IBC 2012 - A Retrospective (Part I)

Posted By Sam Johnson on September 21, 2012 06:31 am | Permalink
I've had a week and bit to digest this year's IBC and thought I'd reflect. T'was a funny conference. It was filled with a lot of the same tech that was announced/demoed at BVE, NAB and even IBC 2011, so there was a slight lack of new announcements. That said, there were a few interesting things that I will highlight.

It was the year of the MAM/DAM solutions. Almost every stand I visited had some sort of cloud solution. Of the ones that interested and offered a complete solution, Cantemo (with a Vidispine backend) was arguable the best on offer.

Cantemo (www.cantemo.com) offers two solutions, MediaBox and Portal. Main difference between the two is licensing and site-to-site collaboration, but both other a complete MAM solution. Built around the Vidispine API, you can collaborate, annotate and integrate into your NLE. I was shown integration/round trip workflow between Cantemo and Adobe Premiere and was very impressed. By using Adobe extension manager you are able to integrate straight into Premiere as a docked window. Making it that much easier for ops to get access to the media. Has also been developed for FCP 7 and X, though integration isn't as seamless.

It has a proprietary transcoder, which can encode on import and deliver to multiple locations, should you wish. If Cantemo's own transcoder isn't good enough, you have the ability to integrate/send to third-party software such as Telestream's Episode. In fact the sky is hypothetical limit with Cantemo. Scripted using python, Cantemo have provided many a customer with customized solutions.

One of the larger announcements at this year's IBC was Adobe's Anywhere platform. A tool for editors using Adobe Premiere and Prelude to cross collaborate by using Adobe streaming servers.

We were demoed Anywhere by evangelist Jason Levine and a colleague in Berlin. They were working with 1920x1080 media (codecs not predefined) and were round-tripping sequences between each other whilst connecting to the same media. Was a very slick presentation, and they insisted that no proxies were used. Instead it Adobe's Mercury Streaming Engine that will optimize to your network and dynamically maintain realtime playback. Full technical details are yet to be released though.

It's great tech, but thought why would I use this? I've got a perfectly good SAN. It seems as if it is being aimed at production/post houses that use freelance talent. They would not be limited to local talent, instead anyone from around the world (who had Premiere Pro CS6) would be able to log into shop's server and begin working. Also looking at aiming it toward tech managers who could use it in a disaster recovery scenario, where  should staff not have access to the building but are still able to work off site.

It is currently limited to Premiere Pro and Prelude, though should it take off, I imagine After Effects and the other apps would follow suit.

Sam Johnson is currently senior production engineer at AMV BBDO (www.amvbbdo.com), a large UK-based ad agency.