In the broadcast world, August, far from being a time to relax and enjoy the summer, is a time to get prepared for the madness of IBC! And then there is, from many, a massive sigh of relief once the show is over and some normality can return. However, in reality we wouldn’t have it any other way. IBC is the one time of year where customers, partners, and suppliers are all in the same place at the same time and it is an invaluable opportunity to meet existing contacts and make many new ones.
This year was of course no exception. We were once again pleased to co-exhibit with Sematron, a valuable partner for Crystal. Sematron offers engineering, design and customer development, as well as help to distribute our solutions in the UK. Having the booth right at the entrance to Hall 1 is of course also fantastic, providing some great visibility for both our companies.
I was also happy to attend the champagne reception being hosted on the ETL Systems booth by the Satellite Interference Reduction Group. Aside from the chance to drink champagne, which is naturally always welcome, I have always been heavily involved with the group. I had the pleasure to serve as Chairman of the Carrier ID (CID) working group, and those efforts resulted the new Carrier ID standard, now mandated by the FCC for SNG transmissions. The group continues to be a good forum for the operators to discuss the day-to-day challenges they are facing, enabling solution providers, such as Crystal, to respond with ways to resolve those challenges. We have done as much in the form of our Carrier ID detection solution, enabling operators and broadcasters to validate their own Carrier ID information.
I took some time out of talking to customers, partners, and vendors for a stint on camera with InBroadcast. It gave me a chance to talk about some of what we were showcasing at IBC, especially where SCTE metadata is concerned: Watch here
The other important benefit of attending IBC is seeing the emerging industry trends and topics. As with recent years OTT remains a hot topic throughout the industry. Traditional broadcasters are more and more looking to launch OTT services to complement existing offerings and to compete with the standalone OTT services, such as Netflix. At IBC, there was a myriad of solutions to enable them to do that. But most solutions are missing the critically necessary piece which involves frame-accurate SCTE metadata insertion and validation at the program origination point. Crystal Insight provides that very solution.
Unsurprisingly, VR was the other big topic at IBC. We are beginning to see some real innovation in that arena, however whether the consumer adoption will match the speed of innovation remains to be seen. I believe we will see much more innovation with 360 video as a cheaper, but still effective alternative.
With IBC over for another year, we are now getting ready for the next one, NAB New York. If you would like to know more about Crystal or our solutions, get in touch to reserve a meeting in NY.