ‘workflow’, we’re not just talking about editing but the whole production chain. We realize every customer has different needs, and that’s why we’ve created this open platform which will work for the producer of a short film just as well as it will for a broadcaster looking to utilize 8K.”
Avid Everywhere was clearly the focus here as they released info around how Avid Everywhere brings resolution independence to film and TV productions as well as new platform innovations. Avid also detailed info about how they have given partners access to the resources and services they need to create products and solutions that integrate with the Avid MediaCentral Platform ecosystem. Even with these details some users are still curious about how it can and will work for them, so it will be interesting to see how the ecosystem continues to evolve.
What Caught Our Eye
IBC saw Miller Fluid heads celebrate their 60th anniversary, and they showcased a range of film and production camera support solutions at the event. The two products that were of special interest to us were the Air Fluid Head and Cineline 70 Fluid Head, and we talked with Gus Harilaou from Miller to find out more details.
“What we’re targeting with this fluid head is the DSLR market,” said Harilaou of the Air Fluid Head. “Our users said they wanted something that was more lightweight and durable, and that’s what we went for. Users can take this anywhere and be setup in a minute or two. It supports 2-11lbs so you have a lot of options. Sometimes you’re going to need to more support though, and the Cineline 70 supports 10-82lbs which is an incredibly huge range for a tripod. The other nice feature of the Cineline is the three main control knobs that are grouped together in the back and constantly within reach of the operator.”
The Cineline 70 features a quick and easy “all in one location” illuminated rear mounted controls along with dual side mounts for monitors and accessories. Both products feature the versatility that videographers of all sizes need to utilize from project to project.
News about Fraunhofer Digital Cinema Alliance presenting their new plug-in was announced at IBC, and it’s quite the feature. Filming using their multi-camera systems means that a single recording contains several different views, and those views are then used in post-production to recover and even come up with creative opportunities in post. Various elements can be mixed and matched to help creatives get as much as possible from a single shot, and the ability to utilize this technology has really been augmented with the plug-in.
“The light-field technology is of big interest here, especially because of the Avid plug-in,” said Angela Raguse from Fraunhofer. “It allows people who might not be familiar with the technology the chance to see how it can work for them. They can manage it by depth of field or by changing the perspective and it’s all done in a user friendly way.”
Fraunhofer also introduced the integration of IMF in its New easyDCP 3.0 Version at IBC 2014, and should have some live action footage that shows off their light-field technology by NAB next year.
LiveU was another company that caught our eye, as their products enable live video transmission from any location around the world. The LU500 has traditionally been their most popular product, but at IBC they announced the LU200, which is ideal for broadcasts on the fly.
“All you have to do is hook up your camera to the unit and you can broadcast live,” said Mike Savello from LiveU. “Our LU500 is our most popular unit, but the just announced LU200 is perfect for videographers who are looking for an easy way to transmit their footage.”
IBC saw the announcement of the LU200 as well as a collaboration with Panasonic to connect the camera and the cloud. They are also currently working to build up a network that will allow videographers to easily find work in a particular location across the world. If you need to immediately broadcast or upload your footage, take a closer look at the options LiveU has to offer.
A True Community
IBC is a great place to network with people, but the SuperMeet takes that concept to another level. Not only are you networking with some of the smartest and most creative folks in the industry, but you’re doing it in a setting that’s relaxed, informal and fun, which makes it a must-attend.
The 7th Annual Amsterdam SuperMeet took place on Sunday, and it’s an amazing thing that Michael Horton and Daniel Bérubé are able to do for this community. By bringing together top names and talent, it’s the ultimate combination of “work” and “play” that got so many people into this industry to begin with.
If you have any interest in the companies and products that you see at events like IBC you don’t want to miss out on the Supermeet. And from the pictures below, you can see why that is the case.