As presenter Rob Curling said at the start of last night’s IBC Awards Ceremony, the evening covered everything from song and dance to flying cricket balls, from the death of tape to the birth of the cloud.
This year two of the major awards were linked to cinema: one for a hundred years of success; the other for cutting edge creativity. The evening ended with a sneak preview of the latest movie to be shot in high framerate 3D.
IBC’s highest award, the International Honour for Excellence, went to the director Sir Peter Jackson. He was just nine when he saw King Kong, and vowed to remake it, devoting his life to learning the skills and pushing the technology forward.
His current project is a three-movie adaptation of The Hobbit. The evening’s finale was a tantalising tease of scenes – in high framerate 3D – of The Desolation of Smaug, the second part of the trilogy, which will premiere in December.
The thrill of the silver screen was also the inspiration for this year’s Judges’ Prize, given by IBC’s international panel of editors and consultants. The Indian cinema industry is celebrating its centenary this year, and IBC has joined in the party.
One of India’s biggest movie stars, Amitabh Bachchan, received the award on behalf of all his peers and colleagues.
Alongside the glamour of the movies, the IBC Awards also recognised the commitment of researchers looking to the next generation of technologies. A Special Award went to the Vision Cloud project, a consortium of 15 broadcasters, vendors and academic institutions.
Their work takes the concept of cloud storage and processing and makes it a practical reality in the challenging environment of broadcast. Already Italian broadcaster RAI – one of the project partners – is using the newly developed principles in its online news services.
Mike Knee, a development engineer at Snell, made a repeat appearance on the stage this year. For the second time he won the IBC Best Conference Paper Award, given to the technical paper which combines cutting edge research with clarity of expression. His paper on scalable motion estimation was described as “a good read”!
For the first of the three IBC Innovation Awards we returned to the world of The Hobbit. Park Road Post Production in Wellington took the award for most innovative work in Content Creation for the pipeline they developed, with technology partner SGO Mistika, to handle the vast amounts of data involved in finishing the movie trilogy.
The IBC Innovation Award for Content Management went to Irish national broadcaster RTÉ for its FAST project – file acquisition and server technology. This project allowed RTÉ not only to move away from tape, but to make the move to a fully HD service practically and cost-effectively.
Last but definitely not least, the Japan Commercial Broadcasters’ Association took the Content Delivery award for a very advanced project to build a contribution and distribution network across the country. This used the latest in IP networking technology to deliver the quality and resilience they sought, richly deserving its place in the limelight.