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Innovation in partnership

The IBC Innovation Awards are highly regarded because they are more than simple technology prizes. They reward collaborations: broadcasters or production companies working together with technology companies to solve a real challenge, whether it is creative, commercial or operational. This year 10 projects made it to the list of finalists, and any of them could have been winners.

Taking the award for most innovative project in content creation was Sky in the UK with the graphics for its Monday Night Football programme. The project was so big and complicated it needed two competing graphics giants – ChryonHego and Vizrt – to come together to realise the vision. Motion Analysis Corporation was the third technology partner.

The finalists in content creation included another sports application, this time tracking horses racing the Grand National for the
UK’s Channel 4. They used technology from Civolution, Monterosa and TurfTrax.

Also recognised was an ingenious IP-based, iPad controlled radio solution from Cumulus Media, with technology partners
Axia Audio, Broadcast Software International and Telos Systems.

Winner of the IBC2014 Innovation Award for Content Management was Sky News Arabia, a finalist two years ago for its original build. Now it has developed an ingenious disaster recovery solution based on its news bureaux around the region and around the world. Project SkyNet was developed with Blackmagic, Haivision, Nevion, Vizrt and Zixi.

Highly commended in this category was the business transformation at Groupe Média TFO in Canada, which boosted its output by 50% while slashing its freelance bill by transforming itself into a new media factory. Technology partners were Adobe, Applied Electronics, EMC Isilon, IPV, Oracle and Signiant. Also highly commended was the DPP-compliant workflow project at BT Sport, built by Timeline TV in association with Dalet Digital Media.

The third category, content delivery, saw the award go to another sports application. Turner in the US wanted to provide home and away coverage for every subscriber to its NBA basketball service – as many as 30 simultaneous game feeds or 800 streams published in realtime. The project used technology from Adobe, Akamai, DNF Controls, Elemental, FreeWheel Media and Harmonic.

Turner Sports beat off three other finalists. Snap is Sky Deutschland’s online on demand service. It is popular and simple with subscribers, thanks to a complex project involving collaboration between Accedo, Atos, Capgemini, Coeno, Contone, CreateCtrl, Deloitte, Fincons, HP, ID Media, Namestorm, NTT Data, SHS Viveon, Sky Italia, TDS, Wirecard and Weeks.

The BBC iPlayer is the world’s most popular on demand service. To meet the demand BBC Future Media built a new content processing factory with the help of Amazon Web Services, Atos, Codeshop, Elemental and Omnia. Finally, Airtel Digital TV in India had an idea to present selected tweets – from celebrities and programme producers – on screen to its subscribers, without the need to make changes to existing set-top boxes.

It made the project work through collaboration with Brizz TV Media Labs.

For details on the shortlist visit