Platform Communications Views

Predicting the IBC headlines: 3D, advertising and connected home

John Moulding

With most of our pre-show work complete, we have taken a few moments to reflect on what we think will be the big themes for IBC 2009 a few moments to reflect on what we think will be the big themes for IBC 2009. We expect serious movement, and therefore headlines, in 3D-TV, advanced advertising and the multi-screen connected home.

This will probably dominate the headlines. It is already a reality in cinemas and UK satellite giant BSkyB has committed to a 2010 launch, suggesting there is a television market in three dimensions. There will be an industry-wide push for 3D-TV for various reasons:

• Cinema wants to maintain a gap between the cinema experience and the increasingly impressive home HDTV experience

• 3D Cinema is creating a market for content produced in 3D – and this will eventually be available for TV

• 3D is bound to put a premium on bandwidth and that gives Pay TV operators an advantage compared to over-the-top services, who rely on best-effort broadband connections

• The Consumer Electronics industry wants it because there is the potential to sell 3D-ready televisions

• Technology vendors will welcome any upgrade requirements in networks and the customer premise.

The 3D-TV value chain is beginning to fall into place, starting with production tools. The BBC tested a live 3D production system during the RBS Six Nations rugby last year, with a 3-D HDTV signal delivered over satellite. Sony recently made a splash by announcing that it will make 3D televisions available in 2010.

Will consumers want it? Probably – they just don’t know yet. Sometimes you have to experience something to know you want it, the same way people had to sample PVRs and HDTV to get excited about those services. There could be false dawns but the history of television is a slow but inevitable march to the next best thing, from black & white to colour, analogue to digital, SD to HD….

Advanced advertising
Advanced advertising is a catch-all phrase but a useful definition is probably ‘Advertising that helps marketers stay/get in front of their target consumers in a world of fragmented audiences and multiple screens’. These are the advertising solutions designed for the ‘What I want, when I want it, where I want it’ TV environment.

We expect to see some worthy solutions for interactive advertising at IBC – technologies that enable people to link out of programming or adverts to find relevant content about a product or advertiser they are interested in (and then return to the TV show). Audience measurement and behavioural monitoring is important too, but you have to look hard to find it.

Targeting is what everyone really wants to talk about. This is where you receive a message that is directly relevant to you – inserted into a live or on-demand video stream in place of a more generic advert.

John Moulding