IBC Awards look back 100 years and forward to the cloud

LONDON, Sept. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- IBC celebrated its awards on Sunday 15 September, with honours going to post production and asset management, cloud delivery and advanced networking. Top awards looked back on 100 years of Indian cinema, and to one of the most creative and technically demanding movie directors of today. The audience enjoyed a huge variety of clips on the IBC Big Screen, ranging from the batsman's view of cricket to Bollywood song and dance.

The IBC2013 International Honour for Excellence, the highest award IBC presents, went to Sir Peter Jackson. "Ever since I was a child I wanted to make movies," he said. "Sometimes people don't regard imagination and technology as being one and the same, and supporting each other. In the case of the film industry – and particularly the films I make – I cannot exercise my imagination without the support of technology."

The IBC Judges' Prize recognised 100 years of Indian cinema, looking all the way back to the release of 'Raja Harishchandra' in 1913. Today the Indian movie industry sees more than 1,000 new movies a year and its impact on world cinema cannot be underestimated. Probably the leading superstar in Indian cinema is Amitabh Bachchan, and he was on hand to receive the award on behalf of the industry. "It is a great privilege to be here, a great privilege to be a proud member of my fraternity," he told the audience. "I accept this very humbly on behalf of the Indian film industry."

IBC Innovation Awards – now highly recognised in the industry because they celebrate collaboration between vendors and users – went to Park Road Post Production in New Zealand, national broadcaster RTE in Ireland, and the Japan Commercial Broadcasters' Association. A Special Award was presented to a European Union collaborative project, Vision Cloud, working on the practicalities of handling and processing media in the cloud. The IBC Best Conference Paper, for the most significant and stylish technical paper, went to Mike Knee of Snell for his presentation on scalable motion estimation. This was the second time that Knee had won this award, a remarkable achievement. The IBC Exhibition Design Awards went to the stands of Limecraft for best use of Shell Scheme space, ActiveVideo for Best Small Free Design and Nikon Europe for Best Large Free Design.

"The landscape of our industry has been transformed, and continues to develop, from traditional broadcasting to content everywhere," said Michael Crimp, IBC's CEO. "We make our awards a central part of IBC because it is a good way of charting those transformations. This year's winners reflect some of the key themes – like advanced presentation formats beyond HD and big data content in the cloud – which dominate the whole of IBC."

IBC2013 Innovation Awards
Underlining the global reach of IBC, this year's 10 finalists in the IBC Innovation Awards came from nine different countries across three continents. Each were competing for these highly sought-after awards which go not to a vendor with a new product but to a broadcaster or media business which is using that technology to gain a creative, technical or commercial edge.

Park Road Post Production in Wellington, New Zealand, was faced with a real challenge when Sir Peter Jackson decided to make his Hobbit movies in high frame rate 3D, often shooting on multiple cameras simultaneously. They needed to bridge high standards of creativity with managing vast amounts of data. Their solution, with technology partner SGO, won them the IBC2013 Innovation Award for Content Creation.

"We wanted to create a complete pipeline, based on one platform, from rushes through dailies screenings and on to final online, stereo and colour grading," said Park Road's Head of Technology Phil Oatley. "SGO's Mistika provided a platform that was flexible and robust – and so good that the film-makers never noticed that we were dealing with four times the data of a normal feature."

Highly commended projects in the creation category were BBC News & Sport for its coverage of last year's Olympic Torch Relay with technology partners Antares, Bradley Engineering, Cobham, LiveU and Mobile Viewpoint; ITV with Adobe for a new approach to production management on dramas; and Fox Sports in Australia which worked with Globecast to put live cameras on batsmen's helmets to get close to Big Bash cricket action.

Irish national broadcaster RTE took the IBC2013 Innovation Award for Content Management. It needed to move away from tape as part of its transition to HD. Recognising that the transition to FAST – File Acquisition and Server Technology, as they called the project – would be hugely disruptive, they adopted the clever protocol of investing in a small system from technology partners TMD and Eurotek, which they used for development by the staff who would become super-users. These people then became advocates not just to their colleagues but to the board of RTE to demonstrate the potential of the full system.

"It is a huge honour to receive such a recognised award," said RTE's Gillian Byrne. "My thanks go to the super-users: their support, enthusiasm and engagement from the very beginning contributed to the success of the largest broadcast/IT project in RTE in recent years, fully realised from effective collaboration between suppliers and users."

Also welcomed to the stage to receive certificates of high commendation from the judges were T-2 in Slovenia, for its seamless IPTV platform for delivery to any device developed with Vision 247 and Fora; and Belgian broadcaster RTBF for its Gems semantic archive searching, with technology partners Perfect Memory and Memnon.

The final category is the IBC2013 Innovation Award for Content Delivery, and this time the trophy went to the Japan Commercial Broadcasters' Association. It took the bold step of creating a network of uncompressed HD circuits criss-crossing the nation and linking the member stations. The network is based on cutting edge IP technology.

"Thank you for selecting us as the winner of this esteemed IBC Innovation Award," said Minoru Sonobe of JBA. "We have an innovative network that meets high-level demands from commercial broadcasters and have been able to make a stable operation without any service breakdown. This is the result of our partnership with NTT Communications, Fujitsu and Juniper Networks, and we would like to share our joy in receiving this award with them."

The JBA was preceded on stage by two highly commended finalists, both using cloud technology in different ways. Abertis Telecom worked with Harmonic and Nagra and used the new MPEG-DASH specification to implement a multi-screen delivery platform; and Dutch cable network Ziggo put its interactivity services and user interface in the cloud so they could be accessed by any legacy set-top box.

IBC2013 Best Conference Paper Award
For the first time ever, a researcher has won a second IBC Best Conference Paper Awards. Mike Knee of Snell took the prize in 2008, and won again this year for his paper on scalable motion estimate from mobile to 4k and beyond.

"Mike's paper questions whether any of the multitude of motion estimation algorithms outshines all the others," said Dr Nick Lodge, Chair of the IBC Technical Papers Committee. "His answer is that one size does not fit all, but with an almost philosophical approach to the problem he devices a new way of combining several to new and significant effect.

"The paper is an entertaining read – a very worthy winner," he added.

"It is a great honour to receive this award once again," Mike Knee said. "I am proud of the work that the Snell research team is doing into motion-compensated processing to support the higher frame rates needed to support 4k and beyond, as well as today's wide range of mobile display devices."

IBC2013 Exhibition Design Awards
With more than 1,400 exhibitors at IBC this year, exhibitors must work hard to stand out. IBC recognises the best stand design in three awards.

Winning for the most imaginative use of shell scheme space was Limecraft. The judges liked the way they used materials in a highly creative way. They also highly commended Tiger Technology in this category.

For smaller free design stands, of up to 100 square metres, the award went to Active Video. "Beautiful and simple, with high contrast graphics and effective use of lighting," said the judges.

Nikon Europe took the prize for larger stands. The judging panel felt that "Nikon has highlighted the features of its products in a striking and uncluttered way". Wyplay was highly commended in this category.

Find out more about the Awards winners on the IBC website at www.ibc.org/awards.

About IBC
IBC is the premier annual event for professionals engaged in the creation, management and delivery of entertainment and news content worldwide.

IBC2013 Dates
Conference 12 – 17 September 2013 Exhibition 13 – 17 September 2013

Additional Information
Find out more information about IBC at www.ibc.org