IBC 2009 Starts with a Bang

While the European economy is suffering in the same way as the U.S. economy, the economics of online, enhanced, IPTV, and even traditional broadcast video are showing no signs of slowing down.

Several major announcements have come out of the first day of the IBC 2009 show, held here in Amsterdam every year in early September. This year's show, which runs through September 15, 2009, saw announcements from Adobe, Envivio, and many other companies. The following are just a few of the announcements:

Adobe announced that it is rebranding Flash Media Rights Management Server to be called Flash Access. Along with the new name, which will begin with Flash Access 2.0, Adobe also announced that it is providing bit encryption of its Flash content. While the company, via its RTMP-E protocol, has had data pipe encryption, it has not had the ability to encrypt content at the runtime player.

"We're offering encryption of the bits instead of just the pipe," said Adobe's Jen Taylor in a pre-announcement interview. "Our technology solution for both Flash Access 2.0 and the runtime [Flash player plug-in] was developed internally to meet the immediate needs of customers."

Advanced Digital Broadcast attempts to address the needs of hybrid content distribution and aggregation, noting that operators are challenged to bring together more content from more places and presenting multimedia in new and exciting ways. ADB is showcasing a series of tools to allow broadcasters to bring together traditional television along with Internet and user-generated or personal content in the living room.

Aprico a spin-off of Philips, has a toolset that it is showing for targeting and personalizing video content that combines an existing electronic programming guide (EPG) with Philips long-standing research into human user interaction with television and internet applications.

Broadcast International got its start in the satellite IP and video delivery space, but the company is branching out into software products to help more traditional IP delivery companies. Its newly announced CE-1000 software appliance is designed for IPTV, satellite and Telco service providers to cost-effectively deliver content via Broadcast International’s highly efficient, fully compliant H.264 codec and supplementary encoding tools.

Envivio has long been an MPEG-4 and H.264 hardware encoding company with roots in the broadcast space, but the company is also branching into iPhone and Silverlight delivery, with its new iLiveTV solution for the Apple iPhone and SilverLiveTV for Microsoft Silverlight.

SatStream is one of Europe's largest broadcast-standards facilities geared toward content acquisition from satellite to be broadcast by streaming via the Internet. SatStream will showcase its partnerships with Microsoft, Endemol, BBC, CNN, France 24, and Euronews, including streaming distribution to mobile handsets.

Softron debuts a multi-channel H.264 recording compliance tool, called MovieRecorder Express, which supports up to 4 simultaneous channels of H.264 recording. This product builds on the Brussels-based company's MovieRecorder tool, which is geared toward rapid post-production and web content creators. MovieRecorder, now in version 2.0, is an edit-during-ingest tool that supports multiple SD and HD formats, either compressed or uncompressed, and can simultaneously store these captured clips in multiple locations, as the content is being recorded. Effectively, MovieRecorder creates a series of proxy clips that can be edited even before the final files are recorded, and its recording of proxy clips can be edited in Final Cut Pro on a laptop, across a local area network backbone, rather than requiring specialized video servers and direct fiber connections.

TXT Polymedia showed off a product, Polymedia Live, that acquires video content and encodes them into multiple output formats, which then works hand-in-hand with Polymedia Show, an advanced PC video player that integrates media asset management functions directly into the player for advertising and e-commerce functions. The company has been shortlisted for the IBC 2009 Innovation Awards for a Mediaset-inspired project called "Smart content repurposing system for Linear & VOD Tv Programmes services."

Finally, V4x debuts what it calls its interactive "Social Radio" Player for the Web and iPhone that includes Interactivity, Chat, Quizzes, Contests and Video content improve monetization for Radio Streaming Channels. The company thinks webcasters will be open to exploring new revenue opportunities through social networking, including live in-studio videos or channel events. Telemak is also teaming with V4x to launch a service to deliver advanced mobile TV channels with made-for-mobile exclusive content.

IBC continues at Amsterdam's RAI Convention Centre through September 15, 2009.

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