IBC breaks previous records ­ quietly

It's been a tough week to make much of an impression on the headlines unless you're a bank, broker or insurance company going into freefall.

Perhaps that's why the vibe from this week's IBC exhibition and conference (which ran from 12 - 16 September) in Amsterdam has seemed somewhat muted, despite the organiser's boast of record attendance. This must have come as a relief - the IBC revealed its anxiety inadvertently, with its COO talking about the challenge of keeping the event fresh and various reports, from the IBC, about attendance proves it's holding its own against competing events etc.

Certainly the intersection of telecoms/broadcast/new media (or as IBC puts it, the world of content creation, management, delivery) feels like a market sector in the lull between hype and everyday execution.

This was demonstrated by an amusing contrast between the old world and the new.

IBC conducted a live interview with Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation SKG, in the first transatlantic telecast in HD 3D, broadcast live from Los Angeles. It was transmitted to the audience at the IBC conference on Sunday.

Having thanked the IBC for honouring him, Katzenberg said, "As we enter the year of 3D, I have never experienced a more dynamic and exciting time within the film industry than right now."

A grumpy Michael Grade, executive chairman of the UK's biggest independent TV broadcaster, ITV, was considerably less enthusiastic about the direction the industry is taking.

In pre-recorded interview, he reportedly. said, 'The day that Google or Joost or any of these people [he also referred elsewhere to YouTube] start investing £1 billion a year in UK content is the day I'll start to be worried.

'They're all parasites, they just live off our content is what they do. As long as we can create the content, the content is the keys to the castle for us going forward.'

In keeping with the current climate, rumours abound that ITV will soon be taken over by Mediaset or Endemol, maker of Big Brother.

Perhaps the most exciting story to come out of this year's IBC, is that Liberty Global Inc has launched a 120 Mbps broadband service in the Netherlands using EuroDocsis 3.0 equipment. It announced plans to launch similar services in Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, and Slovakia by the end of 2009.

According to a report by Light Reading Europe the company's UPC Netherlands business passes 2.7 million homes and has more than 660,000 broadband customers. It has launched its new Fiber Power service in a handful of locations, including Amsterdam, and will roll it out through the rest of the country during the next few months, reaching all of its customers by next year.

The report said the service, developed with Cisco Systems, is being offered with a 120 Mbps top speed, though a package with a maximum downlink speed of 60 Mbps is also available.


Previously the cable operator's fastest broadband service was 24 Mbps.

Sony's best punt was to announce unprecedented acceleration in the scale of its multi-million Euro systems integration business, as the volume of projects grew by more than 40% in the last 12 months. BSkyB also chose IBC to announce that Sony will be the lead systems integrator for its new media centre in the UK.

Other multi-million euro systems integration projects the team has won in the last year include: building 15 new HD OB vehicles, many of which represent the first investment in a longer term HD investment strategy; relocating Sky Italia's entire broadcast facilities; and integrating its advanced networked production solution, SONAPS, into France's Canal+, Italy's RAI and most recently winning the contract to fit out Telecinco in Spain.

You can view the IBC Award winners here.

Maybe you had to be there‾