Home >> September 2008 Edition >> EVENT PROFILE: The Quest For Content — IBC 2008
EVENT PROFILE: The Quest For Content — IBC 2008
by Hartley & Pattie Lesser

Publications, digital and analog, broadcasters of all ilk, CEOs and CTOs, businesses, prosumers and consumers, all function best when acquired knowledge is put to use. We are a hungry lot — hungry for content, whether static or graphic, animated or sedated. We devour content — video, music, sound, text, graphics, and data. Thankfully, the digital age has arrived and continues to mature with more advanced technologies. These advancements ease our insatiable appetite for content by offering viewing and delivery options heretofore relegated to the realm of science fiction. (Hello? Capacity?)

Where do we, the sat and digi folk, find this much relished content? Any number of venues — from reading informative magazines, such as SatMagazine, MilsatMagazine, and digiGO! — to web-based news sites, HD television, radio, mobile feeds and, yes, even the rumor mill. All of the aforementioned can, and in most cases are, brought to you courtesy of the satellite’s downlink of content, be such HDTV, data, imagery, voice and more.

In spite of the expense involved, there is also another venue where “face-to-face” rules the day. Where expertise is display via a plethora of subject matter experts, and where business and friendships thrive — the trade show.

The IBC 2008 Conference is definitely one of THE major expositions conducted in Europe. For SatNews Publishers, this show offers new contacts, concrete content, and “chummanship”. From our satcom and milsatcom publications through our pro digital world offering, IBC is a show not to be missed. Given the event’s tagline — “The world of content management delivery” — you will understand why thousands in our industries make the trek to Amsterdam.

Businesses and individuals attending IBC continue to grow each year in number. This is amazing, given the ever increasing cost for such attendance. Proof that something worthwhile is always worth the expense. This year, IBC will be “open for business” beginning at 12:00 noon on Friday, September 12th. Then from Saturday, September 13th, through Tuesday, September 16th the doors are open from 9:30 a.m. through 6:00 p.m. Yes, you will need to spend quality time each day at the RAI Center if you wish to ensure a full content feeding frenzy!

There are, basically, five reasons for IBC’s popularity — to buy, to sell, to learn, to network, and to be inspired — worthy motivators for attendance. So if you believe this show is for you, we recommend you make your arrangements as quickly as possible.

We discussed the IBC mystique with some of the folk in Europe who know the show very well. Paul Claydon of PBLSat believes, “IBC is important to PBLSat because our largest customer base is across Europe and the Middle East. This exhibition gives us the chance to meet a high proportion of these customers in an informal setting, and to review the services we have provided and appreciate the potential in new opportunities. IBC also offers a showcase and marketplace for the industries latest technologies enabling us to stay on top of latest developments and giving us the opportunity to discuss benefits and integration processes direct and face-to-face.

“As we are a new company, we are constantly developing new products and services; we have increased our stock in Eutelsat W1 capacity and now have 18 MHz available for occasional use services, which has been very welcome news to many of Europe’s broadcasters. In addition, we have recently launched PBLSat LiveNet offering fibre from all major UK sports grounds and exhibition venues; we have made the complete connectivity map available for download.”

How about your “favorites” in Amsterdam? Paul answered, “I have always enjoyed the buzz around the Rembrandt Plein, the area is full of popular bars and restaurants. For a more refined dining experience try the Altmann Restaurant at Amsteldijk 25.” Thanks, Paul.

Colin Morris of PPM also sees IBC attendance of value to his company. “PPM will be attending IBC this year because we see the show as key to reaching many of our existing and new customers alike. As with most players in the satcom and broadcast industry, many of the exhibitors are also PPM customers who have either bought ViaLite solutions, or are looking to buy. In this case, IBC provides a valuable opportunity to meet up with many of them and discuss solutions to problems and ongoing projects.

“PPM will be exhibiting four new additions to the existing ViaLite range. The first will be a plug-in SNMP module that’s capable of monitoring up to two fully populated ViaLite racks of equipment. Then we have two new Wideband RF over Fibre modules with bandwidth coverage from 2 KHz to 4.2 GHz, and one with an additional ability to carry low speed (19.2 KB) digital data alongside the main carriers. Last, but not least, we have a new data module capable of carrying traditional serial data in RS232, 422 and 485 formats over bi-directional fibre links.” Colin added, “I would recommend [your] readers attend the IBC party, which is a great place to unwind at the end of the show, as well affording you the time to network with other exhibitors. Plus, the food is great and you can relax with a beer or two as well!”

UDcast is certainly going to have a presence at IBC, where they will be demo’ing the next advance for the TV industry — targeted advertising. According to Filip Gluszak of UDcast, “Jointly with PacketVision, the U.K.-based specialists when it comes to targeted IPTV advertising, we will create a live demo of geographically addressable ads in Mobile Television. One of the particularities of this system is that it is designed to benefit satellite prime distribution of TV content and the commercials. The targeted advertising will increase the revenues of TV broadcasters, while making the commercial breaks more acceptable to end-users, as the ads will be more relevant to their needs.”

Vizada’s Eric Cueppens believes IBC is a must-attend show for companies who have connections to the media segment. His firm has attended IBC for several consecutive years, with the venue proving to be a most amenable area to meet their network of more than 500 service providers, as well as to network and meet existing and potential media company clients.

“Last year, at the IBC 2007 exhibition, CNN, partnered with Vizada and service providers L-3 Global Communications Solutions (GCS) and Galaxy 1 Communications, and won two awards: the IBC Innovation Award (Content Creation category) and the IBC Judge’s award for innovation. The awards were for coverage of the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict in July 2006, using the BGAN (Broadband Global Area Network) mobile satellite technology and service. Several CNN journalists were able to report live through BGAN from locations all over the conflict zone and other key sites in the Middle East as events unfolded.”

Those In The Know...
A guide to the companies we are visiting at IBC reveals the firms whose presence we believe are important to acknowledge from a technological and business side. Our “MUST SEE” IBC visit list in alphabetical order...

Advent Communications: Stand 1.A61
Advent Communications is planning to unveil an enhanced version of their 1.5-m and 1.8-m NewSwift antenna, which will support high power C- and Ku-band RF and HD system requirements. The enhanced NewSwift antenna will have a larger electronics pod to accommodate a pair of 400W C- or Ku-band TWTAs, either as 1+1 phase combined or 1:1 redundant pair, or a 1:1 redundant pair of 750W C or Ku-band TWTAs, or a 1:1 redundant pair of outdoor SSPAs. The NewSwift’s compact and lightweight design is styled to meet the operational requirements of the antenna and vehicle onto which it will be mounted. There are also five new additions to Advent’s 1U ½ rack width 5000 Series range, which will also be on display for the first time: the Advent receiver/decoder IRD5000, the Advent SCPC IP modem ADM5000, the Advent Multiplexer router AMR5000, the Advent Protection Switch APS5000 and the Advent System Controller ASC5000. Also on show will be Advent’s DVE5000 1U ½ rack width encoder/modulator, now with MPEG-4 PT10, H264 SD & HD 4:2:0/4:2:2 encoding, SNMP and web browser control options.

AMOS by Spacecom: Stand 1.C36
With AMOS-4 already on the drawing boards, AMOS-5 is also now a confirmed build... on July 30, in Tel Aviv, a contract was signed between the Reshetnev Company and Israeli-based Spacecom, which will result in the building of the geostationary satellite system AMOS-5, based on the Express-1000H platform. Spacecom operates the AMOS satellites, which offer a broad range of communications and broadcasting services to Europe, the Middle East, as well as making that all-important connection to the U.S. East Coast. AMOS-3 was launched on April 28th of this year from Baikonur.

ArabSat: Stand 4.B78
Founded in 1976 by the 21 member-states of the Arab League, Arabsat has been serving the Arab world for more than 30 years. ArabSat carries 340+ TV channels and 160+ radio stations, reaching tens of millions of homes in over 100 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Europe. The Company operates a growing fleet of 4 satellites at the 26° E and 30.5° E positions of the geostationary orbit, One of their latest accomplishments was the broadcasting of the Beijing Olympics throughout the MENA viewing area via HDTV on ARABSAT Badr-4 satellite in collaboration with Arab Satellite Broadcasting UnionASBU”. The company plans an aggressive fleet deployment of one new satellite per year from 2008 to 2011.

ASC Signal: Stand 1.C31
ASC Signal is a global manufacturer of antennas and RF electronics for enterprise and consumer satellite communication applications. The Company has more than 70 years experience in the design and manufacture of communications products. In addition to hardware, ASC Signal provides solutions-based services such as turn-key system design, engineering, installation test and maintenance, product integration and program management. The Company recently launched their 4.6 Meter Trifold® Transportable antenna, which is F-1 and E-2 Ka-band compliant, and available to customers around the world. ASC Signal’s 4.6 Meter antenna compliments the popular ASC Signal 3.7 meter and 4.5 meter Trifold® antenna products. The Company in July signed an agreement with Globecomm Systems, Inc. (GSI) to supply commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) antenna products. ASC Signal was selected to provide antenna products that support the recent major award to GSI by a global, multilateral organization.

Foxcom: Stand 1.F33
Foxcom has been developing fiber optic solutions for pro satellite, TV, and video distribution markets since 1993. The Company’s latest release is their Sat-Light/Platinum suite, which includes a full range of L-band, IF, and wideband transmitters and receiver satellite communication links that offer high RF input power and wide dynamic range. The user has full control of the all-important functions via the front panel LCD, or by using a MCP card in the chassis. The company has also integrated all of their point-to-multipoint products under the BsmarTV™ brand. This brings HDTV, voice, and high-speed data to the user through a single wire and into the home.

GlobeCast: Stand 1.A59
GlobeCast, a subsidiary of France Telecom, is a provider of content management and worldwide transmission services for professional broadcast delivery. The Company operates a secure global satellite and fiber network to manage and transport 10 million hours of video and other rich media each year. Such provides ingest, aggregation, transmission, and repurposing of content for delivery to DTH satellite platforms; cable, IPTV, mobile, and broadband headends; as well as corporate and digital signage networks. GlobeCast’s fleet of SNG trucks is deployed globally to support coverage of the biggest news and sporting events each year in SD and HDTV formats. One of GlobeCast’s latest projects was the upgrade of their HD infrastructure and formation of new strategic alliances in the Americas. The firm installed new state-of-the-art encoding and converting equipment at its broadcast center in Culver City, California, using gear that included MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 HD decoders and the Snell & Wilcox Alchemist Ph.C™ HD standards converter with motion compensation. GlobeCast can receive and process HD signals into any international format as well as down convert to SD and deliver the signal worldwide using a combo of MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 HD/SD compression.

Hellas Satellite Consortium Ltd.: Stand 4.A71
HELLAS SAT owns and operates the Hellas-Sat 2 satellite located at 39º E, which offers services in Europe, the Middle East and Southern Africa. HELLAS SAT is a subsidiary of Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE SA) and operates two DTH platforms in Romania (Dolce) and Bulgaria (Bulsatcom). Hellas-Sat 2 has emerged as one of the most popular satellites in the region. The number of the households served by the satellite is estimated to be well in excess of one million in number. The Company further strengthened its position in the international satellite market, especially in Europe and Middle East, regions where utilization rates approach 100 percent, making it 79 percent for the total of the satellite capacity. The total number of TV channels broadcasted on the satellite reaches 170, including the transmission of an HDTV channel in cooperation with the Greek Ministry of Communications and Transportation. During the last year, HELLAS SAT has also initiated cooperation with the national PTT of the Republic of South Africa for its combined voice and data satellite services.

Hiltron GmbH: Stand 4.B89
Hiltron is a leading European system integrator, manufacturer, and distributor of satellite communication and wireless broadcast solutions. The Company designs and manufactures pro controllers for redundancy switching, monitoring, and control of communication equipment based on their controller platform, HCS3. One of their most recent debuts is the Hiltron L-Band Matrix HMS, built as a distributive (non-blocking) matrix. Any input may be routed (switched) to as many outputs as desired. It can be used to switch/connect 16 single signals to up to 32 independent outputs in one small and lightweight rack mountable 19-inch unit (5HU). The unit was initially developed for IPTV Headends to provide redundancy switching in case of failure and flexible routing of the required signals to the receivers. For this application the matrix is optionally available with a level (LD) detection and monitored LNB power supply (LNB). All essential parameters can be controlled and motored via Web-interface, or the remote control interface via UDP/IP protocol.

Hispasat: Stand 1.A34
Spanish satellite operator Hispasat offers a wide range of commercial and governmental communication services including broadcasting, broadband and advanced systems. The Hispasat-1D satellite’s coverage includes Europe, North Africa, and America, at 30º W (1C & 1D), at 61º W (Amazonas) and governmental services in X- and Ka-bands through HISDESAT (Spainsat and Xtar-Eur satellites). The Company recently initiated a beam over the Middle East to the 1D satellite’s coverage zone to provide American and European clients (and vice versa) access to Asian satellites via a double link, and nearly achieving global coverage. The satellite was launched in September of 2002 and was Hispasat’s fourth satellite launch.

Intorel: Stand 4.A49
Intorel develops monitoring and control solutions for the broadcast and satellite industries. The company’s Visionic platform is used by satellite operators and broadcasting companies around the world. Visionic directly, or remotely, operates any number of satellites and broadcasting devices, from any manufacturer worldwide, via a click-and-drag interface. Visionic is based on MS Visio and allows any recognized satellite or broadcasting component, regardless of its complexity, to be displayed, operated and modified on screen by system engineers in broadcast centers, satellite uplink and TTC stations. At IBC, Intorel will be debuting their new 4.0 version of Visionic, which includes new beta testing spectrum analyzer software. In addition, this new Visionic element can be used independently and without Visionic, as well as fully integrated into it. The Visionic Professional system compiles Microsoft Visio drawing into a modern, state-of-the-art M&C (monitor and control) system.

ND SatCom: Stand 1.C51 + OE320
An SES ASTRA company, ND SatCom is a supplier of satellite-based broadband VSAT, broadcast, government, and defense communication network and ground station solutions. As a global company with more than 25 years of experience in the satellite networks and systems businesses, ND SatCom is a reliable source of turnkey and tailored system engineered solutions. ND SatCom will be presenting their new SkyRAY Light IPS HD, an end-to-end video streaming solution that incorporates the latest SkyWAN® modem as well as advanced H.265/MPEG-4 AVC HD/SD encoder technologies for high video quality. The product is easy to operate by non-satellite users and features fully automatic antenna pointing and one-button operation. There’s an intuitive touch screen for all functions, and remote control is also possible from the studio. This system can be ready for video streaming in less than 10 minutes and can be quickly and easily installed on most any vehicle.

Newtec: Stand 1.C51 + OE320
Newtec delivers a range of products and solutions to their customers within the satellite and telecommunications industry. Clients include TV broadcasters, telecom service providers, and satellite operators across the globe. Founded in 1985, Newtec offers a range of products that include highspeed DVB and DVB-S2 modulators, DVB-RGS based IP broadband access networks, DTV and radio distribution networks, as well as interactive Satmode TV networks. Just recently, their Tellitec® IP Software product TelliNet was selected by satellite broadband supplier ND SatCom to be integrated with the SkyARCS platform to provide fast and secure Intranet access via satellite to the Bundeswehr (German Federal Armed Forces). Additionally, the Company recently conducted successful satellite transmission tests using their Azimuth equipment with the Russian operators, RSCC and Gascom.

PPM: Stand 1.A10
Pulse Power & Measurement Ltd. (PPM) now provides a large range of RF-over-fiber products. The Company’s ViaLite products are used in the transmission of analogue, RF, and digital data signals over optical fiber for telephone and satellite ground stations, TETRA mobile radio networks, cellular antenna remoting, metro GPS, GPS timing and TV/broadcast signal distribution applications. The ViaLite fiber optic link range removes the need for users to understand the complexities involved in sending RF signals over optical fiber. A variety of channels are offered that range from 1 MHz to the new 4.2 GHz bandwidth. Users can purchase a ready-to-go system off the shelf as well as supplying some of the largest Earth stations across Europe, such as the European Broadcasting Union. PPM constantly strives to improve existing product solutions and is launching a new version of ViaLite at IBC 2008.

RRsat: Stand 1.A40
RRsat provides uplink, downlink, turnaround, and playout services, offering end-to-end transmission for TV, radio, and data channels. Also offered are production services to the global satellite broadcasting industry, which includes channel distribution and backhaul services, SNG, sports feeds, and other occasional feed services. The Company’s teleport has several, fully equipped playout centers, production support, and various value-adds, all using advanced digital MCPC platforms, currently in support of more than 285 TV channels, more than 80 radio channels, with coverage to more than 150 countries. In fact, in early July, RRsat signed an agreement with WatchIndia TV, a popular video platform supporting live and on demand broadcasting of well-known Indian TV stations worldwide. WatchIndia TV is a subscription-based service that enables the global Indian Diaspora to watch local Indian channels and programming through the Internet. WatchIndia TV is a subsidiary of Live Asia TV.

SAT-GE + Satlynx: Stand 12P.C38
SAT-GE offers satellite capacity on their GE-23 satellite, formerly AMC-23. With coverage of the Pacific basin, the satellite brings into play one C- and five Ku-bands for landmass and ocean coverage from Perth in Australia to Los Angeles in the U.S. and from Alaska to South New Zealand. The complimentary exhibitor, Satlynx, is an end-to-end managed network service provider, and they will be unveiling their new contribution — Satlynx Media Streaming, a combination of product and service. Satlynx comprises a transportable solution for the encoding of captured video and its transmission via satellite to a Satlynx teleport. From there, streamed media can be routed anywhere in the world via its global VPN infrastructure, or via a dedicated circuit if required.

SatService: Stand 1.F55
Offering turnkey solutions and products for satellite-based communications, SatService provides solutions with quick reaction times, with a wealth of experience having worked on numerous Earth station and VSAT installations throughout Europe. Plus, the Company operates a service center for the repair of satellite ground stations. At IBC 2008, SatService will be exhibiting their own equipment, ranging from M&C systems and network management systems, to L-band distribution amps, switch matrixes, and optical links as well as I/O frontend processors and more. The company occupies a two floor building with more than 400m2 working space with offices and two laboratories for software/hardware development and testing.

Sintec Media: Stand 2.B41
This Company provides management solutions for the media industry, including their flagship product, OnAir. Leading networks in North America, Asia, and Europe (such as CBC and BBC) use the OnAir solution for managing airtime sales, traffic, programming, rights management, as well new media use. Founded in 2000, the company addresses the needs of DTV, VOD, and PVRs to assist in maximizing revenues. Earlier this year, STAR Group (a wholly-owned subsidiary of News Corporation) selected OnAir to manage its broadcast ops, which was no small matter, given that STAR broadcasts more than 60 channels in ten languages to 53 countries across Asia and around
the globe.

SISLink: Stand 1.D35 + OE330
SISLink is one of Europe’s largest suppliers of satellite uplinks. Company services are provided to a wide range of leading news, sports, and outside broadcasting organizations. One of the Company’s largest assets was the April acquisition of the BBC Outside Broadcast Division from BBC Resources Ltd. Upon completion of that deal, SISLink was able to own and operate the BBC Outside Broadcasts fleet of TV production units as well as sound, support, and communications vehicles, plus some award-winning and rather special cameras. Founded in 1987, the Company also cemented into place a
strategic alliance with Intelsat, which enabled the firm to introduce their services into the U.S.

SWE-DISH Satellite Systems: Stand 1:A39
The Company is expanding their CommuniCase® Technology (CCT) terminals to feature Ka-, X-band and Ku-band capability. The new CCT systems will support mobile warfighters operating beyond the edge of the network to improve bandwidth availability and communications flexibility by using the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) system. The WGS system supports U.S. military operations worldwide by supplementing commercial capabilities. Military, intelligence, and other users will be able to use the new CCT terminals to leverage the WGS system as well as other military and commercial networks. SWE-DISH is a DataPath company.

UDcast: Stand 1.E90
UDcast provides IP broadcast solutions for wireless network environments around the world. The Company supplies mobileTV head-end and distribution solutions as well as provides all-in-one WAN optimization controllers to enhance the performance of satellite, terrestrial, and WiMAX data networks. The firm has also received prestigious awards from Red Herring and Innovation Stars. At IBC 2008, UDcast will be demo’ing what they believe to be the world’s first solution for targeted advertising for mobile TV. Examples of a geographically targeted ad campaign will be presented, showing how content can be delivered to mobile TV users over standard DVB-H networks. UDcast Mobile TV is already integrated into the transmitters of a number of vendors, and additional announcements may be expected at IBC 2008, as well.

If Only We Had The Time…
There are a number of firms we wish we could also visit… unfortunately, due to a limited schedule and the enormous number of firms at the show, such is not to be… however, others should not miss these opportunities…

Advantech AMT, Booth 1.A11, provides satellite and terrestrial wireless communications solutions, with three business units and facilities in Europe, Canada, and the U.S., featuring their mobile antenna solutions for DSNG and VSAT flyaway.

AnaCom, Inc., Booth 1.F41, manufacturer of satellite transceivers with carrier-grade, integrated networks for IP transport over satellite, covering all satellite commercial frequencies.

AVL Technologies, Booth 4.B54, designs and manufactures mobile, motorized antenna systems and positions, featuring their patented Roto-Lok® cable drive system, auto-acquisition controllers, and carbon fiber reflectors, and demo’ing their antennas for SNG, C-, X-, Ku-, DBS-band and Ka-band for military and other specialized applications.

Comtech EF Data, Stand 4.A51, manufacturer of satellite communications equipment that includes modems, bandwidth and capacity management, IP Encapsulators, receiver, amplifiers, converters, BUCs, transceivers, and terminals.

Intelsat, Stand 1.C71, provider of FSS worldwide, with telecommunications solutions available to 99 percent of the world’s regions, also possessing extensive teleport and fiber infrastructure.

MITEQ Inc., Stand 1lA18, manufactures a variety of subsystems and components for satellite and microwave communications, ranging from IF through Ka-band. Their impressive product line includes up- and down-converters, translators, redundant switchover units and amplifier systems, INMARSAT equipment, video mods and demods. In addition, the firm has 22 supporting sales agencies and 13 service organizations located around the globe.

Paradise Datacom, Stand 1.C28, designs and manufactures a complete range of satellite modems, SSPAs, BUCs, LNAs and redundancy equipment. They’ll also be showing their latest additions and enhancements to their Evolution Series Modems, Vision Series DVB-S2 modems, their solid state power amps, and their nexgen vBUC.

Radyne Tiernan Xicom, Stand 1.D41, will present the Radyne satellite Earth equipment, satellite modems, frequency converters and DVB modems. They will also showcase their hub-less TDMA modem, Skywire — Xicom will demo their high power and compact SSPAs, TWTAs, and Klystron amps — Tiernan will show their HDTV and SDTV encoders and decoders as well as audio and data receivers.

STMicroelectronics, Stand 1.F89, brings semiconductor solutions across the entire spectrum of microelectronics applications for the digital consumer market, including STBs, DVD, TV, audio. They’ll also have solutions for multimedia applications, application processors, and energy management as well as wireless connectivity and mobile imaging, with presentations regarding their display ICs and devices for wireless and wireline network infrastructures.

Wait… There’s Even More…
IBC continues to be a must-visit event for professionals from all over the world who are interested in the entire scope of electronics communication. IBC 2007 witnessed more than 1,300 companies exhibiting from 130 countries, with an audience exceeding 46,000 in number.

Sunday night is awards night. Leading the celebrations will be the winners of IBC’s four Awards for Innovation. These awards honor the partnerships between suppliers and users, who incorporate technology into real, creative, commercial service.

IBC 2008 should satisfy all. We look forward to meeting you at the show in Amsterdam. Select the graphic below for full conference and registration details.