Technological innovation and the wonders of wildlife were side by side in this year’s IBC Awards Ceremony. The audience was treated to glimpses of pterosaurs and motorbikes, citizen journalism and Super Hi-Vision, transmission technology and The Wizard of Oz.
IBC’s highest award, the International Honour for Excellence, went to Sir David Attenborough for a career spanning almost 60 years. It was accepted on his behalf by Anthony Geffen of Atlantic Productions, who then went on to collect the IBC Special Award for Flying Monsters 3D with Sir David Attenborough, a remarkable production which is stunning audiences worldwide.
The evening finished with Geffen showing clips and telling some of the production secrets from Flying Monsters and two more Attenborough-fronted 3D documentaries.
The heart of the evening, though, was given over to the IBC Innovation Awards. These unique awards focus on more than the latest technical ingenuity. To win, a practical implementation must be in place and on air. The technology providers share the stage and the honour, but the award itself goes to the end user who created and drove the collabo- rative project. This year the awards went to a unique approach to graphics, content management for one of the world’s biggest news providers, and an inventive way to roll out terrestrial HD.
The first of the three awards is for the most innovative application of technology in content creation. From a huge entry the judging panel – which featured international editors and consultants, led by Michael Lumley – narrowed it down to a shortlist of four. These included our first look at Flying Monsters 3D for its post production on Mistika at Onsight, Russia’s RIA Novosti and its YouReporter citizen journalism programme, and the way that Dorna Sports keeps track of thousands of clips generated by its coverage of MotoGP.
Taking the award, though, was the 4D interactive motion tracking project developed by CNBC. Like a scene from Minority Report, the presenter pulls Brainstorm graphics out of the air and walks around and through them, thanks to realtime tracking of both the presenter’s hand and the Steadicam-mounted camera.
The content management shortlist included Rogers Media, which saw the Quantel QTube product at IBC2010 and immediately chose it to provide access for journalists across Canada. BBC News developed Jupiter Tools to make it easy for its journalists to edit and deliver content wherever they are in the world, and German broadcaster ProSieben. Sat1 Produktion turned to IBM for its new playout centre.
Taking the award in this category was CNN. The broadcaster won the IBC2007 Judges’ Prize for its digital field packs for journalists in war zones. Now, its technical team has turned its attention to managing the sheer volume of content arriving in its newsrooms, creating as many as 20,000 assets a week.
The final category, content delivery, saw strong nominations for TV Globo’s very high band- width IP fibre to connect its production centres across Brazil, and for Warner Bros. and its digital-end-to-end delivery platform for content from Hollywood to its customers worldwide.
The judges gave the award to Finnish communications specialist DNA for its rollout of terrestrial HD television. This clever project took the new DVB-T2 standard and, with technology partners Teamcast, Plisch and Ericsson, put it into a single frequency network using the company’s existing cellular transmitter network. It got HD on the air quickly and cost-effectively.
The IBC2010 award for innovative content delivery went to the DVB Project and BBC R & D, which developed the DVB-T2 standard in a remarkably tight timescale to allow HD services like DNA to get commercial services up and running. Because DNA took award-winning technology and pushed it to its limits, the project also received the IBC Innovation Awards Judges’ Prize.