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Taking the tech temperature

For those of us who are fascinated by the strategic direction of media technology, the publication of IBC’s technical conference stream is a significant occasion.

It reveals, for the first time, the hot ideas that everyone wants to talk about in 2015 – and, by their absence, those topics which have cooled into obscurity.

Our industry thermometer is the 250 bids that we receive every January from technologists and thinkers who seek an opportunity to address our influential delegates.

Topping the popularity scale this year are Ultra High Definition television and high dynamic range (HDR), both of which have dedicated conference sessions.

In UHDTV our focus will be on worldwide compression and transmission trials of both 4K and 8K systems – find out what the results are telling us.

And don’t miss the cutting-edge paper by NHK on their remarkable operational plans for the start of 8K broadcasting in 2018.

HDR is a striking enhancement to television, leading to a vastly more realistic rendition of natural scenes.

This year, three of the world’s most well-known content producers from Europe, Japan and the US will explain how HDR figures highly in their own strategic thinking.

Second screen behavioural studies have been surprising us for some time, but have you ever enjoyed a video game while watching mainstream TV? One of our second screen session presenters has – and he will reveal some unexpected conclusions from his research.

This year sees several new technologies in our session on human interfaces. Human sensing (the ability to detect human posture, emotion, identity and behaviour) will be explored by exciting newcomer, Pebbles.

And Amazon will be telling us how to use social media, recommendations and interactive ads to enhance audience engagement.

Now, you would think that we would know all there is to know about on-screen subtitling. Not so.

Subtitles are now employed by vastly differing groups of people using a huge range of display types.

This prompted the BBC to ask how we would do subtitling if we were starting from scratch. Their creative results, together with Korean developments in virtual human deaf signing and the latest in speech technology, make up a great session on access technologies.

As always, our cutting-edge technology session will feature some thought-provoking ideas, such as 360-degree television viewed on a head-mounted display; and we shall address such questions as how to stream video to it and what production grammar is appropriate.

Oh, and don’t miss the ‘wall of moments’ concept, the internet of things or the latest thinking on 4G and 5G.

It’s only been possible to scratch the surface of 2015’s hottest topics.

Whether you are a regular or new to IBC’s technical sessions, do join us in September – and be inspired!