Blockchain technology, diversity, machine learning and software services were the main themes of the joint RTS Thames Valley/Southern IBC review in mid-October.
The panel, convened at Queen Mary’s College, Basingstoke and chaired by Thames Valley Chair Tony Orme, featured Ciaran Doran from Pixel Power; Neil Maycock, Grass Valley; Martin Parsons, Image Eyes; and Russell Trafford-Jones, Techex. It agreed that internet protocol (IP) is here to stay, machine learning is ubiquitous and security is raising its head.
Doran recalled a conference speaker at the Amsterdam technology festival referring to the disruption of over-the-top (OTT) services. Doran continued: “I thought OTT was the disruptor but blockchain is being used as a disruptor of OTT, which is itself a disruptor in television.”
Maycock noted the small fall in IBC visitors overall but added that “the conference is growing, and I’m really interested to see if the emphasis on how we engage with customers is shifting from the exhibition floor to conference”.
Parsons commented: “High dynamic range was everywhere, both at the capture side and display. And the new dominant technology is machine learning, but I don’t like to call this artificial intelligence – it’s just repeated learning.”
Diversity was more evident at IBC 2018, with the number of women on session panels increasing from 14% to 37%. “The push for diversity is really good and it did stand out this year,” said Trafford-Jones.
Moving on to software services, Trafford-Jones added: ‘It’s now clear that there is a real uptake of software-defined networking without the need for traditional hardware, and I witnessed this for start-ups as well as established manufacturers”.
All the panellists agreed that even though IP is making a massive impact, serial digital interface (SDI) still has plenty of life left in it. IP wins for a specific use-case, but plug-and-play SDI has simplicity on its side. Although automated interconnectivity is gaining ground, IP is still very much in its infancy and needs a lot of coaxing.